Friday, 13 May 2011

Commentary - Pop Promo Evaluation

Here is a Commentary that I have created to back up my points made in my written evaluation. I wrote the questions myself which are basically a simplified version of the questions asked in the evaluation. The person reading the questions is my brother Charlie. I also added final edited clips of the pop promo to run with my commentary so the audience will understand exactly what I am evaluating. There are two parts below:

Monday, 9 May 2011

A2 Coursework Breif "What I Will Be Doing This Year" 2010/2011

Music Video Album Promotions Coursework Project
Using a range of technical skills within media I will produce a promotional package e.g. Music Video, CD Digipack and Small Advertisement to promote the ban Distraction that are featured in the Music Video. I have been teamed up with two other people; Charlotte Clarke and Josh Harvey. Together we will each take responsibility for each element of the production i.e. Cinematography, Editing, Art Design, Paperwork etc.
The progress of the promotional package can be recognised through this blog in which I will post updates weekly soon after every practical media lesson. After the completion of the promotional package I will then complete an interactive evaluation of the project in which I will focus particularly on the areas that I was responsible for.

(detailed reference of project aim)
What I will be doing this year is creating a music video, adding some of my own genre characteristics and narrative/concept basing it while working with a band that are on a music course at Suffolk New College. The band are called Distraction and their main genre focus in music is the rock genre, having already chosen a song all that is left to do is create the music video. (Song Choice: "Let The Sun Shine" by Labrinth. The project will involve team effort so I am not in this alone. I also have to discuss with the band how they should dress and what image they should present on the day of shooting the music video.
Theory work will also be involved with my other media teacher where i will be learning about how media is Globalised and how it will affect us, using Disney and Studio Ghibli (Anime) BBC News will be involved as I will be studying everything the network has to offer and just how much it can extend its reach throughout the world while changing to suit those of different regional backgrounds

Friday, 6 May 2011

Evaluation: Promotional Package, A2 Media

Before creating my own Promotional Package I researched one because I had to and it was also ideal for me as I was quite unfamiliar about them. I've always said that Distraction remind me of a UK version of the US band Nickelback. Their mixture of Hardcore Rock with Soft Rock, the cover songs that they choose involve fast-paced, sensitive, loud rock music which more or less matched Nickelbacks style of performance and lyric creation. The way which Distraction wanted to be presented was similar to Nickelbacks established look. I wanted our narrative to have a cross-over with the performance making it more close to home for the band which would have symbolically drawn them into the narrative; this would have been similar to Nickelbacks "Remind Me" or Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" however the band had to keep to a recording schedule as part of their course and unfortunatly had no other free time after the filming of the music video.

I may have also wanted more romantic encounters in the narrative to really emphasise love as well as sexual tension between the two which is common in most music video that have a romantic narrative however my co-workers deemed this idea embarassing, I would have made it so its done in an artful way but everyone was against it. It was hard to establish more of an interesting character in the male and female because it would risk taking more attention away from the band and promoting them less but I did make good use of Camera Shots to possible establish some type of iconic shot throughout of the whole music video; my personal favourite would be the Spotlight beaming down on the lead singer which I thought emphasised the title "Let the Sun Shine" One of the Camera Shots we used was the "Meet Cue" that was most recently used in the Romantic/Action film "The Adjustment Bureau" a shot which instantly establishes romantic interest between a couple on-screen (fancy CU) this was a classic move and just had to be used for our narrative. The setting of the music video was in a basic place where band would just practise in the college, it was not quite what I had in mind but over time I got used to the idea of keeping it simple and authentic; it reminded me of Rick Springfields "Jessie's Girl" as during the chorus Rick would sing in an unattractive yet a potential setting for great music to be made.

