Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Finished Main Project

Finished ancillary task- Digi-pack

Finnish ancillary task- Website

This is where you will find our website- www.wix.com/sharradine/proper-one

Evaluation Task 4

Evaluation Task 4: How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Websites, Software and Hardware

Jack and I have mentioned about the equipment we used in this post: http://msrjarnold.blogspot.com/2011/04/shooting-diary-equipment-and-cast.htmlhave also made presentation on the technologies which added my project and its development.

Hardware we used included:
-The school computers
-My Laptop
-The two Standard Definition Mini DV Cameras
The school computers are very outdated. They have only (what I estimate to be) 2GB ram. When running powerful software such as the Adobe Suite 3GB ram is the bare minimum for optimal performance. For this reason jack used his Laptop (Acer Aspire 5332) which has more Ram and Adobe CS4, so it was faster and post production was easier. However I wasn’t so fortunate to have the soft wear which would have allowed me to do the same. I completed the post production part of the project/ editing on the school computers using Adobe Premier pro CS3  .
The cameras we used were only SD, but had we been filming on HD I believe the file sizes and compression would have been to much for the school computers and even my laptop at some points. After weighing up the costs and benefits, we decided to use SD.
Our iPhones were very handy at keeping in contact with each other, sending images of locations, being updated with facebook alerts from members of the group (the free alternative we used to texting). They also allowed us to get access to the internet when on location, so we didn't have to leave set to get the information we needed.
Software we used included:
-Adobe Premier Pro CS3
-Adobe After Effects CS3 + CS4
-Adobe Photo Shop CS3
-Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook allowed us to communicate with each other within school, send files and links.
Adobe Premier Pro was the non-linear editing software we used to cut footage to the music and get basic effects and transitions completed.

Adobe After Effects was the 2.5D motion graphics and compositing software jack and I used to create all of the advanced effects in our film such as the clones and gun fire.
Adobe Photoshop was mainly used by Louis in order to create the Digipack and alter the photos from the photo shoot. It has a huge variety of photo editing tools that Louis was able to use to get the look just right for our Ancillary task.
Websites we used included:




http://www.vimeo.com/- The video bellow was a demonstration of effect we were to later used. we used Vimeo and youtube and got positive feedback this meat that we knew that we were hitting our targets and entertaining our audince.these were a good tool for evaluating whiles making our products.an example of the feedback is "Betta Bug- That was awesome" "hopkins22- the radial blur is a great effect"and  Tim  Mcoughlin mentions the Chemical brothers- Believe, He though was very similar to ours. This is brilliant as they are in the Dance genre too.

This is the Chemical Brothers- Believe. this was brought to our attention after making our final product. after watching it ourselves we too see the similarities. this shows how well we are hitting a audience wider than just prodigy fans.
We were able to use facebook to talk to one another, share links, images, ideas, videos and create events for when we had to film. This was essential for getting everyone organised. This is also useful because it is completely free and we all used it prior to the music video. We were also able to use it to get our finished products out to an audience of 1000's who (most) are our target audience.

Youtube gave us access to hundreds of music videos of the same genre that we were able to analyse and get inspiration from. We were able to look at what worked and what didn't work from other videos and incorporate our favourite bits and make them our own.
Youtube was also what we used as a sounding board for our own ideas. We uploaded an early scene we had recorded to get some audience feedback.

We were able to then get feedback from a wide audience. We gathered from the "likes" it received and a comment saying: "Looks great but must have taken an age.", that people thought it looked good. We therefore kept it in our end product.

Vimeo was used much like youtube, however the videos on vimeo are a lot more "semi-professional", it is mainly full of people who have made their own videos and are using it as a professional video hosting site. This enabled us to look at music videos made on a zero budget, unlike the ones we had been watching by The Prodigy and Chase & Status.

Blogger was used in order to keep an up to date diary of everything we had done in relation to the projects and also evaluate it.

I receive my Gmail emails straight to my iPhone, and my Youtube account is connected to my Gmail. This convergence of technology allowed for me to be instantly informed when someone had provided feedback on our video. This was very useful in the evaluation stage as I was able to write about the feedback people had given just as fast as I had received it.

In conclusion, it would have been impossible to get the projects done to the standard they are with out the use of the aforementioned technologies.

Evaluation Task 3

Evaluation Task 3- what have you learned from your audience feedback?
We have tried to find every piece of feedback we have received, this ranges from comments on our blog, feedback in class (two of which we have recorded), Facebook messages. You tube. Etc.
In this video we also explain what choices we made and which parts which we didn't. we explain how influential the exam boards expectations of us and did this hampered and enhanced our creativity.
Making the product is just the start, dealing and using with the feedback is another task.

