Dave Question Time

The other day when I was on Instagram I saw the rapper Dave had released a new song, and from reading the comments on the post I saw it was politically motivated, so I thought it would be an interesting music video to look further in to.

In this music video Dave performs his song. However due to the nature and context of the video being filled with political opinions, he is not just preforming the lyrics of these songs, he is addressing and directing them at the people and politicians he mentions in the song. The camera work enforces this, with his face being in the centre of the frame for most of the video. The video also opens with Dave moving a camera and throughout the video the audience see Dave with many cameras on him, representing the media and the people he’s addressing, also perhaps presenting how he’s trying to get his message into the media.

I thought this was quite an interesting music video, especially as it is not a very conventional music video of a grime artist, due to the singularity of it just being the artist in the video, no poesy or gang, and also the general nature of what the song is about is not generic in the grime genre.

Location and Test Shots

Yesterday I went around various places I plan to film, to see whether they would be suitable for my music video and how the settings look through a camera.

Below is the first location I looked at. This is the top of a car park at a shopping centre local to me. This is the location I plan to use for the establishing shot at the start of the music video, and will be returned to throughout the video with the artist preforming. I took several pictures on my phone to test what shot and angle would look best for the video, and I believe the image in the top left of the collage is the best, one reason being it is clear of any obstructions such as lamp posts, and also has the best view of the building in the background, giving an urban feel which is a common convention of hip-hop music videos.

 

The next location I looked at was a skate park. this is going to be used for the narrative aspect of my music video, as it is a generic location for where teens hang out.

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I took this image as convenience stores are quite a common location seen in grime music videos, for example Mostacks “Liar Liar” opens with him coming out of one. I am not yet sure if I am going to use this location, however I have it at disposal if I need more shots.

 

 

 

The next location I went to was a tower block. Tower blocks are also very common in grime music videos as they are closely associated with the urban-street lifestyle in places such as London, Birmingham, Manchester etc. In terms of the tower block in my music video, I plan to include a shot like the portrait picture on the left, but with a long shot of the artist so the audience can see his whole body, and the use a low angle will make him look powerful and intimidating, which is a convention seen in the majority of hip-hop music videos. I also plan to include similar shots of the artist preforming down the alley way with the garages and the tower block in the background, perhaps progressively moving closer to the camera as the music video progresses. Or I may take inspiration from YG’s music video “2015 Flow” and start with a close up of the artist about midway down the alleyway, and progressively zoom out until it as an extreme long shot with the tower block in the background, however on this I am not yet decided.

 

The next location is a run down area. This is good for the close up shots I plan to have of my artist, as he can be up against one of the walls with graffiti, enforcing an urban setting, sticking to the conventions of the genre.

 

The next set of images is from another car park. I may have shots of the artist performing here as well, or maybe even have him perform in the flats across from the car park and film from the car park. Because of the view, the pictures look as if there are two separate car parks, however both are good to use as they both have good urban back drops to fit in with the conventions of the genre.

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I think I have plenty of locations to use when filming my music video and all locations that fit in with the genre of my film. I may include one inside location or a shot of the artist in a vehicle, and I also maybe expand the narrative out of just the skate park and make use of some of my other locations, but other than that I am happy with my locations and have a few ideas for the sort of shots that will look good and be effective.

Script Research

The other day I started to write my script, but only once I actually started writing it was when I realised I actually don’t know how to write one. So I thought it would be a good idea to do some research into music video scripts.

To start off I typed in google ” music video script” but then moved my search to YouTube as I feel a video of someone visually showing and describing how to make one is more beneficial as I can actually see someones real example.

Got a Song for my Music Video!

I have now got the song I will be using for my music video, here it is…

This song is called “Quick Talk ” by the rapper a.PROZAC and from his album MINUS which can be found on SoundCloud.

How I got Permission

a.PROZACTo the left is a.PROZAC, the rapper who’s song I am using for my music video. a.PROZAC was in the year above me at school, and I knew he had an interest in music as I had previously listened to his songs. So I emailed him asking if it would be OK to use one of his songs for my music video, and he said yes.

Planning Documents

Before the production of my music video, there are several planning documents I will need to produce to aid me in the production of the music video. These are:

  • Mind Map
  • Script
  • Storyboard
  • Anamatic
  • Character Profile
  • Mood board
  • Shot List
  • Reece
  • EDL
  • Budget

Before I can produce any of these effectively, I need to find a song to use in my music video so that my ideas for the video match the song that I will be using.

 

 

XXXTENTACION Look At Me!

Last week the rapper XXXTENTACION released the video for his hit single “Look At Me!”. Although I have finished my research into music videos, I am still yet to make mine and I am interested in them, and I believe this music video to be very unique and creative.

XXXTENTACION released the music video for his hit song “Look At Me” a while after he had initially released the song. Because of the popularity of the song, this obviously drew a lot of viewers to the video and the artist used this as an opportunity to give a message he wanted to convey as the video does not include the whole song, just the start of the song,

Target Audience Research Plan

My target audience are teenagers and young adults as this is the generic listeners of hip-hop music.

The type of research I will conduct will be surveys and secondary research through online research.

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I will use the website SurveyMoneky to create and conduct a survey for my target audience for my music video. I will use a mixture of open and closed questions  to get a variance in my answers.

Music Video Analysis 9: 2015 Flow

This is YG’s the music video for YG’s song “2015 Flow”. This song has a freestyle feel to it as it does not have a chorus.

