Monday, 14 December 2009

Ryan's Evaluation

Ryan Breeze P1-04 Evaluation

For our A2 coursework we had to make a music video and Digi-pack. As a group we decided to choose ‘Feist - I Feel It All’.

We looked into challenging conventions by making our music video like an audition. We decided to do this because we wanted to give a visually enhanced interpretation of an audition. We liked this idea because we thought the lyrics would link well with the visuals such as ‘I feel it all, I feel it all’ whilst paint is being thrown. Also we thought this idea would be completely original therefore making it interesting for first time viewers and humorous for repeated views.

The way in which we created this atmosphere of an audition isn’t conventional because we used a lot of hand held camera shots. We did this because it gives a sentimental amateur feel to the video; plus it makes you feel a part of the actual video, especially when the characters look into the camera. However we did also use a lot of over the shoulder shots with a tripod to retain the idea of an audition. This was to give the feeling of voyeurism because you are observing them from a far. We also had a lot of different camera angles such as pans and close ups so that we could cut between them to keep it interesting and moving. We used close-ups to so that the viewer can identify the artist like in Goodwin’s points. However Feist didn’t have any motifs like other artists such as Michael Jackson and his glove so we just used arrange over facial close-ups that highlight different parts of their face. Also whilst we were filming each other singing I filmed quite a lot of random footage like the stage lighting and the floor. I made the camera movement dynamic deliberately to continue with this theme of voyeurism and being in the video. I think this works really well especially the cuts between the stage lighting because this enhances the narrative of an audition in a quick amusing way.

In addition to the cuts of the stage lighting, we did that by cutting it to the melody of the song. This is very conventional of indie artists as Feist did it herself in her actual video because it helps keep the rhythm of the song. We used a lot of editing techniques to keep the atmosphere of the song reflected through the footage. This is clearly visible with the zoom out of Ram which fits perfectly with that section, as the song ascends to a climactic part where it says ‘I love you more’. However we put ironic piece of footage in there where James gets hit with a tier and pulls a little grin. This again works really well as it gives the sensation of a sub narrative between Ram and James because after this part he puts foam on her head. This creates a heart warming and sentimental feel to the video which would encourage our audience to watch this video again.

The mise-en-scene played a major part in enhancing this heart warming but yet oddly serial video through the use of our costumes. We made our auditionees wear all white and we made the backdrop white as well to capture that pure and innocents of the characters. This also created a feeling vulnerability where the audience can connect with the auditionees. Also the whole idea of paint being thrown at them is very metaphoric of the real pressures people have to face in an audition.

Our final product challenges conventions of Digi-packs because the photos and fonts are all interlinked with the video and advert. We did this because we wanted new fans as well as existing fans of Feist to be able to make the connection visually very quickly by seeing the DVD cover and instantly recognising it from the video. This is the same with the advert as we used the same font with the advert as we did with the Digi-pack to continue the idea of a series. The photos we chose were all from the same point in the video, where Ram has paint thrown on her because we thought this was the most iconic moment in the video. Another unconventional idea we had was to make the front cover and the back cover of the DVD loop round so when you turn the DVD cover round you would see Ram covered in paint which would be humorous for the consumer.

The feedback we received from the rest of the class was very mixed as some people missed the metaphoric narrative and but yet others really enjoyed it. However we took most of the feedback on board like ‘it needs more shot variation’ and ‘the digi-pack is too dark’. We thought it was very helpful as we missed some of these faults like the duration of some shots were too long and it became boring. So we re-shot some of our footage with more close-ups as it became apparent from our feedback that it is important to sell the artist. Plus we changed our digi-pack with different photos and fonts to make a bright and happy DVD cover which would interlink with the video. Some positive feedback we had which was really good was how arty they felt it was. This was another key aim for us as a lot of similar bands of this genre make their videos quite arty. Elbow are an example of this as they do this through there editing by repeating clips in ‘grounds for divorce’.

To develop and enhance our product we used a large range of new media products. The most common one we used was Blogger. Blogger was very useful with sharing ideas and illustrating them without the need for us to be in the same room. This helped us the most to develop our ideas as it enabled us to embed pictures or video clips from You Tube. We used You Tube a lot as well because we wanted to research about Feist and other similar artists to give us inspiration and to help us make a video that would suit our target market. Another new media technology we used was MySpace; we used this to contact Feist however we never received a reply. We also used a lot of computer application like Photoshop and Final Cut to make our products. However we had a great deal of difficulty with Final Cut because one of cameras wasn’t compatible with it so we had to keep rendering each clip when we moved it, this was very time consuming and led to difficulty with lip syncing.

We faced quite a few difficulties whilst making our video as we had problems with the different levels of quality from footage so we had to apply colour correctors in Final Cut to enhance them. Also we had problems during reshooting because it was hard recreating the same location as we weren’t able to book our previous location again. However the footage we reshot still worked really well and if we hadn’t of done it our video wouldn’t have been as good.

Overall I feel I have learnt a lot about music videos and how they are used to advertise the band through visual interpretations of the artist’s beliefs; plus how music videos are aimed at different audiences. I have also gained a lot experience with working in team and working off each other’s strengths. I have improved my Final Cut skills and I now feel comfortable creating a project individually. I’m really happy with the outcome of our final product especially the Digi-pack I think it looks very professionally done and it suits the video really well. I’m also very pleased with the video but the only thing I would change is some of the footage near the end where it loses the narrative with a pan of a chair. I felt this was too confusing and people wouldn’t understand its purpose. Also the reshoot footage of Ram wasn’t as good as the rest because she had to reapply the paint and the lip sync was a little out. But overall I think the product is very good and it would appeal to a large audience of diverse age range because of its sentimental and humorous properties. Plus I thought the visuals were really effective in capturing the melody and narrative of the song in an original and unusual way especially with the handheld camera work creating the idea of voyeurism and watching them as a member of the audience.

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