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

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Coursework Pitches

This is homework for Monday 22nd November. We may still be finishing up on the lip-sync practice, but should be ready to deliver these for the 22nd.

See the earlier post for more on the practice of pitching.

By now we've looked at a wide range of music videos from different artists, eras, directors and genres. We need now to start planning our actual productions, the 1st step being coming up with and pitching an idea.
I cannot stress enough how important it is you make every effort to create a convincing pitch no matter how much you may have been discussing one particular track/idea with a classmate. If your pitch is considered to be unconcvincing, you will be asked to re-do it until you have presented a pitch which can compete with the others presented.

If your pitch does persuade others to follow your idea, you've set yourself up as director within the production team, and should take a leading role in the key creative decisions that emerge. A producer, to deal with logistics; cinematographer, to lead on shot selection and filming (and perhaps mise-en-scene); and an editor are other key roles that can be divided up.
I will consider groups of 4 given the amount of work involved in creating a convincing music video - think roughly double the number of shots you took for your AS productions! - but only if individual roles and responsibilities are clearly defined so that individual contributions are clear, evident and easy to track.

Once we're through the pitches and have formed groups, further research and planning can be much more tightly focussed on genre/s, specific bands, directors and styles (see the blog entry on The Pixies for examples of the minimalist approach for instance). You will be issued with a detailed A2 Coursework Guide on Monday 29th Nov which sets out a list of possible blog posts. Central to your Research and Planning, as with your AS work, is the need to be able to explore how your creation uses the codes and conventions of real media texts, including a firm grasp of the institutional contexts of production, the impact of new media and digitisation on the industry (production, distribution and exhibition), and the blurring of the lines between 'UGC' and professional productions, as well as the media language used.

As has been flagged up, I highly recommend the Money For Nothing book on the history of the music vid, which also contains a lot of useful analysis (plus very many specific examples you wouldn't otherwise be aware of) of trends, styles and movements within the format.

Some guidelines for your pitch:
  • you have just 90secs to pitch in
  • up to 3 mins will then be allowed for Q+A (we want to fit all in to enable time for decisions to be made, though decisions can be deferred if more time is needed - I'll film your pitches and hopefully upload to YouTube that evening)
  • track should be short-ish! The longer the track, the more filming/editing required
  • there cannot be any swearing or strong sexual references
  • you must have considered the core and secondary audiences you are targeting
  • location is often key - can you gain access to the location/s you have in mind?
  • try and scout these out in advance and provide imagery to illustrate
  • comparability: which existing vids can you compare your idea to? (helps your audience to get a handle on what you're thinking of) Whether its a film or music video pitch, its always crucial to make some comparisons
  • go multimedia: have you got an mp4/mpg you can use alongside your basic pitch? perhaps you can use the annotation tools available within YouTube when you upload a video?
  • you could be ambitious and incorporate an animatic (frames from a storyboard uploaded to film, with you commenting over these)
  • don't discount the various ideas you pitched for Cars, People are Strange etc - many of these were quite excellent and would work brilliantly as actual videos
  • as you're preparing your pitch, keep asking yourself if your planned content will help persuade a sceptical audience to want to work on your idea
  • try to anticipate questions
  • you could try to engage and draw in your audience with a question of your own!
  • read over the marking criteria in advance; you could flag up how your idea will hit all the points covered in the mark scheme
  • be concise
  • be precise
  • employ media language!!!

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