Whats interesting about the video is that it’s filmed all in one shot. The difference in this too other rapper’s music videos is the use of camera being very limited and narrowing it down to one single shot, zooming out on the artist. This defies all conventions as it is not likely for music videos to use one shot in the whole video. On another point, the artist does follow conventions of mise en scene regarding his clothing decisions and the act of money being thrown in front of the camera. The colour red is extremely dominant in the music video as it links to his gang ‘Bloods’. The idea of not changing shots links to this point as the artist believes his success is within the gang and therefore influences his music.

Lighting

After analysing a couple of music videos, I realised how important of a factor lightning is and I feel it is something I need to improve on, as in my AS project we relied heavily on natural lighting, and never really explored any other type of lighting or techniques.

To start off my research into lighting, I went on YouTube to find a video that explained the basics of lighting when filming. The video below is from the YouTube channel “Film Riot”, one I am familiar with and have used before.

This video was very beneficial to me as it covered how to use lighting in filming and also included many useful techniques to set different tones and atmospheres in a scene.

broad sideFor example, broad side is when the light is hitting the broad side of the actors face. This works well if the actors face is at an angle as most of the face will be lit up. This gives a more high-key feel, which is the type of lighting usually used in Hip-Hop music videos.

 

short side

Opposite to broad side there is short side. This has the light hit the side of the face that is in the minority of the shot, leaving a darker more shadowy look the the shot. This would be used for darker more low-key lighting scenes or films.

 

rembrandt lighting

Another lighting technique I found very interesting from this video was Rembrandt lighting. Named after a painter who used this lighting in is portraits, This lighting creates a triangle under one of the actors eyes, done by moving the light lamp left or right a bit from side light. This creates a very effective low-key look to a shot.

Back light is another technique showcased in the YouTube video. Yes this would give a low-key feel, however I believe this would be a good shot to use in a Hip-Hop music video, as it fits in with the connotations of a Hip-Hop artist being intimidating, as with this shot the identity of the actor is not know.

back light

 

Obviously my music video is going to be low budget, so it is fair to say that I will not have access to the lighting equipment showcased in that video. However, I found another video on Film Riots channel which provided help on how to film with only one light.

This video was a big help as it allows me to keep my budget low whilst still being able to make the music video look professional.

Music Video Analysis 7: Loyal

The next artist I am looking at is Chris Brown. Chris Browns music falls under the hip-hop sub genre of R&B.

One of the components that stands out the most about this music video is all the colour in the video. This is due to a mix of the high key lighting, colourful clothes and all the lights in the video.

Magazine Advert Analysis 6: Finally Famous

This is the cover of the magazine “Coast 2 Coast”, a hip-hop magazine. The cover of this issue is of Big Sean and advertises his album “Finally Famous”. big sean magazine advert

The first thing on this cover the Audience are drawn to is the image of Big Sean. This is conventional when advertising a hip-hop artists album as this way the audience become aware of who the artist is. Big Sean is in conventional hi-hop clothing wearing expensive accessories. Big Sean’s pose is strong and sturdy, giving an intimidating appearance about him, which is also conventional of hip-hop artists. The magazine advertises itself by putting its name in bod text across the top of the magazine. The bottom left of the page is where Big Sean and his album are advertised through text. The artist name is in big blue bold text, but is a different text style from the title of the magazine, separating the two however showing they are both the main text con the page. A reference to Big Sean’s Album is then made in less bold and smaller text underneath saying “Is Finally Famous”. This cover does not outright advertise the album, however what it does do is make hip-hop audiences aware (seeing as this is a hip-hop magazine) of who Big Sean is, and may make them more inclined to listen to his music, and subtlety drop a hint at the name of the album, so when they see it they may recognise the name of the album and listen to it.

Digipak Analysis 6: Finally Famous

“Finally Famous” is Big Sean’s debut studio album released in 2011.
big sean frontThe front panel of this album is very conventional of Hip-Hop as the main image is of the artist, showing his importance. This is supported by the artists name being placed in the centre of the panel, and in the biggest piece of text on the panel. This was probably done, not only to show the artist as being important, but also due to the fact this was his debut album, implying he may not be have been that well known, so making him the centre of attention on the album makes him look important and boosts his brand image. The clothing Big Sean is wearing is conventional of Hip-Hop as he is wearing what appears to be very expensive jewellery and black designer sun glasses. Even the title of the album is conventional of Hip-Hop, as a stereotypical trait of the genre is fame and fortune, and both of these traits are apparent on the front panel of this Digipak. The title also links to the idea of Big Sean’s brand, as the title “Finally Famous” suggests that Big Sean is in fact famous, enticing people to buy his album as they’d think they should of heard of him because he is “famous”.

The inside panels contain background images of Big Sean, with text next to him telling the names of the songs and a little bit about them. The inside cover sticks to the conventions of Hip-Hop again through the expensive clothing and jewellery, and the repetition of images of the artist, linking to his brand.

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The back panel of this Digipak differs to other more conventional Hip-Hop Digipaks, or any Digipaks in general as unlike most, it does not contain a list of the songs on the album. Instead this is a thank you to all the people who helped in the creation of this album and all the people who have been there for him. Following the thank you text a line is inserted to separate this from the information about the production of the album.

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I think that this is a very good Digipak, especially for a new, debut artist such as mine will be. The idea of repetition of the artist and making them look important for brand recognition is something that has inspired me and that I will use when the time comes to make a Digipak.

Music Video Analysis 6: I Don’t F*** With You

The next artist I will be looking at is Big Sean. Most of his songs are pop-rap (such the following). This is the music video for his song “I Don’t F*** With You”.

This music video is a hybrid of music video styles being both narrative and performance. The whole video takes place on an American Football field and the narrative story is about a star athlete (played by the artist) not being able to concentrate on the game in hand due to girl problems. This music video is heavily influenced by pop culture about American High School, probably done so the audience of pop-rap, (largely teenagers) can relate to the song through the expression portrayed in the video.

In terms of the camera, close ups are used to grasp the artists emotions, helping to portray the narrative story line, these are also used to distinguish between the narrative and the performance. The artist is also always positioned in the centre of the frame, usually shot in either a close up or mid shot, showing his importance to the video. Although all the action in the music video takes place at night time, the video is still very bright, conveying its up-beat nature. The video taking place at night could be a reference to the name of the album the song is from, “Dark Sky Paradise”. The protagonist/artist is in the football kit like the rest of the team, however he is also wearing a bandanna and jewellery, done to separate him from the rest of the cast in the video, and also fit in with the conventional clothing accessories of the hip hop genre. This video includes other audio that is not apart of the song, to help with the story telling in the narrative side of the video. Product placement is also used with a Beats speaker being the focus of a shot. Kanye West is one of the producers of Big Sean’s “Dark Sky Paradise” album and features as the coach in the music video. Him featuring as the coach in the video is almost like a metaphor for him being the producer of the album as both roles give guidance.

 

Magazine Advert Analysis 5: Tha Carter IV

This is the magazine advert for Lil Wayne’s album “The Carter IV”.

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This advert takes up a whole page in a magazine and is dominated by dark colours with black, grey and white being the only visible colours. And image of the artist face and chest up is presented on the advert, which is conventional of magazine adverts as the audience need to know whom the advert is for. Lil Wayne’s image is also very conventional of the hip-hop genre, as he has meany tattoos visible on his face and neck, and has multiple piercings and is also wearing a hat, all fashion that is associated with the music genre.

The Text is bold and white, making it stand out, allowing for the audience to find all the important information on the advert easily.

Overall this is a very simple yet effective advert. It sticks to conventions of hip hop album adverts with a large image of the artist in a generic appearance of the genre and an egotistic tag line, and has simple bold text giving information on the album. And for an established and famous artist such as Lil Wayne, this is all that is needed to advertise his 9th studio album as people are going to buy his album as he already has a established and big fan base, the fans just need to be told when the album is being released.

As the song that I will be doing will probably be for a new artist, I will probably have to make my advert more colourful and stand out more to attract more attention from audiences.

DigiPak Analysis 5: Tha Carter III

“Tha Carter III” is Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album and was released in 2010. Below is the album cover. The background colour is black, making the image of the boy and the text stand out. It can be inferred that the image of the little boy on the front cover is an image of Lil Wayne as a child, as it is his album and the boy shares the same tattoos as the rapper. It’s evident that this is not the artists first album as he does not have an image of himself, well a current image anyway that audiences can associate his music with. But due to this being his sixth studio album and him already having a big following and fan base, he does not need to have an image of himself as people know him by name. The text on the cover is located in the top right corner and says the artists name in dark red, and the album title in white. The colour red itself can represent danger or pain, so dark red could represent something further or deeper than that, perhaps meaning the album maybe inspired by pain he has suffered in his life, and the image of him as child could mean that it is pain he suffered or experienced growing up. The white text makes the album name stand out on the black background, making it obvious what the album is called.

tha carter 3

The rest of the panels on the digipak carry on with the black theme for the backgrounds. The top image on the mosaic below is an image shown across the inside panels of the digipak. One is an image of Lil Wayne, signifying him as the artist and the other image is of a pair of hands which the audiences inferrers are his, due to the album being his and the image to the left of it. In both images the artist is seen to be wearing expensive looking accessories such as sunglasses and various pieces of jewellery. This imagery follows the common conventions I have come to notice through my research associated with the hip-hop genre. Both images are separated by 3 white lines, referencing the name of the album.

The albums disc is primarily black, with a little red and white, following the colour scheme of the album. The colour of the text has switched from the album colour, as the artists name is now in white and the album title is in red. This maybe be done to show that the artist and the album are interchangeable, due to it being his work.

The back cover of the digipak also has a black background and also has an image of the artist on it. It lists the songs the album has on it, which is a generic convention of many album back covers. It also references the companies involved in the production of the album in small text at the bottom left of the panel. The colour of the text also keeps up with the colour scheme of the rest of the album.

Oasys MiniHollywood

I am currently in Spain on holiday and yesterday went to a place called Oasys MiniHollywood. I decided to do a blog on this as it was the capital of the production of many of the Spaghetti Westerns made in the 60’s and 70’s, linking very nicely with my interest in media.

Oasys MiniHollywood is now a theme park in the Tabernas desert in the south of Spain. However due to its natural aesthetic, it made for the perfection location to film Spaghetti Westerns as the scenery is almost a replica of areas such as Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico in the USA, where the Spaghetti westerns were set, and due to its location being in Europe, film companies could save money as it was cheaper to film here than in the states.

The Western Town

Oasys MiniHollywood is now primarily a theme park, equipped with a zoo, aquatic park and an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. However the park also has the “Western Town”. This is a basically a film set town of the wild-west.

As well as walking around and in the sets, the western town has a wild-west shoot out show, a can can dance and also a cinema museum.

img_0938 This was the entrance to the Museum. inside contained loads of filming machinery, some which where gigantic, and showed just how quickly technology throughout cinematography history has moved on. Also aligned at the top of all the walls in the museum are movie posters for all the films filmed here. These movies include “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Cleopatra”, “The good, the bad and the ugly”, “Death had a price”, “Indiana Jones and the last crusade”, and many more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Video Analysis 4: Not Afraid

The forth artist I am going to look at is Eminem and his album recovery. This is the music video for “Not Afraid”.