Evaluation task 2

Evaluation Task 2- How effective is the Combination of Your Main Product and Ancillary Texts?

The combination of our main product and ancillary texts work to a great effect as it has been our aim to keep a sense of consistency throughout all of them. This is because we have tried very hard through this course to keep the continuity through everything that we make. Our front cover on our digi pack is the white mask with the pink effect on the brick wall background. This combined with the white mask which is very elusive throughout our film, but still very much a part of our product, has a great effect because throughout the film the mask is very hard to spot and is almost subconscious to the audience. So by putting it as our front cover it proves that it is apparent and also helps keep the consistency throughout our products.
This is also put to great effect as we combined it with our internet site, keeping the consisntancy throughout to maximise the effect of this white mask, which we have almost taken to be our own individual trade mark. Which every band needs, such as the prodigy have the ant logo on all of their newer work. This helps us create and maintain our own brand across all of our work and any future work we would create, by placing this white mask in all of our work our audience can instantly recognise it and know that it is a product of ours. This sense of branding that we have created is very individual to us; however we did take a lot of influence from two bands, Slipknot and Hollywood Undead. Both of which are popular for wearing masks in all of their video’s and other media products such as websites and posters. This hampers our individuality a tad, but the plain white mask that we have used throughout all of our media products has become our own. However at the same time we try and keep with in our genre of music which means that we can not break away from all conformities to much otherwise we will not be resembled with the genre that we aim to be in. So our branding is individual but yet at the same time it fits within the conformity of our genre which limits our individuality.
Also we tried to keep the colour scheme throughout everything to also aid with the consistency, as you can see from the images below that we have kept the same colour scheme throughout our digi pack and our website as you can see. The font style, size and colour are all the same throughout.  This combination works well and to a great effect as it helps to make our work look professional and consistent.

In conclusion I believe that the effectiveness of our combined media products is great as there is a noticeable and consistent link between all of the work we have produced. This aids in the creation of our own unique and distinct brand and therefore helps create a professional and well planned feel to our work.
Which is what we aimed to achieve overall.

Evaluation Task 1

Evaluation Task 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

With our music video we aimed to develop on the well established conventions associated with the dance/DnB genre. many other media product try and do the same ending up pushing the boundaries of the genre and expanding the audience.
Whilst researching by looking at current artists and pioneers of the genre, such as The Prodigy, Pendulum, Chase & Status, Deadmau5, Squarepusher and Netsky (to name but a few), we learnt that all the aforementioned artists had a lot more in common by means of presentation than they did with artists of radically different genres.
For example 
http://www.deadmau5.com/ and http://jackjohnsonmusic.com/welcome/ are two different genres, and you realise that instantly as you arrive each one. I don't want to get too into websites just yet as it was one of our ancillary tasks that I will be talking about later, but the two websites fit into their gerne stereotypes.
Music Video

The video above is one I found after we had made our video, but just goes to show how well we did with creating a video that fits into the Dance/DnB genre. A person awakes after a night of partying, goes about his day as a music producer, takes (what we assume to be) an mind altering substance, notices the effects and goes to another party.
The moment I saw this video I was stunned with how similar it was to ours and to “The Prodigy- Smack my bitch up”, this is probably because they were clearly influenced by The Prodigy - Smack my Bitch up and so were we. Whilst the above is almost a complete copy of The Prodigy's, ours deviates away more to the effects of the hallucinogenic I have supposedly taken.

The first video I watched to research the conventions of the genre was The Prodigy - Smack my Bitch Up.
This video was amazing at challenging gender stereotypes whilst at the same time perfectly conforming to dance genre stereotypes with a great final twist where the audience find out that the main character is female.. You go through the whole video not realising it was a female lead role right until the end, but the video is full of alcohol, bars, bright colours, partying and drugs. I wanted to create this sudden moment of realisation in our own music video, and did so by having him regain consciousness on the snooker table we see at the start. I didn't want this to be an "it was all a dream" type ending, so we included some flash ups after it had all finished to give the impression that although all he had just been through was a "trip" he was still under the effect of the drugs.

We have 4 members to our group, Jack, Louis, Sam and myself. This would be unusual in the Dance/DnB genre as most artists are males in their 20's and 30's. This is very much a niche in the market. Most bands that consist of young males are ones in completely different genres, such as The Wanted, or JLS. Most artists in our genre are solo, so that the music they create is their own and not influenced by anyone else, by being a band in this genre we are breaking one of the biggest conventions that confine the genre.

