Thursday, 10 December 2009
Our target for this project was to create a promotional package which consisted of a magazine advert, a digipak (DVD Cover) and a song of our choice from a CD selection. We were given 12 tracks to listen to so we condensed our choices to 3 songs that would be of most interest to us. We unanimously decided on adapting Sweet Tangerines by The Hush Sound as it contained the perfect upbeat rhythm for our ideas. In addition, we were required to produce two ancillary products. The main priority for these products was to create a visual link in order for them to be appeal to viewers.
(1) We decided to a pick an animation for our song choice “Sweet Tangerine” because we believed it would avoid many general conventions a live action would require. We believed the song's playful tone and lyrics generated some thoughtful ideas for us to mould together a suitable animation as well as appealing ancillary products. The vital selling point was the appearance of the tangerine man. After browsing Google images we came across a tangerine peel that was shaped into a character. We took this concept into close consideration as we believed this would provide a strong link between our 3 products. After searching for the lyrics we decided to incorporate the desired props that would suit the animation which included the curtains, rain drops and the clouds floating the sky. By this factor, we managed to implement the visual/lyrical link as mentioned in Goodwin’s Law. Our ancillary products we created also make great use of the conventions of media products. For the digipak and magazine advert used the Photoshop where combining layers made it possible to create terrific mise-en-scene. We chose to implement the dark sky background as this would inform viewers what kind settings will be presented in the animation. The most important step was to include the marketing features such as the record label, bar code, audience rating and affiliated websites. These components will allow viewers to see with confidence that we’re considered a non-refutable company for its manufacturing. The record label and age rating in particular show that this product has been seriously examined to provide necessary details to show off its credibility.
• Shows the artist/band throughout the video
• Some special effects utilized
• Usually a calm setting, but gradually develops into something bigger when music's rhythm kicks in
• Black and white filter may be used
• Tends to have a narrative
• Close ups of the artists/band are often incorporated
• Live show performances
(2)The similarity between the two is the mere presence of the main characters. For the magazine advert, we spoke about how we intended to let the audience know that our MV is an animation. We explicitly chose the colour scheme to be black & white so we could allow the orange patches on the characters stand out. We believed this would show a good lyrical and visual relationship as the song is called "Sweet Tangerine". Our aim was to make the ancillary products appeal from teen to young adult viewers. This is why we decided to edit the couple together with the night sky background on the DVD cover. The combination of these mise-en-scene devices would allow the audience to think there's some narrative involved with integrated themes such as romance and fantasy. We decided to present our artists (i.e. the cut out characters) as the iconic cast for the animation’s narrative. To do this we decided to think of which suitable costumes that the characters would wear. The song’s lyrics refer to many dreamy romantic themes so we decided that both characters should wear stylistic formal costumes. This choice of mise-en-scene for the artists would prove to be accessible to an audience of a wider age range.
(3) In general received positive reception for our animation in particular for our rough cut. For our pitch we managed to express our points by displaying our blog as well showing our draft sketches. We had shown a strong visual relationship between the 3 products. The vital feedback was the fact we kept our blog up to date with any trivialities that we thought of during pre-production. Before we designed a lot of rough sketches with the variety of props/decor we'd require before filming. To aid our planning we were suggested to refer to more relevant images from the internet. This would help compliment for any current idea's that needed developing. During the rough cut feedback, we were aware that we had a large gap due us running out of scenes to shoot. We also mistimed our sequences length as we didn’t follow the storyboard time line carefully enough. However we were praised by our teacher for the effective use of the child-like aesthetic props. This is because of the variety we created in order to compose a dream world the main character is imagining. This was easily complimented by the suitable backdrops of the sugar paper acting as the environmental background. An improvement suggested by our teacher was to incorporate more close ups of the artist. This was so we could follow the general conventions of a music video despite the whole format being an animation. The conventions as aforementioned don’t appear to be prominent in our music video. However the one of the main strong points we received for our peer to peer feedback was combined use of the detailed décor as well as the interaction between the characters and props.
(4) In order to achieve these results, a lot of research and planning was executed to confirm our idea's for the pitch. Overall, we had envisioned some great concepts of how our products would turn out. For the bulk of our research we utilized the internet to search on Google images for brief images to develop our characters. We also took a few samples from Google to construct a mood board in order for us expand our ideas as we moved towards the filming stage. We had examined the lyrics carefully to plan our scenes that would have lyrical/visual correlation. However, we didn't take into account the type of shots we'd film to compliment the video's pace. One of the main feedback comments was to include more variety of shots and to fix the inconsistent lighting. We eventually managed to get round to curing the dull lighting via the Final Cut Pro filters with the guide of a technician. Despite being taught the right filters to help sort out the footage, we wasted valuable time attempting to figure out the correct effect around Final Cut. This was due to our novice experience. To prevent this from happening I think we should try to experiment with the options beforehand so we don't need to rely on extra support.
The major influences for our concepts were previous animation video's that inspired us. An example is the milkmaid done by previous A2 students. We took into close consideration how they edited the sequence while examining the lighting and choreography implemented in each scene. In the end we decided to take the real life props and analyze how the characters were designed to perform movements with their limbs. We also used Google images to find a range of pictures to construct our mood board. This montage of images facilitated the film production of our animation so we wouldn't go off track from our story boarded scenes. However, we didn't anticipate us running out scenes to fill up the songs gap. This was due to our inexperience with iStopmotion as we weren't adapted to determining how much action should be filmed within a second. We were very fatigued after attempting to perfect the choreography in each scene so we ended up dismissing the time frame required per sequence. An improvement to work on this error is to keep referring to our storyboard time line in order to prevent us from creating extra ideas. Refreshing our technical pre-production materials such as the shot list and time line would definitely stop us from suffering deficient footage with our animation.
Before the post-production stage, we decided to experiment with the available filters in Final Cut. We did this to ensure that we could fix the lighting in case we encountered any inconsistencies whilst animating. Overall I believe our project has turned out to be successful despite the slight bumps along the way.
For this project we were given the task of producing a promotional package (a music video, DVD case and poster) based on a song that we would pitch to the rest of the class and to our teacher for. Making a decision on what song to do was for my group a pretty easy task as we all have the same musical tastes. From the 12 original songs given to us to listen to we condensed this number in to the three we thought most appropriate (The Rifle by Alelea Diane, A Long Time Ago by David Ford and Sweet Tangerine by The Hush Sound).