This music video is a hybrid of the performance and narrative music video styles. It takes place in 3 main locations. The top of a building looking over a city, a messy room and the streets of the city.

On first view, it could be suggested that this is a hybrid of performance and a conceptual style of music video, however the shots in which the artist is not rapping along to his song (performance) do in fact run parrell

Advert Analysis 3: GSAP

This is the image used to advertise the album in magazines. It is just the album cover photo and the name of the artist and the name of the album. It does not show any release dates which is unusual and not conventional at all. This maybe because the artist wants people to start a conversation about the album, and by people seeing it advertised everywhere and not knowing when its released would certainly bring up questions about it.

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The advertisement used for this album was more heavily done through billboards across London and on tube stations and through social media than magazines. This is due to the fall in readership of hard copies of magazines.

Through looking at a newer album I have noticed how the music Video Industry is slightly changing due to the internet and new media technologies. For example listeners stream and download music now instead of buying CD’s. And companies advertise through online instead of in magazines.

Digipak Analysis 3: GSAP

The front cover of the album “Gang Signs & Prayer” parallels the famous image of Jesus and his disciples at the last supper. This image links to the title as prayer has a religious link to Jesus, and Stormzy and his peers are dressed in gang clothing.

gsap front cover

The back cover is again a very simple panel, it lists the songs and references the companies involved in the production.

gsap bck cover

The inside panels of this album are plain black. I believe this shows a change in hard copies of music, as it is now more popular and way easier just to stream music on apps such as Spotify and Apple Music, and for free whereas a debut album usually retails for £9.99. This means companies will focus less on the production of digipaks, as there is no longer as big a demand for them and will focus more heavily on the streaming versions.

Music Video Analysis 3: Big for your Boots

The next artist I will be looking at is Stormzy and his Gang Signs and Prayer album he released earlier this year. This is the music video of “Big for your Boots” from the album.

This video is a performance video as it show the artist rapping his song in different locations. Stormzy is always the centre of the frame in the shots, which is very common in hip-hop performance videos as it is part of the hip-hop culture for the artist to be important and have high status.

Fast straight cuts are used to transition between scenes as it shows that all the scenes are connected. Also slow motion is used to pan across the faces of people in the video, diverting attention from Stormzy, showing these people are connected to him, as they are sharing air time with him.

Stormzy carries on showing his connection to his peers in the video as he is wearing similar clothing as the and puts his arm around them in a friendly way.

Magazine Advert Analysis 2: Take Care

This is the magazine advert for Drakes 2011 “Take Care” album. This is the Canadian Rappers second studio album.

take care advert

The artists name is the first and largest piece of text seen by the audience, taking up almost one third of the advert. It is arguably the most important piece of text on the advert, as the audiences are fans of Drake, the artist himself, so knowing the album is by him will already entice previous fans of his music just due to the brand of his name.

The image of the album cover is the medium that takes up the most of the advert and is the focus point. This is very important as consumers can identify the album in shops, which increases sales. The addition of the text helps new audiences as the album cover does not show Drake’s name, so this advert helps to introduce new audiences as well.

The last section of text at the bottom includes the release, featured singles and collaborations, and logos of the institutes that helped in the production of this album. The release that is given is not very conventional of album adverts, as only gives the day of the release, no mention of the date. I believe this was done to increase first week or initial sales, as audiences will see this advert and automatically know that this is a brand new album, perhaps making them want to buy it as they will be listening to the latest music.

The following lines of text are some of the singles and collaborations with other artists that feature on the album. The songs are ones that were the most popular before the release of the album. These are put on the front to entice customers to buy the album, as they would recognise the name of the popular songs on the front and be more inclined to buy one. The collaborations is there to attract fans of the artists hes has done collaborations with, meaning more sales and providing him with a wider customer base.

At the very bottom is the logos of the institutes that helped in the production of the album. These are here to increase brand recognition of the companies, potentially increasing sales of future albums released or produced by the companies.

Digipak Analysis 2: Take Care

take careThe front cover of the album is a picture of Drake sitting at a table with expensive looking gold ornaments and accessories. The title of the album is found in the bottom left hand corner of the image in gold writing. This is a quite a conventional cover as it shows the artist and also expensive jewellery.

 

 

 

The first panel in the digipak is an image of Drake smoking a cigar. This fits in with the conventions of the genre, as cigars are something associated with a ‘bad boy image’ which is closely associated with hip-hop.

take care inner digipak panel

This panel shows a list of the songs that are featured on the album. Underneath the title of the song is a brief description of the people who played a part in the production of it. The background image keeps up the imagery of a wealthy mansion seen in the last two images.take care futher inside

This panel is a dedication to everyone who helped him in his music career. The background of the gold owl is primarily a reference to his record label (OVOXO), but could also show how he has become wiser in his progression in the industry, as owls connote wisdom, and also keeps with the idea of wealth as the owl is solid gold.

take care dediction page.jpg

This panel is a bit like the first in the sense that it does not really serve a purpose to the album, it is more for decoration. The theme of the expensive home is carried on, as Drake is looking at a statue with very colourful flowers, something to expect in a luxurious home.

take care poster page.jpg

This panel of credits is done solely for business purposes. It gives recognition to the companies involved in the production of the album. take care end credits.jpg

The back cover of the album is very conventional as it is a list of the songs in the centre of the panel in a text and colour that matches the rest of the digipak. It also has the record company logos that were involved at the bottom.

take care back cover.jpg

 

Music Video Analysis 2: Headlines

The second artist I will be looking at for inspiration is Drake. This is the music video for “Headlines” from his album “Take Care”.

At the start of the music video the 5 main locations of where the video takes place are established within the first 10 seconds of the video. The first setting appears to be in a baseball ground, with the name of the album this song is under on a big display board. The second location is a block of run down flats. This is very conventional of hip-hop music as it is urban and relates to drake being portrayed as a thug through the video and the lyrics. The third is an elevator. In this elevator the audience see drake going up and dressed differently, conveying how he is coming up in the industry. The Forth location is a park with a monument where he stands with his friends whom also appear to be thugs due to their clothing. The final location is Drake sitting at a big dining room table with a cigar and dressed more smartly, again showing him to have made it.

The outfits that drake and the cast are wearing at the start are baseball jackets, hoodies or tracksuits. They are all dressed very similarly, showing they have some sort of unity with each other and shows Drake to be one of them. However Drakes clothes change as the son progresses, showing as he became more successful he could break out of being a thug into being a gentleman.

The lighting in the elevator is quite dark giving an air of mystery to them scenes. However the light from outside juxtaposes that by showing a sign of hope as he goes up in the world. When Drake is standing in front of the flat, altough the lighting is quite a gloomy grey/green, his red jacket has been made tostnad out by editing the colour to make it brighter, showing how he is breaking out of the dark gloomy setting. When Drake is sitting at the dining room table the lighting is high-key, portraying the happiness of where he is.

Magazine Advert 1: Watch The Throne

This is a magazine advert for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album “Watch The Throne”. This advert actually made it to the front cover of ‘Respect.’ magazine, enforcing the status of these two rappers and their album. respect-367x500

What I first Noticed about this advert for the album was the equality between both artists involved. Usually in a band there is a lead singer and he or she is the front man for everything to do with the band, however in a collaborative album both artists are equal, and this can sometimes be hard to show. However this advert does it very well. Although Jay-Z is at a higher level in the frame, this is countered by Kanye West’s name being presented first. Equal amounts of the artists bodies are shown in the advert and also both appear to be singing/performing, showing one is not the lead.

There is not a lot of text on the advert, only the name of the artists in the centre and in bold and then just underneath there is a statement saying “Watch The Throne is the most important album in hip-hop history. And we can prove it!” This statement promotes the album well as it endorses it as “the most important album in hip-hop history”, which already entices any fans of that genre, and by saying “we can prove it ” will make the audience want to buy the album because they want to listen and be proven of its importance.

Digipak Analysis 1: Watch The Throne

Watch The Throne is collaborative album by Jay-Z and Kanye West. The front cover is a solid gold plaque with a fancy design on it. This sets a tone of wealth and success, something that both artists have achieved. The colour gold also suits the nature of the of the album due to the fact it is a collaboration album. This matches the gold as this is not very common making it special, like the colour gold. The colour of the album cover also links to the title of the album, as gold is a royal colour. Watch_The_Throne

WTT inside panels

These are the inside panels of the album. These panels include separate images of both the artists, the American Flag, an animal print and an angelic image.

The images of the artists faces have been morphed with what appears to be a wild cat, like a lion or tiger. These animals have connotations of power and status, and are also very dominant in the animal kingdom. This is like a parallel for the album, as Jay-Z and Kanye West are two of the most dominant rappers in the music industry, and the gold plaque on the front cover represents their power and status. The animal imagery is carried on in another panel to enforce the metaphor of the animalistic power they have.

The American flag is there as this is the country both the artists are from, and is something the appear to be proud of, due to the fact this flag is shown in the album, and is also centre stage in the “Otis” music video from this album.

The last image of the panels is one that contains an angel. This links to the gold aspect of the cover, and could also connote through the gold and the angel that their music is above everyone else, (also links to Kanye West saying “I am a God”).

 

Music Video Analysis 1: Otis

The first music video I will be analysing is Jay Z and Kanye West- Otis ft. Otis Reading

The style of this music video is a hybrid of narrative and performance. The video opens up with an establishing shot of a luxury car, keeping to the conventions of the hip hop genre. This shot also establishes the narrative aspect of the video, as the two artist appear in the shot, with manufacturing equipment. The following shots set up the narrative, as it shows people performing work on the car.

A low angle shot of both artists is then shown, portraying the performance aspect of the music video. It is significant that both shots the artists have low angles for the first 30 seconds of the video as it is a common convention of hip hop, as it gives the artists status and power.

The lighting throughout the video is very high key, denoting the up-beat nature of the song.

The effect of slow motion is used multiple times throughout the video. This effect makes the focus on the artists longer, giving them high status.

Research

Before I begin the production of my music video, digipak and magazine advert, I am going to analyse 10 professional examples of each media text.

As I will be making all three of the texts for one artist, I have decided to effectively analyse 10 individual hip hop artists, looking at one of there music videos, a digipak of one of their albums, and also a magazine advert advertising their album.

With in hip-hop music, I have found there are many different sub-genres of the music genre, here are the most popular sub genres:

  • Rap
  • Pop-Rap
  • Grime
  • Gangsta Rap
  • Trap
  • Freestyle Rap

When analysing hip-hop artists I will try to analyse at least one from each sub-genre, so that I can make an informed decision into what sub genre of hip-hop I will chose for my music video.

