Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Thoughts/Personal views towards the rock genre

I realised that while our group is trying to find information from our target audience, and even information about audience members who do not appeal to the rock genre - we, ourselves are also audience members.
As an audience member myself, I feel I can give my views/expectations of the rock genre expressively and in greater detail that a brief focus group with fixed questions.
And eventhough some aspects of rock I may not appeal to, my group (and I) can take my opinions/expectations and bring them into account - we then have a broader range of information to draw on.

I have a guilty pleasure for rock bands, but they are quite particular.
I enjoy bands such as You Me At Six, Rocket To The Moon, Boys Like Girls, Kings of Leon and so on - I appeal to light rock, instead of heavy metal bands like AC/DC, Slipknot or Motorhead.
The reason for this is because bands with a light rock genre have more influence with their lyrics and meaning, rather than heavy metal rock bands who influence with their music (for example, guitar solo's, hardly and lyrics, lyrics being shouted instead of being performed in an understandable manner).
If someone told me what I pictured the second they said "rock band" I'd immediately think of this :
Dark, disturbing black make-up and long dark hair, dark clothes, using their instruments as some form of weaponry/tool for smashing something with suring their music video's.
Here is one of their video's..

In contrast,
If someone gave me a band name like ‘Kings of Leon’ or ‘Blink 182’ – I wouldn’t automatically think of rock, instead I’d picture an alternative/indie genre. This is mainly because; I don’t feel threatened or in any way challenged by their music or their music video’s. They instead, in my personal opinion, focus of lyrical meaning and real vocal talent – instead of instrumental talent/aggressive nature.
So, if someone said alternative/indie and asked me to picture the first thing I'd relate it to - I'd see this..

Kings of Leon
Wearing smart/common clothing instead of different, unique dark clothing. Some may have long hair and beards, but not draped over their face or dyed black. They ressemble normal looking individuals to mirror majorites in society, whereas heavy metal rock bands would pinpoint other groups in society.
Here's is a music video of Kings of Leon...

I’ve taken into account that different types of rock are categorized with different conventions of rock. For example, heavy metal rock and folk rock are two completely different types of rock, and therefore we’ll see contrasting conventions within these genres.
That is why, within my group – we’re speculating between whether or not we should categorize it as a heavy metal band or an indie/plain rock band – and it’s important that we take into consideration the attitudes towards each genre.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lyric Analysis

 I've paid close attention to the lyrics of our song, and have thought about how we will create a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals. Therefore, I've taken the lyrics and made an in-depth analysis of their dictionary meaning, connotation and symbolism. I had, at first, completed this task in my work book because I found that writing about it was a better method of brainstorming and actually thinking about the meaning, than typing - and from this, I've gained an extremely beneficial understanding of the lyrics and how I can generate a narrative/performance to suit it.

Wolfmother - Vagabond lyrics

Oh girl, I don't know all the reasons why
I found the answer looking in your eye
I go out walking all day long
Take away this lonely man, soon he will be gone
'Cause I'll tell you everything about living free
Yes, I can see you girl, can you see me?

You don't need to know what I do all day
It's as much as I know watch it waste away
'Cause I'll tell you everything about living free
Yes, I can see you girl, can you see me?

Go and see the sorcerer and look into the ball
You may find the answer written on the wall
The left one was a dancer
Can you see the answer, oh?

Put her on a mansion on top of a hill
Please don't make her do the things against her will
I found something special, I don't know why
Looking into her pretty little eye
'Cause I'll tell you everything about being free

Here, and also in my work book, I've highlighted key imagery and emotive words that I'd like to look into and interpret.
I used three steps of analysis.
The first was to research the dictionary meaning of the specific word - to find multiple interpretations of the word, so that you can open up your imagination to the different viewpoints that people will see it in.
The second was to develop my own ideas/connotations around chosen word and use the support of the dictionary meaning to make it a stronger annotation.
The third was to then link it to its relevance, and how it relates to the narrative within the lyrics.

I had highlighted key imagery and emotive words such as:

Monday, 19 November 2012

Focus Group review

We've just completed our focus group, and we've gained a lot of information from our target audience concerning:

-  the track itself
-  pitches for our possible narrative
-  pitches for our possible performance
-  the image of the band
-  the genre it could be categorised in
-  music channels used most frequently
-  what they look for in a music video
-  how to end the narrative
-  what sells a track
-  bands they associate/are reminded of when listening to the track

and other small but interesting pieces of information.

