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

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Best Brit Album Ever is...?

HMV just ran a survey to determine the best British album of the last 60 years (effectively 'ever' as that goes back to 1952, before rock'n'roll was even established!). I've seen the top 10, of which I have 9, and the remaining one I wouldn't dream of inflicting upon my ears - have a look and see if there are (m)any you have, and maybe use the full list to help pick out an artist with ongoing wide popularity for a relaunch via a new video...

Friday, 25 May 2012

HWK: Pitch initial A2 idea/s

This is an informal pitch, a chance for you to float an early idea and get some feedback on it from both your classmates and myself. You can use as much or as little multimedia as you wish, but you do need to have the proposed embedded in a blog post so I can play some of it to support your pitch.
If you have more than one idea we can discuss these additional idea/s too, depending on time. It would be a huge advantage to have undertaken some prep and research - and maybe shot some material - before we return in September.

You can use the template at if you wish.

I'm not after huge amounts of detail, but you can get a sense of what will be expected from the actual coursework pitch in September from these posts:;

HWK: Blog on MVDay shoot

You should be aiming to take some photos and record some quick behind-the-scenes snippets with your comments and showing YOU in action. This post could be done as a vodcast...

Blog on:
  1. your specific role and responsibilities, and how you performed in carrying these out
  2. if you had to chip in to help others, discuss this
  3. if you came across problems, discuss these (did you come up with creative solutions?)
  4. how do you think you performed compared to your classmates?
  5. did anyone else particularly impress you/did you learn from how anyone else worked?
  6. did you see others clearly performing the duties of producer, director, choreographer?
  7. what dis/advantages are there to shooting over an entire day as opposed to multiple short shoots spread over several days, possibly weeks apart?
  8. what was the toughest, most challenging aspect of the day?
  9. what was your best contribution to the day?
  10. what was the best contribution by anyone else to the day?
  11. what did you enjoy most about the day?
  12. if you could go back a week, what would you do differently in preparing for the day?
  13. if you could restart the day, what would you do differently?
  14. if you had one tip for a Media student doing this event next year, what would it be?

HWK: Blog on MVDay R+P

List the steps taken for this.
Embed shotlist, call sheet, storyboard etc.
Outline your specific individual role and contribution.
Discuss the challenges.

You can get an idea of whats involved in advance of the day from these past posts: and

We'll start with denotation of the original vid...
HITTING DE-NOTES…denoting Britneys 1st 9 shots BLANK
You can download and extend this form to include later shots

HWK: Pitch for class MVid

This is homework for Tuesday 26th June.
(you can see what happened in 2011 at I think one of the tracks is blocked by YouTube, but you can find the 2011 edits of class vids in the 2012 A2 practice vids playlist, including this cut of Martin Solveig's Hello and this cut of Lonely Island's I Threw it on the Ground. There's also the hugely successful version of Duck Sauce's Barbra Streisand from 2010, when one of the two classes failed to complete their project.)
Your challenge is to pick a track, without strong language or strong sexual references; think up a concept or narrative approach that can be shot in and around school; and pitch your vision to the class.
You have just 60secs in which to pitch, which includes any snippets of the track you wish to play - we do need to hear some of it for your pitch to make any sense!
Depending on your own views, each class will pick either one or two of these to film, which we'll look to do in lesson time. Your idea must be achievable!

You can use the template at if you wish.

Whichever pitches are successful, everyone will deliver some lines to camera to gain some lip-sync practice (even if you personally won't appear in your own actual video its vital you can empathise with the challenges your performers will face, and can provide clear direction to help), so no matter how abstract your idea, make sure it does incorporate some singing to camera! (and yes, that does mean instrumentals are ruled out)

(A 'pitch' is an occasion when producers briefly summarize their proposal to busy executives (sometimes to the band themselves), in the hope of winning a commission/the contract for producing the video. It is always a sales pitch!)
Read more on pitching: guide; actor Peter Capaldi; wiki;   

You can also see some examples from Latymer students doing just this here.

Most of you will be familiar with The Apprentice, which seems to feature a bunch of cretins proving how awful they are at business and dealing with human beings. Each week they have to pitch to sell some product ... and thats exactly what you're doing: selling your idea. Here's an example from The Apprentice:

And here's a satire on pitching - NB: contains some strong language

HWK: Learning from mini-vid

This is the 1st of 3 practical exercises this term, each one getting larger in scale and complexity, culminating in the challenge of Music Video Day on July 12th. There are a lot of things you can be reflecting on having completed the first of these, the mini-vid; illustrate each point with examples from your work on/experience of the mini-vid project, including screenshots and perhaps some vodcast/podcast material. You could collaborate on this as a group if you wish.
Consider questions such as:
  • what makes for a good pitch?
  • what are the key steps involved in R+P?
  • if this had been the actual coursework, what would you have to add/improve (look at the assessment criteria) to get good marks for R+P?
  • what can you say now about the roles of cinematographer, director, producer? is it important to have one person taking responsibility for each of these roles?
  • related to the last point, was your shoot well organised?
  • what can/did go wrong on a shoot, and what steps help you overcome such problems (better still, prevent them from happening in the first place!)? 
  • did shoots take more/less time than you estimated?
  • what difference does working with HD as opposed to mini-DV make?
  • is it necessary to stick to a genre you're familiar with to have a good idea?
  • what issues are raised by working within a group?
  • do you think you could manage a full music video production single-handed?
  • what more have you learned about Final Cut Express?
  • how many shots do you now think a good music vid will have for every 30 seconds of screen time?
  • did you shoot each planned shots repeatedly (from different angles)? did you need to shoot more sequences repeatedly to create better shot variation for editing a dynamic video?
  • anything else that occurs to you (eg importance of mise-en-scene and locations; pre-preparing cast with lines + basic direction; having loud portable media player to play track when shooting, dance choreography if relevant etc etc)?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Music vids set in schools

I'm finalising what we're doing in June/July; in the previous 2 years a remake of Britney's vid has been the centrepiece but I'm looking at different options for this year. I've created a 'music vids set in schools' playlist; have a look through some of these and if you have any thoughts on which to tackle let me know. Its worth pointing out that what we're after is a somewhat satirical remake, reversing genders, making it silly whilst still trying to capture the basis of the shots in the vid. We might be collaborating with Art/Music/Drama on this.
Some of the sites I used for research:;;;;

Friday, 11 May 2012

Video Teasers: Love+Death (horror style)

I've mentioned this repeatedly: just as with films, bands increasingly seek to use social media, blogs and ezines to build anticipation and buzz around new releases not just with the full release of the vid, but with teaser clips too, as with this eg from

Love and Death Release Teaser for ‘Chemicals’ Video


Love and Death will drop the video for the title track from their ‘Chemicals’ EP on May 7, but to stoke the fires of fan excitement, the band has issued a 32-second teaser. It’s short but chilling snippet. It’s also horror movie creepy, featuring masked marauders and more.
Love and Death, featuring former Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch, have crafted quite a cinematic, dark and downright scary vid and we feel that way based only on the half-minute of footage the band has chosen to share. One can only imagine how terrifying the complete clip will be.
Welch has a mask attached to his face early on by an ominous person and that’s when weird stuff starts happening. Not too much is revealed in this super short clip, but it’ll get your mind curious to see more. If you like horror flicks, then this teaser, which is shot in black and white and in color, is right up your dark, deserted and desolate alley.
The band also performs in a claustrophobic room, which certainly ups the tension. In other scenes, Welch’s dreads are flailing about as he rocks out.
Watch the clip below and then take a listen to the EP stream, which Loudwire recently hosted!

Band website exclusives: Metallica mag

You can read more about this at
'A special edition of Metallica’s fan club magazine ‘So What!’ is being published in conjunction with ‘Metal Hammer’ to commemorate the band’s 30th anniversary concerts in December of 2011 at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
... The special editon of ‘So What!’ will be available May 14.  There’s also a video preview of the magazine.'
Here's the preview vid:

Thursday, 10 May 2012

DIGIPAK research: how to present

Here's an eg of how to do this within Ppt/Pages - follow the link below to see more examples suggested along the right column on the slideshare page

Egs of initial MVid aud research

From students elsewhere, examples of the kind of initial primary research you could undertake to help inform your choice of act/idea etc...