Wednesday, 31 March 2010

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

Research: NMT did not play a huge part but I regularly used youtube to watch and analyze music videos that I could not access via television music channels. I briefly looked at Soap & Skin's website to read lyrics in order to trigger ideas.

- I used blogger to document all planning, changes or general thoughts/comments.
- Using iMovie I created an animatic to present an idea on what my music video would look like.
- When filming I used a stereo to play the song so Hannah could mime.

Evaluation: When collecting audience feedback I used youtube, vimeo and facebook. I recieved two comments on youtube that were very complimentary but did not comment on the way it was constructed, etc. I found facebook rather useful as a number of people commented. This allowed me to access a diverse collection of opinions ranging from friends, colleagues, relatives and teachers.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

When making my music video I was worried people would not appreciate it. I was reluctant to have a clear narrative and plot. I wanted to create something really abstract.

Throughout the editing process I received feedback along the way and learnt that people did not want to watch something they did not understand. I had so many different ideas and so many new things I wanted to try. I thought I could condense them all into a three minute music video. I had to conform slightly and produce something an audience would understand and love. The song alone is a very acquired taste and may be a lot to take in. I learnt that every video needs some sort of narrative. I was not comfortable at first and was very reluctant to create a 'story'. I am now happy with the final product.

Once I had finished the music video, I recieved nothing but positive feedback. I screened the finished piece to my media class and they were very complementary even if they did not completely understand it.

Comments I received:
- "There's something tragic about it".
- "I usually moan about videos without miming, but in this case it works".
- "It's very elegant".
- "It reminds me of something delicate".
- "There's nothing on the TV, but it looks good".

Many people have commented on a one shot in particular. A mid-shot focusing on the reflection of the television shown on a polaroid. They seem to think it is some sort of edit, but it is just a reflection. I did not plan it, It was a spur of the moment thing and I thought it looked good.

After the screening, I was eager to find some sort of critism.

More comments I received:
- "I thought it was wonderful - it had that Chris Cunningham feel tempered by a 'Life on Mars' stuck in time feel"
- "The child footage looks really good"
- "It's well put together and I like the shot of the leaf in the gutter"

The only form of critism I recieved was a comment on the sequence where as a child I am blowing out candles: "You fail at blowing candles out".

I never intended on creating a tragic piece of film. After listening to the song more than once, it reminded me of the notion of remembering, and all I wanted to do was explore this. I am a huge fan of the exsisting artist and I can undertsand why people would havee this perception.

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

I believe my advertising campaign as a whole successfully works. I tried to make it as intriguing as possible. It is consistent and the motifs present in the videos are also present throughout the digipack.


Front Cover: I used a frame from one of the timelapses to attract the audience. I thought it would be a good idea to use familiar in order to trigger interest.

Back: I used a shot of Hannah with a television. This is an early idea that I never used. By using a similar shot, the idea is to keep the audience engaged.

Inside: A shot of a piano with a blue tone, as the album (including the first release 'Spiracle') is very piano-driven.

Images: At first I thought using two different shots of Hannah would be too much, but after much feedback people seemed to like the idea of having photographs of Hannah, after all this is her album. Once I made this, I also preferred this idea. I decided to have the out of fous shot of Hannah on the front without any text. I feel this is more striking and works with the title of the album 'Out of Focus'. I moved the text on to the spine as I had nothing there. I kept the inside simple, and relevant as I felt this would be better. With an obscure, abstract front cover I decided to tone it down a little and use one of the photographs from the first shoot.

Track Names: I tried to make up song names which fitted in with the theme of the song, 'Spiracle'. I wanted the album to have an ongoing theme. The theme is focused on the notion of remembering and looking back. I also included the album name as a track, and by the time I got to track number seven I was out of ideas. I used the word 'fuzz' as it reminded me of the televisions, a key motif throughout the process. The last track is called 'Warhola', similar to David Bowie's 'Andy Warhol', I did this as a tribute to the artist as it was a photograph of him that inspired me to work with televisions. I did not want to name the track after him, so I used his real last name.
Poster: Embarrassingly enough, my album poster was inspired by this George Michael one. I simply liked the way the image blended into the background. I applied this theme to my poset, successfully in my opinion. As the CD features a DVD, and this is a key thing I need to sell, I made this text moderately larger than the text above. There is not a great deal to say about this piece of work. It is fairly basic. I decided to use a similar yet different shot on the poster in order to attract an audience. The idea is that they would recognize the consistency and continuity but at the same time realize it is a different photograph. This would engage the audience.
Together the video, the poster and the CD cover work together quite well. Each advertises the artist. There is a strong consistent theme running throughout.

Monday, 29 March 2010

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

My media product to some extent conforms to the hegemonic values of a music video through it's use of matching editing and pace.

However, it also challenges the conventions by:
- Having very little miming, and no clear storyline.
My genre (experiemental music) does not have a set list of conventions but I wanted to completely ditch this perception of the genre being 'weird'. In general, I wanted to subvert the connotations of a mainstream video. I feel I have successfully done this. I have created a very 'filmic' piece, which is slowly becoming more common, but it is still rather obscure in my opinion.
My actress did not wish to mime and a performance based video was the last thing I wanted. I shot quite a substanial amount of piano footage and soon realised it was heading in the direction I did not want it too. Once I heard the lyric "When I was a child..." I decided I wanted to incorporate child footage and a narrative was born out of this.
-Looking very cinematic, considering it's genre is usually considered very low-budget.

- It's use of timelapse photography.
Throughout the video, there is several, brief sequences where this occurs. Two sequences of Hannah and two of traffic, one being out of focus.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Opening title.

When I finished my music video, the last thing I did was the opening credits you see on any music video. This was last thing Friday afternoon, so I put a draft there for now.

I placed the basics there, merely to see what it looks like. I will soon be changing it to something similar to this.

Scart 12 & the Blur
Out of Focus
Rough Trade Records 2010
Director: Tara Costello