We've interviewed 6 people, all fitting within the means of our target audience.
Ryan (male - 17 years old)
Jamie (male) - 17 years old)
Andrew (male - 18 years old)
Jamie (male - 18 years old)
Elouise (female - 17 years old)
Samira (female - 17 years old)

So as a whole, we've ranged our information between 17-18 years of age, having both genders sharing their opinions toward our topics.

We've gathered useful information and valued opinions on many areas of our research and music video pitches.
Elouise (female - 17 years old) expressed that she thought the track itself was a "folk" genre and that she likes music video's " When the person's actually in it" - and from this we can gather that we need to clearly identify the band. She also went on to add that she pictured the music video in "black and white cos its an old fashioned affect"

Andrew (male - 18 years old) went on to explain that when he "occasionally" watches music video's he values "a strong front-man" and loads of "guitar solos" - he also added that he visualised the music video for our track as "upbeat and positive". He also went on to explain that a narrative that makes a music video memorable is "something that people can relate to, maybe some experience or story of sorts that some people may have gone through that they can think - "Oh, wait, I've been through a similar situation like that" - so it kind of has a meaning that is just as deep as the song itself"
He told us (in response to the question "what sells a band?") "I'd say, if I feel particular emotion to it as well, if I can attach a particular experience..memory - something like that for example". He also added that the narrative should "have a solid conclusion"
"Judging by the backing track, I'd say Mumford and Sons, thats sort of what came to my mind at first"

Samira (female - 17 years old) told us that to her, a music video "doesn't necessarily have to fit the music but it has to engage" and that "it cant be too far off from what the songs about, it has to paint a picture, you cant do it yourself"

Jamie (male - 17 years old) when questioned on what makes a music video memorable, he explained "I like the performance bits in a video, but not just like dull band playing; something that keeps it different from other videos" He also expressed that "the way the instruments are used" help sell a band. He went on to add that he would "like the narrative to actually end, rather than the cliffhanger because then your always wondering "oh.. I don't" - you might not get it. Or if its left down to interpretations sometimes its hard"

Jamie (male - 18 years old) described "I like lots of shots with the band performing"

Ryan (male - 17 years old) told us that in his opinion "the performance aspect" made a video memorable. He went on to explain further that "different shots" made the video distinctive.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Practicing iWeb software

Today we experimented with the iWeb software, first of all creating basic webpages about a topic of our choice.
I've print-screened a few of the steps I took to achieve the final webpage that I wanted, so that when it comes to creating my official webpage for our band Wolfmother, I could return to this post and review my methods and decide with better knowledge and understanding.

First, I picked my layout from various different designs.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mood board for band

Mood Board for Blog
My initial ideas for our band image were as follows;

I was inspired by the creative, dusky atmosphere that the film '500 Days of Summer' had created (which ironically, had Wolmother's 'Vagabond' track played in the film) - I found that this atmosphere would mix well with the ideology of our band, and would give it a dramatic twist.

I also inherited the look of The Script and their style and applied it to Wolfmother, because it was a distinctive look that modernised the band. You'll always find bands of the Rock/Indie genre wearing dirty boots (mainly Converse), and therefore I thought I'd apply this to my band also, as I felt that sticking to this convention would make our audience more assured that the genre of this band is Rock/Indie.

At the same time, I find the 'Lost Boy' look quite mysterious and thrilling, and I've shown this through images of men sitting aimlessly on the curb against a wall, or a traditional band in black and white.

I was striving for an 'original' take on Rock/Indie culture, but through a modernised view - for example, new styles and motifs can be displayed, but in the ideas and attitudes of original rock bands.

I tried out different fonts that the band title could be displayed in, and still haven’t ultimately decided.

Richard Dyer's Star Theory

Example - Richard Dyer's Star Theory

Monday, 12 November 2012

Co-operation and Communication within our group

Co-operation and communication within our group.

Within our group, we've had differences both in opinion and idea all regarding the music video, but from last years experience in working in groups I've learnt that prioritising your own ideas is inevitable. Communication also seems weaker than it should be, and when we should be arranging group meetings and updating eachother on the work we've completed as a group, we haven't.
Before the we get further through the course and we can't communicate or cooperate at all, I've planned for us to do a few things to overcome these minor problems.
Things like . Swapping numbers/emails to communicate outside of school (for filming/general feedback)
                  . Create a schedule for when we should regroup and discuss work, for example, bringing back completed questionnaires to be assessed.
                  . Advising the group to stay neutral to all ideas and opinions, and to prevent denying good ideas of someone elses over your own.
                  . Set specific roles to each person in a task, for example, someone will be in charge of organising the focus group for research, while someone else can be collecting data from the questionnaires, and someone else can be developing the data and analysing the results. It gives equal opportunity to get involved and to work equally as hard as everyone else, also everything gets completed twice as fast, leaving us to focus on other details to add in.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Designs for website and logo

