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

Monday, 31 January 2011

Standalone Company blogs

[Cross-posted from AS blog]
I've mentioned that you could think about creating separate blogs for either of your companies and/or the film itself.
That wouldn't be a major production, and whoever sets up the blog can add the others as having the right to post to this blog.
An example from last year's AS:
Jonny Hughes and Joel Colborne, whose psychological thriller opening you saw at the film festival, added links to two blogs at the top of their main blogs: see Jonny's.
These are for their company Vertigo Cinema and their film A Bat in the Belfry.
You can always ask these guys for ideas!
Other past examples include Ellis Clark from last year's A2.

Friday, 28 January 2011

More egs of why MusicGuardian is useful

I'll discuss these in classes today but with Psychology exam many of you will be elsewhere.
Friday is Guardian Film and Music supplement day - for your A2 work, the Music section should be looked at at least once a week for relevant articles. In today's supplement there are 3 features that stand out:

Be grateful to the Grateful Dead

The show must go on: when bands replace their dead stars

The third is the main page of advertising: a quick scan will reveal its mostly ads for bands from the 80s/90s/early 00s. The 1st looks at the trend for repackaging/special editions - precisely what you're all doing; the 2nd is self-explanatory

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Nice eg of behind-scenes vid

Good work here by Will, Jem and Tom (when they're not creasing up!) giving us an insight into their production plans. Simple, but comprehensive and informative! Whether for AS romcom, slasher or zombie, or A2 music video or teaser trailer, this kind of 'walk through' video would be absolutely spot on, and a great addition to your blog.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Very important you start following this format:
if sharing ANY posts preface the post title with initials of post author, or ALL if co-created by all of you in a group
So, lets say its Kenny Dalglish analysing High School Musical 4 in a group of 3, a post copied onto Ian Rush's blog too; the post title WOULDN'T be Opening Analysis5: HSMusical4
It would be:
KD - Opening Analysis5: HSMusical4

Digipak examples

Plenty to be found in those other schools' blogs too
Here's an eg provided by the exam board, cited as very good: see
Se  also

Another schools blogs

I've added another school to the links list of other blogs to look at - highly recommend you do, lots of great ideas you can get from these!
I keep adding to the links lists - make use of them! Also, please pass on links you think are useful, preferrably as comments on posts in this blog


Coursework resubs will only be entered after discussion with me, but I've put a sheet up in F6 for you to initial against either AS exam or coursework if you intend to re-do
You have until friday to do this, when I need to pass on a list of entries

TREATMENTS - new eg added

see orig post for an eg which shows some of the design aspects you should follow

Monday, 24 January 2011

Feedback on blogs so far

I've been adding plenty of comments and talking to each group (shall see all today), but here's a few points that keep coming up:
  • PODCASTS: keep up with the weekly podcast; don't ignore these because you're doing vids/vodcasts. A simple weekly update/what's next is fine for a podcast, where a vid/vodcast will be focussed on a specific issue
  • LINKS LISTS: also to highlight multimedia, provide several links lists
  • RESEARCH: some of you have done highly detailed posts on certain aspects; few are providing clear summaries. Its key you show you've researched the band and their vids plus the genre and its conventions. Overall, that should be 5 vids individually plus 5 vids as a group, so totalling 15 as a pair or 20 as a trio. Don't go OTT on individual vids, but do provide a clear summary of the codes + conventions you've observed AND ...
  • INFLUENCES: be explicit on how research has influenced your idea - DO LOOK AHEAD TO THE EVAL Qs!
  • VODCASTS: genre/band conventions are key; this makes for an ideal vodcast. Aim for 3+ vodcasts as a group, most likely band/genre, audience, casting
  • AUDIENCE: any media work that fails to address audience specifically and precisely is seriously flawed! Emmie/Megan have an excellent eg of practical aud research to back up their target aud. So long as you're clear on your genre and target aud each group could/should do something similar, having created questions and stimulus material (might be vid clip; pics; the track itself - perhaps using mobiles)
  • EARLIER WORK: many of you haven't utilised the earlier work from lessons on music vid; Elizabeth's is a good example of a blog which does! This still needs an overall summary of conventions observed and influences on production, but the Lady Gaga post is a good example
Remember, the fundamental principle is that your research influences your planning; keep evidencing and making explicit how this is so.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Helloween and Goodwin