For my CD cover and Print Ad it was hard to think of a picture for the front cover that would really catch people attention but rather than just using up more time thinking of a band logo I decided to use a picture of Clouds, Sun Rays that would help emphasise the albums title alot more. It was a very decent idea because it was not a one-off completely because most famous bands have used it on their album covers like ACDCs "Blow Up Your Video" and U2s "The Joshua Tree" the pictures on these album covers took the song titles quite literally like I did in the end. The simple picture on the CD Cover has the possibility of becoming iconic which happened to Pink Floyd with their "Dark Side of the Moon" logo. An original idea of mine was to use the Fight Club font for Distractions logo because I admire director David Fincher for his work on Madonna's "Vogue"

and films that involved the dark effect like our music video did however it did not really work with the Sunshine background which worked more with the title yet the Fight Club font worked more in creating the bands image but in the end I chose the Sunshine picture. The pace of the music was just beautiful because Distraction had really evolved it from its original RnB counterpart; the keyboard playing and slow bass strumming put me in mind of the works of soundtrack composer Harry Gregson-Williams with his most recent work in Ben Afflecks "The Town" this section from the soundtrack helped emphasise the romance and innocense in the film so I wanted to take a leaf out of his book in terms of pace, only at the most calm stages did we introduce our narrative in the music video.

I think that all three elements of my promotional package constructs Distractions star appeal to appear light-hearted and sensitive yet dark and moody, this is noticeable on the CD cover how everything is just Sunny on the cover but as you venture inside and see the B&W effect it contrasts greatly to what you just saw and keeps Distraction a mystery to the audience that may be dying to know more about them, possibly gives the impression the less you know the better. Also with the introduction of the Pleasantville effect to the B&W music video boosts the romantic side to the song and gives the band an image of fiery passion judging by colour codes and representation. It also pays tribute to the 1993 iconic film "Schindlers List" (the girl with the red coat during nazi invasion) I put together the effects in the music video to help it appeal to our target audience. The Print Ad was the same with the contrasted colours but with the mention of a concert coming up at several O2 arenas would be sure to have a bigger impact on our target audience. It was hard to construst the CD Cover and Print Advert to promote the rock genre but I think with the use of the dark filmstrip style it could pay tribute and promote how the rock genre has evolved this decade and how Distraction altered RnB to their rock style. The excessive use of instruments in the Cinematography in the music video keep it in the rock genre despite the romantic side of it. As a result of all these ideas put into the Music Video, CD Cover and Print Ad I think it was pretty successful, the B&W effect thrown in with the Pleasantville made the video beautiful to watch on the screen and judging by audience and band feedback the music video had a pretty good response. For the CD cover it was the filmstrip idea that most people found interesting which I thought really gave the promo pack a big boost, positioning the font as a crossword really helped the background picture to emphasise the Sunshine and the same goes for the Print Ad as it included all the pros from the CD Cover and was kept simple for audiences.

Response to our Pop Promo was generally positive from the rest of my media class however they hinted that they wanted some more in depth treatment with the development of the narrative; in other words they wanted the romance to have more of an impact in the music video. The audience also wanted more various camera shots to be used during the bands performance which focused on more than just the lead singer; particularly on the Bass players and Keyboard guy. Other than this constructive critisism the Pop Promo was quite successful in entertainment mostly due to the bands mind-blowing performance. When I screened the Pop Promo (music video) to the band; Distraction they were pleasantly surprised with the narrative and how it emphasised their music through the romance while they were also amazed at how the editing had made their performance look very professional because a few members were beginning to become unsure to whether they had made the right song choice, the band really enjoyed the music video so it was a big success in this area of the audience category. I have learned that my 'acting skills' are a big hit in the music video, my facial expressions for the love at first sight scenes are incredibly over-the-top yet my media class insisted that they worked well in order to establish the romantic narrative quicker. I didnt just depend on possible entertainment for positive feedback, I had to research certain target audiences and their other interests in order to determine whether they would find Distraction and the Pop Promo to their liking. Males and Females seem to contrast to one another in music tastes when rock music has been turned into a hybrid for example: Females tend to prefer Rock/Pop like Miley Cyrus and how she has adopted classic 80s rock music and evolved it to suit her female target audience.

Males prefer their rock music to either be hyped up into Gothic music like Marilyn Manson or to have it clash with Indie; taking us back to Nickelback once again.