With our video we decided to incorporate the hallucinogenics as it is commonplace in the genre of (although not limited to) dance music to have drug references.
Along with the Deadmau5 video and the Prodigy video there are these:

The Shamen - Ebeneezer Goode 
This video gave us the idea to use unnatural movement and camera angles to show my state of mind isn't quite right.

Pendulum- Crush

Although this video doesn't reference drug taking, it does show an altered state of mind where the lead role can't come to terms with what he has done (killed his girlfriend for possibly cheating on him) and believes he is still seeing her when in actual fact she isn't there. We incorporated this into our film by means of the clone. Only my character can see the clone of himself which is bent on killing him and it represents his inner self who knows what he is doing (drugs) is wrong, and the clone (imaginary/mental) trying to destroy the actual physical presence (Ben) of doing it.

Squarepusher - Come on my Selector (edited in www.tubechop.com)

This music video shows brilliant use of editing to the beat, something we incorporated in our music video. Most of the shots are no longer than a second or two, which gives a very fast, lively, exciting and action-y feel, perfect for the break beat genre (a subgenre of dance).
GoAnimate.com: evaluation question 3 by trime.student

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun! target="_blank"><b>GoAnimate.com</b></a>. It's free and fun!  

The idea for Sam and Daniel to wear a mask came to me from our original plan to use costumed characters, as Louis found a video by Aphex Twin (Richard James) called Donkey Rhubarb where Richard is dressed in a huge bear suit.another infulence is the film 'V for vendetta' where the main character V always wears a white mask. 

When we tried to make a matching shot film form Example- Kick start we all looked into the remix of it. This  music video by Example - Kickstarts (Dubstep Remix), in which a man and woman are being chased relentlessly by a gang. It was these two concepts that I merged together to get our idea of giving Sam the mask and my character being chased by his clone.

Ancillary tasks. Digi packaging

I think that our digipak that I created both challenges the conventions of other album covers and artwork but also works with some of the ideas that I have seen in similar products.
For example it was very important that the digipak stood out and louis spent too long of time changing the look of it to achieve this. I think that the work Louis put into making the images "pop" payed off as Louis think it makes my product stand out clearly. A couple of examples of existing CD covers that work really well in this way are below:

Even though I think that the Loud Noises digipak fits in well to other artwork in the genre i also think that it challenges the same conventions. For instance, there are not many other album covers that i have come across during my research that use black and white images so strongly. In fact, with the exception of the two examples below, i found that most other album covers were very preoccupied with strong colour.

On the other hand, collectively we came up with the usage of black and white which helped towards the overall effectiveness of our digipak as a whole. I think that using a bit more colour in the main panel at the top would have helped to link it into the rest of the artwork better as the pink face doesn't seem quite enough to link it all together. Also, the monochrome of the dog image makes the text harder to read which in some ways defies the point of having text there in the first place. To improve the digipack overall I would have liked to work a bit more on the grading and contrast of the images a bit more to make it all fit together better. I think the job is very basic. Effects could have been added to make the front cover more hard hitting and attractive. The colours of the front are bright however don’t go with the rest of the images. To be honest the digipack is basic and I feel could have been made to a better quality.  

Additional Points and Theory 

Loftus's Theory - Weapon Focus
One of the theories we encorporated into our film was Loftus's theory on weapon focus. This theory stated that when a weapon was in the scene, people would focus most of their attention on that, rather than looking at the scene as a whole. The scene this effect is most noticeable in is the POV shot from Ben's perspective when the clone is walking in through the door. During filming we had accidentally filmed Ben a certain distance from the camera, and in the next shot, he was standing a lot closer. I hid this with an effect where he "fuzzes" out and then back in, as if he has teleported closer. This was a very quick job on the effect as I didn't have time to mask all the way around Ben, I just drew a garbage mask around him. But with people looking mainly at the gun, the shoddyness of the effect goes un-noticed. 

Todorov's Theory of Narrative Equilibrium
Todorov stated: "Stories begin with an equilibrium or status quo where any potentially opposing forces are in balance. This is disrupted by some event, setting in chain a series of events. Problems are solved so that order can be restored to the world of fiction."

If we apply this to our story, we begin with a natural equilibrium. Ben wakes up from the party but isn't any worse for wear. He then takes the hallucinogenic (the disrupting event). The chain of events that follow is Ben being chased by his clone. Then equilibrium is restored when the trip finishes and Ben regains consciousness on the table.
By using visual effects we were able to make it easy for the audience to suspend their belief. We could show Ben, and a Clone of Ben at the same time without it looking fake, just by using After Effects to layer two separate videos and create one video with a high level of verisimilitude.

