Tuesday, 28 February 2012

ALL - Signifiers of a still shot within our MV

  • Graffiti - Run down area, Criminal
  • Hoodie - Teenager, Middle class
  • Jeans - Middle class
  • Alone - Outcast, No friends
  • Snow - Purity, Winter, Cold
  • Crewcut - Middle class
  • Ruined Converses (Chucks) - Working class 
  • Hands in pockets - Typical teenager
  • Superdry - Typical teenager
  • Under the Bridge (RHCP) - Hiding from someone, Trying to get away from someone
  • Dying grass/Moss on the wall - Run down area, Had no attention in a while
  • Pebble Beach - Middle course of the river, Inside of a meander bend,

Monday, 27 February 2012

WS - Role of Feedback

With any media product feedback is essential to make sure it is the best it possibly can be and to ensure that it is suitable for the target audience. It also increases the chance that any mistakes will be picked up on and gives an unbiased opinion on how the product can be improved. It is also beneficial in that it gives you increased options in what to do, as you receive new ideas but you don't have to use them.

There are an increasing number of ways to receive feedback on media products due to the advances in technology and digitisation. We are fortunate that our primary target audience is 15-24 as this allows us to get feedback from our fellow class members very simply. They are also in a similar position in trying to make their own videos and so understand the issues involved, what is realistic and what is out of range for what we can achieve. With a combination of males and females in the class we received feedback from both genders on our work. The age of this feedback group was 17 or 18 so quite in the middle of our primary target audience meaning we got a balance between the younger end of the range, but also some insights into how the older and more mature people of our Target Audience may respond. This was our main source of feedback.

To get our work out to a wider audience we also made use of the advancing technology and equipment/websites that were available to us. The main one of these was YouTube where all of our sample scenes/rough cuts were posted. This allowed a wider range of people to view our work, both fellow students from other schools doing similar courses and general people who may be interested. By using the tag tool on YouTube we also increased the chances of the work being seen by people searching for the song, band or anything connected with our video by the tags that we included when uploading. This method of receiving feedback also led to us getting valuable feedback from a past student who went through this process last year.

Early in the course shortly after forming our group we created a Facebook and Twitter page so that people could "like" or "Follow" to keep up with any updates we wanted to give out. We took advantage of these by posting sample scenes or rough cuts early in the production process to allow any fans to see what we were doing and how our sample footage was coming on. By posting them we gave fans the opportunity to feedback and give any advice they felt might help us. This allowed us to request feedback from a wider target audience extending, unlike the class feedback, to our secondary target audience. This was also the case with the feedback on You Tube.

Monday, 20 February 2012

SP - Distortion in Final Cut Express

Today we continued editing our new footage that we filmed before half term. We have around an hour and a half worth of footage which we needs to edited down to around four minutes and now that we are focusing on using Final Cut we are continuing to learn new new tools and techniques all of the time. 

Today we have learnt how to use the Distort tool which is usually used to distort an image in the Canvas Viewer. What we wanted to do was to superimpose the footage that a close friend of ours and a fellow media student had taken on his PC of the game "Mass Effect" and put it over the footage we had taken on Rob Shaw's computer. Ben Hudson has a better quality PC which allows him to play smoother game footage so he volunteered to film footage of Mass Effect for us because it wouldnt be as jerky as if Rob Shaw filmed it. Instead we filmed shots of Rob Shaw playing another game knowing we could superimpose the footage Ben had filmed for us over the top of it.

Using a tutorial I found on the internet we were able to distort Ben's footage by clicking on the crop tool and holding the mouse button down for a few moments so it expanded the toolbar to show us the distort tool. The distort tool makes an image or a clip be surrounded by something called a "wireframe" which allows us to manipulate the footage by using the wireframe. 

Click here to view the tutorial I found on the internet and even though all the information on there wasnt all relevant, we were able to pick and choose the details we wanted

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

WS- Location Scouting

Even though our idea has changed quite drastically over time, a couple of things have stayed the same. These include the basic idea of a 'muse nerd' been lonely and depressed and the settings that we have intended to use. Right from the beginning we had ideas of where we could shoot and ideas for scenes in these settings and although our idea has changed over the course of the task, we feel that we can adapt the ideas at these settings to suit any new idea.

Scenes at School
Due to the age of the protagonist and our target audience, as well as taking influence from other music videos and films, we decided that we wanted part of our video to be taken at school. The film "Breakfast Club" and the music video for Pearl Jam's "Jerimiah" were big influences for these scenes, with a number of ideas coming from watching these. Settings looked at as ideas for scenes in the school include:

  • In the school sixth form center
  • In a corridor next to some lockers
  • On a staircase with two 'bullies' walking past the 'muse nerd'
With developments to our ideas we are now unlikely to use most of what we have filmed at school. An example of this is the scene on the staircase. As part of the earlier idea we looked into this as a potential setting and somewhere where we could show dominance of the two 'bullies' over our protagonist. With the change in idea and the eradication of the bullying idea, this scene will now not be used. It does however still show that we have looked into potential settings and filmed footage to 'test out' our ideas.

