Sunday, 31 July 2011

"Avenged Sevenfold - Afterlife" Denotation

First performance scene
Second performance scene
This video is mainly performance based, with two separate scenes of performance being used in the video, the first features the band performing in a warehouse, these scenes have heavy use of dark colours (such as in the form of the drum kit and amplifiers, as well as the actual colour of the warehouse) which relates to the music genre, which is hard rock/metal. The band member's clothing in these shots also indicate the genre, as one member is wearing a leather jacket and two members are wearing sleeveless tops, something interesting to point out here is that the rhythm guitarist is wearing a shirt and bow-tie, which relates to the narrative, as will be explained later. The second performance scene features the band performing with a green-screened bright white background, contrasting to the first performance scene, this relates to the lyrics, as it gives a surreal, heavenly feel to the performance, as the vocalist is singing about being in his "afterlife" and the first scene could symbolize life, and the second, death, as (something I learned from last year's media filming) white is often associated with death. This contrast is a theme that has been used with other aspects of mise-en-scene such as the instruments, for example the drum kit is mostly white in the second scene, and the lead guitar and bass have both changed from black to white. These details get even more precise in things such as the vocalist wearing white-rimmed glasses.

This video also contains some narrative as each band member has a separate scenario, such as guitarist Zacky Vengeance ballroom dancing and bassist Johnny Christ holding and then releasing some white doves. These pieces of narrative relate to the lyrics, as in the vocalist's, he is running away from the camera, while repeatedly looking back over his shoulder "move on dear, escape from this afterlife". The white doves relate to the religious aspect of the song "I pray by the grace of god that there's somebody listening" "Oh lord I'll try so hard, but you gotta let go of me". The tarantula on the drummer's face relates to the fear side of the lyrics "So out of place, don't wanna stay, I feel wrong and that's my sign." The lead guitarist Synyster Gates holding a skull relates to the whole of the lyrics in general, as the song is about dying too early. And the narrative scene of the ballroom dancing relates to missing loved ones "Got nothing against you and surely I'll miss you."

Last shot of video
In the performances there are quite a lot of close-ups of the vocalist, which is a common convention of music videos, as it reinforces the idea that it is him telling his story in the video, this focus is also used in the last shot of the video, as it is a long shot of the five band members walking towards the camera all wearing black, apart from the vocalist who is wearing a white top and is in the centre of the group.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Controversial music videos

Here are a couple of examples of controversial music videos.

Foo Fighters - Low

This Foo's video features Jack Black and Dave Grohl drinking heavily, cross-dressing and throwing up in a motel room:

Avenged Sevenfold - A Little Piece Of Heaven

This totally animated video tells the story of a boy who kills his girlfriend, who comes back to life and kills him before they proceed to get married, the whole video is very dark and disturbing, so no wonder it was banned from being shown on TV. Here is a short clip, as the official video can't be embedded:

Mini music video

In groups of five, we were given the task of filming and editing 30 seconds to a minute of footage for a music video, the track we chose was Madness - One Step Beyond, as after we had a talk about it we found we all had some good ideas about what we could film. On the 9th of July we went out and filmed our idea, which was a Benny Hill-esque video of a man running through streets and causing a chain reaction of people joining in with his goofy running.On the 15th of July we finished editing our idea using the software Final Cut, which included adding the original track over the top of our footage. However, after looking back through the footage and edited video we decided on re-shooting, to gather a larger variety of shots, and also because we had a few more ideas that we wanted to implement. We are planning on filming tomorrow on the 18th of July.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Media Day

Today (12th July) is media day. Our group met up at the start of the day to discuss the schedule of what we were going to do in which teaching period, as there were only certain times that we could film scenes such as in the corridor, (our group was supporting) which could only be filmed at lunch and some of our car park shots which we could only do after 2, as this was when we were getting the car that we were using for the close up shots.

We spent the first period practising lip syncing and filming vodcast footage of each member of the group describing their role in the shooting. I was the producer, as I have previous experience of producing from last year's media work. My role was to make sure that everyone involved in the filming knew what shots we were doing in what order, this was easy as I had learned from my experiences last year of the importance of having a good call sheet. During the second period we collaborated with the other group that we were paired with (the corridor group), and decided on who were going to be used as extras in the other groups filming, such as what members of the other group were going to be involved in our dance routine in the car park. This was rather hectic as both groups were huddled in the small eco-pod, but we managed to discuss things and get what we were doing sorted, due to some extra time we went up to the top of school and started recording the car park dance routine with our extras, with the help of Mel choreographing the routine. This went well and I recorded some behind the scenes footage of the filming and organisation.

The last two periods of the day we went up to the top of school to finish off the dance routine footage and the close ups of in the car. This involved everyone in the group being Britney for at least one shot, this went well and we completed our section of filming in good time, so headed back to the media classroom to discuss what problems we had faced and what went well etc.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Britney Spears Video

Our media groups have been set the task of recreating the Britney Spears music video "Hit me baby one more time". As there are four separate locations in the video, we began the planning of filming by splitting up the group into four, one for each location; the classroom, the car park, the hall and the gym. In pairs we then started to denotate the original video, picking out aspects of mise-en-scene as well as things like shot types and transitions.

We will be filming our take on the video on Tuesday the 12th of July, splitting up the filming into four groups means it will be easier to get the whole video filmed by the end of the school day. My group was assigned to the car park scene in the video, we denotated our section and listed the things we would need for the day of filming, such as aspects of costume and how many extra people we would need for the dance routine etc.

Animation in music videos

Animation is something that is used occasionally for music videos, sometimes for the whole video, a good thing about this is that it saves the cost of having the band perform, as well as setting up sets etc. A great example of a largely animated music video is Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers:

The concept of the video is that it is a video game featuring the band members as playable characters roaming around LA, this idea helps to set the video apart from the norm.

3 Aspects of Music Video

There are three main aspects that are included in music videos:

Performance -  focuses on showing footage of the artist or band either in a casual environment, i.e. socialising with friends, or performing, live performance or staged performance. This style of video uses the band/artist/group throughout the majority of the production and the artist, band members are often lip-syncing the words to the song.  The costing on this type of production are also most likely to be the lowest as the producers are in effect giving the audience the most realistic image of the band as it is only the band they are showing. The downside of this is that the band will need to be relatively established to pull off the video, or else interest will become saturated. An example of a full performance video is the Rage Against The Machine song - Killing In The Name:

Concept - are based around a single idea or concept and are usually unusual and obscure, even surreal for the audience. This unusual content is an attraction to many consumers, which draws them in, this is usually used for instrumental songs, as because there are no lyrics the video can be extremely creative as it is not restricted.    
A good example of a concept music video is This Is War by 30 Second to Mars: 

Narrative - This is the story-line of the music video, usually relating to aspects of the actual track, such as the genre and lyrics. This style relies on imagery to produce a story for the audience to follow and some narrative videos include clips from films that the song has been featured in. A good example of a music video with a narrative is the Red Hot Chili Peppers video - By The Way, the narrative of this video involves the singer (Anthony Kiedis) being kidnapped by a taxi driver: