Sunday, 13 December 2009

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our group’s media product challenges the conventions of a real media product in many ways. The song we agreed to choose is ‘More than life’ by Whitley, which is mainly a slow mellow folk/pop song. We tried to use a variety of close-up shots of the artist, as this is a main convention in many slow folk/pop songs. Usually, the artist has an iconic feature, whether it is an accessory, a music instrument that is iconic to the whole video, and we decided to use that for ours too. We also discovered that songs of similar genre contain a story so we used this idea and added a few of our own in the music video.
‘More than life’ was a slow paced song, this meant that we had to edit it in a slow way so that it synchronizes properly with the song. Some shots, which were very short turned out to be very long and it worked very well. To make the video feel more ‘smoother’, we decided to incorporate some transitions and to add the overall calmness effect. Adding these simple but effective editing transitions enabled us to challenge conventions of real media products.
Our video is based on a story line similar to many other music videos, especially in the pop and folk genre. The idea behind our music video was the classic ‘guy broke up with girl’ theme. This story is similarly shown in the music video by the script with the song the ‘man who cant be moved’, which is all about waiting for the girl he wants to come back to him and find him on the street where they first met each other. Whitleys song is all about her and how he literally wants her ‘more than life’. Therefore, to get the theme across we had flashbacks throughout the video of the couple together, with effects to make them look more hazed and dreamlike. The ending of the video is the couple taking a photograph together and then it gradually fades and swirls out, reflects how their relationship has come to an end.
We tried to add a specific shot, were the artist pulls out a photo and reminisces about it. The camera then zooms into the photo which gradually starts moving of the girl that he so badly wants. This was very tricky and definitely challenges the conventions of a real media product. As we don’t have the technology or budget of professional video editors, I believe we did a really good job, we threw in a few effects to fade it, and I think it worked really well.
Our Digipak cover and magazine advert also fits quite well with the conventions of other media products. When researching into other Digipaks and adverts, they had a strong focus on the artist, or them usually being the center point of the product to draw in the audience. We added a guitar to give the effect that he is the singer and songwriter. Plus, on the poster we added reviews from magazines too, as this would contribute to help sell the album to the audience. We tried to keep the colours simplistic by using mainly whites, greys and blacks, so that it didn’t keep the focus off the artist. For more emphasis, we added a slight green tint to the Whitley logo; this looked quite professional and simplistic.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancilliary texts?

I believe that the combination of our main product and ancilliary texts is very effective. They all represent the artist without using too many complex ideas. On the cover the artist face is mainly expressionless and calm, this represents him throughout the whole video. He is also wearing simple coloured clothes, represents the artists calmness. We thought of having a strong link between the Digipak and the advert, so we decided to incorporate ideas from our music video to achieve this. Throughout the whole video, the artist’s guitar is important to him, so we made it an iconic feature. This therefore becomes a clear reference to the artist, so we decided to add it to the advert cover.
On the inside of the Digipak, there is a shot of the artist playing with a black background behind him. This again represents the calmness of the video, but some can interpret it as someone who may be unconditionally obsessed with someone, or simply someone who may be depressed.
We thought location was a big factor in making our Digipaks, as we tried to link them to each other as much as possible. So we kept the photo shots in the same locations instead of introducing a whole new setting it just refreshed our minds and linked together.
Additionally, the unique Whitley logo we created for the ancillary products will help to advertise the artist because it stands out. It is very symbolic of the artist with the decorative writing that could signify nature and the outdoors, with the hint of green outline to the logo too, this of which links to the outdoor locations of the video. This is a selling factor, it is very simple and eye catching, making it extremely effective.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