Goodwin's Theory - Music Videos as a form
With knowledge of Goodwin's theory that the lyrics of a song should be represented in a film, we incorporated this by every time the word "Piranha" was heard, a cut was made, either to the dog or the mask. With the song having very few other lyrics other that the aforementioned and "teeth rip razor sharp, vice like power, tear you apart", it was nearly impossible for us to link any more than we did.


Main Task - Music Video
If we could go back and do it all again, I would have spent a lot more time on pre-production. We wanted to get straight on with the filming and I think our plot suffered becuase of it. We didn't have a solid idea from the start and as a result were still devolping ideas whilst filming. This resulted in a lot of wasted time as we filmed scenes that were not even included in the end.

Digi Pack

Film- Fight Club Influences

Fight club Influence

As we were constantly improving on our ideas, we derived from out storyboard quite often, but always used it as a guideline to make sure we didn't stray too far from the story. From our first day of filming we got 10 minutes worth of footage which we edited down to about 30-40seconds of our end product.

We decided together that a running scene filmed from outside of a car would be a great way to film a chase scene. Films use tracks and from the sides of vehicles but because of our lack of equipment all we had was a car and a camera to film with. We filmed a running scene but encountered a few problems along the way. This included the car moving the camera accidently jogging it and a few times making the car become in the shot. Another problem was the pedestrians; a few times bystanders would suddenly appear in the film and look directly in the camera.
We ended up not using the scene we shot tracking myself running from the car window as we thought we had better shots when I was holding the camera, pointing at his face, this gave us some much needed close ups and also gave a slight snorricam effect.

An idea we got from the film Fight Club is when Tyler Durden is shown for 1 or 2 frames in the opening of the film to represent Edward Norton's mind starting to create this character.
We used this to our own advantage by making a colourised picture of Sam wearing the white mask (in the picture it is yellow, red and purple) and having it flash up in time with some of the beats in the music video. This gives an effect where the audience doesn't know if the have actually seen what they saw, and don't have long enough to focus on what it could be, enhancing the visual experience.
Below is a scene from Fight Club where Tyler Durden pops up at 15 seconds in. 

Another clip which was influenced by Film.was a high angle shotfrom the top of a garage to film from a CCTV perspective, where we would cut from seeing the clone from my third person perspective to the CCTV to show no clone, giving another hint to the audience that it was all in my mind. A lot like the scene from Fight Club where Edward Norton is imagining being beaten up by Tyler Durden, but CCTV shows that he is doing it all to himself.

(Through all my searching of Youtube, Vimeo, Google video I could not find the scene I was referencing; it is however between 2:08:00 and 2:09:30 in the film.)

Hopefully these two print screens illustrate my point.

Tools and Equipment

Filming Overview

During January we spent 4 full days filming everything we needed. We had reviewed our product and ideas up to this point and made the necessary changes also by asking for feedback from a user group/ audience. As we were making a music video, sound was not a problem we had to consider as all the footage would be stripped of its audio and replaced with the Piranha track or a added foley recording from, ‘freesound.org’ . For as many shots as possible we used free hand rather than tripod as we wanted to make the shots full of action, movement and to make the audience feel like they were there, We have inherited this idea from “Fear and Loathing from Las Vegas”, in this film the majority of the footage is with moving scenery, nothing is still, stable or structured. This makes the audience and the characters seem unstable and the film edgy. We want to use this effect because we feel that this would be a good technique to involve the audience and make the enjoy it. It also fits in with the fact that the character is still recovering from a drug and alcohol fuelled party the night before and so ghosting effects and blurring effects made it look like the vision of not only the character was impaired by drugs but also the audiences.
Continuity was not a huge problem for us, we just made sure that Sam and I wore the same clothes on each day of filming which meant having the Yellow glasses on for my character and off for my clone.

The equipment used is as follows:
2x Standard Definition Mini DV Cameras
1x Steady Cam
1x Tripod
Yellow wayfarer glasses
BB Gun
Green Screen
2x White Masks
Snooker Cue and masking tape and hockey sticks
Small Paper Squares (To represent the LSD)

As Louis was unable to make any of the days we went out filming due to exams and prior engagements, we recruited the help of Daniel Norris to help out and appear in our music video as one of the white masked characters.

Ben Carey - The druggy/clone
Samuel Harradine - White masked character #1/friend on the bridge/Passed out partier
Daniel Norris - White masked character #2
Ollie the Rottweiler
James King - Pedestrian