Final Music Video

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Thursday, 25 November 2010


Over the weekend (20th-21st November 2010) my friend Malachi Kelly was hosting a gallery with all his photographs from his trip to Kenya, at The Rag Factory in Brick Lane, London. He offered me a chance to exhibit some of my own photographs in the gallery and I jumped at the chance.
It was such a brilliant opportunity for me to share my work and to raise money for an important charity at the same time. 100% profit went straight to a charity based in Kenya called 'Sure 24' and after the weekend a total of nearly £2,000 was raised.
I have always enjoyed taking photographs alongside Mal because we used to go to events and swap cameras to see what we could both come up with and then compare photos and I respect him as a photographer because his work is amazing and he knows what he is doing.
So when I heard that he was hosting a gallery for his 18th birthday, I was very excited to be part of something so good.
And of course I was very grateful for the opportunity to show off my own photography in a very cool part of London for the first time.
I also had the chance to speak to professional photographers who took an interest in my work and it was good to see people buying the work and raising money for the charity.

I chose to post this on my Media Studies blog because I had to go through the process of choosing photographs to display, sending them off to print, buying frames and framing the photographs, etc. and this process was extremely helpful to me in that it helped me with my presentation skills and shot framing skills.

I also filmed some of the gallery on the flip camera in order to document the occasion and then edited it on iMovie. I made one version for me and for this blog, and I will also create another version for Mal's website which is...

Here is my version of the video;

Charlotte also came down to the gallery on the sunday to help me film and to support me and my work! My photographs are the very last ones you see in the above video.


Group Meeting: Filming Schedule/Actors/Props/etc.

Yesterday we were given our recording equipment which includes a camera, a tripod, a gorilla tripod, chargers, leads, a battery, tapes and the flip camera.

Now that we have been given all this equipment we can begin filming and get the majority of our shots done, ready to start editing.

Our storyboard is ready to go and I have now spoken to the different people that we are using as the band in our music video. I know a group of people that are in a band together already and thought it would be easier to get people like that to act in our video because they know how to perform well and make it interesting. They are also a bit older which makes the video look a lot more professional than if we got people our age to be in it.

They are in a local band called Malokai, and their style of music is Alternative/Punk so they are very close to the genre of Kings Of Leon as a band, so they would be used to doing the specific type of performance that we are looking for.

Here are videos of two of their own performances as a band which show their style;

I spoke to Alex on Friday night (the lead singer) and he said he and the band would be happy to participate in the video as they have helped people with their A Level media projects beforehand, which is good for us because it means they are used to being directed and told what to do!
Here is the A Level music video that they were part of before for their own song called Pieces;

This video shows that they know how to create an interesting performance. We also know that they will be reliable because my boyfriend Josh was the drummer of the band so we have very easy contact with them all.

As a group, we also decided that we would need to add a lot of props to the school stage in order to make it look more exciting in the video, as it looks fairly bland as it is.

Now that we have our equipment we can start filming and will probably get the bulk of it done over the Christmas holidays.

Storyboard Video...

When we went on our trip to RichMix and had a presentation about the production of promotional music videos, we got told it was a good idea not only to draw out our storyboard on paper for when we begin filming, but to also take stills of each storyboard image and edit them to the song in order to get an idea of the pace and feel of the music video we will be producing.

Here are our original storyboard sheets;

And here is the video we edited of the different storyboard pictures to the music;

(The first shot will actually be a split screen with the different instruments appearing on screen as they come in on the song. In this way the first shot will not actually be as long as it looks on this storyboard video!)

After creating this preparation video of the storyboard images, we could see where we would need to slightly change and develop our ideas, as the pace is too slow or too fast in some parts of the song.
This task was extremely helpful for our project as we now know how we want to change our initial plans.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Paramore Gig...

On Saturday 13th November 2010, I went to the 02 Arena (by boat because the Jubilee line was closed!) to see one of my favourite bands for the third time. It has been so nice to watch their rise to success as I first saw them at a very small venue in 2007 called the Mean Fiddler where they were good but not yet confident in their performance.

I then saw them in 2009 at Wembley Arena which seemed like a huge step up as they were now performing very well to thousands and thousands of people and even they seemed in awe of how far they had come.

So to see them put on such an extravagant show at London's 02 Arena, probably the biggest music venue in London, was unbelievable. They pulled out all the stops and had some brilliant films playing on the screens in the background that added so much to the show. This just shows how effective film can be when put to music.