As a group, we think that the audience feedback has been extremely useful, and would like yo hope our feedback helped others too. The feedback for the rough-cut was helpful as the things we changed in that are now in our final piece and we’re extremely happy with it. For our final version and the ancillary products, we mainly got positive feedback from the audience, stating that they looked authentic and modern, and also how we had got our story across in our video. This is the output to being criticized; you will try harder and try to make it better.
Our original video contained no footage of the couple together, only dreamy shots of the girl by herself. The audience however still liked the connection we had made, and they believed it would be far better to have more shots of them. This will emphasise their relationship, what they had, and now what he really wants again. Once we edited all the footage together the best we could, we agreed that it was the best thing to do, and I believe it has improved out video and audience feedback greatly.
Furthermore, the audience made us rethink our original ideas for our video. To begin with, we had the idea of the boy getting hit by a car for the ending. This would have created a whole new meaning as the audience would have believed that the song was all bout how the couple had broken up; but instead it would be about how the guy was dying and he wants to be with his girlfriend more than life. From doing some research about he car accident, we stumbled across an artist called Hoobastank and one of their songs, ‘a reason’, contained what we were looking for. This included no gore of the aftermath, but just the whole losing someone you love.
However, taking advice from the audience made us change the ending completely. We decided not to add the car crash, this is because it wouldn’t be as effective as we thought, and it might also be a little hysterical. Might have been a contributing factor to losing some audience. Furthermore, another comment made by the audience was to have more interior shots, as all the shots we had taken in our rough cut were outside. We felt this was a good idea as it made a good contrast to the rest of the footage. As a result, we decided to film more footage in a studio/music room, which we used in the later part of the video. This was a good location as there weren’t many students around, was deserted and just what we needed.

 Add more footage of Natasha in the video
 More shots, sometimes it’s repetitive and guitar coming in a bit too much and it’s the same at the end.

This feedback was useful as it made us think that we do need to add more footage of Natasha. We also went and took some more footage and added it in.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?


We used a variety of different media technologies during the whole process of creating our media products. We used Final Cut to completely edit our music video; we added each clip carefully and checked to see if it worked. Then we added fades and transitions even overlaps for a great effect. For e.g. the shot of Charlie walking we overlapped a clip of the couple together to try and give it a livelier feeling. For the flashbacks, we added a dreamy effect by using the soft edge feature.
Our overall music video was in the sepia feature. We decided to add ths because our whole concept of creating a calm video wasn’t working until we came across this effect. It worked really well, and created less of an alteration between the colours in the video. For example, In the zoom of Charlie’s face it appears more natural now because the colours of his face don’t look like such a contrast in the two shots. We generally added transitions to give the video a more smooth effect. We added dissolves between some clips to soften up the transitions, especially if they looked a bit obvious.
For the Digipak and magazine advert, we used PhotoShop. Firstly, we went out to the same location as the interior shot to take some more photos of the artist with his guitar. The image for the front of the Digipak and advert we had half of Charlie’s body with a guitar in the background and the back and inside of the Digipak we took a photo of him playing the guitar.
We created Whitleys logo using a font that we found online, we used a decorative font and it was similar to Whitleys original logo. We used PhotoShop and added a slight green tint to emphasise the white text. It made it stand out and could also reflect wildlife and forestry images in the music video.
Throughout the entire process of creating our media products we used Blogger, which allowed us to blog and keep track of our development of the music video. Also helped us to note all possible ideas, was there so people can publish their feedback. This became very useful because it helped us when it came to editing out video too. For e.g. on the blob we posted things like our storyboard and shot lists, which helped when we came to edit because we were able to organise our shots in the right order reasonably quickly. We also used YouTube to upload our video to the rest of the world and hope for different feedback. We even decided to add it to Facebook. It wasn’t very useful but some comments did help us.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Writing Evaluation - Final

Writing evaluation

From using Goodwin’s Analysis of a conventional music video we we’re able to create a real media product. We chose the artist ‘Whitley’ and his song ‘More than Life.’
The genre of music that we chose for our music video is a folk and pop combination; it has a slow tempo and is quite relaxing. With other similar artists producing similar music, we have been able to craft a music video with similar conventions.
The conventions used are close ups shots and the artist being the focus, the video concentrates on the artist and their performance and singing. The video is often story based, we tried to include these in our music video.

As the song is of slow pace we edited the video to match the song. Making the duration of some of the shots longer than others to fit with the music, like some of the studio and forest shots. We used similar structure of a real media product by telling a story throughout the video and made the audience connect with the artist by close ups. Although within the video there are different transitions, to make the audience more interested.

We linked the lyrics with the visuals at different points so the audience could connect with the artist, the video was also linked with music to make the video flow and so no sudden changes happened which could confuse and distract the audience.
Using the lyrics to match and gain ideas for the video was a good place to start, at (0.00-sometime in the video), ‘and the touch of lovers’ hands’ in the first verse, we took footage of each of our hands while in the forest over lapping like the could have been touching as it was what he wanted.

Our original ideas were different from the final outcome of the more developed product. As any media product it start off as an idea then springs into action. We first thought of the ending to be the main character dying and the footage playing in reverse. We decided not to do this because we did not have enough time or footage to explain what had happened and why.

We took our feelings about the song and put it into ideas into what mise en scene to use for the artists clothes. We used natural colours for him to blend into his surrounding, as if the video was in his mind. The artist look depressed and sad because he wants the female in the video ‘More than life.’ This entails that the female is everything to him and is his world.

Through out the designing of our ancillary products we had many complications, such as how we should design it, as the out come was different from our first ideas. It didn’t want to be too over crowded or else it would distract the customer from the music and be more interested in the artsy design.
We wanted to make the DVD cover and the magazine match but not look identical or else the customers would not find the DVD so visually pleasing or would be more involved in the magazine advert.

I think that our main product does relate to our ancillary products but I find that the ancillary products are more artistic. Which would be good to entice people to buy the Album/Digipack/Video, but it would be a shame if they were disappointed as I think the main character could of improved on his acting skills.
I believe that our video has a signature that is evident through out our products this is the depressed; ‘emotional’ feel from the artist. The mise en scene has been consistent through out but I feel for the Digipack the artist could have worn a more distinctive t-shirt or been in the shadows.

The feedback given by the audience who have watched our music video have been very helpful. It has given our group a wider view on our project and has challenged us to look at it in different perspectives.
We learnt that we had to add and develop each part of our work to get a better grade and for the viewer to be more interested and not get board while watching the video.
Here is some of the feedback we got from our class, from the start of the product to the end.
First ideas.
* Nice idea especially the idea of the photo coming to life.
* Like the green screen idea it will look interesting.
* Be careful with transitions and make sure there smooth
* Keep it interesting not a soppy love story.
* Link in the magazine cover and the DVD with the music video.
* Possibly use grainy start to clear then to dark grainy at the end.

Rough Cut.
1. Well framed shots of singer to open with, need more close up shots of singer, needs interior master shot.
2. Picture to video well but need to find interesting way to move from image to another.
3. Casual mise en scene but could have some abstract to dissolve to and from.
4. Need few more props, bits of iconography that will show genre.
5. Need more performance/close ups, use other techniques to viewers to look forward to. Lip-syncing to be improved.

Cinematography

* Good technique for camera movement and a nice variety of angles.
* Well kept slow pace especially on girl.
* Like contrast with girl in red and forest being green.

Editing

* Like the transition from photo to field.
* Like the ghost like image of hands meeting and then disappearing.
* Lip-syncing needs more work.
* Zoom from nose is bad and photo needs editing.

When we had finished our music video I posted our video on my Youtube account and posted a link on my Facebook profile. The reaction I got was not what I expected but I still received some positive constructive feedback. From looking over our products again there are things I would like to change. The main one is at the very end where the photo spins away, unfortunately there was not enough time to change this but I think it is a let down at the end. As the couple are together and have had a photo taken to remember their joy. It would have been better if the photo had just faded away because I think that the transition is too sudden and doesn’t complete the happy ending for me.

During the construction of our music video we used mini DV cameras to film our footage and then upload it onto Apple Mac’s. We used Final Cut Express, which is superior editing software but while being advanced it is still straightforward to use.

Most of our planning was done on computers and using the Internet to help us although we drew up ideas to get a more defined example of what we wanted to do. We used the cameras, which were built into the Apple Macs, to put the drawings on our blog. We used social networking sites to broaden our knowledge of what Whitley’s music sounds like and to get a greater outlook of Whitley himself.
While writing the evaluation I used a computer and the Internet to look over what we had done during the project, which is all posted on our blog.

