Deadlines/Brief

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

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Fish-eye

In this post I'll provide resources on the fisheye lens, a technical trick that has been widely applied in rap/R+B vids in particular, but also some rock vids. You can see a great example of this in Emma Graveling/Beth Cooper's vid for Gorillaz' 19/2000 from summer 2011. Not from this school, but also worth a look is this student's blog, where she considers the influence of Hype Williams, a famous rap vid director.
I've copied in bits of relevant wikis below, ending with a couple of relevant vids
 

In photography, a fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in an extremely wide, hemispherical image. Originally developed for use in meteorology to study cloud formation and called "whole-sky lenses", fisheye lenses quickly became popular in general photography for their unique, distorted appearance.

Types of fisheye lenses

In a circular fisheye lens, the image circle is inscribed in the film or sensor area; in a full-frame fisheye lens the image circle is circumscribed around the film or sensor area.
Further, different fisheye lenses distort images differently, and the manner of distortion is referred to as their mapping function. A common type for consumer use is equisolid angle.

[edit] Circular

Image taken using a circular fisheye lens
Image taken using a circular fisheye lens.
The first types of fisheye lenses to be developed were "circular fisheyes" — lenses which took in a 180° hemisphere and projected this as a circle within the film frame. Some circular fisheyes were available in orthographic projection models for scientific applications. These have a 180° vertical angle of view, and the horizontal and diagonal angle of view are also 180°. Most circular fisheye lenses cover a smaller image circle than rectilinear lenses, so the corners of the frame will be completely dark.

[edit] Full-frame

As fisheye lenses gained popularity in general photography, camera companies began manufacturing fisheye lenses that enlarged the image circle to cover the entire 35 mm film frame, and this is the type of fisheye most commonly used by photographers.
The picture angle produced by these lenses only measures 180 degrees when measured from corner to corner: these have a 180° diagonal angle of view, while the horizontal and vertical angles of view will be smaller; for an equisolid angle-type 15 mm full-frame fisheye, the horizontal FOV will be 147°, and the vertical FOV will be 94°.[2]
The first full-frame fisheye lens to be mass-produced was a 16 mm lens made by Nikon in the early 1970s. Digital cameras with APS-C sized sensors require a 10.5 mm lens to get the same effect as a 16 mm lens on a camera with full-frame sensor.[3]
With the kind of digital technology widely available, the full-frame fisheye effect can be obtained in-camera. Selected images can be digitally changed so as to become full-frame fisheye images without the need for special lenses.

  • Photographers and videographers use fisheye lenses so they can get the camera as close as possible for action shots whilst also capturing context, for example in skateboarding to focus on the board and still retain an image of the skater.
  • The peepholes used in doors generally contain fisheye lenses, so as to give a wide field of view. Security cameras often tend to have such lenses for similar reasons.
  • The first music video to be shot completely with fisheye lens was for the Beastie Boys song "Shake Your Rump" in 1989.

HYPE WILLIAMS - FISHEYE LENS PIONEER IN MUSIC VID [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_Williams]

Career

Williams has created a number of music videos for artists such as The Notorious B.I.G. ("Warning") & ("One More Chance"), Craig Mack ("Flava in Ya Ear"), LL Cool J ("Doin' It"), Nas ("If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)", "Street Dreams", "Hate Me Now"), Missy Elliott ("The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "She's a Bitch"), Busta Rhymes ("Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See"), TLC ("No Scrubs"), Kelis ("Caught Out There"), Jay-Z ("Big Pimpin'"), Kanye West ("Gold Digger", "All of the Lights"), Aaliyah ("Rock The Boat"), Christina Aguilera ("Not Myself Tonight"), Coldplay ("Viva La Vida"), Hoobastank ("If I Were You"), Left Eye (The Block Party (Lisa Lopes Song)) and t.A.T.u. ("Gomenasai").
In 1998, he directed his first feature film, Belly, released by Artisan Entertainment. In 1999, Hype signed a two year overall deal with New Line to produce and direct feature films. His first picture "Mothership" died in development. Later that year Hype was in serious negotiations with MTV to develop an animated series which was described as a behind-the-scenes look at the world of music and celebrities.
In 2003, Disney purchased a zombie horror pic "Thrilla" which was written by Hype. The project floundered in development with Gavin Palone attached to produce.
Awards Williams has received for his video work include the Billboard Music Video Award for Best Director of the Year (1996), the Jackson Limo Award for Best Rap Video of the Year (1996) for Busta Rhymes' "Woo Hah," the NAACP Image Award (1997), the 8th annual MVPA Award for Black Music Achievement (1997), MTV Video Music Award in the Best Rap Video (1998) category for Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It," MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video (1999) for TLC's "No Scrubs", and the BET Award for Best Director (2006) for Kanye West's “Gold Digger”.[2] In 2006, Williams was honored by MTV with its Video Vanguard Award, presented in honor of his achievements as a filmmaker.[1]
In the December 2007 issue of Playboy magazine, Williams shot the photographs for cover subject Kim Kardashian.
In 2010, Williams was the writer for Kanye West's film Runaway. He later directed the music video for West's single All of the Lights, which premiered on February 19, 2011.
He is being nominated for Video Director of the Year at the BET Awards of 2011.[3]

[edit] Style

A signature style used by Williams throughout the vast majority of his videos, shot mostly with cinematographer John Perez, a New Yorker educated in SVA, with a surprisingly 'anonymous career', which includes hits like Clinton's bus campaign into the presidency, was the Fisheye lens which distorted the camera view around the central focus. This was used by the tandem Williams/Perez in "Gimme Some More" by Busta Rhymes and "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" by Missy Elliott; however, it was dropped by 2003, when he experienced his lowest level of production activity since the beginning of his career as a music video director.
Another "signature style" involves placing shots in regular widescreen ratio, while a second shot is split and placed in the upper and lower bars. Videos that use this style include "Diamonds on my Neck" by Smitty, "I Ain't Heard of That" by Slim Thug, "So Sick" by Ne-Yo, "In My Hood" by Young Jeezy, "Gomenasai" by t.A.T.u.,"Check On It" by Beyoncé, "Freeze" by LL Cool J, "Snap Yo Fingers" by Lil Jon and many others.
Since 2003, Williams has adopted a signature style combining a center camera focus on the artist or actor's body from the torso upward and a solid color background with a soft different-color light being shown in the center of the background, so as to give a sense of illumination of the background by the foreground subject. This has been displayed in "Gold Digger" by Kanye West, "Digital Girl" (Remix) by Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé's "Video Phone".

[edit] Videography

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