Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Directing and filming a band

Today I took part in the directing and filming a band.
I learnt from this practice that spontaneous shots and movement is always welcomed, as we found ourselves producing static shots (not moving) which could make the footage dull. I moved around the stage filming, while the band was performing and picked up useful shots that I wouldn't have if I was limited in space.
In terms of energy in both the crew and the band, the director (I learnt) needs to project enthusiasm and energy, in order for everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable with what they were doing. I felt confident enough to tell the members of the band I was filming, where to move, how to act and more importantly to be positive about what they were doing, to avoid them feeling self-conscious and freezing up on stage. I gained a sense of familiarity and connection with the band and was able to visually make the quality of the footage better, as it was more energetic and believable.
This was different from GCSE media filming because I feel we had more creative freedom and so, were able to produce better footage, as well as be comfortable and inventive with our shots.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Survey/Questionnaire preparation

Here is my own questionnaire which was typed out on the computer and printed for me to then hand out. The questions that are asked are viewed below.
I thought that bringing a questionnaire to the audience would be qicker and easier than asking them to log on to Survey Monkey and answer it online. It also assured me that the audience were putting genuine effort into answering the paper questionnaire, rather than skipping questions on the online questionnaire.

I've had past experience with using websites such as SurveyMonkey, and I find it simple and easy to navigate. I've therefore spread my questionnaire across both elements (on paper to hand out, and on the online SurveyMonkey wensite) so that our group would essentially have more information and feedback to act on.

Find our survey here:

YEAR 13.Audience Research Questionnaire

1. What is your age? (Tick 1)
9 to 12
13 to 16
17 to 20
20 to 25
26 to 30
30 onwards ..

2. What is your gender? (Tick 1)

3. Which Music Channel do you use the most? (Tick 1)
Capital FM
I do not watch Music Channels.

4. Rank each artist from 1-5.
1 = Excellent 2 = Good 3 = Average 4 = Bad 5 = Terrible.
The Script
Black Sabbath
Mumford And Sons
Guns n' Roses
Goo Goo Dolls
Stereo Decade

5. How often do you watch a music video?  (Tick 1)
A lot
Not much

6. What of the four is the colour you like the most? (Tick 1)
Light Pink
Light Blue

7. What is your occupation? (Tick 1)
Manual Working
Working at a desk

8. What do you think sells a music track the most? (Tick 1)
The track itself
The style of the band/artist
The music video
The song title
The band title

9. Which genres do you enjoy the most? (Tick 2)
Heavy metal

10. When watching a music video (of the rock/indie genre) what do you expect to see? (Tick 5)
A love Story with a happy ending
A love story with an unhappy ending
A performance
A goal being reached
A comical situation
An olden day setting
A sad story
A happy story
A random story
A story based on real events
A imaginary story
Dark make-up
Formally dressed
Informally dressed
Randomly dressed
Mostly men
Mostly women
Dark scenery
Light scenery
Plain setting
Complicated setting

Thank you for your time.

Focus Group Preparation

In order for our group to distinguish what our target audience look for in a music video we need to carry out a focus group that allows us to gain in-depth information on what our audience expect from the genre. This will help us find out what will work and what wont, we'll also be able to give a few scenarios and have honest feedback.

We will be filming our focus group to be able to review the progress affectively and to take all feedback into consideration as a group. We're acting upon the questionnaire results that told us that ______ people think __________ about our music video. In conclusion our traget audience is ______ ______ _____ - therefore, to see further how we can appeal to them, we will select 7 random people who suit this catagory to take part in our focus group and discuss prepared topics on the subject of our music video.

Last year, we also held a focus group to get honest answers from our target audience, so from last years experience, we learnt that a calm and relaxed atmosphere encourages the interviewee's to feel comfortable enough to answer honestly and to expalain their answers and ideas. We'll aim for a less formal session, but will be asking questions of a formal nature.

Questions we're planning to ask:

1) What are your names and ages ?  Names will help us identify each interviewee and gain comfortability and friendliness with eachother so that they feel comfortable undergoing the questions with confidence. Knowing their ages will give us speciffic data as to what age group will want different things from our music video, also, it can help us understand how they think and what would interest their age-group.

