Friday, 30 September 2011

Initial Music Video Analysis

Video being analysed : 50 Cent - Candy Shop
How do the visuals respond to the music?
During my analysis of this music video, I noticed several major things, this included, that during the start, when they heavy bass and beat comes into the song, the cuts are on times to the music. This shows use of synaesthesia, where the sounds have been made visual.
Also, I noticed during the verses, you a majority of what you saw was the women in his 'Candy Shop', but during the Chorus, he is the in most of the shots and the most important figure.
To what extent is there a narrative?
The narrative begins with him driving up to a spooky old mansion (a traditional British horror film setting). He goes into the door, and it turns out to be a brothel of sorts, named the 'Candy Shop'. He goes in, and enjoys himself. He then wakes up outside of a drive through of a 'Candy Shop'. It was all a dream (very cliché & not advised to be used in videos, film or even literature nowadays). This was supposed to be a male fantasy, or, to be exact, 50 Cent's fantasy.
What kind of image is the star presenting?
The image of 50 Cent in this video is very stereotypical for a modern Gangster/Rap Star. For example, he is a stereotypical African American 'gangster', he wears a pimp coat, has a large necklace on an even larger chain and he has lots of tattoos. Also, he uses product placement for his own brand of G-Unit clothing. Also, the Male Gaze is used many times in this video, showing 50 Cent as the strong, dominant male.
What is used and why? (Cinematography, Mise En Scene, Editing)
There are jump cuts in time with the music, which follows with Andrew Goodwin's idea of the music creating the music video, and not the other way around. There are also many reaction shots, to show it's his point of view, and that he is the dominant Alpha in the video. The Male Gaze is used within the video to sexualise the women, and make them more like objects than real people.
They used the English horror idea at the beginning in the Mise-En-Scene to make it seem almost unreal and like a fairytale. Which would be the case for 50 Cent, where this is his fantasy.
Is the video literal, disjunctive or amplifying?
There are mixed parts of each of these in the video. For example, in the lyrics he says "I'm the love doctor" on the scene where he is sat what seems to be a hospital bed, with a Nurse standing over him, touching his chest. However, other than this, there are no literal lyrics. During the last scene, where he wakes up and it's all a dream, it shows an element of disjunctive, as it says nothing of this within the lyrics.
However, mainly, it would show to be an Amplifying video, as there is an extra layer of meaning to the songs, the 'lollipop' is obviously a metaphor for his sexual organ, but you never actually see him letting anyone lick his, or an actual lollipop. Also, the video doesn't actually follow the lyrics as they don't tell a story, they just talk about his sexual prowess, and how much he wants to have sex with the women he is talking about or to.

Andrew Goodwin's Theory & Music Videos

The Five Key Aspects
Andrew Goodwin believed there was 5 key aspects to music videos. These include:

  1. Synaesthesia
  2. Narrative & Performance
  3. The Star Image
  4. Relation of visuals to song
  5. The technical aspects of the video

In Andrew Goodwin's case of the Synaesthesia, the first step is to take into account the structure of the song (chorus/verse, etc)
Next, listen to the 'Voice of the Song'. The Artists' voice can instantly form connotations and identify key aspects, not just of the music, but of the person themselves. Roland Barthes theory of the grain can related to this, as he sees the singing voice as an expressive instrument in itself.
Finally, Goodwin points out the artists' mode of address; the artist is the storyteller, the song is the story itself.

Narrative & Performance
When listening to a song, we only seem to get a general idea of what it is about, the rest is formed in our own heads. Goodwin explains to us that music videos should ignore common narrative as it is important in their role of advertisement. Narrative and performances should work hand in hand, as it makes the audience find it easier to watch, and therefoer, easier to lose themselves in. The audience needs to believe this is real.

The Star Image
The Star Image is vital in a music video. Meta narrative which is a big story which describes the development of the star (the artist) over time. It is important in the production process.

Relation of Visuals to Song
There are three ways in which a music video can be made.

  1. Illustrative : The video can use images which completely illustrate the lyrics of the song. An example of this is used in "Busted - What I go to school for" ("I drop the pencil on the floor" and he does so).
  2. Amplifying : This takes the base 'layer' of the song - the general meaning - and adds new layers on top of it. An example of this is "Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down".
  3. Disjunctive : The song meaning is completely ignored and he director can do anything he feels like. This is rare in today's industry. It is hard to pull off well.

