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

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Filming opportunity: Monday school Olympics

Mr Daly has just asked me to find a Media student to film snippets of the day's events - as we'd be after decent quality footage, this could perhaps be a two man job: go out with both tripod and 'FigRig' and both HD cameras. You could possibly even borrow the boom mic to.
You'll all be in the process in writing UCAS applications and/or CVs; if you haven't already, you'll be hearing your tutors constantly reminding you of the importance of being able to evidence a positive attitude that makes you more than an exam-passing machine, and high-profile voluntary roles like this are a great means of boosting your UCAS apps....
I need a name/names asap...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

JUNE-JULY 2012 POSTS YOU NEED

What I'll try to do here is put in below all the posts with guidance on June-July lessons/work that you can use to help with blogging on this. That doesn't mean these are the only posts you could or should use - there are 400 posts on this blog, and the top links-list contains some themed collections of links (you can also try searching the blog on any given topic or artist).

You can access most of these, alongside indicative dates of when these should be completed, in the Word doc below:
June-july every blog post listed

SAMPLE VIDEO ANALYSES
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/your-posts-on-exemplar-vids.html 

1ST WEEK + SAMPLE VIDS

http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/creating-2012-13-blogs.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-settings-background-colour.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2010/10/you-people-are-strange.html - Practice Pitch1
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/assessment-criteria.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/your-posts-on-exemplar-vids.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2011/06/vids-covered-in-lesson-one-mon-june.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/03/digitisation-from-napster-to-spotify.html
(see also http://musividz.blogspot.com/2011/09/facebook-myspace-youtube-role-of-new.html; http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/02/posts-on-new-media-q4.html)


MINI-VID
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/mini-vid-planning.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/learning-from-mini-vid.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/hwk-learning-from-mini-vid.html [duplicate of above post]

CLASS VID
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/hwk-pitch-for-class-mvid.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/learning-from-classvid.html

MUSIC VIDEO DAY
http://musividz.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/britney-draft.html#more [The Britney Meme]
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/hwk-blog-on-mvday-rp.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/hwk-blog-on-mvday-shoot.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/learning-from-mvid-day.html

INITIAL COURSEWORK PITCH
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2010/10/you-people-are-strange.html - Practice Pitch1
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/ideas-notes-sheet.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2011/09/track-selection-some-guidelines.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/05/hwk-pitch-initial-a2-ideas.html


TEMPLATES
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/shooting-schedule-template.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/storyboard-template.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/ideas-notes-sheet.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/call-sheets.html

TECHNICAL GUIDES
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/06/uploading-hd-footage-exporting.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/02/eval-answering-through-video.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/04/changing-blog-settings.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/04/changing-blog-settings.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/04/downloading-youtube-vids.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/04/tech-tips.html
http://musividz.blogspot.com/2012/03/wordpress-test.html - using PollDaddly for polling/surveys

Monday, 18 June 2012

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 Pro X?
  • 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)?
As ever, plentiful relevant screenshots are vital!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Learning from MVid Day

This is the 3rd of 3 practical exercises this term, larger scale than the previous two. There are a lot of things you can be reflecting on; illustrate each point with examples from your work on/experience of the Class Vid project, including screenshots and perhaps some vodcast/podcast material. You could collaborate on this as a group if you wish.
For this one you should be making clear, detailed points of comparison with the previous two smaller scale exercises (mini-vid and Class Vid).
  • 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!)? How did you overcome any problems on the day?
  • how did you find it working to a tight schedule?
  • 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)?

Learning from ClassVid

This is the 2nd 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 second of these, the Class Vid; illustrate each point with examples from your work on/experience of the Class Vid project, including screenshots and perhaps some vodcast/podcast material. You could collaborate on this as a group if you wish.

  • 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)?

    Mini-Vid planning

    We have 4 lessons this week (Thursday is HE Fayre; Georgia also away Weds), in which you'll be working on the 1st of 3 practical projects this summer term. We start out small and build with the following two.
    The outcome of this 'Mini-Vid' (my term, not recognised terminology) task will be for each group to produce a music video for 30+ seconds of their chosen track ... follow the steps below!
    USE THE STORYBOARD, CALL SHEET etc TEMPLATES YOU CAN DOWNLOAD FROM THE TOP LINKS LIST

    MINI-VID TASK: THE STEPS FOR MONDAY LESSON
    1. You need a pen and your memory stick.
    2. Form into two groups. Once you have ...
    3. ... I'll assign each person one Mac.
    4. Each Mac has a folder called MINI-VID. Open it and you'll find an MP3; you'll see a lyric sheet on the keyboard which you can use for writing on.
    5. You each have TEN minutes from now to individually listen to your track and write down an idea for a music video, using 30+ seconds from the track, which must be possible to shoot in one period and/or overnight (you can book out the HD cams). Each group member must appear in the video, but you can include as many other non-Media students as you wish when filming
    6. The group should now get together at one of their computers and each in turn share their lyrics sheet, play their MP3 on low volume, and pitch/describe their idea/s to the group. You have FIFTEEN mins to do this and then agree which is your favourite track + idea.
    7. Make sure each person copies the MP3 and lyric sheet on their own memory stick
    8. Each group will then pitch their idea to the other group, and we will all discuss this and brainstorm, with any thoughts and suggestions, including existing vids you might want to watch for further inspiration.
    9. If there's any time left each group can start listing (1) locations (2) sequence of filming (3) filming roles [including band/performers, dancers, or narrative/concept characters: it may well be that some people take up multiple roles; you can work with as many non-Media folk as you wish, you just need to act fast to confirm availability + willingness] (4) mise-en-scene requirements including props, costume, make-up. You could also start working on a shotlist. Once you've completed those you can fill in call sheets.
    10. HOMEWORK FOR TUESDAY LESSON: Blog on this process, including your own idea + that chosen by the group. Call the post MINI-VID TASK: INITIAL IDEAS


    MINI-VID TASK: THE STEPS FOR TUESDAY LESSON
    Complete planning + start filming if possible. To complete planning you need to [each of the following need to be blogged on, you could share this work as you go, and share the posts]...
    1. Confirm the idea: you should be able to summarize this in one paragraph (which one of you can shortly blog, and the others can copy this post: MINI-VID: THE CONFIRMED IDEA)
    2. Confirm which section of the track you wish to use (note the timings; you could now setup your Final Cut project and import the MP3)
    3. Write down a list of the characters involved, including each fictional character, performer, dancer etc (remember that each group member must play at least one character; you can work with as many non-Media folk as you wish, you just need to act fast to confirm availability + willingness)
    4. Confirm and list any location/s involved
    5. Confirm the shooting schedule (think about how many different setups are required + how many times you'll want to shoot each sequence from different angles to create shot variation; you need even more shot variation for music vids than film)
    6. Produce a basic storyboard [do not waste time on this: stickmen + words will do fine!!!]
    7. Put all the above together into a call sheet. As you'll be on screen at some point each role will be shared to some extent, but...
    8. Agree on who will be the producer (responsible for ensuring all props/costume are organised, and on the shoot telling the director + cinematographer which shot is next, ticking these off, and making notes on any additional shots taken as coverage)
    9. Agree on who will be the main cinematographer.
    10. Agree on who will be the director (responsible for instructing performers on what to do, whether that be body language, lines for lipsynching, dance choreography, movement, etc)
    Once all thats sorted out, remembering you need to blog on all this, plus the experience of the shoot, editing and final vid for Monday, you can start the shoot! Remember we are away on Thursday at the HE Fayre (and GB on Weds). Ideally you'd have your footage ready to upload and begin editing on Wednesday, otherwise you're leaving yourselves with just Friday to edit and export to hand in.

    Kindness-House Pomo vid?

    I'll come back to this (iPad isn't great for blogging): http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jun/17/too-old-for-pop-music

    Saturday, 16 June 2012

    UPLOADING HD FOOTAGE + EXPORTING

    Follow the guide step-by-step below - you'd be advised to download this + keep a copy on your memory stick (and in your named folder)
    Uploading Hd Footage From Sd Card 2012

    SHOOTING SCHEDULE TEMPLATE

    You're marked on time management so want to be able to record and evidence your time management; download and modify as you wish
    Shooting Schedule--log for Insert Group Name

    STORYBOARD TEMPLATE

    If you need any from home, you can use the doc below, one of several designs from http://xinsight.ca/tools/storyboard.html
    A note on storyboarding though - they are necessary, useful and gain marks, BUT its easy to be limited by them, and also to spend excessive time on drawing lovely pictures. Stickmen are fine; its just important you get proportions right to accurately represent the shot type, angle, framing etc.
    To make sure its clear what you intend, use screenplay-style written denotation too; try to use capitalised abbrevations (LA/HA/MA/DutchA; ECU/CU/MCU/MS/MLS/LS/ELS) + cam movement (pan, tilt, track; note if handheld)
    ELS of house
    transition - MLS on door
    etc
    Storyboard Template 16x9

    IDEAs NOTES SHEET

    Download and edit as you wish. Again, using docs like this helps with achieving marks for R+P - but also helps to set out and organise your ideas, and make it clear what you've got to organise!
    Use this for class exercises but also for any coursework project ideas
    Music Vid Idea Summary

    CALL SHEETS

    Download this and modify as you wish; delete all the text above the table apart from the title
    Using these and thus being able to evidence your use of call sheets (also storyboards and shotlists) will help you with marks for time management plus organisation of resources.

     MVid Call Sheet

    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Blog settings: background colour

    (In most cases) you'll be doing a lot more blogging, starting now. When you form groups in September and start copying each other's posts you want to avoid any issues with font colours, so you'd be well advised to all stick to the plain Simple template, the first in the list. Otherwise what you get is a standard black font on one person's post appearing invisible on anothers' (who has chosen a black background).
    I did put in the instructions for setting up a blog not to select a black background.
    You can, as per those instructions, apply your choice of background image to personalise it, and start adding gadgets too.

    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Track Selection - some guidelines

    [we've had an initial discussion about this; you can find further points below. you're welcome to run any early ideas past me during june/july. this post, mainly intended for building up to the main pitch of coursework proposals, also contains some info about the pitches you'll do in Sept - DB, June 15th 2012]

    There's a lot of points here; make sure you've read through ALL and checked your idea/track choice against these
    You can change your track/idea even after forming a group - you'll have to re-pitch though.
    Look for an additional, separate post on what to think about for the pitch itself.
    • Your track, and the accompanying idea, has to be something that excites you and will sustain your interest over a long, in-depth production.
    • That includes the research you'll have to undertake into the genre and the band.
    • Length is an issue: every 30 secs represents approx 20 shots
    • Its nearly always a better idea to combine TWO of GOODWIN'S 3 types: pure performance will drag, while concept/narrative, essentially short films, probably won't bear repeat viewing which is

    Wednesday, 13 June 2012

    (You) People Are Strange

    We considered music video ideas for the track "People are Strange" by The Doors (released as a single in 1967), having first pondered which single shot would best express this track (a dutch or canted angle). 

    As you can see from the image on the right (the cover of the album this song was released on) many of your ideas weren't a million miles away from those of the band themselves!

    Here's how the track has been described:
    According to its Allmusic review, the song "reflects the group's fascination with the theatrical music of European cabaret."[2] The song is about alienation and being an outsider, and, as the aforementioned review also notices, Jim Morrison may have addressed the song both to the hippie culture, to outsiders in general, and/or to users of drugs such as LSD.[2] The song came about in early 1967 after guitarist Robby Krieger and a depressed Morrison had walked to the top of Laurel Canyon.[3] Drummer John Densmore believes that the song was the manifestation of Morrison's "vulnerability".[3] 
    [SOURCE: http://www.answers.com/topic/people-are-strange-1 - this page also contains the lyrics]


    The key term there is alienation. This is a key lyrical (so narrative) and visual/conceptual aspect of much music aimed at a youth audience, especially teens.


    Lessons from this exercise?
    • a core idea can emerge quickly
    • you should be able to quickly communicate the core idea of your music video, so a moment of inspiration, subsequently fleshed out and researched, shouldn't be discounted as a possible project!
    • we need to be thinking about specific media language when expressing abstract ideas; to explain what we'd see on screen we need some denotative detail
    • we wouldn't pick such an old recording, but...
    • could look for a more recent cover version, though even then...
    • we must search YouTube to check there isn't already a music video for this version too!
    • To be clear, you cannot select a track for which there is a recent existing music video, which makes actual singles unlikely, unless they are cover versions released more recently
    • I'm quite happy for you to develop any idea you come up with for these weekly tasks into a firm proposal for your own production - so long as it is a contemporary release, and you've ensured it does not have an existing video
    • performance can be incorporated into concept/narrative videos, with the band actively performing within the diegetic world you have created, or simply appearing as characters without instruments
    • for example, it was suggested that the band might be seen through the windows of various businesses passed by the protagonist
    • another idea was that they (or, more likely in this case, specifically the band's singer) could keep appearing in different clothing as different characters while the main protagonist in your fictional concept goes past
    • several of you utilised one of the key signifiers of the short film form: a twist ending. Many concept/narrative music videos quite closely match the key characteristics of the short film format: quirky, tweaking reality in some aspect, twist ending, often compressing or skipping any stage of narrative equilibrium
    • finally, it was flagged up that many of your ideas would not be out of place in a Michel Gondry or Spike Jonze music video, two directors who have gone on to have quite distinctive feature films released but who made their name with quirky concept/narrative music videos. We will be looking at aspects of their work (plus the band Depeche Mode's videos) to further explore narrative/concept videos in November
     There are a variety of versions of this song to be found; lets start with The Doors' own video. This is something of a proto-video, but contains nice examples of canted angles and video effects to achieve its alienated effect:


    There have been many versions of this song recorded. Just some of these follow...

    Jonny + Alex's version from summer 2011:


    THERE ARE A LOT OF FURTHER VIDEOS BELOW; TO PREVENT THIS POST FROM SLOWING THE WHOLE BLOG FROM LOADING, YOU'LL HAVE TO CLICK BELOW TO SEE THESE

    Tuesday, 12 June 2012

    Vids covered in Lesson One (Tues June 12th)

    A NEW ERA? THE MIND BUGGLES...
    DISCUSSION POINTS
    1. WHAT MAKES THIS VID HISTORIC?
    2. TO YOUR EYES IS IT A TYPICAL VID? (WHY?! employ M.Lang as standard...)
    3. DID 'video kill the radio star'? [theory link: Bijker et al 1987] What saved radio (and has four wheels...)? Do YOU listen to digital or web-streamed radio? Radio podcasts?
    4. How relevant/influential is MTV today? Where do YOU access MVids from ... and what terms/concepts from AS study of British cinema does this remind you of? [con.../dig...]



    I'M THRILLED TO BE DOING MUSIC VIDEO!
    MUSIC VID HAS MUCH IN COMMON WITH FILM ... INDEED, SOME MUSIC VIDS ARE SHORT FILMS
    Jackson had been greatly impressed by director John Landis' groundbreaking SFX in the Indie hit An American Werewolf in London, and hired him to transform the pop superstar into a grotesque zombie for this classic vid (a rather tragic irony given his later history).
    Music video is a highly postmodern format, liberally borrowing not just from existing videos, but across all forms of media and wider culture - a video maker has much more creative freedom than a film maker, is less bound by (NOT entirely free from) genre expectations.


    (QUICK DISCUSSION1) ET TU BRUTUS? WHAT'S YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE A2 INVOLVES?