Thursday, 8 December 2011

Our Directors Commentary

Director's commentary

A directors commentary is where the director or producer is allowed to express the reason for their ideas and their opinions on their recently released work. They comment on what they think well about the production of their product and the negatives of the process as well as the purpose for the decisions they made and the ideas they came up with.

There are to types of director's commentary; audio commentary and visual commentary. Audio commentary is where the director talks about the film over the footage whereas the visual commentary allows the audience to see the director/producer.

An example of an audio commentary: Glee cast talking about their recent series.

This is an example of a visual commentary where the actors who played the 'Real Ghostbusters' are commenting on their previous work:

Looking at other students work from this year

We really liked this video because the lip synching worked well, the visuals matched the genre and the lyrics and the colours were really interesting. There were lots of cuts, but they all fitted the genre and mood of the song well and were timed nicely. The footage was also edited by being sped up and slowed down, which made it a lot more interesting to look at.

Lesson 8th December

In todays lesson we finished making sure all of our posts were tagged and that all our posts were published onto the blog. We finished editing our directors commentary, and added in text so that you could read the questions we were editing and then uploaded the video to the blog too. We also looked at some new students music videos to see whether they met the conventions and that we met the conventions too, compared to them.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Lesson 7th December

Today we finished cropping all of or directors commentary, and put it into chronological order so that it would make sense and flowed. We also took footage from our final video and over layed this on top of our video so that you could see the footage whilst hearing what we had to say about it. Our directors commentary had to be between 3 and 8 minutes maximum and we managed to achieve this after cropping out the clips that we didn't need due to the fact that we had typed it up onto the blog.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Lessons - 1st and 5th of December

On Thursday 1st, we had the first 45 minutes to go to the media studio with a HD camera and our script, to film our footage for our directors commentary. Our script was a combination of all members of our groups evaluations which are on the blog. It took us a few takes to answer all 4 questions as not many of us are used to being in front of the camera. Also we could often hear other groups, which could get distracting. However, we managed to complete the questions in our set time slot. We then went back to the classroom to log and transfer our footage onto the computer and into Final cut express, ready for editing next lesson. But for some reason two of our longer clips at the end were not working with the computer.

So on Monday 5th's lesson, we started off having to wait for two final much longer  clips to log and transfer off the camera onto final cut express. Once this was done, we put all our clips on the editor and went through deleting or cutting down all the clips that were no good either because we were laughing or waffling. This left us with initially 11 minutes of talking left to edit into a 3-5 minute commentary.

We also chose that as we had not learnt the script off by heart and we had to talk to the camera, it would be better for us to have more of a conversation as each remembered bits from our own evaluation to answer the questions because not only would this mean we could be more fluid, but it also meant that we only had to speak little parts that we hadnt already typed up onto the blog.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My Evaluation

1) Our video used stereotypical conventions in order to match the standard of music videos previously produced. For example; we incorporated a dace sequence containing a mixture of ballet and contemporary to enhance the genre an personality of the artist. Other artists who have also used a mixture of choreography n their videos to empathise the artist or the action was our basis for our inspiration. Our main inspiration for including dance in our video came from the videos of Christina Perri-Jar of hearts and Pixie Lott- Cry me out. Other video’s such as Professor Green-‘Read all about it’ was also a basis for ideas for our music video. The use of a relatable situation of a family break down was included in this video and the message was one that was presented to young people which is the target audience for ‘Read all about it’. We liked the idea that young people could relate and empathise with the artist so we decided we wanted our narrative to include a similar situation, one in which our audience could relate too. Also, the use of the dark colours, the emotional performance which was performed by the artist and the structure of the video was also appealing to us, therefore influencing our development and idea’s for our music video.

We decided to use an artist that is the same gender and of similar age to our target audience in order to make the video and the artist more appealing. It is also another stereotypical convention of previous successful music videos. Our artist was represented by two female  teenagers who are experiencing a disrupted home life which has resulted in them moving. Unfortunately, many young people have experienced a family breakdown therefore, making this situation relevant and relatable to our target audience. This enables our video to appeal more to the target audience as they can effectively empathise with the artist and the emotions being presented through the video.

2) The video and our ancillary tasks are clearly related and linked with each other due to use of continuity between the three products. We done this by using a similar colour scheme throughout; using the natural sunset colours as well as using the colour black on all font used in the products. By keeping the colours muted helps to create a sadden atmosphere but also shows a continued strong mood throughout which helps to link and identify the products to the specific artist.

The poster and the digi-pack also use a similar image of the artist in the same location that is also used in the music video, due to the fact we took these images when on location of filming the music video. This allows the mise-en-scene to be identical between the video and the ancillary tasks highlighting the link between the products.
The style used and presented by the image on the ancillary tasks and footage in the video is also presented as being modern and contemporary. This made it important to choose a font to use on the poster and the digi pack which would reflect this theme and advertise our products. We chose a font that is presented in a handwriting style helping to relate and empathise to the female target audience.
This is the font that we used on the ancillary tasks

The use of similar colour schemes, the modern font type, the use of locations in the images used and the footage filmed in the video allows us to create a contemporary representation of our artist. The video itself and the ancillary tasks are empathised as being more feminine, therefore representing the fact our target audience is female teenagers.
Our products also create a sense of mysteriousness as the audience never have a full on view of the artist’s face, except briefly in the music video however, they are still distanced from the audience due to the use of the mirror.
Sense of mysteriousness as faces are always hidden.
The audience feel empathy towards the artists in the music video and who are advertised on the ancillary tasks as they are represented as being naïve and innocent making the family breakdown and the narrative of the music video to be more emotional. Many young people can relate to this situation therefore helping to attract and appeal to this specific audience.

3) The feedback through the 3 stages of the process of creating our music video was extremely helpful. Some of the positive feedback gave us the confidence to fulfil these ideas but the practicalities of other ideas we’re highlighted therefore persuading us to change the idea or improve it in order for it to be effective.

Following our pitch, the main feedback focused on the reality of producing our ideas. For example due to the locations of where we had decided to shoot we needed to travel as there was many miles between each location. However, we had thought about this and we was lucky to have a member of our group who could drive. Another thing we was asked to think about was how we was going to make the storyline effective so we had to explain our idea in a more detailed way for our thoughts to be put across clearly.

After completing our rough draft we saw that our storyline was still not clear enough. In order to improve this we decided to film some more shots, for example we filmed the car being packed up with boxes to enhance the idea of the two artists in the music video moving away. However, other feedback was positive stating our variety of shots was effective and the mise-en-scene is appropriate matching our chosen genre clearly. We also got complimented on our use of effects and transitions showing our ability to use final cut.
We filmed extra footage to make the narrative more clear
When we had completed our music video we gathered more feedback from our group. The main emphasis on positive feedback was again, because of the variety of shot types and the creative transition types. The use of the dance sequence was also mentioned, alongside the use of the dialogue at the beginning which allowed the song to be focused on a certain issue which is relatable to many young people.

The things we would improve on would be the content of the shot types. Although the clarity of our narrative was improved from the rough cut, I think we could have used more simpler shots that would still have the same effect but it would allow our audience to understand the narrative more easily. Another main negative which was highlighted in the response was the continuity following the argument with the parents at the beginning and the picture that is thrown into the water at the end of the clip. To make this more effective we should have taken a picture of the two people who were acting as the parents as it was noticeable to the audience that the picture was of different people to the actors that was shown at the beginning of the music video.

4) New media technologies was an important element in the process of planning, creating, researching and evaluating our music video. We was fortunate enough to have access to Apple Mac computers allowing us to use Final Cut express. The use of the HD cameras made the content of what was being filmed more effective aswell as being easy to use. As well as using the HD camera’s we also used a still camera in which we took still photo’s while on location to help keep the mise-en-scene identical between the music video and the ancillary tasks. The footage was easily uploaded onto the Macs to be imported onto the Final cut express software for editing.
Part of our edited clips in the timeline

The Macs also enabled us to have easy access to the internet which was important in our research stage, when we were looking at previous and current music videos and digi-packs. Having the ability to research other work influenced my group’s creativeness and allowed us to produce the work we did. The final cut express was the software we used to edit our footage. It allowed us to cut footage, add transitions, add filters, and add text to make our music video blend together. We mainly played around with the filters; choosing appropriate ones that match the genre and mood of the clip. We were also able to lip-sync the track of our song and the footage so it looks like the artist is singing. To keep a record of our progress with using Final Cut express and keeping track of our ideas we used Using this website made recording our progress easy due to the fact we could access the blog from sixth form or from home. We could also include clips and pictures in the blog to help represent our influences and share our ideas rather than just writing and describing these.

Our first attempt of using photoshop
When creating our digi-pack we used photo-shop. We found this software more challenging to use compared to Final cut express, but we did manage to get used to it and produce a successful digi-pack and magazine cover. By using this software we could import our own images, include text, change colour schemes and move around these layers to place them in a place which would be visually appealing to our audience.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real  media products?
Having analysed many other professional music videos such as Christina Perri's "Jar of hearts"; Professor Green's "Read all about it"; Vanessa Carlton's "White Houses" and many more, we were able to take inspiration and ideas from each artist and their individual style for our own music video.
For example, particularly within the Vanessa Carlton video we liked the representation of the artist: young ish with natural make up, playing the key instrument and dancing.                            