Callum asked me for an eg of a vid that blended all 3 of concept, narr, perf; one eg springs to mind:

Proggy German thrash at its finest!
I've also some points on this which I'll add later:


Commentaries on vids

Just posting on As cwk blog, and included the vid below; not music vid I know, but same principle: a simple but effective way to include multimedia is to add your own commentary to a vid you find relevant to your production. There are other points in the post about describing research and layout/design of posts you'd benefit from reading too; I'll re-post it here adding the 'read more' tool (the 2 broken lines icon in blogger post editor) so you can choose to read it all or not!

Will has done an excellent post on Halloween, worth sharing as a good example! It combines denotation with wider analysis, and evidences his wider reading whilst also incorporating some multimedia aspects and reflects on how this might influence his group's production. See it here.

Good as it is, there is scope for yet further development! What could enhance this already excellent post?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Casting and creativity


Casting is discussed in the coursework guide; your post/s on this should follow a range of steps, which you might do as separate posts:
The original scream queen: Janet Leigh
Final girl archetype 'Laurie Strode'
  1. start out by describing your characters (if you have 10 characters provide 10 profiles/descriptions!): their look, clothing, attitude, gender, age, size, hair colour ... whatever seems relevant to the role. THIS IS YOUR IDEAL, IF YOU HAD 100s OF ACTORS APLYING FOR THE ROLE!
  2. now consider (stereo)typical comparable characters in existing films (critically, providing still images and/or video clips to do so)
  3. even if you are going for a COUNTERtypical approach, show your knowledge of the genre conventions before justifying your choice to go against/challenge the convention
  4. have you backed up your claims/analysis of typical representation with references from websites AND books? to help get into the top marks range you should try to back up your analysis of the codes and conventions of genre/'existing texts' with book (or newspaper/journal) references as much as possible
  5. if going for countertypes, explain why - perhaps linked into gender issues? either way, the theories associated with feminist film critics such as Barbara Creed and Laura Mulvey could be discussed here
  6. having clearly set out what look you want, and shown you've thought through the semiotics of this (how the auidience might respond if they followed your preferred reading, but also considering possible negotiated/oppositional readings - perhaps for potential non-UK viewers not familiar with UK culture?), now discuss your casting process
  7. of course, you may be limited in your choice here; provide stills/video of any casting session, and images of your actual cast, clearly identified as specific characters (repeat character details if this info is not in the same post)
  8. does the look of any of these impact on your original ideas/intentions? maybe your scream queen is now sporting the conventional final girl look? have you made adjustments for this in your script/storyboard? can you think of any low-budget films you've seen where financial restrictions appear to have impacted on casting?
  9. now you're ready to start shooting with your cast - think about their needs: build in rehearsal time (a good means of shooting video to show one of you taking on the directing role - perhaps the producer can be shot organising the casting?), provide with script/call sheets etc

You'll note the post is entitled casting AND creativity. Partially, and this is nothing to worry about, you may wish to make notes now for a long-distant A2 exam part of which asks you to analyse your own productions (its easy to forget the decisions you made so far in the future!). One possible topic there is 'creativity'. To finish up, a nice example from commercial casting, usually the preserve of specialist, qualified professionals (casting directors), of how random effective casting can be...
Towards the end of the video (can't embed it, follow the link) you'll see the contemporary auteur Darren Aronofsky discuss how a key supporting actress role was cast through iChat on a Mac (following lead actress Natalie Portman's recommendation of her friend)!
Watch the video at 
I can't recommend watching some of this director's work highly enough - especially Requiem For a Dream, which introduced a range of cinematographic techniques widely copied ever since.

I'd forgotten about this article - click 'read more' or here for the article and comments on the Guardian site - which considers some infamous casting decisions, and contains nice footage of auditions. The concept of the commutation test, by the way, is commonly applied to casting; there are many web pages which consider some of the near misses where classic films have almost, usually due to some bone-headed studio executive, badly miscast key roles that went on to become iconic but which would have been fundamentally altered with a different actor. (basic eg: picture Arnold Schwarzenegger in any Hugh Grant romcom role!)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Post titles + analyses

[cross-posting this from AS blog; for openings read vids...
also, many of you need to adjust the size of images/viuds you embed; you're covering up the archive etc, which will reduce marks for use of ict/level of care]

rem: keep these short enough to be fully visible in list of archive posts
+ make sure they describe whats in it: ANALYSIS OF JAWS for example is misleading: if you're analysing an opening, say so: ANALYSIS OF JAWS OPENING
if you're drafting the post: set it up, add post title, publish, edit and THEN add the word draft to title: that way the word 'draft' doesn't appear in the hyperlink for the post!
really, really push to use media lang + semiotic terms with these; consider representation too where you can, but critically: highlight what you'll take from this to use in your own (if nothing, state so!) at the top of the post
plus, as you go through them, compare with previous openings you've looked at, highlight similarities AND differences - doing this will arm you to take part in an informed discussion your group can film then edit as a slick vodcast (and nice prep for the Eval to boot)
finally: diegetic is NOT spelt with an A - easy, and common, mistake to make!

(btw, i calculate it took me just about 60secs to find, save and upload that jaws image - but it makes the blog look better, and isn't now something i might have to do repeatedly with this and other posts later to 'tart up' the blog...try to consistently do the same your good selves!)

Industry news

I'm not going to post every bit of news from the excellent section (and the following example comes from elsewhere - the business section - of the paper, just showing the utility and value of regularly reading a broadsheet, even if just once a week!), but would remind you to have a scan from time to time, and ensure you don't neglect to evidence your grasp of the contemporary music industry on your blog.

This article considers how two of the industry giants have decided to change decades of policy on release schedules, scrapping the idea of releasing singles to radio weeks, even months, before commercial release to build up appeal, in an effort to counteract the effects of digital piracy:

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

DIGIPAKS: templates

With thanks once more to and Laurie O'Connor in particular, I've embedded a couple of digipak templates below:
4 Panel Paperfoam With Booklet Space                                                            

CD 4 Panel Digipak                                                            

V IMPORTANT!!! Digipak is for an ALBUM

Have been overlooking one key word from the brief (nobody has mentioned this, yet you all should have written up the brief on your blogs too...and have it on the front of the coursework pack!): ALBUM
Your digipak, and subsequent ad, is indeed for an ALBUM, not a single. This means slightly more research into track listing - I'd strongly suggest a best of/greatest hits (or even greatest hits 2). As always, make it realistic!

Online comic

You might be interested in the comicbook series published online by Mr Wozencraft Jr.! In itself an illustration of how digital media continues to open media markets to Indie operators - the Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson (see wiki - an interesting company with a rather oddball history/outlook well covered in a variety of books) has had the UK comics market (US imports aside) sewn up for decades. Without the possibility of low-cost digital distribution/exhibition (and marketing) this would remain unchanged, given the high costs of printing, marketing and distributing a new comic book (in Media "barriers to entry" are one aspect borrowed from Economic thinking when considering media industries)
Remember, what you're currently engaging in would have been very different just a decade ago: you can create sophisticated, multimedia-rich blogs and self-publish your film work through YouTube, marketing it through the likes of Facebook (getting audience feedback as you go the same way, by inviting students from other schools to look and accessing strangers worldwide by posting on targeted forums too), even create and burn your own professional-looking DVDs! All very different from when Media coursework involved cumbersome VHS cameras and computers with less processing power than a typical contemporary mobile phone!!!