It was hard to get solid feedback from the audience and the band for the CD Cover and Print Advert as they were both finally completed on the day before all the coursework had to be handed in so unfortunatly I do not have any solid feedback only some opinions from the media class who said that they were attractive products for advertisement and the CD Cover was a good stab at emphasising the emotions and style in the music video. My mood at the time of creating the Print Ad was just to get it done and dusted but I suppose if I had more time I would probably beef it up more to give it that strong persuasive language and attractive in-your-face design; this would require a weeks planning before hand though in order to get it just perfect. it was hard to embrace new technology because I think that music videos used considerably less technology during the filming stage than the film noirs did for the AS year. The type of camera I used was a Canon HDV 1080i (handheld) with all the essentials such as Tapes, Tripods etc. As you know I have used this Blog to record all stages of the project and keep all my work organized, sharing the CD Cover, Pop Promo and Print Ad online to the public. A Compressor was used to upload the Pop Promo to the blog. I felt that Animatics were slightly unecessary as I had already made a Storyboard for part of the planning and development stage plus we were slightly behind scheduale with the filming stage. In order to apply the Pleasantville effect to my Pop Promo I had to learn how to do it so I used Youtube for my source as my teacher was unfamiliar with this particular effect, the video on Youtube walked me through the process of creating the Pleasantville effect.

Print Advert for Album Release (Final)

Here is the final design for the Print Advert that will advertise the Album "Let the Sun Shine" release and be part of Distractions promotional package. The Print Ad contains some of the designs and styles from the CD cover in order to avoid confusion and to keep it simpler.

"Let the Sun Shine" Album CD Cover (Final)

The Front cover (right square) and the Back cover (left square) of Distractions Album "Let the Sun Shine"

The Inside cover of Distractions Album "Let the Sun Shine" where the disc will go and where I added my Filmstrip effect to serve as a frame for the screencaps from the music video.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Distraction's Feedback (Music Video)

Tuesday 3rd May 2011 - During my theoretical Media Lesson I was given the surprising news that I had to show my final edit to the band: Distraction in order to get their view on the whole thing and to post the feedback on the blog. Due to the surprise I had to quickly gather some questions together that will be the most relevant and easy to understand, these questions is what I asked Distraction after the showing of my
Music Video. The only members of the band to review my Music Video were the Bass Players: Jake & Nathan (left) as the other members were in recording sessions.

  1. Is this how you would like to be portrayed? (Jake) "Well kind of.... but I did think that our ideas for a performance were pretty dumb and needed more effort put into it" (Nathan) "....but the music video is cool its hard to notice our banal performance concept"

  2. Is the Black & White a good idea? (Jake) "I liked it...I thought it was very beautiful to watch on the screen" (Nathan) "I don't know....I would have liked to have seen more colour especially in the final scene"

  3. Do you think the pace of the music video runs smooth enough with the rhythm of the song"Let the Sun Shine"? (Jake) "Yeah I think it runs perfectly, slow and romantic sort of thing going on there" (Nathan) "Yeah its fine"

  4. What about The Pleasantville effect? (Jake) "I love the red! it looks cool" (Nathan) "Yeah its awesome! has a nice symbolic effect on the narrative"

  5. Do you like the Romantic Narrative? (Jake) "The narrative was a nice surprise, I didnt expect it" (Nathan) "Its good to have a merge of ideas, a good representation of our song"

  6. Anything need correcting? (Jake) "The Synchronisation, it should run with the guitarists during the solo chorus instead of the Drummer" (Nathan) "I want to see a clip of me and Jake when we stood up to perform the final solo along with the lead guitarist"

  7. Was the Setting a good location or was it too cramped for a performance? (Jake) "Slightly, we wanted to stand up alot more during filming but we couldn't"

  8. Finally was the 'Larkin Around' scenes a good addition as well as the narrative? (Nathan) "that was hilarious mate" loads of laughing during the showing of the Music Video.

Distraction showed signs of dislike towards their final song choice of "Let the Sun Shine" when they were talking about the lack of effort in their own ideas. Jake also added that it was weird to see Ollie performing in Jakes voice but it still works. After the interview I told Jake and Nathan to give the rest of the band my best and that it was a pleasure to work with talented musicians like them. I apologised for the absentiesm of the other members of my group.