The Great Belgian Egg Hunt aka. Music Video production has come to an end just in time to start semester 1 of 2016. Summer school has been quite enjoyable surprisingly. I only did this because I failed a class last year and I needed to make up the credit but I’ve gotten a lot out of it. I feel like by doing summer school I’m going to be mentally prepared for the semester ahead and start the year positively rather than just being in holiday mode.
The two classes a week worked perfectly with my part-time job and other commitments. I’ve had a busy but constructive and enjoyable six weeks. I found the pace and amount of content in this class ideal, there wasn’t too many reading etc that would distract us from our main project. I’ve learnt a lot, made friends, used the RMITV studios for the first time, had an avocado smoothie (thanks to Jordan) and most of all I helped make something. Many of my classes in my past have been very theoretical and it refreshing to have a class where it all evolves around us making something that we can call our own. I’ve gotten more experience in working with a group and learnt what its like to be a part of a production team. Furthermore I’ve gained some experience in lighting, something that I haven’t done too much of in the past. I aslo got to familarise myself some equiptment that I hadn’t had the pleasure of using.
I feel that this class has motivated me to just get out there and start creating content. I’ve kind of always thought I wasn’t good enough but now I realise that if I put enough effort in I could create some quality work. As well as creating I’ve also consumed a lot of media. It was great to watch all the interesting music videos in class as inspiration as well as the work of my classmates. I loved seeing the variety of work that the class produced and everyone individual creativity coming together to create a professional piece of media.
I would recomend this class to students in the future due to its practical aspect and the independent control you have over your project. You can really create whatever you like.
Our feedback from our rough cut video for Mollusc was mixed. People didn’t seem to like the shots with the white background which is understandable as it was a bit distracting when it cuts to white after being all black. Furthermore some thought that various transparent double exposure like effect on the group dancing shot came in to early and should of only escalated to that level towards the end of the song as it gets more intense. I got the impression that some people found the video a bit repetitive although it is a repetitive song and I think Andrea did a great job with the fast cuts that makes it interesting enough to watch for 3 or so minutes.
In terms of positive feedback the class loved how the lead singers Mo and Emma seemed to stand out amongst the crowd with their bright orange hair. Rohan suggested that we should take advantage of this and maybe color grade the footage to create an orange hue as to create an associative color scheme. The lead singers bright orange hair somewhat reminds me of Dawn Shadforth’s limited color scheme in Goldfraps Number One where the pink and green really pop. I thought Rohan’s idea to essentiate this orange color is a good one and we have played around with it in the edit suites.
I think the majority wished to see more of the Forest sequence although this was difficult as alot of that footage wasn’t of the highest quality. Andrea did a great job of selecting what footage was usable and cutting in a fast fashion so it didn’t matter that it was out of focus or not perfectly lit etc. Ideally I think the video would work well with more of a forest sequence as it’s a visually refreshing contrast to the studio shots.
The feedback from the rough cut gave us a lot to think about. I found it very useful to get other people’s opinions on our work. It gave us a few things to think about when heading back to the edit suites.
I really enjoyed watching everyone rough cuts. There was such variety among the class and the standard was quite high. Tim’s group ‘Hawaii Five-Oh’ (I think they call themselves that) made a stunning video for Pockets and their single Ten Different Names. I was excited to see what direction they would go in when I first heard the song as it a genre of music that I’d listen to. I remember hearing that they were going to play with paints and milk etc to create a psychedelic swirl. It was a cool idea although I didn’t think it would turn out as well as it did. The swirls were absolutely beautiful and were of a high quality. Furthermore I liked their decision to use silhouettes and to keep them purely black and not create a pattern within the face, as I think that would have ruined the effect. The video surprised me when the silhouette of the singers suddenly started moving around the edge of the frame. It found it humorous but very effective and a great use of the onscreen space.
A section which I found really effect from such a simple effect was when the lead singers silhouette was constantly changing hats. The sudden changes to the beat were very aesthetically pleasing and I would have liked to see even more of this. Another great part was when there were two silhouettes of the lead singer facing each other singing. It was weirdly intimate and I half expected them to either kiss or for the silhouettes to cross over to create a butterfly effect. The two silhouettes were slightly out of time which made them feel like two different entities rather than just a mirrored copy which made it even better.
Hawaii-Five-Oh did a great job with their music video and I can’t wait to see the final cut so congrats to them. I might go home and listen to some Pockets now.