While researching we used the Internet the most as it has the widest range of information on the planet and is incredibly useful in pointing you in the right direction when in need. It helped us process the sparks of ideas at the beginning of our project. We used Google as our main search engine to find pictures and other links to websites that could help us. We also used Amazon for ideas for the Digipack as I found an artist called ‘Fink’, which was similar to the ideas we first produced.

During our video/audio commentary we used the same cameras to film our final production. We had a list of what we should talk about during the commentary and in what order it should be said. I spoke about the original ideas, filming process and the advert/DVD/Digipack. The rest of my colleges spoke about… …which gave us an all round explanation of our music video. We had a few problems during the filming of our commentary, at first we were all a bit shy of the camera and some of us didn’t quite know what to say, so it got a bit of time to get started. Near the end of the commentary we broke out into conversation about our video. We decided that it would have been best if we re-filmed the footage as a conversation so it was more of a discussion about how we could of improved our final production.
While filming our second audio commentary it took a little time to get started and for it to flow well into a good discussion and we were not able to finish it because we had used all the space on the tape and didn’t have enough time to rewind and finish it.

The impact on new media technology on amateur filmmakers is colossal; it has made college students at the age of 16-18, able to produce skilled media products. All over the world it has made a difference in capturing the modern world and are able to connect to it anywhere.

Charlie Bellow

Evaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our media product uses the conventions of real media products in many ways. The song we chose, 'More Than Life' by Whitley, is a slow paced folk/pop song. Some of the typical conventions used in this genre are many close ups and shots of the artist, so the video strongly focuses on the artist and their singing/performance. The video is usually story based too. These are some of the elements we tried to incorporate into our own music video.

Because the song was slow, we edited the video to a slow pace too, making the duration of some of the shots quite long to fit with the music, like some of the interior and forest shots. Also, to make the video run smoother, we added some transitions between shots like dissolves and fades and overlaps of footage too, to try and make the video match the calmness of the music. We tried to edit to the beat of the song too, for example, in the intro of the song we changed the angle of the shot each time the chord changed. These editting techniques use the conventions of what real media products do, which is why we chose to edit the footage in this way.

Additionally, our video is based on a storyline similar to many other music videos, especially in the pop genre. The idea behind our music video was the classic 'guy broke up with girl' theme. This story is similarly shown in the music video by The Script with the song 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved', which is all about waiting for the girl he wants to come back to him and find him on the street where they first met each other. Whitley's song is all about her and how he literally wants her 'more than life'. Therefore, to get the theme across we had flashbacks throughout the video of the couple together, with effects to make them look more hazed and dreamlike. The ending of the video, with the couple taking a photograph together and then it gradually fades and swirls out, reflects how their relationship has come to an end.

We may have challenged conventions of the music video slightly by adding the photo shot, where the camera zooms in to the photo of the girl and then comes to life. This may have challenged our video slightly because the idea was to keep the video simple yet effective like the idea behind the song, however this idea was slightly more complex, which we found quite hard to pull off to a professional standard as the zoom of the camera was a bit more shaky then we would have liked. However, with a few effects, I think we managed to make it effective and make it work overall quite well, continuing to emphasise how the character is feeling about the girl.

Our Digipak cover and Magazine advert also fits quite well with the conventions of other media products. When researching into other digipaks and adverts, they had a strong focus on the artist, them usually being the centrepoint of the product to draw in the audience. We also added in a guitar somewhere in the product to represent him as a singer/songwriter, as this was an important feature about the artist. On the poster we added reviews from magazines too, as this was help to sell the album to the audience. We tried to keeps the colours simplistic using mainly whites, greys and blacks, so that it didn't keep the focus off the artist, though we did add a slight green tint to outline Whitleys logo to emphasise it more, which was quite decorative too unlike the simplistic text we used everywhere else.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancilliary texts?

I think the combination of our main product and ancilliary texts is very effective. They all showcase the artist without using too many complex ideas.

We tried to incorporate some of the ideas from our music video into the digipak and the advert so that they had a strong link between them. We kept the idea of the artist with the guitar, making clear reference to the video as the artist was playing his guitar throughout the video, which becomes iconic to Whitley's whole artistry. For example, on the magazine advert it has an image of half of the artist and the other half being a guitar, which fits quite well as thats what Whitley's music is all about.