Here are my first initial designs for my band logo, and considering our band name is 'Lift Off' I decided to enhance the visual side to this by featuring a bird/falcon as our logo, in a position of flight. A falcon would be more appropriate for a Rock genre band because falcon's are known for their fierceness and aggressive nature of stalking their prey and being vicious birds. Falcons are also a symbol of strength and respect, in of which I wanted the logo to represent metaphorically the strength and respect that Wolfmother has.

Here are my original designs for Wolfmother's web page. I wanted the main image to be across the top so that it was the first thing that the audience saw when they entered the website. A video of their live tour will be accessible at the bottom, with photos from both their tour and in the album are viewed on the side. Then nearer to the bottom, concert tickets will be advertised. This links in with the video of the live tour because the viewer will watch the live tour video and perhaps be interested/consider purchasing tickets, and then directly below the video, tour dates and tickets will be shown and opportunities to buy tickets will be highlighted. Synergy takes place below the main image, where I've placed links to YouTube, Messenger, iTunes, Twitter, Facebook and other useful websites that the audience may want to find out more, concerning Wolfmother's progress/news/information.


On my second design for my web page design I've taken into account that a colour scheme should be set in place to extend the band's identity. To match the logo, I've made the borders and background of the web page grey-ish blue, and any area's of information in dark blue. I've also used red to colour the tour dates and the photos, which will draw attention to both. All colours displayed are within the strict colour scheme and while its quite a basic layout, the tones in the colour will make different parts stand out - which will make the web page itself look like its coming out at the viewer. I've put the logo in the left-hand side corner and then another detailed version below, next to the main image of the band. At the top of the homepage, all possible page options are displayed neatly and are easy to navigate. The main image is cleverly formed so that each member of the band is displayed in the shape of the main singer, which can connote unity and power as well as creativity.  
 I've added references to Twitter, announcing that Lift Off are on popular social networking sites and are easy to find and communicate with. I've also listed a few tweets that Lift Off have tweeted to show that they actively use this networking site and stay dedicated to their fans, which makes them worth following. 'Follow Us' at the bottom of these tweets, if clicked, generates another page that will lead to Lift Off's twitter page where they can then follow them. This is an example of synergy and will increase their fan base as well as strengthen the relationship between the band and their target audience if they're in constant contact (blogging/tweeting/updating about tours, tour dates, band news, subject areas arisen by the fans and so on)
After re-assessing my designed logo, I decided to keep experimenting with different images and forms. The solid form was of a bird, and i wanted to keep this symbol as it linked with both the group name 'Lift Off' and represented flight and freedom which infer that the band also employ this.

 I tried out different uses of colour to try and identify my colour scheme, and in the end I merged the red and the blue together in the logo. I believe that this will represent that Lift Off is a unisex band and, can employ the enjoyment of all genders. Also, blue and red are primary colours, and can perhaps connote originality and tradition.

 I added what road lines to indicate a journey or a path, and therefore indicate that the band is on a journey through their musical career and are 'in flight'. The yellow used for the lines are traditionally seen on normal roads and also, yellow being another primary colour, adds to the originality of the band. Secondly, all the colours contrast and therefore stand out among dull, lifeless logo's - the vibrancy of the colour make the logo seem energetic and powerful (representing the band.) And lastly, the colour yellow can indicate the electricity that that band brings, both through their electrical instruments and their band image.
Here is my final design for my logo.
I have decided that the logo may spell out 'LIFT OFF' on each wing, if its being shown for decoration and not label, whereas if the logo is being used to brand something (like in the left-hand side corner of the website) then 'L' and 'O' can be used to represent the full title.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

My four pitches for our music video (individual thinking)

