I put all my digipak covers into Indesign where I used a didpak template to see if my covers were the right size for a standard album.
4) How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages.
In the early stages of my research, I used google and youtube to find music videos, websites and digipaks. When researching these three elements, I either screen recorded or screen grabbed the key information I needed to create my own media texts. After I gathered all this information, put it onto a Pages document or uploaded to Vimeo, I analysed it and posted it on my wordpress blog. From this, I had an ides of what genre I was going to use, so I used my Spotify to listen to current and old Pop songs and listened to the lyrics to see if there was any potential narrative I could make. Then I used iTunes to buy my song, Faded, so I could use to Adobe Premiere Pro when making my music video.
I chose my actors based on my target interview questions and auditions which I filmed on my Nikon D5300, edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, uploaded to vimeo and posted it on my blog. My actors are teenagers so, to organise film days, I created a Facebook Group Chat where I posted where, when and what time we were going to film and what costumes they should bring. When deciding on locations, I went to various places and filmed them with my GoPro Hero 5. This allowed to see if the location had any potential and I was able to practice my new camera and try out techniques. For props and costumes, I went on Youtube and watched many Pop music videos to find common themes with what they usually wear and if they use an specific props. Once I had gathered all the right information, I used pages to put all the images together, compare my outfit/location/actor/prop choices to real life examples and posted it on my blog. After this, I created a simple shot list where I copied the lyrics of the song off Google and pasted it into a table in Pages and wrote what scene and with who at which point in the song. I also added pictures to the table which gave a rough guideline of what I should film, I used my Nikon D5300 for this and posted this on my wordpress blog.
I used a Nikon D5300 with a Nikkor 18-140mm DX VR lens and a Sigma 105mm lens. My aperture, shutter speed and ISO varied for different locations, however, when I was filming in a low light, e.g. the bedroom scene, I used a low ISO with a greater aperture and slower shutter speed. When filming on a bright day, I tended to use a faster shutter speed, medium aperture and a higher ISO. However, I was constantly changing the figures when shooting. I also used a GoPro Hero 5 and 6 and a GoPro Karma Gimbal for filming any tracking shots or shots which needed stability when I would move the camera. To stabilise the DLSR I used a Hamma tripod. When getting all my footage I downloaded it to a hard drive which I would plug into my MacBook Pro when I was editing. I did all my editing in Adobe Premiere Pro where I used a range of tools such as colourisation, warp stabiliser, gaussian blur and decreasing the speed of some clips. I watched many tutorials to achieve my last scene where my actress fades away into the sea, I found these tutorials on Youtube. Also when I was out filming, I would use my Spotify to play the song so my actress could lip sync in time with words. Also I used After Effects if some clips had noise or grain to them. I used grain removal and tried to get rid go most of it to make the video look better.
For my digipak, I went on a photoshoot with my actress. I used soft lighting, a white background, a flash on top of my camera which synchronised with the main umbrella light I was using. For this I used myCanon EOS 5D Mark IV camera with a EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens. I put the raw photos into lightroom and edited them. I edited their colour, got rid go any blemishes and for the front cover of the digipak. As I wanted to achieve a authentic polaroid look to my image, I used the Point Curve to alter the reds, greens, blues and blacks in the image. I didn’t want my cover to look like a washout, faded polaroid where all the colour is stripped out, so altered the colours to give it blue/purple tint to it. Also, to make the image look slightly dated I added a vignette effect around the image to darken the edges, this also made my actress look brighter so the audience’s focus goes straight to her.
After this, I put it in to adobe photoshop where I used the clone tool to get rid of anything. Also I got rid of the white background an replaced with images from google to create a gradient background. I used a polaroid template from a tutorial I watched on YouTube which allowed me to use a Wacom pad to physical write something to go on the digpak. Then I went to Blending Options for each letter and selected ‘Blend if Gray’ and then on ‘This Layer’ changed the numbers on the white section from 255 to 218 and was able to get a faded effect.
For the back cover, I went to Halsey’s digipak and got ides as to where I should put all th legal information and where to put the producers logo. I obtained all the logos from Google Images and used Astralwerks legal information for my digipak. Also I put the name of Lucy’s website on the back.
After Photoshop I then put the digipak and the template which my teacher provided me into Indesign. in Indesign, I was able to measure each cover of the digipak so the back, front, inside, the CD and spine to if they fit the right digipak size.
For the website, I used Wix to create it. I uploaded the promo video from vimeo to use as the home page background. All the images used for the website have been taken using my Nikon D5300. In the video page, I linked Lucy’s Fade music video from vimeo, for the music page, I linked the actual faded song from iTunes and for the merchandise page, I posted all of Lucy’s march which I created I created with Awesome Merch online. In the news section, I have linked Lucy’s instagram to it so, whatever she posts on there, there will be links to her social media where you can view it. Using instagram, I have posted updates of Lucy and her promo video
To perform all these evaluation questions from AS to A2, I have written a script on Pages where I record myself saying all the information so I can put it into the evaluation videos. Also, I put the script on my wordpress blog below, the video which I upload from vimeo so, the examiner can read it as well as listen to it. For some evaluation questions I have either used a video, a pages document or a Prezi. However, for this year, I decided not to use a Prezi, it is a lot of hassle and most of the the time there are more picture than words. So, I felt this year just submitting videos and a Pages document would be better as it is easier to access than a Prezi and I can write more information about my coursework.
If I am doing a video evaluation, I either take screen recording using QuickTime or take screen shots and import them into Adobe Premiere pro where I also upload my voice recording to go with the images. Also, I will use iTunes to find nice background music to go with the evaluation, as I find it a bit more interesting to listen if there is music playing in the background. When I am finished, I will export the video and uploaded to vimeo where I then upload it to WordPress on my blog.
If I am just doing a Pages Document, I will type out all the information I want to include and also add some images as examples and also to make the document look a bit more interesting than just writing. When I’m finished, I take screen shots of my document and upload them as images to my wordpress blog.
2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
I have tried to link the music video to the album and also the website. As with any pop artist, their website, digipak and video all link together. For example Dua Lipa, her music video New Rules is very colourful which links to her album which has a colour gradient background also, she stars in her music video and feature on the front cover of her album. Then to her website, which is too very colourful. she uses black like her CD and colours similar to the digipak’s background. Also there are a lot of photos of her on her website which are similar to her digipak cover.
So, for me, I linked my music video to my digipak by my actress wearing her main outfit, the blue and white pattern dress. I made the digipak into a polaroid to link to the main prop used which was polaroid pictures. The background of the digpak is a gradient colour which i took inspiration from Dua Lipa’s cover and tried to keep cool tones to link to the sea. For my website, I used the same faded font as the album cover and back cover, I used photos of the beach and sea to link back to my video and also had the promo video playing on the home page and pictures of lucy from the music video. The colours of the website linked also with he digipak background colours.
I also created a social media account on instagram which i have linked to my website. I have posted the promo video and images of Lucy which create link to the main product and the ancillary texts
I believe that my artist’s ginger hair makes her distinctive as there is only a minority of pop singers who are ginger like Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynn and Florence from Florence and the Machines. All these artists are known for their ginger hair and a recognised for it as well as their music. That is why I have focused on her face and hair on the digipak and website and of course the video.
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The genre I chose for my music video was Pop. Pop is my favourite genre of music to listen to a and I find Pop genre music videos are the most interesting as every video i’ve seen has its own identity and is very different from the next.
I tried to follow the forms and conventions of a pop music video via my actors, locations, props, camera angles, the narrative, the performance, the colourisation and also the digipak and website.
For actors, I chose a young female to be the artist of the song as I found that female pop singers and very popular and seem to be more frequent than males such as Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, Zara Larson and Madison Beer. I also used a male actor who I used predominately in the narrative element of the video. Looking through many pop videos, I saw that most relate to a relationship between girl and boy like in Madison Beer’s video Dead and Taylor Swift’s Blank Space so, I decided to create a narrative which would fit in with the lyrics of song with the girl looking for her boyfriend and is desperately lost without him.
On choosing my lead actress/artist, I conducted a series of auditions. I chose Lucy, who I thought knew the lyrics well, was confident in front of the camera and had great expression in her face. I believe these qualities are key as a Pop artist and are shown by the very best today like Selena Gomez and Zara Larsson.
For locations, I wanted to use Jersey’s beaches as the sea related to the lyrics of Faded. I was influenced by Miley Cryus’ video Malibu as she uses a variety of shots at the beach and also greenery shots Which I used for the narrative part of my video. For my second location was a bedroom which I found to be a common location in pop videos for example in Becky G’s Singing in the Shower and Noah Cyrus in Cry.
The colorisation of my video is like Madison Beer’s Video as she used balks and white for the past and normal colour for present day. However, I colourised the sea and bedroom shots slightly blue to connote the sad times and the narrative element which was the greenery scenes to be a warmer colour so a yellow to organe tint to suggest the happy times
I wanted my costumes to link to the locations and got inspiration from Lorde’s video Perfect places where she wears a variety of long slowly dresses. I also found this apparent in Miley Cyrus’s diode Malibu as she wears a white flowy dress. So, for my sea location I used a long blue and white pattern dress, trying to replicate Lorde’s beach location and costume. And then for the bedroom scene, a long white dress like Miley’s. For the narrative element, I also used a yellow dress to link with the colourisation, I also got this idea from Lorde’s video as she wears many dresses and particularly this one. I have also found that a common theme for female pop artist, is the different outfits they wear in a video like for example Dua Lipa in New Rules.
For my male actor, I wanted him to look like kind of hipster, as after watching many pop videos containing a relationship or focusing on boys, the male character is usually wearing a casual and relaxed outfit. I was inspired by the male actor in Madison Beer’s video ‘Dead’ and Charlie XCX’s video ‘Boys’. So, my male actor wore a white t-shirt with shorts to fit the forms and conventions of male actor in a Pop music video.
I chose to use a polaroid camera and pictures as my main props throughout the video like in Colors by Halsey. I found that not many pop petsit have one particular prop, however, I didn’t want to use too many props incase the video didn’t make sense so, like Halsey, I just used one.
I got my camera angle inspiration from many videos. For the bedroom scene, I used similar shots as Madison Beer as she lies on the bed. These shots where mid and close up shots. For my tracking shots on the beach, I was inspired by Lorde in her video Perfect places as she runs on the beach. What I found with Pop music videos that there isn’t just one particular camera angle used, pop music videos contain many different angles which I belies give the video its own identity which is what I wanted to achieve.
From my interviews, I tried to keep my performance and narrative elements equally balanced. In most pop music videos like Dua Lipa’s New Rules and Sigrid’s Strangers, there is just performance and hardly any narrative element. My target audience wanted a equally balanced, so that is what I tired to and not make the video completely performance so here, I did challenge the forms and conventions of a pop genre.
For my digipak, I research many pop genres like Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey and found that majority of pop artist’s have themselves as the front cover. I also used a big font for the title of the album which most pop albums do. I also tried to link it to the video by creating the digipak into a polaroid like the props I use. I got this idea from Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Also, I got my actress to actually write her name ‘Lucy’ using wacom pad as if it was her signature, I was inspired by Taylor Swift’s name on her albums and it is just like her writing. I wanted this this be lucy’s logo like it is for Taylor.
For the website, I used the same font as the digipak, the faded writing and used images/the promo video of Lucy to link with the video and beach/sea images as well. I wanted to keep everything the same so that there would a clear link between all three texts like Camila Cambello’s album, music video and website
I have also created a instagram page for Lucy, posting her promo video, and regularly updates as to what she’s doing like most artists do.
Comment from teacher:
Great – the vignette blur really focuses the audience. Check the shots at 0.22 and 1.06 as I think these could have it on too to make them look less digitally crips. The only other thing is whether the shot at 0.32 could be replaced with the same shot but where the singer’s lips aren’t moving in case it initially looks like she is lip syncing. Does that make sense? Apart from that – nothing else to even consider doing! The performance is spot on now. Well done.
I am happy as all I need to do is some minor changes to some shots and just change one of the narrative elements shot and replace it like my teacher said to one where my actress is not moving her lips.
Also, I have been able to fix the lip syncing problem so now all my performance elements are in time with he music and look very nice.
Overall, I am quite relieved that there a just a small number of things to be changed or added. Hopefully by doing this, I will be able to present my final finished version.
Comment from Teacher:
Wow! Love it. A couple of lip syncing bits are slightly off at the start and I think you could reuse some of the amazing shots from the end earlier on to give a hint at what is coming later? The empty swing shot is £&$€¥!
Unfortunately when exporting my 2nd Draft, a few performance shots at the start were slightly out of sync, however, I now know how to fix this for my 3rd Draft.
Although my teacher said to use same shots from end of the music video at the start, I have decided not to change any placing of any of the footage as I believe the story I am portraying is clear and I also I like how I have edited the video to build to a climax, (the fast paced editing sequence) and then towards the end, use some shots from the start (they are not exactly the same shots as did not want to reuse the exact shots) towards the final scenes of the video before my actress fades away into the sea.
I am happy I added in some nature shots, I think it give the video something extra as well as using my surroundings to my advantage. Also, I added a few empty swings shots towards the end to contrast the happy times when my actors were at the swings together which has worked well.
For the 3rd Draft
- Fix the lip syncing issue
- Add a vignette around the GoPro shots to give a more authentic look
- Add Gaussian Blu effect to focus on subjects and objects in the middle of the frame
- Use After Effects to get rid of some grain and noise in some videos which were filmed in low light