Also, on the inside of the digipak theres a shot of the artist playing his guitar on a decorative black background. In a way this reflects the calmness of the video and the nature of the artist. Throughout the music video he is sat down playing his guitar in many locations like it's not always about where he is but the music he plays.

The locations of the artwork on the digipak and the advert links with the video further as we kept to the same locations that were in the music video. We felt that it was important to keep to the same locations so it linked with the video more rather then introducing an entriely new setting.

Additionally, the distinctive Whitley logo we created for the ancilliary products will help to advertsie the artist because it stands out. It is very symbolic of the artist with the decorative writing, that could symoblise nature and the outdoors, with the hint of green outline to the logo too, which links to the outdoor locations of the video. This could help to sell the artist because it is very eye catching so if it was seen printed throughout magazines etc. it would stand out and help to promote his songs as people would check him out.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

As a group we have learnt a great deal from audience feedback, especially when they critiqued the roughcut of our music video, along with the final version and ancilliary products, which we put all on our blogs. For our final version and ancilliary products we mainly got positive feedback from the audience, stating that they looked authentic and modern, and also how we had got our story across in our video. However, we changed quite a few things since the roughcut which was mainly down to the audience feedback.

On our original video we had no footage of the couple together, only dreamy shots of the girl on her own. Although the audience did like the connection we had made between the boy and the girl, they believed it would be much better if we had more shots of the couple together to emphasise their relationship and make the song and video more believable. As a result of this, we decided to go out and film more shots of the couple together. Once we had edited all the footage together, we believed that it was definately the right thing to do as it improved the footage greatly.

Additionally, the audience made us rethink our original ideas for our video. To begin with, we had the idea of the boy getting hit by a car for the ending. This would have had a whole new meaning to the song as the audience would have believed that the song was all about how the couple had broke up; but instead it would be about how the guy was dying and and he wants to be with his girlfriend 'more than life'. We would've had it so the girl came in at the end too, to be by his side. Although this sounds extreme, it was to give a twist to the whole video and leave the audience with a shock, rather than a pretty obvious storyline. When researching we found a video from Hoobastank called 'The Reason'. At the beginning of the video there is some footage of a girl getting hit by a car, though the camera does not show the gorey details or the crash itself, but simply a shot of the car coming towards her and then a blackout in an effective way, which we may have been able to carry out to a reasonable extent.

However, due to audience feedback we decided to create a different ending. We didn't want to put in too many complicated twists to the video as it wouldn't have matched the song and possibly caused it to appeal less to the audience. Also, we didn't want to risk filming the original ending and for it to look really poor because we were unable to get the right shots and do it well without someone getting hurt.

Furthermore, another comment made by the audience was to have more interior shots, as all the shots we had taken in our rough cut were outside. We felt this was a good idea as it made a good contrast to the rest of the footage. Because of this we decided to film more footage in a studio/music room, which we used in the later part of the video. This was a good location to use because it wasn't too 'busy' to distract the audiences attention away from the artist.

Another thing I learnt from the audience feedback was how important it was to keep the audience entertained throughout. For example, in the feedback on our rough cut some people said that perhaps the video was too mellow, so maybe some action should be added and more shots. We did try to add more shots, such as the filming of the interior shot which we tried to record from at least 3 different angles. I think they highlight the importance of making sure to shoot from different angles as well as locations because it helps to keep the viewer interested instead of watching it all from one angle, which would get boring.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

We used a number of different media technologies during the whole process of creating our media products. We used Final Cut to completely edit our music video. Once we had roughly edited the video, making sure we had each clip in the right order and at the right time, we tried out some effects to try and make the video look better. We added some fades to some of the clips to try and make them run smoother to fit with the video, with some overlaps of shots, which we added to try and make some shots more interesting. For example, the shot of Charlie walking we overlayed a clip of the couple together to try and liven up the clip.

Also, for the flashback scenes we added some soft edges to create a dreamy feel to them. The brightness and contrast was altered slightly too, to try and make the clip a bit brighter, as flashback scenes are usually quite bright and add to the flashback feel. We did the same for the photo shot too, though the soft edges were a bit more obvious in this shot to make the image appear more like a photo. The editting for this shot was a long process as we had to edit the shot frame by frame in order to get the photo the correct size on the screen and stay in the correct position.

