Thursday, 26 November 2009

Magazine Advertisements

As part of this project, I will be creating a promotional poster advertising the album. I am happy about this as I will be able to use some of the photographs I wanted to use when creating an album cover. I had to be very selective.

I wish to create something similar to this.
It will feature the album cover at the bottom of the page alongside details. I dislike the way they have used the same image twice. I plan to use a similar photograph, not the exact same.

Timelapse photos

I haven't blogged for a while. Been either busy or ill.
Above are two photographs from two different series that I am going to be using.
Photograph #1
ISO: 400
Shutter Speed: 0.6
Aperture: f/14.0
The first photograph has been taken from the first batch. My first attempt was the generic long exposure shot that many people have done. I felt the need to do this just as a starting point. Before getting a successful shot, I had to experiement and test different shutter speeds, ISO and aperture.
Photograph #2
ISO: 3200
Shutter Speed: 1/40
Aperture: f/5.6
I prefer the second shot. In recent years I have grown to love out of focus photographs. I never understood them before, As I was going to be working with a subject area that has been explored many times, I decided to also take some out of focus shots. I wanted to make the most of the location while I was there as I probably wasn't going to find any more time to re-shoot if I needed to. I am definately going to use the out of shot photographs.
I plan to use about five or six in a short sequence. It will appear quickly somewhere in the middle of my music video. I am also eager to play the sequence backwards.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Timelapse Shoot.

Yesterday evening I took the still photographs that I will be using for the timelapse.

It was very, very windy and there was light rain. Luckily, all the heavy rain happened earlier. I went out about eight in the evening, but I should have gone out later as it was not really dark enough.

I stood on a bridge over a motorway - there was so much light around: the light from the cars, and the street lights.

It took me many attempts to get what I considered a successful shot. I wanted something quite dark, but not too dark I guess.
In order to get my successful shot I chose to use a short exposure as there was a lot of movement in the photographs.

Album Covers

Everytime I create an album, I'm never happy with it so I am either going to do:

A simple yet unqiue cover with just text.

Or use a really obscure shot from a photoshoot.

I am warming to do promoting a band, but I'm not too sure.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The missing link!

So I delivered my pitch to my class Wednesday as planned, and it seemed to me I was missing just one element from my video, something to tie it all together.

I have piano footage and shots of gritty stuff.
I plan to do shoot some long exposure stuff tomorrow evening.

Throughout the song the lyric "When I was a child..." appears again and again, I was thinking of using some footage of a child or perhaps Hannah's home videos if I can get hold of some. I think this could possible be the missing link to my video, as I wanted a juxtaposition and as the song is slightly creepy the happy footage of Hannah's childhood could work quite nicely out of context.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Concept Albums

Wikipedia tells me that concept albums are usually unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical.

The first concept album I ever came across was Alice Cooper's Welcome to my Nightmare, my dad used to play it when I was younger and I remember it very vividly.
Released in 1975, this was Cooper's first solo album.
1 Welcome to My Nightmare
2 Devil's Food

3 The Black Widow
4 Some Folks

5 Only Women Bleed

6 Department of Youth

7 Cold Ethyl

8 Years Ago

9 Steven

10 The Awakening

11 Escape

The songs form a journey through the nightmares of a child names Steven.

A year later, the sequel album was released.

Alice Cooper goes to Hell

1 Go to Hell
2 You Gotta Dance
3 I'm the Coolest
4 Didn't We Meet
5 I Never Cry
6 Give the Kid a Break
7 Guilty
8 Wake me Gently
9 Wish You Were Here
10 I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
11 Going Home

Welcome to my nightmare
I think you're gonna like it
I think you're gonna feel... you belong
A nocturnal vacation
Unnecessary sedation
You want to feel at home 'cause you belong

Welcome to my nightmare
Welcome to my breakdown
I hope I didn't scare you
That's just the way we are when we come down
We sweat and laugh and scream here
'cuz life is just a dream here
You know inside you feel right at home here

Welcome to my breakdown
You're welcome to my nightmare

Welcome to my nightmare
I think you're gonna like it
I think you're gonna feel... you belong
We sweat laugh and scream here
'cuz life is just a dream here
You know inside you feel right at home here
Welcome to my nightmare
Welcome to my breakdown

Get ready for the lady
She's gonna be a treat
Simmer slightly 'til ready
Make her soft too
Make her sweet

I kiss the tears off from your chest
[ Alice Cooper Lyrics are found on ]
I felt the poison fright that's in your breath
I knew your precious life and I know your death
I squeeze the love out of your soul
All the perfect love that's in your soul
You're just another spirit on parole

Devil's food
Devil's food
Devil's food

& so on.

Album Attempt, #2

After experiementing with layers, I was tempted to do the same with a black and white image (as I wanted to use a black and white image in the first place).
I decided to use a photograph of JUST Hannah's face. I used my one of my favourites from the black and white series and cropped it, so only Hannah's face was visible.
For the layer I used this photograph: and made it black and white.

These two attempts are my first, although I am happy with them I feel like I can produce something so much more better. I want to pay homage to an artist or a musican or something.

You can see that on my first attempt there are no track names.
I quite like the idea of producing a concept album, but I do not know how I would go about it.


Friday, 6 November 2009

Album attempt #1,

I never actually had any idea what I wanted my album to look like. Having said that I knew I wanted to include a shot from the music video on the inside or on the back of the album.
Here is my first attempt. When I first did this, I wasn't happy with the front cover. It was too dark, and I felt it was really boring and I wanted to include a close-up shot Hannah took of the fuzzy television so I decided use it as another layer:

I have two weeks until I am shooting for a second time.
Although, I wanted to film everything all at once, I am happy that it is being postponed as it allows me time to prepare and get off with other things.