My five pitches for our music video

1. Band (performance) - The band are shown performing in a music studio, where close-ups of both the band member's expressions and their instruments will be common. These shots will jump cut through the narrative piece and will relate in that whenever the tension rises in the narrative, the close-up shot will transform into a long distance shot to infer movement in the story as well as the isolation that his character may be feeling.
   Narrative - Picture a London rush-hour morning with a a faceless sea of people in suits and work clothes on their way to their nine hour shifts. Its a stressful surreal blur, and no face in particular is highlighted from the crowd, because its all blurred away. Then, a beautiful woman emerges from the crowd to cross the street and the camera comes to a mid shot to draw the audience's attention to her. Following shortly behind her, the lead singer disengages himself from the bustling crowd and follows her with intent. The audience will assume that the two people know each other, as the man stares after the woman and stays within a few feet from her, as if following her. Simultaneously singing the lyrics and following the woman, the man pushes through the crowds to catch up to her, while the woman shows no means of seeing him or even knowing he's there. Suspense is built when the man suddenly catches up to her and is singing directly at her, but only the woman looks past him as if he isn't even there. This continues for most of the video, the man singing passionately and in some parts of the song, viciously - while the woman fails to even acknowledge him, and the crowd bustles on. Before the end, the man suddenly stops and the woman walks out of the camera view, and the audience is suddenly shown a shed that's full of photos of the woman. Close-ups of the pinned up photographs tell us that she is unaware that the photo's were taken, and is therefore being stalked. We end with a backwards creep of the man, standing among the crowd staring lifelessly behind the camera (we assume after the woman)

2. Band (performance) - The band are seen scattered across a room, all facing the audience, singing directly to them. They are all wearing casual clothing.The lead singer is in the centre and is the closest, followed by the bass guitar player, electric guitar player and drummer in the back. There are no microphones or amps seen, and it looks like an acoustic version of the song, or a unprofessional version of the song. The band members do not get up of make any drastic movements, but just sit on their stools ad play their instrument and sing at the audience, they seem somewhat lifeless in body language and expression. These shots are jump cut through the narrative.
  Narrative - The band are seen in the same room, except they are without any instruments or stools, and they are all wearing white clothing. They are doing random things such as sitting, or throwing paint over each other and singing madly into the camera, the jump about and act crazy, and the audience (viewing the jump cuts of both juxtaposing scenes) and assume that the narrative performance is enacting the passion/feelings inside the emotionless band members in the performance scenes. The camera at some point (preferably when the track is at a loud point) turn on its side, so that band members will be seen from the side, and then the camera will turn again so that the band members are seen doing outrageous acts from upside down. As the music dies down - the camera slowly moves to the upright position and the band members (all covered in brightly covered paint) all line up in front of the camera and bow.

3. Band (performance) - The band are first seen with the instruments resting on the floor, and before the music begins, they pick them up and play them. The band, like the performance in pitch 2, are sitting on stools playing their instruments, but this time casually and with soul. They tap their feet along with the music and sing the lyrics with meaning, and when the music heightens, they spontaneously leap up from their chairs and sing at the camera and to each other. The performance ends with them sitting back on the stools and playing calmly, and then when the music stops, they rest their instruments back on the floor like the beginning.
   Narrative - The main singer is seen on a field, sitting down on the grass with a girl, close-ups of the two laughing and talking give the audience that the two are intimate with each other. Then (using the cloning software) the main singer is seen twice, in the same shot, sitting down next to himself and looking in on the conversation. The girl then enters and stands behind the second version of the main singer and looks at him with a regretful expression, then walks off the set. The second version of the main singer sits beside the first version of the main singer for duration of the video, smiling fondly at the conversation, and every now and then looking at toward the exit that the second version of the woman had left in. He then gets up and walks out, leaving the two originals sitting their laughing away, not aware of his presence.

4. Band (performance) - The band is seen playing in a studio, the camera jumps from the view of seeing them behind the glass and to being inside of the same room as the band. Close-ups of their expression, them as a whole band, and close-ups on their instruments are common in the performance element. The band sing with soul and emotional input, not giving direct address to the audience at all, but leaving this aspect of the band as vague and us looking in on their everyday practise.
   Narrative - The band are seen on the London streets scattered among the crowd, they are handing out paper and pinning paper to walls and posts. The crowd is barely acknowledging them as they thrust paper into their hands and miming something (we assume their urging the people to do something) The close-ups of the paper on the lamp-posts tell the audience that theses are 'MISSING' posters, and the band are on a frantic search for someone, but the camera does not reveal who it is they are looking for (the face is blurred out on the paper). As the song comes to an end, the band stride past the camera, leaving the lead singer behind walking slowly towards a lamp-post, where he sticks one last 'MISSING' poster on there, the camera gets a close up on the person this time, and the audience can identify that the missing person is the lead singer, who gives the audience direct address and pulls his hood up. He walks past the camera and the camera remains positioned towards the lamp with the 'MISSING' poster.