That in mind, here is a list of the artists I plan to analyse and their respected sub-genre:

  • Jay-z- Rap
  • Drake– Pop Rap
  • Stormzy– Grime
  • Eminem- Gangsta Rap/ Freestlye Rap
  • Lil Wayne- Rap/Pop Rap
  • Big Sean– Pop Rap
  • Kendrick Lamar- Gangsta Rap/ Pop Rap
  • Migos– Trap
  • YG– Gangsta Rap
  • Chip– Grime

 

Music Video Styles

There are multiple different styles of music videos, these are:

  • concept
  • narrative
  • performance
  • Interpretive
  • Parody
  • hybrid

 

Concept

Conceptual music videos are usually based around a single idea or concept. The concept is usually quite unusual or strange for the audiences viewing. This can be an intriguing factor for many consumers.There is not really any common features of this style of video, apart from that it can include unusual elements and be pretty much anything. Concept videos tend to use a lot of symbolism.

The music video for Sia’s song ‘Chandelier’ is a conceptual music video. It consists of a young girl dancing around a rather baron house. The video does not link with the lyrics, and also does not contain the artist. The video is cleverly filmed as apart from a view establishing shots of the location at the start, nearly the whole video is in one shot. This can be done because of the engaging nature of ballet dancing, and knowing this the cinematographers link the camera work with the audience as it is as if, like the audience, the camera cannot take their eyes off the dancing.

 

Narrative

A narrative music video tells a story throughout the video, usually in the form of a short story or film. The video will usually link with the lyrics of the song. Narrative videos are usually very popular, as it engages the audience in the story. This can be because many narrative music videos deal with situations the audience may be in, for example the loss of someone, a break up, etc.

Narrative videos are popular among artists, as it allows them to express my feelings on a topic they may feel strongly for, e.g. Drug abuse, gang culture etc.

Although the genre of music is different, these two videos have a very similar narrative. They both tell the story of a crazed fan, and both artists, Eminem and Ed Sheeran appear only briefly in their respective videos. Also in both videos, the actors lip sync the songs lyrics.

 

Performance

A performance music video contains a live performance or footage of a live performance of the artist or band in the video. There are generally 3 types of performance music videos, these are; band, dancing and singing.

Beyonce’s song ‘All The Single Ladies’ is a dance music video. Dance music videos are usually made when the song is a feel good song, as dancing endorses the up-beat nature of the song, and also appeals for it to be played in clubs, as the song already has an associated dance with it. A lot of shots are used in this video, and a variety. There is a range of long, medium and close up shots, showing off the dance moves. The shots are also quick, showing the pace of the club style dance.

Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ is a band performance music video. Again a wide range of shots and angles are used. Notably many low angle shots are used to portray the band as big and powerful and that they are not the common ‘American Idiot’.

Chip’s ‘Peri Peri Sauce’ music video is a singing performance video (however he is rapping). Again many different shots of the artist are used in this video. The artist is always in the centre of the shot, whether it be a long shot or a close up. This is to emphasise he is singing. Also a lot of low angles were used in this video too. This was because this music video was a ‘diss-track’ to another rapper called Yungen, and the use of low angles would enhance his intimidation.

 

Interpretive

Interpretive music videos are made for the audience to have their own interpretation of what they think the music video is about.

 

Parody

Parody music videos involve changing or coping existing (usually well known) musical ideas or lyrics. The intention of musical parody is humour.

Both music videos mock the official music videos and lyrics of both songs with the intention of humour for the audience.

Hybrid

A hybrid music video mixes multiple styles of music videos into one music video.

The music Video ‘No Love’ by Eminem featuring Lil Wayne is an example of a hybrid music video as it involves two styles, performance and narrative. It follows the story of a boy who is getting bullied, linking to the songs title- “No Love” and also includes performance from both rappers. I believe hybrid videos are very effective as they combine multiple styles, meaning they can cast more impact and be creative.

Film Noir

What is it?

Film Noir is a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied by a group of French critics to primarily describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly such that emphasise cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. The period that Hollywood’s Film Noir was genuinely excepted to be made in was 1944–54 and popular Film Noir’s were the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder. Film Noir of this era is associated with a low-key, black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography.

After finding out the basis of what Film Noir is, I decided to do futher research into the genre. I went on YouTube and found a couple of videos from the same channel, one explaining the origins of Film Noir, and another explaining the all important lighting in this unique style of cinematography.

These two videos were very helpful in aiding my understanding of Film Noir and I will be sure to use what I have learnt when making the 20 second Film Noir clip in class.

The channel I found these clips on was ‘Filmmaker IQ’. They make tons of videos on everything to do with film making, and I will be sure to revisit this channel next time I want to research a filming style.

Filmmaker IQ- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSFAYalJ2Q7Tm_WmLgetmeg

 

Top Film Noir Films

These are the Top 10 Film Noir films ranked by The Guardian:

 

 

 

 

 

Film Noir Directors

18th_highlight_director_billy_wilderBilly Wilder- (June 22 1906 – March 27 2002) was an Austrian-born Jewish-American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist whose career spanned more than five decades. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age. With The “Apartment”, Wilder became the first person to win Academy Awards as producer, director, and screenwriter for the same film.

Fritz Lang, circa 1937Fritz Lang- (December 5 1890 – August 2 1976) was an Austrian film director, producer and screenwriter. In Lang’s early career he worked primarily as a screenwriter, finishing film scripts in four to five days. Lang went on to direct popular films of the silent era including ‘Metropolis’ and one of the first important German sound films ‘M’. Lang went on to direct some of the most important crime and Film Noir film of the American studio era, such as ‘The Big Heat’. Lang’s final film work was an acting role as himself in Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Contempt’.

