Evaluation Q 4 – Ciaran Walsh

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Ciaran Walsh

How did you use new media technologies in the research, planning, construction and evaluation stages?

Before we stated filming, we had to research the type of music video we wanted and the audience that would watch it, as well as a suitable song to base the video on. We achieved this through search engines such as, Google, Wikipedia and YouTube. Google and Wikipedia allowed us to research genre conventions within general music videos and audiences for different genres of music, which gave us a basis to work around. The knowledge gained from them gave us basic start up skills and ideas which we could convert into a sustainable video. Using Facebook we found a band toxic funk berry, now concrete disco, which were willing to let us make a video for one of their songs (play for your life) which gave us a more specific genre of music to research. We then looked at the narrative we wanted to incorporate into the video (chase) and other videos which featured this, Dizzee rascal’s sirens, and Plan b’s end credits, through YouTube. Throughout the research process we documented any useful research on a website called wordpress.com. This helped us to keep track of any previous work done and contributing work by the rest of the group. At first there was some problems using the site as it was the first time using it. We had difficulties when uploading pictures and adding new posts to our groups blogs. We overcame this through practise, as we used the site more we came more familiar with the process of uploading pictures and posts, which made the development of our research quicker.

The production of the video was in some was challenged by the equipment available to us. The cameras (Nikon D40) although allow us to use a variety of techniques, such as automatic or manual focus, made other areas of production weak. The quality of the picture when filming the band was poor as at times it went too dark, we tried to overcome this when editing, by trying to use white balancing in dark shots. A way we could have overcome this would have been to have additional lights during the shoot. The lighting was not great in the room used and this would have counteracted this. if we could do the project again, external lights would have been a priority, as they would have increase the quality of the overall production. Other equipment limited the control and shot choice we had, such as the tripod. This limited the smoothness of a panning shot, to a state in which we couldn’t use one. However the tripods did allow us to get steady shots of all band members and actors used within the production of the video, which follows general conventions of music videos. While filming we did encounter some technical problems with the cameras. As we had to film the same actions several times from different angles the battery ran out, which delayed production for around 2 hours. This was due to the fact that we only had one camera, which in itself caused problems when filming with the continuity of the video. We overcame this problem second time round when filming the band, by bringing two cameras with spare battery’s.

The equipment available for editing also enhanced and challenged the quality and effectiveness of our music video. The computers we were using were out of service for a week, this delayed the editing process making it harder to meet deadlines. We also had some difficulties adjusting to the new computers we got. Although they provided us with new applications at first we found it hard to complete simple tasks. However they allowed use to make several video sequences, that helped to us intertwine the footage from both performance and narrative.

As we had not edited anything since last year, we decided to complete a quick editing exercise. Using the beat from pink panther we gathered images from pic search (so they were not copyright) and put them in time with the markers we had already lay down. The markers helped us to make sure the images we were using would be in time with the music, making the editing look better. This was good practice as it familiarised us with the editing software, adobe premiere elements 4, and would allow the real editing process to be less time consuming and smoother.

As this was an editing exercise that would help benefit us we decided to find funny pictures that would be suitable for people of all ages; if they were to see it.

We used a website called word cloud for the song ‘step up step down’. This was going to be our original song we worked on; however the band gave us the song ‘play for your life’. We then got ideas for a music video and converted them into this word cloud. The first has no colour but has contrasting colours. This was the initial idea for a chase scene, but we thought we should have a back p idea. We generated new words and used colour to fit the narrative of the idea (party scene) however when we viewed other videos that toxic funk berry, now known as concrete disco, had we found an existing party scene. The words used in the word clouds resemble the plot of the narrative of that idea. Such as chase, youths, and estate for idea 1 and girls, alcohol and drugs for a stereotypical teenage party.

When editing our final video we used adobe premiere elements 4, which we also used for our editing exercise pink panther. This software allowed us to create different sequences that we could edit on. This meant it was easier to organise the cuts we made from different parts of film. With every sequence we made an additional 2 would be made for that sequences sound. This let us keep track of which sequence was playing at once and allowed us to sync the visual shots we filmed with the pre recorded song by the band.

However before we started to cut any material we first had to upload all the footage we got from the shoot. The next step was to make sure the visuals matched the music. This was very important; if they were not matching the song would have looked out of time and unprofessional. It is also one of Andrew Goodwin’s analysis points of a music video, as it makes the audience feel like they are actually watching the band perform their music.

Once all the footage was in time, we had to look through and sort all the shots we could or wanted to use. This reduced the amount of footage we would have to sieve through to find shots, saving time and effort. We were also able to view any section of film in the top right hand corner and if we wanted we could adjust the size of the shot and move them around to suit our needs or desired effect.



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