For all of the footage we added an overall Sepia effect. We did this because we felt that it softened the footage to an extent to add to the calmness of the music and also made the footage appear slightly better in quality as the effect created less of an alteration in the colours between the different shots. For example, in the zoom in of Charlies' face it appears more natural now because the colour of his face doesn't look such a contrast in the two shots.

Transitions were used too, to again try and make the footage run smoothly. We added dissolves between some of the shots to soften up the transitions between some of the shots. Also, we added a transition between the zoom in and outs of Charlies face, because we didn't particularly like how we zoomed in so much. The transition we used came in at just the right part of the zoom in so that it made the zoom out slowly appear on the screen at the same time.

For the digipak and magazine advert we used Photoshop. Firstly, we went out to the same location as the interior shot to take some photos of the artist with his guitar. The image for the front of the digipak and advert we had half of Charlies' body with a guitar in the background and the back and inside of the digipak we took a photo of him playing the guitar.

The images we added a slight Posterize effect too, to make them a bit more interesting. For the inside image of Charlie with his guitar, we used a Threshold effect. We found a nice black decorative background to use and overlayed the image, making it large enough to fit the cover. We decided that was all we would do as we wanted to keep the inside looking quite simlplistic yet effective.

Our original idea for the back cover of the digipak was to have Charlie playing the guitar looking up at the wall. We were then going to edit it in photo shop to make it look like the track names were written on the wall, using different fonts we had found on the internet. However, when we got the image into photoshop we found it hard to make it look like there was a wall on the entire page as we had made the image smaller to fit Charlie in the bottom left hand corner. Therefore, we used the rubber tool to cut out the background from the image and created our own using grey tones. We then wrote the track names and added some decorative patterns we had found on the internet to make it look more interesting.

We created Whitleys logo using a font we find on the internet. We used a decorative font as it was similar to the one Whitley used himself. Using Photoshop, we added a slight green glow to the plain white text. This was the only colour we had really used when creating the cover so it made it stand out, and could also reflect the forestery imagery used in the music video.

Also, throughout the entire process of creating our media products we used Blogger, which allowed us to blog to keep track of our development and to note down all the ideas we had with relevent research. This became very useful because it helped us when it came to editing our video too. For example, on the blog we posted things like our storyboard and shot lists, which helped when we came to edit because we were able to organise our shots in to the right order reasonably quickly. We posted all the feedback we given too, so we could check back and see ways to help improve our products.

We also used the website YouTube to upload our video to the rest of the world in hope of further feedback. Through this link we posted the video on a couple of our Facebook's to see what people thought of the video. Although some comments we recieved weren't very helpful or sensible some were, such as some of the shots we used of Charlie's performance like the one looking up at him in the interior shot. Also, the photo shot and the footage coming to life people seemed to enjoy too, along with the shot of Charlie standing in the road with the footage dramatically speeded up.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Evaluation Of Media Products

Evaluation of media products

Music video is a completely new media topic to look at so we had to do quite a bit just focussing on the conventions of different genres and how they sold the artists and their song. We saw how directors kept the audience interested by keeping the artist in motion and keeping the background and location different and sometimes abstract. After picking our song I looked at Imogen Heaps video which is very abstract but gave us lots of ideas such as the photo shot. The first step in the making of our final video was to investigate Whitley’ genre of music by looking on his MySpace then trying to find other artists who present similar qualities so we can use them for examples. This part was very important to our development of ideas as it set the scene and pace of our music video and shaped how it would move with the music. We found that he used slow paced clips and quite dream like music to portray his own character so we continued to do this. By looking at lots of artists such Nanci Griffith who also create folk/pop music and the main convention is studio shots of the artist close ups so we specifically focussed on this during filming.