Guides from AS blog

Rather than keep cross-posting everything, I've added a links list for some key posts, with guides to a range of blogging issues, on the blog

Adding audio to your blog

I'm reposting this from the AS coursework blog
Basically, you need to create an MP3 file, upload this to a site which will give you an embed code- I suggest - and then copy/paste in the embed code.

The two screenshots show you how this works; as with Scribd the upload is very simple; you now click on more options and  you'll see the box in the 2nd screen shot appear - now just copy the embed code.

I'll test this out with a random music track...[14th Feb: changed this; must have mistyped the email adrs on the account sign up]

As you may well be using a video camera to record your audio, an alternative to extracting the audio track and putting it through GarageBand/iTunes is to add some relevant stills to the imported track within Final Cut (preferrably - try to start using this!), upload it to YouTube and use the embed code it generates. You're also then using additional new media for your project.

How to convert your audio file to mp3

You can import your file into iTunes where you can convert it ... but you have to change some settings to do this.
Open iTunes
Click 'iTunes' on the top menu
Click 'Preferences' from the drop-down list
Look under the General tab for 'import settings'
By default, iTunes will convert files to the aac format ... no good ...
So change this to mp3 from the drop-down menu

Quicker still, import an audio file into iTunes, click ADVANCED and select CONVERT TO MP3

UPDATE 18TH JAN 2011: Blogger provides a guide to audio/podcasting, including a set of links to several audio hosting/upload sites:

If you're struggling to generate an embed code its very likely because the file you've uploaded isn't an MP3! ALWAYS EXPORT AND USE MP3 FILES FOR PODCASTS!
Also, if you copy a post from a group colleague you may find that the embedded audio in their post doesn't appear in yours - you simply need to copy/paste in the actual embed code again - to repost this post across 3 blogs, I had to go into the EDIT HTML tab, find that code and copy it.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Please see earlier post on comments, and ensure you publish ALL of my comments - I've just seen one example of my advice being followed but my comment not published; the intention when I comment is that you always publish it

Friday, 14 January 2011

Photography tuition/mentoring

Some of you have drafted full digipak designs, which is great to see; others aren't quite as far advanced!
In 13D we've spent some time discussing the digipak drafts produced by the Joy Division group, and it was evident that fine, small details can make all the difference for this media format.
The art of still photography has many, many parallels with moving image cinematography, but needs to be appreciated as a considerable challenge in its own right. To help with this I've got two Yr13 Art students with a specialism in photography to volunteer to advise and mentor you all through the process of defining and refining your plans for digipak imagery (ditto shots for mag cover etc for the teaser trailer productions).
Beth Cooper will be coming in period 5 today to talk to each group in 13D and discuss when to meet again to look at sample shots; Gina Cawley will be in next Tues (18th, wkA) period 4 to help out the remaining 2 groups in 13B.
To make best use of this opportunity for help you need to be able to:
  1. provide a clear synopsis of your project, with detail on target audience and any other pertinent considerations ('brand', mood etc)
  2. have specific ideas for your digipak design
  3. if you're influenced by, or seeking to reference, existing texts, provide a video/stills to enable Gina/Beth (also needs to be blogged in any case!) to understand whats going on inside your head!
  4. provide a range of sample stills, ideally worked into a digipak template
  5. have discussed yourselves what is missing/needs developing from your sample shots

Quite simply, this is a great opportunity to get specific advice on how using certain manual settings of a quality SLR camera (which, with a signed + returned permission to be arranged through Art can be loaned out), and tweaking aspects of your composition, can lead to great images for you ancillary texts! Gina and Beth are volunteering their own time, and Art are being kind enough to give us access to quality cameras - its up to you to make best use of this.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