Scenes in Ilkley Town
Main Bridge in Ilkley
From the start of the course it was always our intention to film some scenes in Ilkley due to the wide range of potential settings and mise-en-scene. The following locations have been looked at as possible settings for scenes in our video, and have all at some point had sample footage recorded there.
  • Down by the river on the pebble beach
  • On the Main Bridge in Ilkley, just up from the pebble beach.
  • We also tried a very different idea on the same MainBridge with the attempted suicide scene at the end. This was very different to the other ideas for on the bridge, though in the end we decided on using a different setting.
  • Ilkley Skate Park 
  • On the rugby field
  • On a different pebble beach further down the river where the protagonist is looking up at the Swing Bridge.
  • On the Swing Bridge where we filmed a different suicide scene
The majority of these scenes are now likely to be included in our final piece. Many of the settings have been looked at in the sample footage and we have decided that, with improvements they may work well and we have now re-filmed in these places. 

Scenes in Addingham Village
As well as the footage that we have taken in Ilkley, we felt that we could have more variation by filming in the village of Addingham which would give us an increased amount of settings for scenes to choose from. Scenes and ideas that we looked at and filmed as sample footage in Addingham include:
  • Footage from the underground tunnel
  • The protagonist playing football on the street in the snow
  • In the local park with the protagonist alone
  • On the moorside
  • Down by the stream in a wooded area
  • At the bus stop
  • On the football pitch
As with Ilkley, most of these settings will be taken and used in the final footage. The reason to scout these scenes and film sample footage here was to get an idea of whether these settings worked and to try and gain ideas for framing. Once this was done, we could re-film and use this footage in these settings for our final product. 

On the Bus
The scenes that we shot on the bus were fairly ambitious and challenging, though we felt we had nothing to lose in shooting these scenes; if they worked then we could include them in our final piece and if they failed they could simply be deleted. Challenges included holding a camera steady on the bus which at times proved impossible but also ensuring that we didn't catch people who were unwilling to be filmed in the shots, whilst still making it look like other people were on the bus. We managed this by including other members of the group in the shot so that it looked like other people were on the bus, but we didn't have any problems regarding permission.

Friday, 10 February 2012

WS - Filming Update

Following feedback we have received on our sample footage so far, we decided to re-shoot a number of scenes and film new scenes to add to our video. We did this following a lesson looking at ideas we could use to link the footage onscreen with ideas taken from CD/Digipak/Magazine covers, an idea that we got in one of our feedback sessions. We then decided to re-shoot scenes on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th February.

On the Tuesday we decided to film the scenes in Addingham. These include the scenes of the protagonist playing football, the shots in the underground tunnel, scenes on the moor-side, at the bus-stop and at the local park. This is also where we filmed the protagonist in his house. We also took the opportunity while on the bus travelling to Addingham to film some footage of the "muse nerd" by himself on the bus.

Filming on Tuesday was relatively pushed for time due to the amount of moving from scene to scene that we had to do. It did however give us chance to take some additional footage where we came across mise-en-ecene or idea that we thought may work well. Though these shots weren't planned we thought they may fit in with the video and if they don't we can simply leave them out. The filming on the whole seemed to go well, though we have not edited it yet.

Wednesday's filming included the scenes in Ilkley, including the footage by the river, at the skate park, on the rugby field and finally of the bridge where the suicide scene at the end will take place. The scene by the river was one that we had already filmed as sample footage but needed much improvement. For this scene we tried to get variation in shot types so that the pace of the editing can be fast. We will not know whether this has been completely successful until we edit it, but hopefully there will be. We also focussed on framing here to try and keep the footage interesting.

The scenes at the skate park were also scenes that we had filmed as part of our sample footage, though this time the idea was different. Instead of having people laughing at him, the shots showed the protagonist alone and looking depressed. When at the setting we tried to use the mise-en-scene to our advantage, for example taking shots looking through bars that make the "muse nerd" look even more isolated and alone. Shots of the "muse nerd" under the rugby posts came about as an idea of linking to the Origin of Symmetry cover. Although they aren't rugby posts on the cover, we thought that a link between the two may work well.

The final scene we filmed on Wednesday were down by a different part of the river and on the bridge where the suicide scene would take place. The shots show the protagonist looking up at the bridge before moving onto it. Here we filmed him from a low angle to try and show that for the first time in the video he has some power as he looks to take control of things by ending his life. The shots on the bridge were reasonably tricky as we had to contend with members of the public crossing and also only a small area in which to try and get shot variation. Despite this we felt the scenes went well.

After filming in these two locations we are hopefully moving forward towards a final edit. Obviously before we can set an accurate estimation for finishing the edit we need to ensure the footage is of a high enough quality and that all the scenes we have filmed work. When we are underway with editing, a further blogpost will be posted to show what stage we are at.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

RS - Elbow Mag Ad Deconstruction

Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!
  • Artist Name - different coloured font to the rest of the text
  • Album Name - smaller than the artist name
  • Release Date - "out now"
  • Band Url (Bottom Right)- very small font and right in the corner out of the way
  • Record Label (Bottom Left) - record label font used. Small and in the corner
  • Reviews from Newspapers - out of 5 stars to keep it simple and easy to read when flicking through the magazine
  • Quotes from Magazine + Newspaper
  • Album artwork throughout the whole advert
  • Advert is A4 sized
  • All in lower case apart from the record label + Newspaper/Mag names

RS - Metallica Mag Ad Deconstruction

Metallica - Death Magnetic
  • Metallica font - very recognisable, large + dominant at the top of the page
  • Coffin is central to the image. It features on the new album but its the only thing from the album artwork on the page
  • Band website - central and small font at the bottom
  • Record Label name + logo again cental and small
  • One review from Kerrang so not showing a wide range of feedback on the album, however makes it quick and easy to read when flicking through the magazine pages
  • No Release date 'The brand new album' is it out yet then?! Could be clearer
  • Quote by Kerrang but not quote marks around it
  • "KKKKK" if a non-reader of the Kerrang magazine saw this they wouldnt know what it meant. "KKKKK" = 5 Stars
  • Very simple black background so the text stands out
  • The D + C on "Death Magnetic" link to the name replicating magnets
  • "M" logo used around the Coffin which is very recognisable
  • All of the text is central on the page
  • A4 sized Advert

RS -Pendulum Mag Ad Deconstruction

Pendulum - In Silico
  • Artist Name - Largest text at the top of the advert
  • Album name included but in very small font at the bottom
  • Very large album artwork image in the middle
  • Tour Dates + When they go on sale + where to get them from with url links, phone numbers etc
  • Band Website is very small at the bottom of the page (slightly cut off when scanning)
  • No reviews of the album at all
  • More of a tour advert rather than a digipak advert - links to artists going more for ticket sales rather than album sales because of digitisation and people downloading albums instead. Artists make most of their money from touring so they are aiming for that with this advert
  • Bottom left is a small image of the album cover (just the same as the main image but without all of the tour dates etc)

RS - Placebo Mag Ad Deconstruction

Placebo - Battle For The Sun
  • Artist name - largest font on the page + central
  • Album name underneath in smaller font + central
  • Release date at the very top in Day/Date/Month format
  • Tour Date at 02 Academy. With "sold out" image layered of the top, special guest along with the special guests band logo underneath
  • Advertising the "special edtion album" "includes Trigger Happy Hands...." highlighting the fact that it is the special edtion of the album so there are extra features to lure hardcore fans in
  • "Redux edition" different colouring of the cover to the standard edition
  • Where you can order the album from
  • Band Url
  • Everything is cental

RS - Muse Magazine Ad Deconstruction

Muse - The Resistance
  • Album artwork centre of the image and taking up 3/4 of the page
  • Artist Name in the top left in typical font
  • Album title in the bottom right, slightly smaller font
  • Release date in Date/Month format
  • Band url
  • Very simple Mag Ad

Monday, 6 February 2012

ALL - Suggested Improvements for the Digipak

Front Panel
  • Downsize the circular sticker and move it to the top right where there is an empty space
  • Make sure all logos are in line with each other
  • Sticker should focus on details about the DVD due to it being special edition
  • The wording could be improved (eg. bottom right corner box)
  • The Muse logo should be made bigger
  • Too much orange?
Back Panel
  • Try and line up the URL's with the logos for Facebook and Twitter
  • Too many tracks on the CD? Try and cut this down
  • Maybe advertise as a bonus CD rather than bonus tracks
  • Include a Behind The Scenes and a Full Live Performance with venue and date on as it is Special Edition - needs to stand out from the original to sell to the Target Audience who may have the original.
  • Put space between the "10" and "11" of tracks 10 and 11
  • Try the same colour scheme for the font as is seen on the front panel. Maybe ask for feedback as to which version works best
  • Barcode number needs to change to something more realistic
Inside Panels
  • Make the shots of protagonist larger and/or clearer
  • Try make a background image on the corridor look out of place to fit in with sci-fi theme.
  • Work on the idea of writing on the noticeboard (credits/what is included for example)
  • Try link the inside panels to the outer panels more 
  • Introduce a new layer from the game idea
  • Move further away from realism, more to Sci-Fi idea

RS - Second Draft of the Front and Back Cover of our Digipak

Front Cover
  • Screenshot taken on Mass Effect using the print screen tool

  • I downloaded the font for the title online by searching "sci-fi" fonts

  • Record label icon and DVD logo found on the internet and imported in

  • I created the stickers using the shape tool on Fireworks

  • I imported the Muse Logo from the internet then changed the colours

Back Cover
Same screenshot from the front but I imported an image taken of myself looking the opposite way

  • I then changed the lighting/brightness on my body to fit with the Mass Effect Image

  • QR Code had been created using an online website so it links to our blog

  • Bar Code imported from the internet

  • Our company logo is on there too along with the Facebook and Twitter links