2) Do you watch Music Channels? If so, which ones are you most likely to view?  Here we'll know which music channels are the most popular with our target audience and most importantly whether they're effective with distributing our music video. We'll then know which music channel (if any) we will consider to use for advertisement/entertainment purposes of our music video.

*Hand out lyrics and let them listen to our track - Wolfmother - Vagabond

3) Okay, so what do you think about this song ? Here we'll see first-hand just how the audience reacts to the song choice and whether anything (idea's/expectations for the music video) are anything that we had though of as well in our pitches.

*Read a pitch to them

4) Can you see this relating to the lyrics? What would you recommend the ending be? Which is more effective? Here we'll get perhaps a mixed response to our pitch, which can help us navigate where to go with the pitch. Constructive critisism is crucial here, we want to know whether our pitch will link with the lyrics, and mostly whether or not its captivating to the audience and different. Will they remember that music video?

5) If you wanted to gain information of a particular band/artist, where would you go? Here we will learn just where our audience goes to gain information on the artist/band - therefore we can gain speciffics on where it would be beneficial to promote our band. For example fan-bases, websites and others can be on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Blogger or other poputar interaction sites, and which is the most used by our target audience.

6) What was the last music video of the rock genre that really interested you because of the narrative? This is partly a conversational question to draw out what interests the audience and have them talk about it and cause group discussion. Here we'll also learn where we'll be aiming to set our music video to gain recommendation for our audience. We'll see what bands we'll be among and can research into them to gain more knowledge on what is expected of us.

7) Discuss what is affective in a music video and why. This question will help us decide what needs to be in our music video and how it will appeal to the target audience, hopefully from this we'll create a distinctive music video that suits the audience's appeal and will be a successful video.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lip Syncing Anaylisis

I found the lip syncing task to be relatively challenging in that it required a great deal of confidence and accuracy in time, both of which I found (at first) off-putting. However, after accomplishing my final goal of creating a lip-syncing piece of film, I understood how much pressure an actor of mine would be placed under. Therefore more thought and consideration will be given to those in front of the camera.

Here is an example of two people lip syncing, unlike my own version, they have shot their footage from one shot only, whereas I had three different takes from free different angles. And then on Final Cut Express, I cut each shot to the place I wanted it and created a video of myself lip syncing, jumping to different shot at each time.

Research Synergy; Coldplay

How do their products appeal to a target audience?

Coldplay are using Mylo Xyloto as their featured ideology, and have created synergy by using the same colour schemes and 'spraypaint' effects. On their webpage, the band are advertising t-shirts and wristbands with the same colour scheme and technique that are featured on the home page as well as live concerts that are decorated in this distinctive style. Also, to support their ideology, they are advertising Mylo Xyloto comic books, some containing signed autographs by the band members. This demonstrates the unity and liveliness of the band and allows the audience to get an insight on how they are as musicians and individuals.

They also have spread across several different networking devices to appeal to audiences of a larger mass, such as Facebook and Twitter; both of which act as unofficial distributers as they spread the word about Coldplay at a fast rate and freely. It also can build (what Blumler and Katz believe) personal relationships, in which the audience can socialise with eachother via fan bases/discussion groups all built around the topic of Coldplay.

What is their ideology?

Mylo Xyloto, at first glance seemed like a comic book or the name of undiscovered fictional character, because they're selling comic books with Mylo Xyloto as the title, one can only assume that thats where it had originated from. However, I did some research into this odd title and found out that actually, Mylo Xyloto is nothing that anyone has ever heard before. To represent a fresh to start, Coldplay decided to publish a new title which was 'un-Googleable', let alone unpronouncable. Acording to Chris Martin (lead singer) - "When you're on your fifth album, you are going to be judged against all your previous work and expectations - in a small way this is us trying to break free of those expectations.” When questioned about the inspiration of the title, he said that "Music comes from a place we don’t know. It sort of comes through the fingers and toes. So we came up with the idea of, what if you had musical digits, like xylo toes." And the 'Mylo' was simply a "great name for anything". Here I can infer that to begin a new era, Coldplay are beginning with a new look and style to create a distintive change and effect.