I found lots of videos of their performance on YouTube so here are a few examples of the show I was at on 13th November. The first one is their opening song called Ignorance, the graphics in the background were amazing and the lighting was very impressive too;

Here is another of their songs called 'Playing God'

Pressure - She introduces the whole band here and finds out who has/hasn't been to a Paramore show before...

The Only Exception was the last song before the encore and was performed beautifully, and Misery Business was the very last song, probably because that was their first huge hit.
They used fireworks and confetti with these two last songs and when you look back at one of their older performances (which I have put at the bottom of this post) shows how far they have come as a band.

I thought it was relevant to document my trip to see this band because they are of a fairly similiar genre to Kings Of Leon and they're live shows would cater to the same target audience.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Shot Composition Practice...

Today we went to our school hall to see whether or not we would be able to get away with using that stage for our performance shots in the video or whether or not it looked to big, but we decided that if we did our video in black and white it might look more believable (whilst we could also emphasize the main character by selecting the red colour of her shoes against black and white) so we tried out the bands positioning on the stage by miming the different instruments, here's the video we made Sarah was lead vocals, I was guitar, Charlotte was bass and Aimie was on drums;

Lip Synching Practice...

Today we practiced lip synching for our music video because we know it's going to be quite difficult to get the lip synching perfect.

Here is our video attempt of Charlotte lip synching to Kings Of Leon 'Charmer';

Although it's slightly out of time, we continued to practice and it got much better the more she exaggerated her mouth movements.

Useful Links...

Here are some useful links that we were given after our trip to RichMix that I will also add to the links on the side of my blog for future reference. Pete Fraser's is particularly helpful as he knows just what we need to put in our music videos in order to get the best results.

Digital Dream Door - A different selection, chosen for "their direction, choreography, art direction, special effects, editing, cinematography and overall creativeness".

Pitchfork - Top 100 music videos.

Format Mag - Format magazine's best hip-hop videos.

Academy Films - Corin Hardy's page from Academy Films.

Corin Hardy's Website - Corin's website.

Pete Fraser's Blog - Pete's weekly blog for media magazine.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Trip To RichMix (Afternoon Session)...

Over our lunch break, Pete Fraser set each school/college the task of coming up with a pitch for a music video concept for the song 'God & Satan' by Biffy Clyro and then after lunch we had to come back together and choose a spokesperson for our school to present our idea to two industry professionals called Corin Hardy and Liz Kessler.

Before we presented our pitch to them, Liz Kessler, who works in the industry commissioning and producing music videos, spoke to us about what it is like to work in the industry with artists and musicians in order to produce a successful music video that pleases the record label, the artist and the target audience.

She told stories about different music videos that she had worked on and then showed them to us afterwards and discussed the problems and solutions that occur when producing a music video. She also gave us an insight into how the process of producing a music video works. First, someone commissions a director/production company to work with the record label to come up with a concept for the music video and then eventually it is produced with the director's influence, and the band/artist rarely has any input into the idea of the video, unless they are extremely high profile and hold more power than their record label.

Here are some examples of music videos she showed us that she has been a part of;

Paolo Nutini - Pencil Full Of Lead

Corin Hardy directed this video with Liz Kessler and she said this is a good example of a video where the director had to come up with an idea that had the artist in the video without them actually physically being there.

Another example of this is the video for Wiley 'Money In My Pocket' where the director had to think quickly after a last minute change to the artists plans!

>>click here to see the Wiley - Money In My Pocket' Video<<

click here for >>Lissie - Everywhere I Go<<

This video for Lissie 'Everywhere I Go' was particularly interesting to hear about in terms of finances, as they had to import, film and send back an Elephant and the whole video eventually cost around £28,000!

Will Young - Changes

It then came to the time to present our pitch to Liz Kessler and Corin Hardy. Charlotte Boag (from our group) and Dominique Shiells-Edwards from another group in our media class presented our pitch to them and we filmed it on our Flip Cameras that we took with us to document the day;

(We have also edited all of our footage from the trip into a short film that documents our day which I will put in my next blog post)

After everyone pitched their ideas, the Liz Kessler and Corin Hardy gave us some interesting feedback from their perspective which was very helpful because it made us think about how we would actually make our ideas work in reality with all the problems that could occur.

After that, we had a question and answer session with Corin Hardy and he explained all of the music videos he has directed and then showed them to us. It was really nice to hear all the inside stories about the different musicians and how any problems were solved, for example, when Simon Neill the lead singer of Biffy Clyro lost his wedding ring in the bottom of the river that they were filming in, they had to send people in to search for it and eventually they found it and 4am when they finished filming!