Through our media products we have tried to represent Whitley’ genre and character by keeping to his conventions and others that apply to folk/pop music. However we wanted to make it unique to our group so we designed our own convention which challenged his but together they create a modern music video with texts to accompany it. If you look back on our blog you can see our original ideas are very different to are final products which were mainly due to feedback making us rethink our ideas. We tried to keep to convention by having a range of shots of the main artist lip syncing to the camera. We had lots of him playing the guitar which ended up looking really good because it was a great visual link to the music. The use of slow clips with a smooth transaction was purposeful because it meant that the video kept in sync with the music beat. I used the non-addictive dissolve in my thriller at the slow part so thought it would be perfect for the video as it meant we could change shots without making it to static and distract the viewer from the storyline. From the beginning we wanted to use low toned simple colours so the view could directly focus on the video, the tone also reflects the main artist’s mood which is calm and tranquil. We developed this idea by adding a sepia tone to the clips the video blended more into the natural surroundings and even when it comes to the studio shots the sepia tone insures it fits in with the rest of the video. A similar video that uses this ‘nature’ idea is We defiantly challenged conventions in the photo shot because it is much edited and not natural at all but it look really good when it was completely finished and we tried to keep to conventions like smoothness by having soft edges and the we lowered the brightness because if you look at the rough-cut you can see before its edited it stands out so much and looks just looks like another layer and very amateur. You can see a similar shot to this in Calvin Harris’ ‘Flashback’ music video in which he picks up a photo and it turns into a video shot although it is a lot sharper than our one. A shot that didn’t go quite to plan was the face to face shot where we zoom into Charlie’s face then zoom out again in a different location but we couldn’t find a transaction that made it look smooth so we had to use the page peel down which is one of the downfalls of the videos as it very against conventions of our video itself. In the DVD cover you can see the same conventions carried out especially in the use of simple colours and quite natural images. We couldn’t change our original ideas much because we only had the week to finish the task but maybe this was good because it allowed us to keep only the necessary items in without making it to complicate. The idea to have Charlie in the studio was simple yet effective, by adding the posterize effect on just him it makes him stand out and look more interesting keeping the focus on him rather than the background. Studio shots are very important this genre as you can see in other music videos such as Nanci Griffith’ where there are lots of close up shots of her singing. We did the same with the inside of the DVD cover by having a black and white close up of the artist playing the guitar that directly refers back to the video. The advert is also simple with the name Whitley standing out more because of the decorative font and the electric green glow behind it which makes it stand out more and make the viewer is invited in. We kept to conventions by having all the relevant information in the Advert such as the release date and some reviews so it looks authentic and professional.

The video and the ancillary tasks fit in really nice with each other because they both follow the same conventions and complement each other well. The use of low tone colours reflects the folk like genre but the decorative writing reflects more of the pop side. The close up of the main artist in the advert and DVD cover is good because it allows the audience to straight away recognize the artist and relate him to the video which is important in getting the video identified. The floral patterns reflect the nature we use in the video itself such as the forest and river scenes. All in all it reflects the tone and mood of the music. Although the posterized effect is a bit unconventional in relation to our video as it effects the look of the artist himself looking a bit unnatural but I think it looks professional and makes the poster that little bit more interesting and has a unique look to it so it also represents us as a group which is always good. We got the idea to use decorative writing of Whitley’ MySpace as he uses it there as well. I think it adds creativity and nature to the texts without looking to over powering and out of place in such a simple design. The artist is representing his genre via his expression, costume and location, in this case his expression is plain symbolising his soft songs and lyrics. His clothes are baggy, like in the video; this represents his calmness as an artist that directly separates him from superficial artists. At present we are just editing our audio commentary which was quite fun to make although we found specking directly into the camera was quite difficult. We got two different types of commentary, one where we speck one at a time about a specific thing and one where it’s more conversational and chatty so we might use a mixture of both to make it more interesting.