To Do
- Start researching post-production styles, and think about how I want my video to look.
- Organize and get props for film shoot.
- Get on and make my digipack.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


I still have a pitch to deliver, and it has been postponed to Wednesday 11th (next week).

I have had some feedback from the roughcuts that I have taken into much consideration.
The one factor that everyone has spoke about critically is the lighting. You cannot see my act that clearly, as the majority of the establishing shots taken are only television lit. The room is black itself and my subject is wearing black also.

The concept of the video was that my act would be revealed at the end of the video, but I will still need to get some more shots anyway.
I plan to film again Friday 20th November, which is a staff training day. In the evening an event I am collaboratively organizing is taking place, Battle of the bands. The bands will be coming into school for rehearsals from the afternoon onwards so I will have to come in early.

Creating the mise-en-scene will be the only element that will take up most of our time. We have had a practice run and now know where everything is, so it should not take as long.

Plans for re-shooting
- Have my subjects perhaps wearing a colour not so different from black, such as: grey or white.
- Have a television out of the shot, but close to Hannah so she is visible.
- Use external lighting, such as a lamp from the art department (which I used when photographing). Need to move the lighting closer.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Band Name

Now that I have filmed some footage, I want to change my act's name to something relevant to televisions as this is going to be a strong theme throughout the album. I liked the idea of including the word Scart. I really had no ideas, so I decided to resort to a name generator.

The first name I was drawn to was: Scart Twelve and The Blur, I feel it works better than Bad Weeds Grow Tall.


Although, I still have a while til the editing process I have started to think of different techniques I would like to use. One I quite like is sublimical, it has always interested me.

Sublimical is when a message is buried in another medium. Initially the technique is used to trick the audience to some extent, the idea is that the audience subconsiously take in the message. This technique is banned in advertising.

When applying this technique to a film advertisement you will often see flashes.

I like the way this is done, in a sublimical fashion. I wish to do this with my cut-aways.

The first time I ever saw it done was in Fight Club.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Rough Cuts

Yesterday I began my music video shoot. This was the only day I could get the broadcast camera and I wanted to get a head start as my setting is very experimental. I felt I would benefit from starting this early so I can decide exactly how I want my setting to be like. So really, the shoot was just to establish the mise-en-scene and to record a few establishing shots.

It took quite some time setting up the mise-en-scene as I used about six or seven televisions. The room I filmed in lacked plug sockets so about three extension cables were in use.

I tried my best to film all the footage I needed but I might have to shoot some more.
Next time round it will probably not take as long, as I will know exactly where to get the televisions from and the extention cables from.

I wanted to make the most out of having the broadcast camera so I filmed as much footage as I could. I want my music video to be dark, urban and gritty. It rained this morning so I got some footage of raindrops like I wanted to. This is quite a basic shot so I experimented with different focuses and angles.

I will probably include some of this footage in my pitch tomorrow.

Monday, 2 November 2009


I added another three pages of story boarding today and actually finished my animatic. :D

I really, really do not like the way animatics look in general. I cannot draw and I feel my animatic does not portray how I want my video to look. Having said that I do think animatics are vital when it comes to making a film. I like how they do so much more than storyboards. But with this one, I did it because I had to.

My animatic may come across as repetitive, but I can assure you, my video will NOT be at all repetitive.
I found that there was only so much I could draw, and the majority of the things I wish to do in my video I did not really know how to draw. When it comes to the pitch, I feel I was probably be able to explain my concept a bit better.

- At the beginning of the video, I would like to have some sort of establishing shot without any music. At the time, I wanted to start the video with a mid-shot of my act with her back to the camera, but now I want to start with an establishing shot of the room she is in with the televisions. I felt a fade transition would work best as the image fades out, the music will begin.

- Throughout the video, I had to repeat the same drawing of the piano. I did not think it mattered using the same drawing, but I guess it does look a little repetitive. I plan to use several cutaways of Hannah playing the piano. I want to use them in a subliminal fashion and have them appearing in between other clips. When it comes to post-production, I plan to edit them in a way which makes them appear and disappear quickly, I want them to look edgy and modern. When it comes to filming, I will shoot the same shot from different angles.
- I also decided to repeat the shot of polaroid a few times. Initially, I was only going to use an establishing shot (as I wish to surround Hannah with polaroids). When producing another three sheets of storyboards, I decided to include a sequence of Hannah throwing the polaroids in the air.

- I want my video to have a gritty feeling to it, and for some reason the rainy/windy weather sprang to mind. I wish to film the wet grass, leaves
blowing in the wind (haven't drawn), and raindrops falling down the window.

When creating this animatic, so many more ideas came to me.
I'm worried about presenting my animatic as I fear people will be critical when this does not really portray how it looks in my head.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


On the last day before half-term I had a media lesson. Most people were working on their album covers, but I'd prefer to do that last. As I plan to use a still from shooting on the back of my album cover.
I was planning to shoot on the first Monday back so I decided to start on my animatic. I had sheets and sheets of storyboarding that I scanned in, but I still didn't have enough for two minutes. I was really suprised to be honest and it was a little frustrating.

You can never rely on males.
Tomorrow I'm going to ask the music department if they have one. If not, I'll chase up the boy that has the metronome or I'll just have to buy one myself.

Over the halfterm I have been storyboarding, so I will continue with my animatic tomorrow.

After school I have the broadcast camera booked. As I am still metronome-less, I plan to film the projection footage and get it out of the way first.
I also hope to do a photoshoot with Hannah.