Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Friday, 9 July 2010

Practice Pitch(2) How to Pitch

So, you've picked your track, written up two paragraphs about the band + genre, and discovered which track you will be working on for a pitch ...
Time now to start in on that pitch!
In September you will be expected to do this for a track of your choosing (this may be in groups rather than individually) with a considerable degree of detail. We'd still like some detail for this practice pitch, but your guiding principle is that you successfully communicate your visual vision!
That means that whatever weird and wonderful picture you've formed in your head could be described to me by anyone priviliged enough to witness your pitch!

You can look at some examples of how students elsewhere (from Latymer) summarised and presented their ideas for a music video at the bottom of this post, and take inspiration from these. I'll run through some of the aspects I'd like you to address, and the format/s for your pitch; a shorter version of this will be issued.

 your guiding principle is that you successfully communicate your visual vision!

WHAT TO ADDRESS IN YOUR PITCH [yes indeed, there is a dress + a pitch pictured...]:
  • name the act/track, and which student put this forward!
  • summarise for us the nature (especially genre) of the band/act: a brief history; what they're best known for
  • what do we expect to see in music videos within this genre (ie give us some idea of codes + conventions, citing examples if you can)
  • run through some of the ideas you con
    sidered and rejected, informing us of what inspired these ideas (lyrics? band? genre? intertextual/postmodern notions? random inspiration?!)
  • what is your final idea? Which one or more of Goodwin's 3 types of music video is this?
  • are there any existing videos you'd compare your proposed video to?
  • who are your target audience? Can you differentiate between a core and secondary (think crossover) audience for your proposed video, and explain how elements of your proposal reflect this?
  • give some detail of the media language you would employ (shot types, framing + lighting [cinematography], editing style)
  • consider the representations your video might contain, linking back to target audience/s
  • is your idea typical of the genre, or perhaps challenging it? The answer may be 'a bit of both' - break down which conventions you're following, which challenging or working outside the typical norms
  • what resources would you require in terms of cast, cast skills, locations, props, costumes, make-up, SFX and camera/editing equipment to realize your full creative potential with this proposal?
Again, this is NOT meant to be a proposal for a video you will actually work on, but rather a dry run to get you thinking about the challenges and practicalities of working on a creative vision for a music video, building on your learning from Music Video Day.
You can use the Word doc provided later in this post as a checklist and/or to organise your notes
    You have choices here. Whatever you do must be presented and evidenced on your blog though (and you should consider filming your pitch for uploading to your blog!). The bottom line is the same for any form of presentation: make it informative but interesting.
    The format of the presentation should reflect the reality that you are a Media student!!!
    PowerPoints are fine, but do not assume you must use this; if you have other visual aids and can communicate your vision without it, don't use it! If you do, ensure your slides are brief summaries of points you are ready to talk through - you should avoid reading text off slides, a very dull form of presentation, with the exception of specific quotations which you may have come across during your research.
    Please strive to shoot some sample footage, no matter how rough or hammed up, to help demonstrate your vision (as would often happen in actual pitches seeking to secure funding), making sure this is accessible (ie you have brought mp4 files to me; not iMovie project files but the exported file).
    Your pitch should last no longer than the tune itself, which I'd expect to be playing quietly in the background for some of your pitch (you can highlight certain sections; make sure you know exact timings though) - so you should ensure I have the track as an mp3, not as an mp4 or YouTube link!!! 

    Treat your audience as would-be investors in your creative vision, which means not just record label executives but also band members - expect probing questions from these guys, seeking to ensure that your vision matches up with the band's image and fan expectations and also that the idea is achievable within the ever-tightening budgets available for videos these days! 
    You're not just stating 'this is my idea', you're declaring 'this is my ingenious idea, you'd be crazy not to buy into it!' 
    Whereas a general presentation may be simply outlining information, a pitch is always seeking approval from someone, to convince an audience of the virtues of an idea; to sell an idea...

    You can use this to help organise your thoughts, research + notes - download it if you want to expand the table.
    Practice Pitches Rough Guide                                                            

    The following are a selection of documents used by Latymer students to outline their proposals for music videos; if you use the Links Lists provided on this blog you can click through and see for yourselves how these proposals turned out. 'Fences' Treatment - Selina, Mia, Bhavika and Mary

    Pitch 1

    Initial Voodoo Child Treatment

    Voodoo Child Presentation

    Treatment 2

    Now over to you...

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