The Technical Aspect of the Video
The technical aspects range from camera work & editing, to sounds, Mise-en-scene & special effects. These hold the fabric of the music video together.
Speed, camera movement, editing, cutting & post production are all use of cameras.
Lighting and colouring help set the mood and emphasise key moments in the song.
The Mise-En-Scene needs to look authentic to uphold a decent level of professionalism.
Music video's can also have 'beats' in the video cut in time to the music to hold a level of entertainment.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Skills Developed During the Busted Video

I felt that during the busted video I have increased a number of skills, these include my ability to lip sink my music to the video I have. I also feel I am able to edit to a better quality, so it seems to flow more fluently than before. Also, during the post production, I realised I could slow down, speed up & a few other things on the videos.
However, after losing several pieces of footage (including the image to the right), I felt that the quality of the video was pretty bad. Due to me not being there the day of filming because of illness, it seems (due to human error) nobody checked they had every piece of footage needed, so I had to improvise with several of my takes. I will have to reflect on this on my actual video. I consider this a 'skill' of sorts, that I have learnt the hard way, to double check footage whilst still on site at the shoot, in case I need to re-shoot shots.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Post-Production: Digital Technology

After we uploaded the shots, we realised we had put them in the wrong format, meaning every single time we put a shot onto Adobe Premier, we had to press enter to render the shots before we could work with them. If we hadn't, it would have taken nearly an hour to export the finished product, this slowed us down considerably.
After we got the shots, due to human error, we realised we had forgotten to take some of the shots from the camera, so we had to take them back off, and luckily, the memory had not been wiped. Then, we realised we hadn't even filmed some of the shots we needed, including the two I mentioned in earlier posts.
So as I mentioned, we had to improvise with parts of it, I feel that the first half of the video isn't nearly as good as it should have been. However, I also feel that the second half makes up for it and looks to a decent quality.
During the process I taught myself how to slow down and speed up separate clips, as shown by the sped up 'Sex Ed' writing on the board.


In Production, I learnt that, for my next project, I need to get actors who really don't mind being up close to the camera, as much of the time, when the camera was close, a lot of the actors got shy and started giggling, or kept trying to get the camera further back, which made the shot look much more amateurish and completely changed the shot itself.
Also, we missed out a few shots, so later, during the editing phase, we had to improvise shots to try and make it continue to flow, I feel we failed at that during the shot after the writing 'Sex Education', the teachers' head is supposed to turn, but we only had close ups of her face.

Production: Digital Technology

During the production stage of the task, I found that recreating lighting was a lot harder than I assumed it would be. I found it quite hard to get decent shots of people in the dark. After the production, I noticed that the light of the outside during darker shots got in the way quite badly, but by then it was too late to change it.
During the A2 Year, I would like to learn more about how to film with a camera in a professional way, I found that our shots looked quite amateurish in comparison. In fairness, it didn't help that we didn't get to pick people who really wanted to do it, to choose our cast, we just put our names into hats and picked out names, so the main 'characters' of Busted didn't really want to be in it, so they didn't put in maximum effort, which in fairness, is not their fault, most people are like that in front of a camera.
I would also like to increase my skills of editing, as I find the process very interesting, I feel I could have done a better job on the Busted video, if I were able to have more time editing it and taking my time.

Research & Planning

During the planning stage, it was very helpful to have a complete shot list, as it made us able to quickly compile a storyboard for the video. The shooting list was also incredibly helpful, as without it, we probably would have simply filmed the shots in order, and it would have taken much, much longer than if we had taken about 5-10 minutes creating this.
However, I wish we had been more sure about what was meant to go on in the shot lists, as we missed two pieces of footage, and since we were unable to go back and change it, I had to attempt to improvise the shots and try to make it look natural with footage we already had.
Some of the planning we did involved taking individual screen shots of the music video, then putting them into a storyboard which we could carry onto set with us. To the right is one of the screen shots we used in the storyboard.
During the A2 year, I believe I will have to compile storyboards, list personnel for the current task, research general conventions, write shooting scripts, list props needed, plan schedules, construct health & safety assessments, book equipment, actually gather the props and of course, scout out the areas I need to use.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Introduction to A2 Media

During the first few weeks of A2 Media, we have been working on recreating a Music Video, we used Busted - What I Go To School For.To do this we had to go through all the stages of Research, Planning, Production and Post Production. We worked as a team during the Research, Planning and Production stages, however, we split up and worked by ourselves for the Post-Production side of things.