I really enjoyed hearing about Corin Hardy's rise to success due to his passion for film making that started from a young age. I think he is an inspiration and hearing him talk about his career made me want to pursue my passions with a similar enthusiasm.

Here are the examples of the music videos that he has directed that he showed us...

Biffy Clyro - God and Satan

Keane - Bedshaped

>> click here for The Prodigy - Warrior's Dance <<

and my personal favourite of his...The Horrors - She Is A New Thing

His story of how this video was eventually made was very interesting as he and an illustrator friend spent three weeks drawing every single frame over the camera shots (which they only had 2 hours to film with the actual band because they turned up and hour late and weren't very enthusiastic about doing the video) and then hanging each image up to dry.

He didn't show this one in the presentation but I found it on his website and loved it;

I love the suprise element at the end of this video and I like the story behind it that they had a low budget and had to film under pressure.

Here is a link to Corin Hardy's website >>click here<<

After watching all of these videos it was the end of the presentation and we got the train back home. It was an extremely beneficial day for us as it gave us a lot of inspiration for our own music video and we hope to use all the knowledge we gained to perfect our work.

Trip to RichMix (Morning Session)...

On Tuesday 9th November, we went on a trip to London's up and coming arts centre in Shoreditch called RichMix in order to be part of their educational presentation called 'From MTV to YouTube: Studying Music Video'.

>> Click here to go to the RichMix website <<

In the morning we had a presentation by Pete Fraser on the history of the music video, codes and conventions and top tips for making our own pop promo. This presentation was extremely beneficial to us, as Pete Fraser was able to provide us with lots of information on the way music videos/promos have developed over the years and how we can produce a successful music video for our A Level Media Studies. He went through a very interesting presentation with some examples of music videos dating back to early experiments in the 1930s. I thought the presentation was incredibly interesting as he taught us about the history of music videos that we may never have come across otherwise.
>> click here to see Pete Fraser's blog << This blog contains all the information he gave us on the day of the trip.

Here is the first clip he showed us which is a very early exploration of putting moving images to music called The Colour Box by Len Lye (1935);

I had no idea that experimentation with film and music like this existed that far back in history until I saw this presentation, so I definately learnt lots of new things about the concept of music videos and where they originated. He then showed us a more modern video which clearly contains very similar aspects in colour, movement and concept of simply putting moving images to music, more of an artform than a promo. The modern video he showed us to compare to 'The Colour Box' (1935) was 'Ladyflash' by The Go! Team (2006) >> click here to watch The Go! Team video << I found it so interesting to see how similar the colours and movements were in both these videos.

As we began to progress through the history of music videos, we got to the 'Soundies' which relates to the concept of voyeurism in this early promotional music video of Nat King Cole 'Frim Fram Sauce'. At 0:38 the audience sees Nat King Cole watching himself on the 'Soundie' (a popular video jukebox in America in the 1940s) which shows the first uses of voyeurism in promotional music videos;

We also learnt about a development of the 'Soundies' called the 'Scopitone' which became very popular in Europe just after World War II. Here is a photograph of a Scopitone which would play short promotional videos such as the one below;

The rest of the presentation was spent going through more modern music videos everything from The Beatles 'Can't Buy Me Love' to Jay-Z '99 Problems'. We watched them all and then Pete Fraser explained why they conformed/challenged Genre Characteristics/Audience Expectations/etc. For example, the whole of Madonna's video for 'Open Your Heart' is based around looking at her, which is an obvious use of Voyeurism;

We also looked at 50 Cent 'Candy Shop' and learnt about the stereotypically sexual way in which women are objectified in rap artist's videos;

Other videos that we watched were The Beatles 'Can't Buy Me Love' which showed us how music videos became a way for fans to get an insight of what the band are like as people, Michael Jackson 'Thriller' as an example of a big budget video which almost ended up as a short film, Jay-Z '99 Problems' which is an incredible music video where the audience sees something new about it after many viewings and finally, Dangermouse 'The Grey Video' and the prisoners' version of Thriller as an examples of how YouTube has revolutionised the way we listen to music and the way it is promoted.

Here are all those videos mentioned above;

We were also told about some ideas from Andrew Goodwin's Analysis of promotional music videos of what should be expected from a music video (what we should include in our own promotional music video);

Genre Characteristics - obvious expectations of the different genres.