We already had some ideas in mind for our music video and we had previously decided to do an animation. We came up with some ideas to pitch to the class with for each of the songs above and then selected what we felt was the strongest of the three pitches, this is how we ended up choosing to do the song Sweet Tangerine by The Hush Sound. We felt that this song with its strong links between lyrics and visuals and with a fast, catchy and interesting beat would be by far the best to do in animation when compared with our other options.
In What Ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop Or Challenge Forms And Conventions Of Real Media Products?
The band that we chose to do our promotional package for was The Hush Sound who are an indie quartet from Illinois. The conventions of indie music videos are that they are generally performance based with many shots of band members throughout; an example of this is the band Fall Out Boy whose members always make an appearance in their music videos. Other characteristics of this genre are:
· Some special effects utilized
· Usually a calm setting, but gradually develops in to something more extravagant when the music’s rhythm kicks in
· Black and white filters may be used, sepia is also a popular filter
· Tends to be a narrative throughout
· Close ups of the artist/band members
· Band members often incorporated
· Live show performances
For our music video however we chose to do an animation which is a form not often used by indie artists as the music does not generally lend itself to an animation and also due to the high failure rate of animation. We chose to do an animation because of this originality and also because we felt that it would be the best way of displaying all of our group talents. Our animation would be done in istop motion with all of the animation hand drawn on cardboard or paper. One of the inspirations for our music video was the video was a music video called The Milkmaid done by a previous group at Longroad. Their video was also done in istop motion, in cardboard and paper and it was also hand drawn. However we developed their product ideas and moulded them in to our own ideas which challenged more conventions of this music video style. For example the music we chose has a much faster tempo than that of the milkmaid and instead of following the lyrics very closely and basing the music video on those lyrics like the group who did the milkmaid did we chose to base our music video on a dream sequence idea which only in part drew its inspiration from the song lyrics. By doing a dream sequence we were able to make our video as random as we wanted incorporating clips that didn’t fit with the lyrics but still fit with the songs tempo and style. Also by doing a dream sequence we did not follow the usual styles for an animation music video due to its random nature.
For our DVD case we chose to follow conventions to aid us in producing a product that would be the most eye-catching and appropriate. We chose to incorporate our main character prop from our music video to create clear links between our music video and auxiliary products. We also chose to incorporate the members of our group (myself, Vincent, Beth and Nicola) as stand in band members in the main image. The links between our music video and DVD cover were strengthened further by the images of clouds and stars which were shown throughout our music video. Some of the conventions we used were track list, website, album title, visual link to our music video, production company logo, reviews, barcode, ratings e.g. PG, running times, band artwork, band members represented and star rating. All of these conventions can be seen represented on our DVD case.
Our magazine advert shows strong Intertextuality between not only our music video with the two main characters from the music video being a key part of the magazine advert but there is also a strong link between the DVD packaging and the magazine advert, this is through one of our group members (Vincent) masquerading as one of the band members in both of these ancillary products. Generally a magazine advert shows only the artist or an image from the music video however we chose to show both a band member and an image from our music video to create stronger links between our complete promotional package. The inspiration for our magazine advert came from a poster by the musician Mika, we chose this as our inspiration due to its Intertextual references between his music video and himself as an artist. The conventions that we chose to include on our magazine advert were song/band title, visual links to the music video (intertextuality), reviews, condensed information, release date, artist name and record label logo.
How Effective Is The Combination Of Your Main Products And Ancillary Tasks?
I chose this image as it is a still taken from our music video and I feel that it is one of the strongest images from our music video. The image depicts the two main characters from the music video and as they are used in the ancillary tasks as well this makes for a much stronger overall production package. Our main product (the music video) and the ancillary tasks (the DVD cover and the magazine advert) all have very strong Intertextual links with each other, for example in both of the ancillary tasks there are images of the main characters from our music video. In both there are also backgrounds from the music video in the form of the starlit background from the flying cloud random images scene in our music video. Each member of my group chose different images that we felt would be the best representational picture for either the DVD pack or the magazine advert; my choice is below.
What Have You Learned From Audience Feedback?
Throughout this project there were numerous opportunities to receive audience feedback. A part of this was during the period that we created our rough cut. During the rough cut stage in our music video project we received feedback from our teacher and the other groups in our class, we also commented on their rough cuts to give them feedback. The feedback we received told us that the clips we had currently in our music video were far too long and monotonous, they also pointed out that we had an issue with timings of clips, clip order and we also did not have enough ideas in order to progress and finish our product. However the feedback we received was not all negative, our teacher throughout the project had told us that our product was going well and gave us constant tips on how to improve not just in the build up to the rough cut but also through the editing stages.
The people in my class are the exact age of the target audience that music videos try to aim themselves at. As such any feedback from them is very valuable and any changes they recommend are from their own personal experiences of watching music videos. My group also used my class as a sample audience for each stage of our music video. As we were doing an animation as our music video attracting this sample audience wasn’t difficult as there were always new stages for people to see. Any feedback we received from them was essential as the fact that what we had shown them had only recently been filmed it was easy to rewind and change it to make it better.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
During the research phases of our project we used the internet in order to watch music videos created by other people for inspiration, gain information on our band and genre characteristics and to get ideas for props to use in our music video. An example of this is our main male character; the inspiration for his style was gained from an image search in Google. In the research for the ancillary products we used image searches in order to gain the logos necessary for those products; we also used internet searches to gain the information we needed on conventions for these products. (Right: group using istop motion software during animation stages)
Through the construction phase of the tasks we used Apple Macs and programs such as final cut, istop motion and Adobe Photoshop CS3. These technologies helped us in creating our finished production package by being the basis of all three components. During the construction of our music video we used a video camera to take still images that were instantly uploaded to the computer through a fire wire. This technology helped us to keep a track on all of the images we had taken, the number of images we had taken, where we had just move a prop, what prop we were moving, if anything had moved accidentally and what needed to be moved next. The program the camera was connected to is called istop motion; this is a program that is used during sequence animation. We have previously used this software last year however were not fully familiar with it at the start of our project as such we had a few trial runs in order to become more proficient.
While planning for our promotional package we constantly uploaded and noted our ideas down on a site called blogger.com. This site allowed us to blog all of the stages of our product; this blog is a part of the project initially set to us and is a priority if high marks want to be achieved. As such we blogged all of the planning stages even utilizing the school cameras in order to post images of various pictures and storyboards on to the blog.
(Above: my groups blogger home page)
We also used technologies such as internet searches during the planning stage, these internet searches provided the spark for some of the ideas we would later use in our promotional package.
During the evaluation stage we have used many different technologies for example I am currently using word to write up this evaluation. For the evaluation section we were required not only to do this but also provide an audio commentary either on our own or as a group piece on our music video, during this evaluation we would answer these question but through the medium of either film or audio, the audio would eventually be dubbed over the music video explaining the ideas that went in to it throughout and the film would either be used as a prequel to showing the music video or cut in at certain points and explain what was going on in that specific section.
We looked at examples of DVD director’s commentaries with Baz Luhrmann commentating on films such as Romeo & Juliette and Spike Jonze commenting on some of the music videos he has produced. With these as a guide we set about creating our filmed evaluation. We chose to do a group instead of an individual evaluation as the time we had to complete this task was too short to edit them if we had all done separate evaluations.
1)Our products such as the DVD cover & magazine follow then conventions of having the main character on the front of them, so if people see the music video, then the digipack in shops then can relate back to the video and know what they are buying. Our DVD cover has all the basic detailing on it that follows the conventions of DVD covers such as the DVD rating, the companies that created the DVD logo, barcodes and a track listing on the back. The magazine advert follows the conventions, of having a release date to let know people when they can buy the product, the band name and singers. The production company logo and information about what is available on the DVD. Even though the song style of ‘indie’ wouldn’t often be put with an animation, because often for this style most videos are live action, we thought we have done a good job of linking the lyrics to our video for example the songs talks about rain falling on the mans head, so at the beginning of our video we created these lyrics. We also linked the music to the video by in the middle of the song a piano is played, so we had our characters jump around on a piano in time with the music. We tried to incorporate intertextuality into our video by having the space invaders sequence.
2) I think the combination of all 3 of our products has been very effective. We used the main male & female from our music video on the magazine advert & also we used the main male on our DVD cover; we done this so if people saw the video they can see the ancillary tasks they know what they are buying. We also used the visual motif of the colour orange through out our products which relates to the title of our song. During our music video, we have a starry sky which is something we brought through to our DVD cover & used it as our background. Originally we had created many idea’s for our DVD cover & magazine advert these included such as a guy standing having tangerines falling onto him; this was a good idea as it includes a reference to the song but compared to other idea’s it was not as strong. Another idea was having heads with speech bubbles coming out saying ‘The Hush Sounds’ but we felt this wasn’t a very exciting idea & does not have much reference to the video. As we didn’t have long to complete our ancillary tasks we spilt into 2 groups, one group doing the DVD cover & the other doing the magazine advert, we felt this would been an effective use of our time & skills.
3) We learnt a lot from our audience feedback; the first feedback we had was after we done our pitch. Our teacher told us we had an excellent pitch and we had clear ideas so this gave us the motivation to carry on with what we were doing. Once we completed our rough-cut we showed it to our fellow class mates & teacher, we thought showing it to our class mates was a good way of getting feedback from people that are the target audience our song has. Most of our peers said that, many of our shots were too long in time & we didn’t have many different shots, as we didn’t use many close ups. After receiving this feedback, we watched back our video and noticed what our peers said about the length of the shots, so at the beginning shot we decided to add close ups of his thought bubbles; we done this as it breaks up the length of the shot & gives us the opportunity to use close ups. Our teacher’s feedback was to include our tangerine character more, so we carried on using him as a main feature of the video such as he demolished the stack of furniture and knocked the heart over.
4) We used a lot of new media technologies in creating our music video & the ancillary tasks. To get some of the idea’s for our video we used YouTube to look up idea’s and found a previous group of long road student’s work, who created the ‘milkmaid’ video. There concept is very similar to how we wanted to create our video. When making our video we used Istop animation, a programme that as a group we were not very familiar with, so we were constantly learning through our project the difficulties that come with creating an animation using Istop such as lighting & just how long it takes to create an animation. We also had to use Photoshop to create our ancillary tasks, for our DVD cover, we had to take pictures of us against a plain background; upload it to Photoshop then use the magnetic lasso to draw around us, so we could then add it to the background. We also used our online blog to keep up to date with all the planning of our work and to get peer feedback about our work; using the blog was a great way for us to visually see our work, as sometimes we had so much going on we forgot we had to do, so referring back to our blog was useful. We used websites such as play.com & amazon.com to look up ideas for our DVD cover & magazine advert, as we were not sure of the conventions that were used. To find out about the band we used MySpace to find out about them & to contact them for permission and idea’s for their song.
Ollie – What was the brief? / What were the initial ideas? / Where did the ideas come from?
For this project we were told to make a promotional package, consisting of a digipak, magazine advert and a music video.
Our music video was based on a song we chose. We first had 12 songs for a CD. We then picked 3 songs in order to condense our choices so we could generate some brief ideas. We picked the song by The Hush Sound called “Sweet Tangerine”. We chose to do an animation for our project because it was the best way to represent our talents and the best way to show this music.
The research for our project was simple. We already had a rough idea of the storyline that was posted on the blog based on the first storyboard we had. We needed to see what we needed to include in those shots, what kind of props we would need and how long we’d need it to be filmed as a close up or long shot. The fact we did this an animation made this a lot harder. Because we needed to make so many props we ended up with 150 props.
Our time frame for this project was really large. So we needed to get all the animation as quickly as possible so we had time for editing. Our ideas for the props from Google and other places and the other idea for the tangerine man came from an image from Google of a small man made out of a tangerine peel within a tangerine in the centre and we decided to use this as the key roles in our project. The main male character was designed from an image found on Google of a man drawn in a suit and the female character was from our imagination. The props such as the stars, clouds, sun are miscellaneous props apart from the sun appear more than once.
Beth – Pitch
In our pitch we had to explain why we chose the song we did and say our initial idea’s for the video and the ancillary tasks. We decided the video should be a little random like a dream, because we had some ideas about flying objects such as clouds and floating characters. So we decided to pick “Sweet Tangerine” because it has a random tone. We felt that the pitch went well for the music video. But we didn’t feel that we didn’t have enough developed ideas for the ancillary products. The pitch was detailed for the music video but it was relatively vague for the ancillary products which we should have planned more.
Ollie – Idea for Video
The idea for our music video came from a selection of research we did. We found a music video called the milkmaid from a previous group of students. We based our ideas around that animation because it used istopmotion and it was done in cardboard like we wanted to do. It also had the effects we wanted to do. So we watched it, made notes and then brought these over to make our final music video.
Vincent – How did the filming go?
We it came to the film stages we encountered a few technical difficulties. One of them was that we weren’t familiar with istopmotion. We had a environmental disruptions such as the lighting which caused a few pauses to how we wanted our backgrounds to appear. In other words we had to communicate with our other colleagues just to confirm whether it was alright to turn off the classroom nights. When it came to the editing stage we also had trouble trying to tamper with the colour filters such as the trying to do the piano background keys to light up as the couple would dance around. This was part of our original idea which we attempted to try out. But most importantly when it came to the rough cut, we had tried to upload it onto any sort of websites that would distribute our product. But unfortunately, we were infringing on their copyrights.
Nicola – Rough cut
To begin with didn’t actually meet with our rougt cut deadline. Because it takes such a long time to shoot the animation because it was a week afterwards to feel the gaps. Once we had completed we received peer feedback from our colleagues and teacher saying that we should include close up shots to break up the sequence in order to improve the flow.
Vincent – How did you use the blog?
One of the important aspects of the task was that to frequently update our blog. We needed to this in order to keep referring to our progress in case we ran out of ideas or expand on it so we could keep the flow of our project going. We wanted to implement Goodwin’s Law by interpreting the lyrics with the visuals to create a narrative link. So we searched up the lyrics for our song and so we tried to make sure we found the suitable scenes in conjunction with the relevant lyrics. Other than that, we started to neglect our blog a bit when it came to the ancillary tasks because we were total novices with photoshop. So we didn’t really know how to perform the right functions to achieve the desired effect such as adjusting the layers, including the relevant visual conventions of an ancillary product. For the magazine advert we did some analysis just so we could tell what combination of info was required to be made appealing to the audience. This would eventually get the right package together.
Beth – Which conventions were followed?
We think that the typical conventions are included for our digipak and magazine advert. It contains pictures of the band and both of them have images of the main characters from our animation. So if someone see’s the video and wants to go out and buy then it’ll be easy for them to find because of the prominent appearance of the characters.
Nicola – New Media Technologies
We used a lot of media technology in creating our music video project. We used the internet by searching on Google images for examples of sketched characters that we could that would an inspiration for our character concept. We used istopmotion to film the animation, it was a software that none of us were really confident with. We were required to connect our camcorder to the Mac in order to make animation a lot convenient rather than using a normal camera to take stills one by one. It would grant us the ability to take stills from istopmotion to create a continuous flow.
We had to frequently use our blog to communicate with the teacher so we could receive feedback on our progress on a whole for the project. To contact the band we used utilized media technology by searching up their contact details on their myspace page. We did this to confirm from them that we had official rights to use their music to create our project. Unfortunately we didn’t get word back from them so we had to press on without formal approval.
Ollie – Feedback
Throughout this project we have received peer to peer feedback and from our teacher. The feedback we received has aided is in improving the downsides in our music video as well as our ancillary products. We were told our animation seemed repetitive during the rough cut stage. We resolved this b y having quicker and shorter cuts and including more shot types and different pieces of footage. Our teacher told us that our project was based overall on good ideas. However she believed we could’ve improved it further from the rough cut. So with her ideas on board we chose to create a variety of shots. For example we decided to create a sequence of close up’s near the initial dream thought bubble scene where the camera zooms onto the male characters face. This was somewhat better in helping us to break up the lengthy birds -eye view shot we had previously.
Beth – Links between products
Our brief was to make a promotional package which included the music video, digipak and the magazine advert. We were told to link the three together. We tried to link the music video and the ancillary tasks in various different ways. We carried the single orange colour throughout the whole project just to create the familiar tone with the song. Obviously there’s the tangerine man that plays a major whole in serving as the song’s mascot. As for the ancillary products, the text was also coloured in orange. We’ve got the characters included in the digipak from music video as well as the sparkly night sky in both ancillary products. We did suffer some difficulties with the ancillary task since we didn’t have enough time to finish putting on the appropriate filters to achieve the desired effect.
One of the first things we did was to choose a song out of 12 choices. We decided to do an animation because we felt that it suited our group better and we could create a stronger video. Although animation goes against the typical conventions of the indie rock genre, I feel that we managed to create good links between the song (music/lyrics) and the visuals. We chose to challenge the conventions of the indie rock genre by doing an animation because we felt that it would shock our audience and would attract them to watch the video.
We chose to have a narrative based video but with an abstract concept included. Some of the feedback after the rough-cut said that we challenged the conventions of a typical music video by having slightly longer shots and that the narrative wasn’t very clear.
For the research and planning for the ancillary tasks, we looked at previous digipacks and magazine adverts, and noted down the conventions. We followed a lot of the conventions for a magazine advert such as having the song title and artists name clearly written, visual links to the video by displaying the characters from the video, reviews, the details of when and where it would be released and the record company logo. The digipack also conformed to the conventions by consisting of a track list, the album title, visual links to the video in the same way as the magazine advert, the production company logo, reviews and star ratings.
I think that although we conformed to the typical conventions, we could have spent more time completing both tasks. Due to time constraints, we divided our group into two groups of two and each group was assigned to on task. As we had already discussed ideas and how we wanted the products to look, this meant that the products were completed faster and more efficiently.
As well as following the conventions of a typical magazine advert and digipack, we have followed the conventions set out by Andrew Goodwin. We feel that the relationship between the music and visuals can be strong at times, for example when you can hear a piano playing, our characters are dancing on a piano. The video also cuts to the beat of the music at times. The relationship between lyrics and visuals is also strong. When the song says there are rain drops falling on his head the video shows this, when it says that ‘she’ is all his, the female character is standing with another man. The song also says about feelings leaving and there is a visual of a heart breaking. The most obvious relationship is with the song title and the tangerine msn in the video. We have also included intertextuality with the milkmaid video and the classic space invaders game.
I think that there are some very strong links between all three products. For example, the characters are the prominent feature in all three products. Another link would be the visual motif of colour, and this links strongly with the song title as tangerines are orange. This appears on many of the props throughout the music video and is used as one of the main colours in both the digipack and magazine advert. The last link between the three products is the starry background. This background can be found in both ancillary tasks and is a frequently used background in the video.
I feel that the magazine works well at attracting audience because it is unusual in the sense that it had both real people and drawn characters in it. I think that the digipack is effective and useful because the main object on the front is the main character in the music video. This is useful for people looking for the digipack and now knowing the name.
The whole class had to pitch for their chosen song and this was done using our blog and mood board to help us illustrate our ideas. The feedback from our teacher and audience was good and they told us that our ideas were very good and detailed. However, I feel that we should have planned the digipack and magazine advert in more detail at that stage.
We noticed that our original storyboard is very similar to our final product so I am pleased with our planning for our music video. When planning our timings, we underestimated how long it would take to film the whole video.
By the time the rough-cut deadline was upon us we had put all the footage we had in the correct order and had started to edit some shots. However, we didn’t have enough footage to fit the whole length of the song.
In response to the rough-cut feedback and because we had completed all our ideas on the storyboard we decided to add some more short scenes to keep it interesting and to have a variety of shots.
The initial ideas for our music video came from a video called ‘The milkmaid’, made by previous students. This video was found using the internet during our research and planning stage. The milkmaid made us choose to draw our props rather than use toys or plasticine. This resulted in us having a total of 153 individual drawings but we were pleased with the results. Drawing the props gave us the freedom of choosing whatever we wanted in our video. Some of the original ideas for props included the two characters, the stars, the clouds and the cow.
Some of the difficulties with the timing of filming was due to us using Istop motion, which was a program which was completely new to us all. Throughout the project we got more confident in using this new technology.
We used final cut to edit our footage and this process went reasonably well with only a few problems. One of these problems was lighting, where we had filmed the same scene on two different days. To fix this problem we used some of the filters on final cut to change the saturation and brightness.
Throughout the project we have been regularly updating our blog, showing our progress. This blog includes any ideas we have had, evaluations of our work so far, planning for work that needs to be done, feedback from peers and our teacher and evidence of the work we have done. We have found this a useful way of documenting our work as it is easy to access and edit.
We used emails and MySpace to contact the band in our research stage to make sure they knew we were using their song, and to see if they had any thoughts on ideas. For the ancillary tasks we also used the internet with sites such as play.com to check the top 25 DVDs out at the moment.
I feel that overall we had a very successful project.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
We have found that during this commentary we have had some issues. We have found that although we have enough footage and have enough material on the topic questions provided. We found that cutting and ordering theses clips was difficult as all the clips blend together and we did not shoot them in a specific order. Whilst uploading the footage from the camera a part of our footage had become out of sync with the audio; as such we had to trim and rematch both the audio and video strands. This took valuable time and has set us back in our second day of editing.
We were recommended by our teacher to include texts and photos to our commentary in order to convey a clear message to the examiners. We were also required to work on our transcript.
Friday, 4 December 2009
- Create a promotional package for music album.
- Present a pitch to receive feedback for our concept
- Character idea's i.e. the suit guy, female character and tangerine character
- Story boarding media technology, filming process, prop/decor design
- Contextual themes, intertextual references, Goodwin's law with visuals/lyrical relationships
- Rough cut feedback
- Referring and updating our blog
- Copyright issues and official permission for song rights
- Compare the three products, how effective they were
- Technical issues we encountered
- Improvised some additional scenes
- Talk about the peer feedback received overall
(Draft for final evaluation - Vincent)
For our commentary evaluation video, we decided to find a suitable location where we'd have no disruption. Beforehand, we planned what topics to talk about for each question. Our teacher had also given us a clear explanation what answers the questions were demanding. The 2nd question was on the subject on comparing our three media products which required us to think objectively. This question required us to talk about the textual relationship between the music video and our ancillary products. We spoke on how the mise-en-scene for each of the ancillary product has a close resemblance.
(2)The similarity between the two is the mere presence of the main characters. For the magazine advert, we spoke about how we intended to let the audience know that our MV is an animation. We explicitly chose the color scheme to be black & white so we could allow the orange patches on the characters stand out. We believed this would show a good lyrical and visual relationship as the song is called "Sweet Tangerine". Our aim was to make the ancillary products appeal from teen to young adult viewers. This is why we decided to edit the couple together with the night sky background on the DVD cover. The combination of these mise-en-scene devices would allow the audience to think there's some narrative involved with integrated themes such as romance and fantasy.
(3) In general received positive reception for our animation in particular for our rough cut. For our pitch we managed the assertively express our points by displaying our blog. We had shown a strong visual relationship between the 3 products. The vital feedback was the fact we kept our blog up to date with any trivialities. Before we designed a lot of rough sketches with the variety of props/decor we'd require. To aid our planning we were suggested to refer to more relevant images from the Internet. This would help compliment for any current idea's that need developing.
(4) In order the achieve these results, a lot of research and planning was executed to confirm our idea's for the pitch. Overall, we had envisioned great ideas foor how our products would turn out. We had examined the lyrics carefully to plan our scenes that would have lyrical/visual correlation. However, we didn't take into account the type of shots we'd film to compliment the video's pace. One of the main feedback comments was to include more variety of shots and to fix the inconsistent lighting. We eventually managed to get round to curing the dull lighting via the Final Cut Pro filters with the guide of a technician. Despite being taught the right filters to help sort out the footage, we wasted valuable time attempting to figure out the correct effect around Final Cut. This was due to our novice experience. To prevent this from happening I think we should try to experiment with the options beforehand so we don't need to rely on extra support.