I've embedded below a grid showing where each group is saving and editing their filmed material. You can do general viewing, research, blogging work on any free machine, but these are the only Macs you can upload to + edit on. This is to try and ensure you have the best possible chance of getting a free machine to work with in frees etc. If we get the stolen Macs replaced in time we can adjust this.
You can see I've set aside four Macs for A2 - Mac3 has the latest OS on and iLife 09, so can recognise HD footage. The other 3 highlighted will shortly (no definite date yet, and you will find the Mac has to be taken out for up to a day to get the upgrade done) have the new OS plus iLife 11 to enable working with HD footage.
In terms of practice footage to compare HD + standard mini-DV, use Mac3 for now and copy your footage across when we get the other upgrades sorted.
I'm also hoping to get at least one copy of software to enable screen recording (eg to walk through how you used software) installed soon; I'll confirm when this is sorted.

Please make sure you pass on all rough cuts, sample scenes etc (with appropriate titles to clearly identify what it is and who by) to me as full quality .mov files (NOT project files - ie, export them!!!)

F6 mac grid JAN 2011                                                            

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Can you make sure I've got your final cut as a full quality mpg/mov please

Monday, 10 January 2011

Creating a treatment

SUMMARY: a treatment is...
... a short but detailed document creatives and agencies will produce to pitch a proposal for a new production in any media industry. It will briefly but clearly set out the main ideas and the style of the proposed text/s. Its a sales pitch, so needs to be persuasive; a successful outcome is funding and a signed contract - you may well find producing plentiful such documents in your life beyond school. 

A treatment is also an opportunity for you to take stock and sum up your ideas and progress to date. It should be well illustrated with relevant images to convey your ideas or planning, though you should stick to 2-4 sides of A4. An initial storyboard can be included as a supplement.
As ever, these are suggested categories, headings or topics; there is a lot of overlap, so come to your own decisions over how to present your detailed proposal.
You can find plenty of examples online. They're often looser in structure; yours needs to be clearly set out. Ferraris eg; simple google.

ARTIST/TRACK: This is your heading - NOT the word treatment (ARTIST: Track, 201x promo package proposal)

THE GROUP: who's in it; any clear roles/specialisms/[relevant] interests? Include your blog URL/s. Think of this as a company's/ies letterheading; branding. If you haven't yet designed a logo for your website and social media profiles you could work on that now.

THE BRIEF: State that you will produce a whole promotional package: a music video for the lead single off album x (typically a compilation album: best of, hits etc), a fresh new website (with heavy social media integration) and digipak design, with clear branding or themes running across all three (state what form this might take if you can at this stage).

SYNOPSIS: in a sentence or 2, the essence of your video idea - MUST be brief!!! Conventionally for films you'd start with a standalone sentence: ITS X MEETS Y, comparing yours to 2+ existing films; if you can, do the same for music video, even if its a loose comparison. No matter how many nuances or subtleties your idea has, it needs to be communicable in a bite-sized sentence.

TARGET AUDIENCE: who its aimed at + why (distinguishing core and secondary is vital). Without writing an essay, make sure you're clear on how you're incorporating elements to appeal to specific audiences. This could be a brief summary with further detail through your brief (state so if thats the case). Evidence from social media, fan forums, questions posed in forums/fansites etc will be useful here and as general evidence of audience research.

GENRE LINKS: summary of key genre codes, conventions, practitioners, your proposal might reference/intertextualise in some way. This might include sub-cultural codes (clothing, hair, body language etc) reflected within your video. [THEORY TIP: see Hebdige in Genre section of MANGeR pack]

MISE-EN-SCENE: LOCATIONS, PROPS, COSTUMES, MAKE-UP ETC: Some detail on these, again highlighting links to industry practice (ie existing texts). Think about any wow factor your ideas include. Make clear you've researched resources: you can buy/access props, devices, locations etc

DIGIPAK DESIGN: Some initial ideas on the design of your digipak; should include 1 or more sample images you'd use.