Relationship of music/lyrics with visuals - amplify the lyrics rather than simplifying them. Illustrate the lyrics.

Intertextuality - refer to films/other music videos/theatre/books/etc.

Star Image - emphasis on the star's image/branding (Madonna is an interesting example because of her ever changing image over the years).

Voyeurism - idea of looking and observing (particular emphasis fascination with the female body)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Group Meeting: Storyboarding/Shot Ideas

Yesterday we had another group meeting about the specific camera shots/angles/movements that will make up our music video. We had previously written down a list of specific shots that we wanted to include in the video and now we are beginning to draw out our storyboard.
Here is a photo of the specific camera shot list we made;

As we were trying to think of different shot ideas, we found it incredibly useful to refer to existing music videos of the same genre as our band (Alternative/American Rock) in order to give us inspiration for our own music video.

For example, we wanted to film a shot of the bands shoes walking past the camera and then the girls' red heels following them in order to show the audience her obsession with the band (We have also decided that one of the main themes of our music video is going to be obsession, and we are creating a theme in order to focus our ideas and be more specific about our concept). We then thought of Kings Of Leons' video for their song 'On Call' where a similar camera shot is shown right at the start of the video >> click here to see the video <<

This is just one example of a camera shot that we think will work really well with our music video and we know it does because this existing Kings Of Leon video proves that.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hypodermic Syringe Effect...

The hypodermic needle model (also known as the hypodermic-syringe model) is a model of communications also referred to as the "magic bullet" perspective, or the transmission-belt model. Essentially, this model holds that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver. The model is rooted in 1930s behaviorism and is largely considered obsolete today.

The hypodermic needle theory implied that mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on their audiences. The mass media in the 1940s and 1950s were perceived as a powerful influence on behaviour change. Several factors contributed to this "strong effects" theory of communication, including: the fast rise and popularization of radio and television, the emergence of the persuasion industries, such as advertising and propaganda, the Payne Fund studies of the 1930s, which focused on the impact of motion pictures on children, and Hitler's monopolization of the mass media during WWII to unify the German public behind the Nazi party.

The "Magic Bullet" or "Hypodermic Needle Theory" of direct influence effects was not as widely accepted by scholars as many books on mass communication indicate. The magic bullet theory was not based on empirical findings from research but rather on assumptions of the time about human nature. People were assumed to be "uniformly controlled by their biologically based 'instincts' and that they react more or less uniformly to whatever 'stimuli' came along" (Lowery & DefFleur, 1995, p. 400). The "Magic Bullet" theory graphically assumes that the media's message is a bullet fired from the "media gun" into the viewer's "head" (Berger 1995). Similarly, the "Hypodermic Needle Model" uses the same idea of the "shooting" paradigm. It suggests that the media injects its messages straight into the passive audience (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). This passive audience is immediately affected by these messages. The public essentially cannot escape from the media's influence, and is therefore considered a "sitting duck" (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). Both models suggests that the media is vulnerable to the messages shot at them because of the limited communication tools and the studies of the media's effects on the masses at the time (Davis, Baron 1981).

The phrasing "hypodermic needle" is meant to give a mental image of the direct, strategic, and planned infusion of a message into an individual. But as research methodology became more highly developed, it became apparent that the media had selective influences on people.
The most famous incident often cited as an example for the hypodermic needle model was the 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds and the subsequent reaction of widespread panic among its American mass audience. However, this incident actually sparked the research movement, led by Paul Lazarsfeld and Herta Herzog, that would disprove the magic bullet or hypodermic needle theory, as Hadley Cantril managed to show that reactions to the broadcast were, in fact, diverse, and were largely determined by situational and attitudinal attributes of the listeners.
(This information was gathered from

Audience Theory...

Audience theory is an element of thinking that developed within academic literary theory and cultural studies.
With a specific focus on rhetoric, some, such as Walter Ong, have suggested that the audience is a construct made up by the rhetoric and the rhetorical situation the text is addressing. Others, such as Ruth Mitchell and Mary Taylor have said writers and speakers actually can target their communication to address a real audience. Some others like Ede and Lunsford try to mingle these two approaches and create situations where audience is "fictionalized," as Ong would say, but in recognition of some real attributes of the actual audience.
There is also a wide range of media theory and communication studies theories about the audience's role in any kind of mediated communication. A sub-culturally focussed and Marxism-inflected take on the subject arose as the 'New audience theory' or 'Active audience theory' from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies during the 1980s.

(This information was gathered from