The major influences for our concepts were previous animation video's that inspired us. An example is the milkmaid done by previous A2 students. We took into close consideration how they edited the sequence while examining the lighting and choreography implemented in each scene. In the end we decided to take the real life props and analyze how the characters were designed to perform movements with their limbs. We also used google images to found a range of pictures to construct our mood board. This montage of images facilitated the film production of our animation so we wouldn't go off track from our story boarded scenes. However, we didn't anticipate us running out scenes to fill up the songs gap. This was due to the our inexperience with istopmotion as we weren't adapted to determining how much action should be filmed within a second. We were very fatigued after attempting to perfect the choreography in each scene so we ended up dismissing the time frame required per sequence. An improvement to work on this error is to keep referring to our storyboard time line in order to prevent us from creating extra ideas. Refreshing our technical pre-production materials such as the shot list and time line would definitely stop us from suffering deficient footage with our animation.
Before the post-production stage, we decided to experiment with the available filters in Final Cut. We did this to ensure that we could fix the lighting in case we encountered any inconsistencies.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Outline of brief
Pitch and feedback
Research and planning- new media technologies and conventions
Challenges of shoot
Rough cut and feedback
Final cut- conventions, Goodwin theory
Research and planning ancillary tasks - conventions and new media technologies
Feedback from peer and teacher
Final ancillary tasks- effectiveness of combination
Finally how successful you were at meeting brief
Formal- Structures and scripted
Informal setting- Spontaneous
Multiple points of view
Screen Grabs- Blog, Products
Clips from film- No particular order
Voice over while video runs
Monday, 30 November 2009
- Shows the artist/band through out the video
- Some special effects utilized
- Usually a calm setting, but gradually develops into something bigger when music's rhythm kicks in
- Black and white filter may be used
- Tends to have a narrative
- Close ups of the artists/band are often incorporated.
- Live show performances.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
For the digipak we collected a few images from google so we could include the visual conventions of a DVD cover (as mentioned below).
Monday, 23 November 2009
The decision was to have the cover of an imaginary person holding the cut out characters from the music video as it presents the most innovative dreamy content that represents our product.
Associate Website - www.myspace.com/thehushsounds
Example Bar Code
As the deadline is this coming friday. We've decided to devote our time to finishing the magazine advert first as this requires little effort then our plan to mold a 3-fold CD cover.
Because of the short time before the final deadline. We've decided to the design a standard DVD cover as attempting a gatefold would be time consuming despite the fact we've been provided a template. It's also because our group memebers are amateurs with photoshop so we didn't want to waste too much time learning to use the software.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
For example, the cloud scene where the characters are jumping down the cloud reminds us a scene in Mary Poppins where the characters walk up the cloud stairway and float back down the smoke to the floor. We also put in space invaders from the space invaders game and the idea for the piano scene came from a toy/gadget shown in the picture below:
I think this picture is a good idea for the digipack because it has both main characters and the tangerine man. I think having the tangerine man on the digipack is important because he represents the lyrics well and is iconic to our music video. If we were to use this image I think we should edit the background so it stands out a little bit and so it relates to the video but isn't cut directly from it. I also think we should edit both the dress and the tangerine man so that they don't have reflective spots in the colour. This will make them stand out more also.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
How is the artist represented?
The artist is represented with a primary colour scheme. The layout of the digipack is primarily in one colour which is a plain plum colour. Once the digipack is open this colour contrasts with a pea green colour which makes it more visually exciting. This makes the artist appear abstract through the bold use of colour. The images for example, the paper cut out of a person on white paper, in reference to the artist could make him appear as plain or even slightly dull.
Is there a visual relationship between the digipack and any other product?
There is a analogy that can be associated with the Mary Poppins movie. One of the scenes that contain a similar visual style is where the men are dancing on the chimney tops. Despite the grainy colors, the whole concept of having a choreographed regime matches our dreamy sequence of Sweet Tangerine.
Does it follow the conventions?
The digipack we are analysing follows many of the typical conventions found on a digipack. for example, it has a clear track list displayed on the back cover, it has the album title and the name of the artist written on the front cover. Also on the back cover is a barcode and a production company logo. It also has a link to the bands website and other sites related to the production of the digipack. However, there isn't any obvious bonus tracks or additional features.
What is the special content?
The 3-cover digipak contains a bonus soundtrack disc containing the behind the scene production videos and extended interviews of the band. There was also a small manual book which contains the lyrics for a few of their favorite songs.
Does it have a strong mise on scene?
I believe that the mise-en-scene presented is genuinely strong and rich. Despite the monotone colour scheme utilized. A few abstract logos are incorporated with the trendy patterns used on the interior of the digipak. The urban patterns give a strong impression of the genre of the band's music. It indicates that this band is likely to have rough industrialized persona with the quality of their music.
How does it attract the audience?
The main attraction is the contrast use of colours between the interior and exterior design of the digipak. There is a limited amount of choices used for the exterior which makes the appeal seem simplistically bland but interesting to look at with the abstract artwork logos.
How can you tell who the audience is?
I think that a young audience ranged between 13-18 year old's would be attracted to this product.
The reason being is mainly due to the combined colours used to appeal to a accessible audience. You have the light shades of white surrounding the artwork on the exterior with a plain smooth purple background. The interior also serves an artistic pattern combining purple stripes and a diluted green cover. These visual contrasts also aid in making the band seem iconic to a general teen audience.
- Greatest hits
- Limited Edition
- Lyrics Manual
- Interviews and band footage
- Behind the scenes (Filming, Studio Production, Band Tours)
- Live performance
- Bonus tracks
- Higher RRP (Recommended Retail Price)
- Track list
- Album title
- Visual link to video
- Production company logo
- Bar code
- Ratings Information e.g. PG, Explicit Content/Lyrics
- Running time
- Band artwork
- Band members/links
- Customer/Newspaper Star Ratings & Testimonials
- Promote the artist
- Sell the song
- Eye-catching (visually striking)
- Song/Album title
- Visual links to the video (intertextuality)
- Reviews by newspapers, music magazines, celebs e.g DJs, Radio Hosts
- Condensed info/content
- Release date
- Artist name
- Where its available
- Record label logo
- Websites e.g. myspace
Monday, 16 November 2009
This suggests that the music video should appeal rather playful and childish due to the basic concept of the decor present. Furthermore, the composition of this shot has a variety of colours involved that will allow the audience be aware of the dark backdrop. The utilization of this background indicates that there's no obvious setting shown within the narrative of the music video. This helps enforce viewers to believe this is the ending sequence of the song. I find these visual features to be particularly engaging for buyers as it contains the tangerine man that boosts the intertextuality of the products.