CAST + CREW NEEDED: This is part of the reason I want these (so, yes, once completed email or pass to me on USB stick!): think about any roles, not just casting (perhaps composer, player of specific instrument/s, make-up etc), required. If your cast is sorted, great; provide images - either way, give brief profiles of the character role, using indicative images of egs from existing texts to illustrate what you're thinking of. Indicate deadlines for expressions of interest, and/or place/time for meetings (perhaps combine with other groups)

CONTACT DETAILS: if you're after potential volunteer personnel they need to be able to contact you. You could as a group set up a new joint email account (simply share out the login details), which would look good if named after 1 of your companies! Use 1 of your personal emails if need be, but don't include any personal mobile nos. on this
I've added an eg from past AS Media below. Note the clear sub-headings, use of images, prominence of working title, names + blog/YouTube info!!! Also, images are pushed in neatly with text, not set out in an acre of white space! You can find past examples on past blogs!!!

Charlotte Faye Spotlight Love Treatment DB EDIT

Here's an example of a treatment for a music video by A2 Media students from another (award-winning) centre:
Initial Voodoo Child Treatment                                                            
Yours doesn't have to be like this, but should successfully enable anyone reading it to get the gist of what you're working on!


      Some tasks for week beginning Mon.10th

      1. READING THE GUIDE - this is an extensive document and needs to be worked through individually and as a group; once you've all had a chance to digest it...
      2. PLAN YOUR BLOG - work out who will do what as regards blogging, and set some guide deadlines for yourselves; discuss with me once done
      3. DIGIPAKS - have completed and blogged on research + sample design ideas (try to create several: 'evidence of drafting' + opportunity for testing through 'audience feedback')
      4. PODCAST 1+2 - record your 1st 2 this week; perhaps one to intro the group and/or idea; thereafter one more each week
      5. TREATMENT - a 1 or 2 page doc, including visuals, briefly outlining your project (details in sep post above)
      6. LOCATION SCOUTING + SAMPLE SCENE/S - shot, edited, reviewed and on your blog; please pass on all rough cuts/features etc to me once edited
      7. LIP SYNC PRACTICE - everyone needs to have experienced this to fully appreciate the demands on your performers; its fine to just do a short, say 30-sec, sequence - or use the Barbra Streisand +/or Britney vid as appropriate. Reflection on the experience is vital
      8. CAST + OTHER REQUIREMENTS - see sep post
      9. SCHEDULE - as part of reviewing the cwk guide and planning, a draft schedule should include shooting - which obviously may change, but all should be completed within the next 2-3 weeks to allow sufficient time for editing/reshoots/Evaluation
      HD footage can only be edited on Mac3 for now; I'm trying to find the money to fund new updated OS's for more

      Saturday, 8 January 2011

      Your blog settings for COMMENTS

      At various points your blogs are looked at and comments added; its vital you check your blog's settings so that each time I look to do this my time isn't wasted having to type in the captcha word. I'm going to cease commenting on any that don't remove this! You will also be looking for 'audience feedback', a key part of coursework assessment at both AS and A2, which I'll help with through the links set up with other centres across the UK - you don't want to be discouraging comments by leaving this on.
      When logged in to your blog, clicking though DESIGN > SETTINGS > COMMENTS you should have your blog set up as in the screenshot below:

      You'll note comment verification is left on - this ensures no idiotic or spam comments can appear; you will see any comment and then choose whether to publish or delete it. But word verification - which you yourselves find very annoying! - is turned off.

      Wednesday, 5 January 2011

      Coursework basics FULL 35PAGE VERSION!!!