 

Modern Day Film Noir

A good example of a morden day Film Noir film is the film ‘Memento’. Amnesia has always been common to Film Noir, and this breakout feature from Christopher Nolan carries on the tradition to its maximum potential — taking us on a backwards journey alongside a memory-impaired man investigating his wife’s murder.

The 2011 film ‘Drive’ Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, is alos another very popular modern day Film Noir. Armed with a neon-lit Los Angeles and an infectious soundtrack, this film tells the neo-noir tale of a stuntman (Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as wheelman, ferrying crooks from job to getaway in record time. In between bursts of bloody violence, this critically-acclaimed film finds plenty of meditative character beats to make Drive one of the best slow-burn entries in the genre.

The 2004 thriller ‘Collateral’ embraces its L.A. Noir roots while playing with more conventional movie tropes, as contract killer Vincent (Tom Cruise) forces cab driver Max (Jamie Foxx) to drive him from hit to hit. Their violent and compelling crime-filled trip through Los Angeles makes the city more than just a gritty backdrop for the action – it turns L.A. into a character.

 

My Film Noir

In class some of my classmates and I took what we had learnt about film noir through our research, and made our own Film Noir clip. Here it is…

 

 

 

Initial Ideas

Now I have decided I will be doing the music video brief, I need to get some ideas together for my video. Here is a mind map I made in class of my initial ideas for my chosen brief:

IMG_0663

As you can see from my mind map, the two ancillary texts I have decided to create along with the main product the music video, are the CD packaging (Digipak) and a magazine advert.

Hip Hop mood boards:

Looking at several different mood boards online allowed be to see common conventions of the Hip-Hop genre. What stands out to me most in the mood boards is the idea of status and confidence. All the artists in the mood boards look powerful and the objects such as cars and jewellery represent the idea of high status. This signifies to me that the type of video style for a Hip-Hop music video would be performance, as it allows the artist to show of their status and confidence in the most explicit way.

Main Influences:

Below are some Hip-Hop music videos that showcase a hybrid music video style of performance and narrative. I will go into more detail about music video styles in a future blog, however currently this is the style of music video I plan to create.

My Chosen Brief… Audio

So after research into all 4 of the available briefs I have decided to chose the audio brief. This is because I believe it requires the largest skill sets out of all the tasks as it requires the same camera and editing skills as a short film, it could result in a lot of locations like a trailer, and focuses heavily on audio, another aspect of media other than just primarily visuals. For these reasons I believe choosing this task will help me develop the most amount of media skills out of the 4 possible tasks.

I also have an interest in music and the videos that supplement it, and I think it will be a lot of fun producing one.

 

Evaluation of AS Media Product

For the AS Media coursework our brief was to make the opening title sequence to a thriller film. We were put into groups and had to produce a 2 minute title sequence, and all had to independently do research into thriller, documented through our blogs.

 

Here is the title sequence we produced:

Here is the evaluation I did on my product during my AS course:

 

 

Brief 4: Film Trailer

This brief requires you to make an promotion package for a new film, this includes a teaser trailer, along with two of the following:

  • A film magazine cover, featuring the film
  • A poster for the film
  • A website homepage for the film

 

 

What is a Film Trailer?

A trailer (also known as a preview or coming attraction) is an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, the result of creative and technical work.

Movie trailers have now become popular on DVDS and Blu-rays, as well as on the Internet and mobile devices. Film trailers are ranked third of the 10 billion videos watched annually on the internet, after news and user-created video. The trailer format has also been adopted as a promotional tool for television shows, video games, books, and theatrical events/concerts.

 

Professional Examples of Film Trailers

Above are 3 trailers for films coming out this year. They all do a good job of  showing what the genre of the film is and what the storyline is, but don’t give too much away and don’t spoil what happens in the film.

If I was to do this brief a key factor I would bare in mind would be to have plenty locations, as a trailer promotes different parts of the whole film and if my trailer was only in one or a handful of locations, it would not look very professional.

Brief 3: Advertising

The advertising brief is the production of an advertising package for a new product or service. For this you have to make two TV advertisements, and two of the following ancillary texts:

  • A TV program sponsorship sequence
  • A radio advert
  • A web pop-up

 

What is Advertising?

Advertising is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are often businesses who wish to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser usually pays for and has control over the message. It is differentiated from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including old media such as newspapers, magazines, Television, Radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as search results, blogs, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement or “ad”.

Television
Television advertising is one of the most expensive types of advertising; networks charge large amounts for commercial airtime during popular events. The annual Super Bowl football game in the United States is known as the most prominent advertising event on television – with an audience of over 108 million and studies showing that 50% of those only tuned in to see the advertisements. The average cost of a single thirty-second television spot during this game reached US$4 million & a 60-second spot double that figure in 2014. Virtual advertisements may be inserted into regular programming through computer graphics. It is typically inserted into otherwise blank backdrops or used to replace local billboards that are not relevant to the remote broadcast audience. More controversially, virtual billboards may be inserted into the background where none exist in real-life. This technique is especially used in televised sporting events. Virtual product placement is also possible. An infomercial is a long-format television commercial, typically five minutes or longer. The word “infomercial” is a portmanteau of the words “information” and “commercial”. The main objective in an infomercial is to create an impulse purchase, so that the target sees the presentation and then immediately buys the product through the advertised toll-free telephone number or website. Infomercials describe, display, and often demonstrate products and their features, and commonly have testimonials from customers and industry professionals.
Radio
Radio advertisements are broadcast as radio waves to the air from a transmitter to an antenna and a thus to a receiving device. Airtime is purchased from a station or network in exchange for airing the commercials. While radio has the limitation of being restricted to sound, proponents of radio advertising often cite this as an advantage. Radio is an expanding medium that can be found on air, and also online. According to Arbitron, radio has approximately 241.6 million weekly listeners, or more than 93 percent of the U.S. population.
Online
Online advertising is a form of promotion that uses the Internet and World Wide Web for the expressed purpose of delivering marketing messages to attract customers. Online ads are delivered by an ad server. Examples of online advertising include contextual ads that appear on search engine results pages, banner ads, in pay per click text ads, rich media ads, Social network advertising, online classified advertising, advertising networks and e-mail marketing, including e-mail spam. A newer form of online advertising is Native Ads; they go in a website’s news feed and are supposed to improve user experience by being less intrusive. However, some people argue this practice is deceptive.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising

 

Examples

Here are two popular TV advertisements. Both were successful as they engaged with the audience and made them laugh, which is what I will try to do if I chose this brief.

Brief 2: Short Film

The short film brief involves making a short film in its entirety, it should last approximately 5 minutes. It may be live action or animation or a combination of the two. The ancillary options are:

  • A poster for the film
  • A film magazine review page for the film
  • A website homepage for the film

 

What is a Short Film?

A short film is a motion picture not long enough to be classed as a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as “an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits”.

A short film is slightly different from a “featurette” this term is given to films too short to be a feature film but too long to be a short film or a “short subject” (basically the same as a short film, however usually shown along with a feature film).

History

In the early days of film, short films and full feature films received about the same amount of popularity. Short comedies where the most popular and were produced the most. Short comedies usually came in series such as the outing of Charlie Chaplin’s little trap character.

Animated cartoons came principally as short subjects. Virtually all major film production companies had units assigned to develop and produce shorts, and many companies, especially in the silent and very early sound era, produced mostly or only short subjects.

Present

Now a days a not as many but still a decent amount of animated shorts continue within mainstream commercial distribution. For example, Pixar has screened a short along with all their feature films since its initial theatrical run in 1995. Since Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, Disney has also produced animated shorts as of 2007 with the Goofy short “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater and produced a series of live action short films featuring The Muppets for viewing on YouTube as Viral Videos to promote the 2011 movie of the same name.

short films generally rely on film festival exhibitions to reach an audience. Short films can also be distributed via the Internet. Websites such as YouTube, Snoovies and Vimeo encourage the submission of independent short films and have attracted large communities of artists and viewers. websites like FILMSshort and Vimeo and apps such as Snoovie focus on showcasing curated shorts.

Short films are a typical first stage for new filmmakers, but professional actors and crews still choose to create short films as an alternative form of expression. Short film making is growing in popularity as equipment becomes cheaper. “Prosumer” or semi-professional cameras now cost under US$3,000, and free or low-cost software is widely available that is capable of video editing, post-production work and DVD authoring.

The lower production costs of short films often mean that short films can cover alternative subject matter as compared to higher budget feature films. Similarly unconventional film making techniques such as Pixilation or narratives that are told without dialogue, are more often seen in short films than features.

Tropfest claims to be the world’s largest short film festival. Tropfests now take place in Australia (its birthplace), Arabia, the US and elsewhere. Originating in 1993, Tropfest is often credited as being at least partially responsible for the recent popularity of short films internationally.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_film

 

Real life examples

I decided to look further into short films by actually watching some to see the styles and conventions and how they differ from feature films (aside from the duration). I found the following videos on YouTube, as I mentioned earlier this is one of the main platforms for short film promotion.

This video brings attention to the issue of teenagers self harming. This is what is good about short films as it allows for people to raise awareness for an issue close to them or one they really feel strongly about and can do this with out having to have a big budget.

The next short film I watched was an animation. This film probably had a higher budget compared to the last one I watched as it would have to use specialist software for the animation. However it still does a good job of getting a very simple but important message across about jealousy and does it in a very effective and engaging way. It also reaches a wide audience as everyone has been jealous before and the fun and cute animation makes it appealing to children, whilst teaching them a lesson.

This short film is slightly different to the others as it contains a lot more dialogue than the previous videos. However it still does an effective job in getting an important message across.

Using short films to get across messages to do with controversial topics can sometimes mean more to the audience rather than from a big feature film. This is because the feature film is made by a production company with many voices and opinions, which can end up making it very hard to get a point across in the as there will be people who don’t agree and the film ends up sitting on the fence or the message gets dimmed down. Whereas independent film makers like of the short films above can easily create their film and get their message across explicitly with out anyone questioning them. However this can be a negative too as the message that an independent film maker could put across could be socially wrong.

 

Examples from my School

Next I decided to look at some short films that previous A level students from my school have made and see how they compare to the popular independent ones I found on YouTube.

This short film made by a previous A level media student from my school is overall very good. However the problem I noticed with it was that although the protagonist was very good, all the other actors were too young and weren’t very good actors, which made it obvious that it was a school project. A side from that the cinematography is good and it has a message showing a very extreme case of what can happen if your a nasty person.

I personally did not like this short film. Again there was the issue of teenagers playing adult roles however the main issue was I did not really understand it. I think the message that was trying to be put across was women keeping quite about being assaulted, however this was not very clear. The sequence of the calendar and the filler shots in between became too repetitive and boring.

My Thoughts

The short film brief sounds very interesting, I think it would be a lot of fun coming up with and idea and then making it into a film. If I do chose this brief there are a couple of things I will make sure to take into consideration when making the film after conducting my research today.

  • If my idea contains adult roles, I will try and get adult actors
  • I will make sure my film has a message, as the top short films all have a message