On Coldplay's homepage they've put breathtaking pictures of their live concerts for the audience to marvel over. The concert itself is decorated with the same motif that they're using to brand their clothes and products, and therefore everything looks proffessional and in sync with eachother. As a way of promoting their concert tickets, they even have a video of the band itself, talking about their live shows, fans and the music industry - all of which grip the audiences interest and encourage them to purchase tickets - which, are found on the second page. The website is easy to navigate and visually striking, the electric blue and bright pink headings and spontanious flashes of colour indicate that Coldplay are advertising for a unisex audience, not just one gender in particular. This indicates that they're pojecting to a mass target audience.

What is the genre and how do you know?

Their genre is alternative rock/indie, as shown from their font, excessive colour pallet, style and motif. For example, their colour scheme of old school 'American graffitti' - but the darker shades of each colour give indication that the musical nature of the band is rock. Also, the font 'EveryTrue Type is a Wisefont' gives off a solid, rock theme to it - but with the cohesion of the excessive primary colours to give it a less 'solid' feel and a 'softer' more Indie look. Their style and motif give a visual statement about their genre and lead the audience to speculate about it. For example, bright colourful spraypaint styles are not stereotypically matched to a rock band, but more likely to a pop/alternative band - which show that Coldplay are placed between the two different catageries. This will give Coldplay a distinctive stance in the music industry as it cuts between two or three different genres, and can be considered 'un-nameable' and unable to fit into one speciffic catagory.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Wolfmother - Vagabond. Our chosen track.

Our chosen track was 'Vagabond' a song from the band Wolfmother. This band was categorised under Heavy Metal/Rock, however we felt as a group that the individual song itself was potentially an indie/pop song. We though this because the sound of the song itself was upbeat and didn't show any heavy metal/rock aspects. More interestingly, the song 'Vagabond' is commonly recognised by its use in the film 500 Days of Summer, which is a romance/comedy themed film.
Wolfmother range in style to an extent that their album cover (for our chosen track Vagabond) has a historical meaning behind it. The image seen on the album cover is taken from 'The Sea Witch' by Frank Frazetta, it shows a nymph standing against a blue/orange sky, with the 'Wolfmother' title overlapping the image.

How do their products appeal to a target audience ?

Their store is still under construction and at this current time they're only promoting their concert tickets. However, fan-made t-shirts, wristbands, banners, scrapbooks and posters are all over the Internet - all of which will appeal to their target audience, not only because its what the audience has made themselves, but because it demonstrates the passion for the band by wearing a t-shirt with Wolfmothers brand name on it. Wolfmother's web page also has dedicated pages to the live tours, showing energetic pictures of the mass audience holding banners - and to enhance the acknowledgement of their genre, the pictures are in black and white and slightly faded so give a 'worn' olden feel to it. This could perhaps indicate their passion for classical rock and tradition.

Wolfmother have spread across different social networking websites to distribute their band and music. Popular websites like YouTube and Facebook are unofficial distributors that spread work about bands and artists fast and freely, gaining fan bases and discussion blogs. This is a free and effective method of promotion and will also help the band see first-hand who their target audiences and how they respond to the band's music/updates.

Wolfmother had many lines of inspiration, mainly from other bands in the same genre category or similar, such 60's groups like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Avalanches, Radiohead and Kings of Leon - also 70's rock bands such as Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath and Australian bands like AC/DC. Observing different bands helps a band understand where among them they want to be placed, and therefore they can gain inspiration and have an idea what style they want to follow and how to accomplish band identity.

Wolfmother have unique album covers that give off somewhat 'olden day' or 'medieval' time periods to the audience, but to support these views, the tracks that Wolfmother perform are slightly Jazz and classical rock to give off an 'olden day' approach to the song. This can be for a number of reasons, but personally I feel like the band is trying to strip back fame and fortune and go back to traditional rock bands where it was about the quality of the music, rather than conforming to a conventional image. The album cover is giving away the genre from its dark and mysterious nature, which somehow draws the audience in.

Their font is oddly like Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto album's font, except Wolfmother has sharper corners and dark/white filling to ensure that there is no confusion on their genre - heavy metal / rock. This font however, is called 'Apple Tree' and consists in thick representative blocks that symbolise each letter. Also similarly to Coldplay, Wolfmother have used bright rainbow-styled effects to go against traditional rock conventions and have their own distinctive style.

Wolfmother, similarly to LMFAO have used the artist' hair styles (Afro's) as an icon to promote their band. Obviously, both bands contrast in genre and representation, but methods of style and iconography are similar and have helped brand their band name.