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, 12 December 2011

Assessment Criteria

Always be aware of, and be thinking about, what you're marked on...

A revised version:

A2 Assessment Criteria

Thursday, 8 December 2011


3 strands to the Media presence on CAEve: screenings (Britney, ThrewIt etc); rough cuts for feedback; and filming/editing a new vid for Alice Cooper's classic School's Out

FEEDBACK: you MUST prepare specific Qs to ask, and should really consider two alternate cuts to help demonstrate an aspect you're not sure about. Brief is good, not a bad thing: if you've only got 30-60secs that means a parent could conceivably look at more than one and give feedback. Consider a very simple feedback form (provide pens!!!), eg:
Please circle the appropriate descriptor; this is anonymous - we don't need your name!
AGE <15  15-20 21-30 31-40 40+
Did you recognise the artist/band?  Y  N
Did you recognise the track?           Y  N
Are you a fan of this type of music?  Y  N
What did you most like about this sample scene?
What did you least like about this sample scene?
Any other comments/suggestions?
Be clear on what you want to get from the feedback.

ALICE COOPER VID: We're aiming to shoot bits of this from friday to weds, and on the night entice visitors to be filmed lipsynching a line from the track and maybe, just maybe, premiere the resulting weirdness on the night (which runs 7-9pm Weds 14th December) - if not, wrap up the next day
There's no fixed idea for this, nor an original vid to copy, but here's the basic idea:
Instrumental sections can be snapshots of the many things going on (Art + Photography exhibition/installation - some neat artefacts to film round; fashion shoot; Music and Drama performances, and even just the posters on corridor walls etc), and bits of this can be intercut in brief gaps between lip synch shots.
The pics give you an idea of ACs stage look: usually a top hat, cane, long black hair, long black coat. These aspects we should be able to reflect; the eye make up is doable for anything shot before Weds eve, but it'd be a bit much to use this on the night. Ditto the snake ... but I've checked with Dr Smith in Biology and there is a very passive we could use (again, obviously, not on the night itself!)
Each Alice can perform as they wish - they'll have the lyrics and can move, gesture as they wish; the only direction needed is on accurate lipsynching and to try and look scary!!!
Will Spivey is the principle cameraman for this; we could do with an editor, perhaps a member of a group thats already attending for feedback?
I'd like to film as many of the C.Arts staff that agree to it as Alice - so far we've got the top hat, and wig + coat + cane are hopefully coming in tomorrow. Conor is filming a Yr7 Music class on friday for the last chorus, in which kids join in the vocals (plus laughter) - anyone else who can film bits between now and Weds, or can edit on the night, let me know...

This is the audio version I've taken the timings from (lyrics it shows are inaccurate)

Here's a TV performance of the track, where you can get a sense of how Alice moves around stage:

And here it is live (AC in white this time):

Here's an example of students elsewhere producing a version - as ever, I'm confident, even in a short timeframe, we can produce a far superior version!

Here's the lyrics with timings:
Alice Cooper - Schools Out - Timed Lyrics                                                                                                   
I'll update as we go...

FRIDAY: Conor filmed EM's Yr7 class (L26-28); single angle (LS) only, tho 3 takes
MONDAY: To film Mr Clarke (L22-24) and Art class (L25-28 + L33); then Mrs Mortimer (L15-18 + air guitar if she wants!); then Mrs Bolton (L12-14; L14 with some kids if poss). Aim for min 3 angles.

Contacting labels, fansites etc

The absolute minimum requirement is that you evidence your attempts to contact the rights holder (record label, or in some cases venture capital groups) for the track to request permission to use it for non-commercial purposes. A suggested template for what to write follows below; we have already had some good news on this front - Mary/Lucy/Chris have got the thumbs up from We Are The Ocean's record label to use the audio; good work folks!

I have also suggested you look at contacting the band (or surviving members if using a 60s/70s act), plus fanzines, fan sites, fan clubs... make full use of the power of the web to tap into a wide range of potential sources of feedback, not to mention ideas. This should generally help with your research, not least to get a clearer idea of the target audience.
You could also consider following up any contacts made with requests for phone or email interviews, or simply post questions on fan forums, such as:
  • what does the track [name] mean to you?
  • if you were to make a video for this, what would it consist of?
  • have you any thoughts on any existing, official, music videos for [band/act]?
  • do you know of any useful online sources, especially linked to music videos or target audience, on [band]?
  • do you know of any other unofficial videos for [band's] music? has any been used in TV, film or advertising?
  • [summarise YOUR idea]: any thoughts on this?
  • who would you say are the target audience for [band/act]? what do you base this on?
  • how would you describe the brand, or identity, of [band]
  • do you know of any recent magazine articles on [band]?
  • [try record label espec with this] have [band] released any digipak CDs? have you got scans (or details of which mag published in) for any examples?
Do have a thorough look on YouTube for any videos for the band, particularly but not exclusively your track, and discuss these with reference to the band's audience.

Just to stress, the following is a suggested template. You may opt for greater brevity, which is an important principle in seeking contact with busy people! Mary's email, below, got results!

We are Media Studies students in our final year at Ilkley Grammar School (West Yorkshire, UK; we are both 17). We are working on a music video for [BAND NAME] classic "[TRACK TITLE]" for our coursework assignment (together with a design for a digipak CD single and a magazine ad for this). This is for the purposes of our coursework, not for any commercial use or gain.

The video will not represent any of the band members but will instead feature fictional characters from a local cast.

We would like your permission to use the audio track for "[TRACK TITLE]", for example when publishing our completed video on YouTube (not least as this helps us gain audience feedback on rough cuts and final cuts of our video). We'd be delighted to discuss the concept we have for this video if you are interested, or to simply answer any further questions you might have. You can also address any queries to Mr Burrowes, Head of Media Studies at the school.

We hope to hear from you soon!

[NAME1] [you could add mobile number (for record label/band; not forums/fanzines) +/or email]
[NAME2] [you could add mobile number (for record label/band; not forums/fanzines) +/or email]
[provide all group member names]
[One or more blog URLs, perhaps YouTube channel or link to your AS work (and mention having work screened at national film fest if you did), can all help establish your credentials]

Ilkley Grammar School, Ilkley LS29 8TR.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Final Cut FX

Try to think through explicitly some of the FX you'd like to include in your vid, and spend some time experimenting with any footage to apply the ideas (so long as you give some notice, you can also email JC with specific requests for help, but do try and have a go yourselves first).
There are many useful guides on YouTube, plus two helpbooks kept in F6.
Here's one good example (it uses the Pro, not Express, interface, but is broadly the same) with links on the YouTube page to many more: