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, 15 October 2012

XBox Music to rival iTunes?

News of a new, potentially powerful rival to the all-conquering iTunes; read article below.

Xbox Music: Microsoft launches challenger to Apple's iTunes

Cloud-based offering will allow users to synchronise across multiple devices including PCs, tablets and smartphones
Xbox Music
Xbox Music will be available across several different platforms
Zune failed to take on the might of the iTunes music service, but now Microsoft is back for another bite at the cherry or, more accurately, the Apple. The software company has announced Xbox Music, an all-in-one digital music service that will make 30m tracks available to users via Xbox 360, as well as PCs, tablets and smartphones running Windows 8 or Windows RT.
The new platform is split into three strands. A free streaming service will provide ad-supported access to the library, but this will be limited to a certain number of hours after six months. Alternatively, a premium, unlimited, ad-free streaming option is available for £8.99 a month. Customers will also be able to purchase and download any track from the catalogue.
Launching on Xbox 360 on Tuesday and other platforms later in the month, the cloud-based service will allow users to synchronise their music across multiple devices.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pitches October 2012

I'm sure you've noted the previous posts on pitching, or looked up the coursework guide document for pointers. Here are the essentials:

Simple: blog on everything you do in preparation, including multiple initial ideas. If you've considered an idea and rejected it, briefly post on this and explain why you didn't pursue the idea (including any points I've raised with you).
Your pitch will be filmed, including Q+A, so you can upload this and reflect on the pitch afterwards.

If your pitch fails to evidence sufficient preparation you will be asked to do it again until it is clear that you have undertaken considerable work on this. It is not acceptable to expect to simply ride on the coat-tails of someone else's diligence and effort.
The simplest way to approach this is to consider what sort of questions I might ask, and come prepared to answer them - with visual material which illustrates your idea.
I will obviously need to know you've undertaken initial research into the genre, act and track: viewed examples of genre vids and act vids, plus made sure you're clear on how your idea fundamentally differs from any existing vid. You shouldn't be pitching for a vid for a track which has an existing vid from the past 10 years.
You will have researched the lyrics and anything thats been written about them; it doesn't matter if your idea is for a concept video, you still need to understand the nature of the track you propose to work on.
You will be aware of any directors this act have frequently worked with, and some features that commonly occur in their videos.
You will provide visual material rather than rely wholly on words. This means images or basic footage of possible locations, costume, characters/cast, props etc.
You will show awareness of what you need for this idea to be achieved.
You will show that you have thought through the idea, and are clear on what core/primary and secondary audiences it will be aimed at, explaining how your idea fits for these. Noting intertextuality can be useful.
You will reference existing videos to illustrate and justify your ideas. If you are seeking to challenge conventions reference conventional vids.
You will have looked over the assessment criteria so you're sure your idea will lead to a very high mark
You will explain why your idea will lead to a video that target audiences will happily watch repeatedly (music vids are designed for multiple viewing unlike films), and be clear on the variety of locations and events plus any mix of performance and narrative/concept which will aid this.

You've a lot of info to convey so should be taking around 2mins for this. That includes time to play part of the track so we're clear on what you're pitching.
You will be stood by the projected image so whatever you create should not require clicking which will distract you or the audience (including me) from the pitch.
That rather implies a film file or a PowerPoint with timings built-in, though PowerPoints can be tricky with audio/video.

I've written much more on this in the past, but the above hopefully covers the key points.
See also;;

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Metal sub-genre challenge

Remember before embarking on this that you need to clearly blog on all 3 levels of this:
- the research + planning
- the production process
- evaluating the final product + outlining the learning that took place

To research + present your findings on the conventions of a sub-genre, then to pitch an achievable idea for a short (30secs+) music video reflecting several these (and possibly challenging some); agree on one idea and film/edit - all within 7 days!

Genres are complex, constantly evolving concepts
Using at least three sources, outline the history of the genre and its major features. This means the early and major bands/albums and associated record labels; significant events (eg tours, festivals); any clothing code (are fans a recognisable sub-culture?); definitions of the genre and views on it (you could include here any views on the concept of sub-genre and what factors decide whether a genre is generally recognised or accepted, plus any theories you come across tied to genre). Is it mainstream or niche - and has this changed over time? Is there any basis to outline a core audience? Have there been any controversies linked to the genre? [These are just a few of the things you should be knowledgeable and aware of when it comes to your full, final production]

View at least 10 videos, taking initial notes. Work back through these so that you can convincingly evidence the major conventions by citing multiple examples for each convention you claim. Provide a detailed post on the media language involved in ONE individual video, indicating as you go how un/conventional the media language (camera work, editing, mise-en-scene) is for this sub-genre, and noting any intertextuality and links to other genres and texts. Take plentiful screenshots as you go.

Summarise your findings in a vodcast. You should consider using an ident to brand your vodcasts if you haven't already (you could use one from your AS work). If possible, use moving image clips as well as screenshots, and ensure that titles are used where appropriate to help the audience follow your points.
We'll discuss to what extent these three sub-genres are distinct as we view your vodcasts.

Detail and sell an achievable idea appropriate for this sub-genre. As a group, plan, resource, film and edit, making sure you continue to note new tools within FCPX that you hadn't previously used, and noting significant insights gained as you go throughout the process.

Reflect and evaluate!
By this stage you'll be ready to put together a more comprehensive vodcast of the general codes and conventions of the music video format, working as a group (we'll consider some further examples as a class to help with this). This is a key point for marks in both the Research + Planning and the Evaluation - and the exam.