The audience feedback was crucial in the making of our video and ancillary tasks. The first feedback on our rough-cut was eye opening because the audience saw things we had missed that could make the video better. The thing the audience wanted most was more shots of the couple together because it gave the audience something to follow and relate to. So with this in mind we went back out filming and got lots of natural shots of Charlie and Natasha together messing around, hugging, dancing etc and placed them in the video with a slow motion effect to make it look more dreamlike. The audience also felt there needed to be more variety of shots and locations to keep it interesting so we did some studio shots because it meant we could get some close ups of the artist by himself directly singing to the camera allowing the audience to interact. The final feedback was mainly good for us just to get an idea as to how the audience felt about our video and things we may need to explain or change in the future. The feedback on our rough texts was limited as we didn’t have much time to do it but from what we did get back we developed our ideas around what the audience wanted such as shots of the artist. Our teacher also gave us good feedback and ideas on how to improve our video such as the studio parts and how we should go about editing some of the harder parts of the video. Tanya also supplied a good eye on what we needed to add to make the video look professional whilst keeping a unique factor of it.

The blog in itself was definitely so important in the making of our video, we could look back on it and even change it, which ten years ago wasn’t possible so we used it to our full advantage. The fact we got to make roughs cuts and drafts of all our products was great because it gave our audience chance to feedback and allowed us to get a feel for what needed changing or enhancing. The main software was Final cut which is by far the most advanced a software can get without being too complicated. I found it was great because it’s simple to use but the effects on it are endless and there really is no limited as to what you can do. However I had learnt from previous media coursework that using to many effects made the video look over crowded and amateur so this time round I had to control how much I edited the clips so as to keep it looking professional and natural at the same time. So we only used around 3 types of transactions and very few filters but the ones we used had a big effect on how the video looked. The photo was by far the hardest shot to get right at first, as you can see in the rough cut, it looks out of place and layered. However by using a sepia filter to make it look more natural and blend in with the background it already looked better. By adding in the soft edges it really finished the shot of because now it looked like a real photo rather than just another clip it was one of the most rewarding shots. That for me was the proudest shot as it was the most edited part and well worth the time. We also wrote a lot more on the blog this time using lots of images and videos to explain our ideas which was really helpful because it kept us on track and really made me think things through before doing them and meant people could give feedback for us to learn from. The digipack was made mostly on adobe Photoshop, which has come a long way since it first release (cs1), was really fun but quite stressful. It was also a challenge because of the time limit we had to do quite a lot. Like the video we limited our use of filters and kept it quite natural but I liked getting the different fonts and designing the products. All in all both my final cut and adobe Photoshop skills has been put to test and expanding throughout the project which can really only is a good thing. YouTube was really helpful for our research especially in finding out the genre conventions of our video. We also found out some techniques on YouTube which helped in some of the harder shots. Overall the whole project was defiantly very rewarding to see the final products and digipack made by the group together.

Commentary

Monday, 7 December 2009

Problems with Editing the Commentary

Whilst editing the commentary we came across some difficulties...
Firstly, because during our footage we forget what to say or had pauses in our speech, we had to edit it out. However, this caused some of the footage to look jumpy and really unnatural. As a result of this, we decided to put in some transitions between the clips we had cut out. We put in some dissolves which made the footage more watchable. This was also an effect which had been seen in real commentaries so it didn't look too out of place.
Another problem we had was when we decided to put some photos of the digipak and magazine advert onto the screen on top of the footage of us talking. We had the idea of making one get smaller when the other one came on the screen and so on. However, this took quite a bit of time because we had some problems with making them the right size and in the right position. We kept putting the line of movement in the wrong place so instead of getting smaller it got bigger. We did eventually manage to overcome this and get the right movements we wanted.
Also, we found that when we placed differet footage from both the final video and the roughcut, it came up on the screen to quickly and left quite abruptly. For this reason we decided to put some fades on, which instantly made it better to watch.

Problems With Filming the Commentary

Firstly, we were all a bit camera shy and didn't feel comfortable talking to the camera or what to say. But with planning we decided to write up what each of us were saying in order for us all to see. We paused sometimes during filming as we did not know what to say next.
Near the end of our first attempt video we started having a more of a conversation about what we should of done in the video, so then we decided that it would of been better to do our whole commentary like that but decided to finish the first video.
When we filmed the second commentary it didn't go quite according to plan, the conversation didn't flow as we wanted it and at the start we were a bit apprehensive on who would talk when.
We had to film it all in one hour and a half lesson so it felt a bit rushed. Overall, with the time we had, I thought that it is fairly standard but with editing it is getting much better and far more interesting.
 
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