I just thought I’d share one of my favourite punk band PUP and their great music videos. I first saw PUP at small music venue in Bendigo and afterwards I researched them online to find that they have really good music videos, in my opinion anyway. They are a reasonably big band but not massive by any means which makes the quality of these videos even more impressive.
Apparently the story of PUPs origin is that they all quit their jobs and took a gamble dedicating themselves completely to the band. This video for Guilt Trip somewhat takes the romanticism of PUP’s origin and dramatizes it, showing the members of PUP getting together as kids through a series of misfortune events. I love the idea of the origin story and love how well made this video is featuring beautiful landscapes while keeping that punk feel throughout the video.
The video for their song Mabu is a little less narrative based but very entertaining. It basically shows the members preparing/smashing the lead singers car in preparation for a demolition derby. Everyone knows people love watching things get destroyed and I think that’s why this video is so entertaining. I like how the video is very real with effects kept to minimum apart from slow motion.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a couple of videos that I really like. My friends are in a punk band and are thinking about making a music video with my help so its good research to look at other punk music videos to get a feel for the genre and how it’s generally represented onscreen. A recent punk video that I thought was great is Violent Soho’s Like Soda which is shot entirely at the lawn bowls club.
We watched a variety of Dawn Shadforth’s work in class the other week . I didn’t know who she was before this although I did recognise a couple of the videos. Her most notable work is probably the music video for Can’t Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie Minogue. While very popular at the time I find it a little cringe-worthy to watch now but still somewhat entertaining.
I was however captured by her Goldfrapp video for the song Number One. It’s limited color scheme of green and pink with everything else appearing desaturated appealed to me. This combined with the unique idea of the video deriving from the lyric ‘I’m a dog to get you’ creates an interesting one of a kind music video.
Her work is quite varied although a lot of it seems to have great choreographed performances for instance her music video for Florence and Machines Drumming Song. It reminded me slightly of the concept of our music video with all the women wearing black and with the hanging material on their costumes. This was something that we intended to do but never actually happened. The choreography in this video is relatively simple but very effective and in hindsight I wish we integrated some moves for our extras in our music video. The movement in Drumming Song makes the video come to life something that we could have worked on a little more. Interestingly the main character in this video also stands out with her glowing red hair just like Mo and Emma do in our video.
Dawn Shadforths work is varied and is useful to look to for inspiration. I actually wish I more of her work because we begun on the production of our music video.
In class we watched Beyoncé’s new music video Formation. I don’t listen to a heap of Beyoncé except when my girlfriends around. The song itself wasn’t anything that special to me but I thought the music video was very well done.
It was an epic politically charged video full of various representations and strong imagery. I wouldn’t say the messages in this video are hidden, it’s made quite overtly clear which I like. In saying this you would probably have to watch it a few times to get every reference and then you still might be missing a few as this video is packed full of them.
One of the stronger and most forward message in this video was when there were a line of police facing a young boy in a black hoodie. This is followed by graffiti on the wall that says ‘Stop Shooting Us’ which is a message frequently expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement and other activist groups. In the video the line of police join the boy in the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ gesture which references Michael Browns death who was an 18-year-old black who was fatally shot by the police officer in Ferguson.
A part of this video that I particularly liked was when it switched to a lower quality camcorder-like footage which once again refers to police brutality. For anyone that has ever watched any footage of this it was easily recognisable. It was simple yet so effective.
Formation however isn’t just about police brutality it’s about what its like to be black in America including the standards of beauty, their history and culture. With images pulled from various periods in southern history the video shows Beyoncé and dancers elegantly dressed almost as if they are plantation owners.
The video also destroys the insulting idea that succesful black people and successful women must be in the illuminati. She makes it clear that she has made her wealth because she has worked hard and not through some weird cult-like group.
Another powerful moment featured Beyoncé lying and sitting on the top of a sinking police car referencing Hurricane Katrina and the refugees in Texas. Beyoncé reminds viewers that a lot of the devastation in the south still hasn’t been cleaned up and is still rebuilding.
All in all I think this video is very powerful in evoking political connections through its imagery. It’s good to watch a music video that is thought-provoking and has meaning and not a piece of media that’s purely for entertainment.
The third shoot was similar to the second as we captured studio footage of both the leads as well as a new group of extras. First we ran through Emma and Mo singing the song over and over in front of both white and black backgrounds. Personally I think the white dosen’t really work that well but the black looked good. By this stage as we had already shot two days the lead girls seemed tired and a bit sick of it all but they still performed well.
The second half of the shoot was spend on the tableau style shot of the extras. It didn’t really turn out that well. We didn’t give them enough direction and this resulted in an awkward looking group people just staring at the camera in front of a bright background. The lighting is a bit off too. I’m not sure if we will end up using this shot.
We had some fun towards the end of our shoot as we filmed Andrea smashing grapes onto face which actually looked weirdly quite good. It was good to wrap up the last shoot with a bit of a laugh.
Here is some research I did on lighting for a horror style music video. Unfortunately I feel like we didn’t take advantaged of some of the more stylised lighting techniques when we could have.
In this image the subject is standing with the li ght behind him. Because the light is so low it casts long and ominous shadows. This creates a dramatic look that may suit our video.
Lighting the subject with two different colored lights. The light can be moved around to create an interesting effect. Soft light can be used to further glamorise characters.
We can use a cutouts or various objects to cast interesting patterned shadows on our subjects. These go between the light fixture and the subject.
Furthermore we can use the barn doors attached to the light-fixtures to control the direction and focus of the light.
In film noir the eyes and brow are often illuminated by isolated light to get a dramatic look. Barn doors can be used to isolate the light in this manner.
Lighting like this should give pretty dramatic results, although some of the background may be illuminated which might not be ideal for the studio.
By placing a reflector or another light-source diagonally adjacent to the light can give some nice hair light and sometimes create a halo-like effect.
A three light low-key setup would look like this. This particular arrangement aims to keep one eye in full shadow dramatising the character. The key light is the most important, this will be the brightest and most dominant light. The fill light compliments the key light on the opposite side to fill in some of the shadows created by the key light. The final light of the 3 point set-up which adds an outline to separate the subject from the background.
For our shoot we don’t want the fill light to be very dominant as we wish to exaggerate the contrast and get that low-key look.
We may also want to think about using practical light, which is a light within the scene itself. This could be particularly interested paired with the fog machine.
Our second shoot for our music video was a studio shoot. We split this shoot into two halves. The first half featured purely the leads and then second half included the extras. When we first arrived I started to set up all the equipment and prepare the projector for our planned projections. We ended up projecting some of the footage of torchlight illuminated moving leaves onto the places of the two lead girls. It ended up being quite effective, with the warm torchlight suiting the color of the singers bright orange hair. We did have trouble with filming the projected footage in terms of matching frame rate, shutter speed and frequency although we discovered for this particular shot it worked quite well, after some minor adjustments.
We shot a varied combination of shots with the two leads without the extras before calling the extras in. We were planning on using the smoke machine but decided it was impractical as we used it once and the room was smoked for about 30 minutes. Not to mention if any of the smoke escaped the room it could set of the Universities fire alarms. One of our best scenes shot with the extras was the dance scene in which we basically just told the witchy extras to dance their hearts out. It ended up being quite dynamic and worked well with all the girls wearing black with the black backdrop. I actually like how the girls seem to drop in and out of visibility as the move towards the back of the dance floor. When the leads Mo and Emma join in they stand out with the orange hair among all the darkness and it looks great.
In reflection this shoot was a success. Although In hindsight I think it would have been good if we got some tighter shots among the dance floor to quickly intercut that would make you feel like you were actually there, and not just a static wide shot. Furthermore, I feel like for the amount of time we didn’t actually shoot that much. There were lots of times were we were just standing around waiting, whether it was for makeup, cigarette breaks or because we simply weren’t organised as we could have been.
Last week we had the wonderful opportunity to shoot a live musician in a studio. We all really appreciated the time Gerogia took to perform for us. I found the exercise very productive. We were placed into small groups and each group set a camera around the stage following the 180 degree rule. It was great practice working with a team and in terms of thinking about framing and camera position. Furthermore, we had to keep in mind coverage, making sure we always had a couple of cameras on a static shot of Georgia for editing continuity. Jenny, Tim and I filmed some great looking shots. Most of all it was just good to get behind a camera and some some experience. Before even shooting we had to think carefully about lighting the scene so it would be lit well and aestetically pleasing from each camera’s angle. Furthermore we thought about how the stage should look and where Georgia should be positioned etc.