      Still to add details to this of steps/stages, but this initial draft will be useful - I'll print copies for you each once this is finalised:
      Music Video Blog-production Guide                                                            

      Tasks for Monday 10th Jan

      Still awaiting confirmation of the guest speaker from the CD design/printing/packaging/distributing company WeWow (who take a particularly clear stance on green issues - see
      I might push this back to Tuesday morning as quite a few have resits on Monday 10th; listen out for confirmation!
      Two specific tasks have been set, though there are additional basic stages you need to have completed; details below.
      TASK 1: Sample footage - take a minimum 2-3 scenes from your project and shoot these; don't worry about having the right cast etc in place, focus on the experience of shooting in the actual locations, and getting a sense of what issues may emerge. Feel free to experiment while shooting - act like a cinematographer and gaze through your camera lense to see if any unplanned shots inspire you. Try to edit and upload these for Monday, cut to a section of your track. Sample footage gives you the chance to work out if an idea will be effective; if not, you've still got time to rethink without having dragged out your cast etc. You'll also need to take some still images for...
      TASK 2: Digipak research. Seek out examples of digipak singles (try charity shops if you don't have any - it'd be useful to be able to scan in covers, though you can also simply make notes while scrutinising some in a record shop, and look online later for images of the CD). Note EVERY detail - each group should look at a minimum of 5 examples; you can decided amongst yourselves who does what. Remember, you are assessed on the small details. As well as blogging on your research, at minimum plan out the design of your digipak: cover image/s; spine; rear cover; inner (gatefold); booklet contents. As digipaks take some inspiration from vinyl (cardboard covers, and highly collectible, which standard CDs aren't), you could look at records for inspiration too! Be ambitious - your finalised digipak could be a great thing to be able to hand out as evidence of your practical, technological and creative prowess (and be a neat Xmas pressie in 11 months time!) Note ideas for specific images, and how this fits the band image; what might you include in any booklet; note the different designs for holding a CD in place - many digipaks replicate the LP sleeve design rather than the push-out plastic holder. [I'll post more separately on digipaks]
      CATCH-UP TASKS: If you haven't completed the following make these urgent priorities (these overlap; you don't have to do 5 separate posts):
      1. TIMINGS: create a table (you can use templates provided for the Britney vid) with timings alongside lyrics. You note the start time for each line, and also subsequent instrumental breaks (its worth noting the length of instrumental breaks too). You can't plan a music video without having this basic info to hand!!!
      2. THE IDEA: A clear, concise synopsis, which is easily understood - if its hard to convey in words how is it going to work on screen; how can you be sure each group member is following the same plan? 
      3. DRAFT PLAN WITH TIMINGS: You can (and should) do multiple drafts of this, which may well change considerably, even feature entirely new ideas as you begin to experiment with sample shoots and edits of scenes. To this end, blog and keep a list of ...
      4. IDEAS: Keep a comprehensive list of ALL ideas you've had within your group; you may find an idea you initially rejected actually makes good sense once you've gone out and done some sample shooting/editing. A list also makes it easier to re-draft your plan with timings.
      5. VIDEO COMPONENTS: Less comprehensive than 'IDEAS', note the distinctive sections of your idea: eg one key, recurring location; performance; characters etc. In essence, list the separate sections you'll be filming. You can then start to draft call sheets, working out the resources required (and dropping or adding sections once you've reviewed the feasibility, with regards to time, access to actors etc)
      I'd like to be able to publish a post with a single paragraph on your group's idea and your sample scenes, so please provide both of these once you've edited and exported sample scenes - and keep passing on rough footage/sample scenes as you get it.

      Tuesday, 4 January 2011

      Rock dinosaur finally go digital

      With The Beatles marking their belated permission to market their back catalogue digitally with a publicity blitz taking in The X Factor and a series of mini-vids released on YouTube (featuring clips of tracks only), the ultimate rock dinosaurs, Pink Floyd have now followed suit ... not long after winning a court case to prevent their label, EMI, allowing online consumers to cherry-pick individual tracks. They're now generously going to allow the great unwashed to download individual tracks, instead of being forced to buy entire albums. A few more 10s of £millions for the pension pots then

      Blogs Killed the Radio Star?

      Interesting article here primarily on the process of 'playlisting' music for the Beeb's radio stations, but which segues into a discussion on what most influences the contemporary audience's tastes - blogs or radio?