The song also has the constant loop of repeating the words "Sweet Tangerine". So it was by our instinct that we continued the literal relationship between the song/visuals and grab peers attention with the actual object of the tangerine man explicitly shown.
I chose this image as i felt that it is the best representational image of our music video. The image is from one of the longest shots in our music video and is i feel the most highly technical sequence from our music video. This picture depicts our two main characters which is an essential component of any DVD case or magazine advert. This image if used on either the DVD case or magazine advert would be both eye catching and enticing to anyone who views it.
I chose this image for the digipack design and for the poster advertising because i felt that it represents in the most effective way the ideas behind our project, i also felt that this image would be the most enticing to the general public who would be the audience for our music video.
I felt that image would be the best representation for out advertisement because the images stand out well against the stark black background. The moon is colored in a silver gel pen; this is the reason why the moon appears to glint in this still, this effect catches the eye and invites a more in depth study of the image.
On the moon are the two main characters from our music video and the audience would guess this as they are the most central image in the still, some members of the public on viewing this image may feel a small connection with the main characters as they could either be married or in a relationship.
The moon is central to many peoples fantasy dream sequences and this is another way in which the audience could relate to this image and wish to find out more about our music video. This is an example of dream iconography.
To continue with our digipak, we started designing a new template design that is of DVD size.
Originally, we planned to do a 3 fold CD template as we agreed that this would be more appealing. We believed that the overall content and style of design for this template would require more effort to gain the attraction because of the extended artwork of the exterior and interior cover.
We took a few examples of a DVD cover, 3-fold CD cover and a magazine advert for us to analyse.
Front of 3-fold
Interior of first fold
Full interior of 3-fold
Full exterior of 3-fold
Magazine Advert Example
Thursday, 12 November 2009
These pictures show just how many props we used throughout the project! It consists of about 153 individual items. The heart that breaks, once cut up, ended up being 33 little pieces. The space invaders scene included 18 ammo & shots, also there was 29 stars. Although there are not all of the images we drew for our project here this helps to demonstrate the amount of work we had to undertake.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
At the moment we're fixing the lighting of a few scenes. Due to the numerous days we filmed, the color correction isn't consistent through out. So we've decided to fiddle around with the "saturation" and "color corrector" filters to adjust the brightness and color quality.
One of the noticeable scenes was the where filmed the piano background on 2 different days. The white balance didn't appear to be even when the jump cut enters, so we needed to fix this so it wouldn't make our editing look sloppy.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
From the start we had known that an animation would be a challenge but it wasn't until we had started to film that we realized what we were undertaking. Our song of choice is Sweet Tangerine by a band called The Hush Sound and this song is roughly 3 minutes long, each picture taken for our animation in final cut is one tenth of a second or 0.1 of a second, this means that we would have to take around 1800 individual stills pictures in order to complete our finished product. The amount of stills we needed to take coupled with the fact that after each still we would need to make minute movements to the character involved built in to a huge workload. So far i feel that we have coped well with this workload and the time constraints put upon us however i feel that with better planning and more efficient camera and prop work that we would have been better organized and at a more complete stage than we are at now.
The filming i feel has gone well with the exception of a few minor problems such as hands being caught in the stills shots and the constant lighting changes. We have been working on a few pieces of discarded footage in final cut to see if we could rectify these problems and have found that the lighting can be adjusted easily and to a good standard using different filter and editing options.
We found the first lesson of filming difficult as even though we had a storyboard dictating where all the props should go we were unfamiliar with using i stop motion. We have used it previoulsy in our AS course at Long road but we had only be experimenting and had not yet fully utilized it to its full potential. However we found that after a short amount of playing around with i stop motion and the props we had made that we soon became better at using it. The first lessons filming went slowly however after this filming became faster and we started to make real headway in to our project.
One of the biggest problems we have faced through out the project is getting the continuity right with the footage matching the beat of the music and the song lyrics. We found that with only minor editing adjustments and constant referral to our timings sheet that the footage did in fact fit with the music in both beat and lyrics, an example of this is 'crept through the curtains' at which point the main male character flies though the curtains (this occurs during the main body of the filming in his dream sequence), another example is 'slowly explore the room where you sleep' at which point the female character enters and begins to explore the lead male characters room and kicks a pair of discarded shorts out of her way and out of shot.
We have only recently finished all of the filming necessary to complete our project and have begun to edit this film in to the correct order and match it with the appropriate timings, overall looking at what is very close to the finished piece and comparing this to other groups both past and present who have done animation i feel that we have achieved a very good piece of work.
The tasks for us still to do are editing the shades on final cut and trimming the shots not in length (time) but in the sizes of the shots in the frame as in some of the shots there have been incidents where the table had been showing around the edges of the paper we have been filming on.
Monday, 9 November 2009
For now we've decided to improvise another idea involving the black sky with scattered stars. This is because our scene before the gap starts from the sky. This will keep the continuity in flow while filling up the time line of the entire song. In any case of running out of lesson time. We've been given the opportunity to book an editing evening this week. We've chosen Thursday as the entire college have a day off so we'll keep this session booked in case we don't manage to finish by Wednesday.
We managed to fill the gap entirely with out including the close ups. Even though we neglected the feedback mentioned by our peers. We were able to get every scene to match with the song's lyrics. Our priority now is to fix the lighting by tampering with the available filters. Another advisable move would be to ask our teacher for some feedback before final submission as we still have the spare evening slot and Wednesdays lesson.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Our other small filling is around 9 seconds long. For this we decided to improvise a new idea to follow up the sequence where the couple fall from the sky. As a side interval, we thought of creating a 'Love Heart' character. This feature would suit the imaginative role as a dream object for our main protagonist. As such, even though the lyrics do not mention love specifically, the lyrics do suggest that the narrative should involve romance themes. An example includes "Sweet tangerine, will you please come back to me" implies that the tangerine man is like a love icon to the protagonist. The direction is to have the heart suddenly shatter into pieces while in addition to include the Tangerine man to participate as it would allow us to keep our animation within the lyrical flow of the song.
Monday, 2 November 2009
One of the main factors that our viewers enjoyed was the effective use of props and decor we used for our backgrounds. These helped in making our song's lyrics have literal adaptation to the visuals. Most of the decorative features we included were playful and child like objects such as clothes, clouds, curtains and the tangerine man.
A big improvement for us would be to include more different shots so we can smooth the flow of our editing. This would also keep the audiences attention by including different perspectives of the scene as well as elevate the lyrical relationship with the visuals. Another issue to fix is the missing gap we have between midway point and the climax scene. For this we'll need to make additional props and plan a new sequence as well as following the continuity to an accurate degree.
Moreover, we were suggested by our teacher to use some digital filters to fix the lighting as some of our scenes had inconsistent color quality. So in our spare time we'll need to experiment with Final Cut's effects to determine which filters should aid in fixing this issue.
It is difficult to comment on this as your artist is in theory a cartoon man. In which case there could be more close-ups on your drawn man.
Perhaps you could incorporate more of the 'sweet tangerine' man and those sequences.
I really like your video, I think the child-like aesthetic really works. The ending is great.
Obviously it isn't in the correct order and I'm sure once it is it will be even stronger.
you do need to add some filters to some sections where the lighting becomes inconsistent.
Also you may wish to explore the use of transitions between your scenes.
Excellent work so far - keep going!
-When we watched this video it reminded us of a video that we have seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWi7Vfc3Sxw
- We think this is excellent constructed and edited.
There was a good link between lyrics and visuals with the continued use of the colour orange throughout the music video. Other links were with the lyrics, 'clouds', 'curtains', 'sleep', 'dreams'. for example the clouds were mentioned a few times and the visuals showed clouds a few times as the characters in the animations hopped and flew through them.
Generally a well composed animatic although at times repetitive which can lose the attention of the viewer. To viewer would be more engaged to the animatic if there was a variety of shot types, angles and transitions.
The genre of the song does not compliment the animations because the tempo of the song is very fast and upbeat which contrasts the flow of the animations.
Music And Visuals:
Overall we feel the visuals linked well with the song itself and some of the individual lyrics. The song is quite random which is linked well with the video also being quite random with random objects used. It's obvious that the lyrics were thought about carefully which helped when it came to props such as the piano. The story could of been made a little more obvious, as it left us unaware of what the lyrics were trying to outline. We were impressed with the details of the animations used.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Other downsides to our project were the time consuming measures. Even though we had prepared enough props to animate. We were unaware of the tedious length it would take to film each shot as well setting up the equipment before filming takes place. To counter this we thought we'd try tell our teacher in advance to get all the equipment sorted so we could start filming straight away. Despite the delays being dealt with. We encountered some troubles with lighting and the automatic blur on the istopmotion software. These small hindrances unfortunately required us to be patient as there was another group that were also suffering the same difficulties.
The biggest challenge for us was planning how long each scene would take by judging the length of the song with our time line. Even though we had made a few annotations indicating when we would finish at a specific interval. We didn't manage follow the guide as exact to how we wanted which was mainly due to our inexperience knowledge with istopmotion. One of these facts was the fade tool "Onion Skinning" which allowed us to see further back where our previous frames images were taken. It would've been better had we knew about this function earlier so that we could easily anticipate how much time we needed to spend on each scene.
When it came down to the editing, we wasted no time re-arranging the scenes. The important aspect was to match the following sequences in conjunction with the song's lyrics. We wanted to achieve a literal link between visuals and lyrics to show that there's a narrative involved. At the moment we're left with a 20 second gap due us running out of storyboard sequences. However we also realized we filmed each scene too short in contrast to our shot list plan. Our main priority will be to film the complimentary close up shots to help improve the flow of our animation.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
The filming went well with the exception of a couple of lighting problems, such as shadows and background lighting when we shot on different days. For example, at 1.10 in the rough cut. After the first lesson filming, we got the hang of the actual method of animating pretty quickly and were able to set up the camera and props in a shorter amount of time. This also meant that we were able to work at a quicker pace and get more work done.
On the rough cut deadline we discovered that we still didnt have enough footage which is why the rough cut has a 30 second gap. We decided that the music and lyrics of the song ended 5 seconds before the timings say it does so the footage will end with the music and the remaining 5 seconds will be black.
The footage still needs to be re-ordered to fit with the music but it is mostly already in the correct order,. The editing should be fairly quick as we only need to put the new shots that we will film in with the current shots and fix some lighting issues.
We still need to film some new ideas and some close up's so that we have a variety of shots.
After receiving feedback from various people on our rough cut I am feeling confident that our final product will be a success.
With the filming we acquired a few problems in that as it took such a long time to complete some scenes we had to finish them off in other lessons, which meant when it came to start shooting again the lighting had changed, giving a noticeable change to the shots. We decided that we would just have to change this in final cut, in the editing stages. Another problem we had during filming was in shots such as, when the two main characters fly back through the window they have to fly over other props in the room, so the props kept moving. To overcome this problem we decided that we could use blue tack to keep the props down.
I think our group, underestimated just how long animation takes to film, in the fact you have to make such small movements to the prob, so a piece of footage that appears for about 5 seconds in the music video, would of taken about 10 minutes to film. Because of these timing problems, we had to shot some footage in any free time we had.
Editing- So far we haven't had much editing as this will be completed when we finish filming a few more shots, to fill a blank space we have. But when we do start editing, we need to sort out the lighting problems we acquired during some scenes.
In the music video task, I think we have worked well as a group, and found out early on what each person in our groups strengths were & how to use these to our advantage.
Our first alternative was to include a dream sequence of the women. However this would make our animation seem awkward when we combine the mans dream that is considerably longer in duration.
Monday, 19 October 2009
So far, our penultimate scene is the bedroom interior where both characters fly in through the window and slot into the bed. For preparation, we decided to utilize blue tack to keep the bedroom decor stationary. This would make things convenient while moving the characters across due to their comparative size. The final scene consists of the cut out letters spelling out the title song "Sweet Tangerine".The plan for this part is to have the letters flying in and positioning themselves on the page. Along the bottom of the shot the tangerine man will be walking on top of the tangerine which relates back to previous shots. We thought that this idea would help fill up the time gap we had left due to the fact we ran out of ideas. But as well as that we still need to focus on capturing close ups of certain scenes to improve and give a more diverse flow.
However, we did face some lighting difficulties. Our props appeared extremely white which was possibly due to the classroom lights blooming from above. We managed to fix this issue by turning a portion of the lights without disrupting the work of our colleagues.