Also the atmosphere of slightly troubled and this being represented in the emotion of the choreography. However one thing we challenged, was the amount of screen time the artist had performing directly the camera. This was because we spent more time explaining the narrative. We felt this was effective as it distanced the audience from the artist, creating an isolating atmosphere; which was one of the key emotions we wanted to portray to the audience. 

The acoustic style of our song "You are the moon" is also similar to this video, but would probably fall into a different genre. Therefore whilst taking some ideas, other key genre characteristics we took from else where. 
The genre of our song would most likely be classed as indie-pop, however they often classified themselves as indie-rock or alternative rock.

Another video we looked at, which would be classed as pop, or sometimes indie-pop, was Pixie Lott's "Cry me Out". From this we took the majority of our colour scheme - black and white, or faded/ slightly dull colour. 
We did this because it was complimentary with our reflective tone; well within our genre. The mostly acoustic song, with a fairly monophonic texture evoked an emotive music video of the same nature, yet with a developed narrative. 

Looking at Goodwin's points I can see that whilst having created a relationship between the visual and music (as mentioned above), we also occasionally created a direct relationship between the lyrics and visual. For example, one line sings "You don't see what you possess, a beauty calm and clear" - and on screen is a beautiful, calm pan of our picturesque location Grafham Water.  (shown below). 

Also throughout the lyrics, there is reference to a mirror and repeatedly at different points in the video, it comes back to the artist singing into the mirror, as well as the use of mirrors in the dance studio. 

< These mirrors also mean we use an element of voyeurism, as the audience watches the artist at a distance and as the nature of the narrative is often a difficult personal problem, it almost feels like an invasion of privacy; an insight into the artists life. 

Occasionally, there is also the use of direct gaze, from both artists  at different points in the song - yet ironically it is direct into the mirror, 
and so then it appears direct to the audience/ camera, but still imposing an isolated atmosphere.  
The techniques used within our video have been mainly conventional for the forms within this genre, however we challenged Goodwin's view on the representation of the artist: Our artists did not have a huge amount of screen time performing the lyrics alone, yet still the majority of the screen time became voyeurism, an insight into their life.           In terms of intertextuality, our inspirational videos (above) are often referenced, style wise. However we then developed these themes so as to make it more unique, instead of simply a replica of a real media product. 

2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Between our music video (main product) and digi-pack/ magazine advert (ancillary texts) there is clear continuity as the images we used for the latter had been taken with a digital stills camera when out filming - this obviously meant that the mise-en-scene would be identical; costume, colour scheme, locations, lighting; props etc. We also made sure we had the same fonts across all three products, again making the artist easily identifiable. 
As a promotional package, all three products work successfully together to accurately present the artist and appeal to the target audience (mainly teens). 
The images used create a slightly mysterious image of the artist, as at no point are their faces really clear, except for short extracts of the video and even so, the use of mirrors creates a barrier for the audience (as explained in question 1).
Also their costumes/ hair and make up help to make them appear fairly young and sweet, almost innocent/ niave. This then makes the nature of the main product/ music video, much more moving for the audience as the situation of a family breakdown somehow seems worse.
These emotions are mirrored and heightened in our narrative and this is perhaps something that helps to attract our target audience.
The fact that our story line is a circumstance that sadly far too many people can relate to in one way or another whether or not it has directly affected them somewhat broadens our target audience for that specific music video. 
A fairly generic use of locations will also help to appeal to a wider audience, as it means that it is not exclusive to people of a certain region or alike - there is no specific location for people to recognise. 
Despite this, the nature of the location and similar way in which the pictures were edited and using similar images across the package makes the artist and their style identifiable and means they know what to look for.

Our target audience is mainly fairly young teens, who perhaps already listen to a range of indie-pop and like exploring up coming bands. They are also more likely to be female.                                                                                     

The promotional package is effective in appealing to this target audience because:
- it presents them with two fairly young artists - a     similar age to themselves, making them easier to  relate to 

- the colour scheme and pictures maintain a modern feel

- including images referencing different art forms, such as dance, create a fairly stereotypical image of a young girl

- also on the digi-pack itself, the fact that there are two girls (despite it not being initially clear whether they are simply friends or sisters) comments on something which is often a central focus for a young 
person's life - the notion/ need for close relationships/ social life

- finally, the font we chose (which we downloaded from and used on all products, as it is similar to handwriting, it somehow makes it seem more expressive and could even be described as feminine > 

3) What have you learnt from your audience feedback? 
The exact comments/ feedback given at each stage can be read in separate posts on our blog.
The first lot of feedback we received which was on our initial pitch, seemed to pick up mainly on the practicalities of our project. This was helpful in making sure we had covered all bases such as travel to and from locations, as well as having capable performers (a pianist and dancers). 
It was also helpful to hear what they seemed particularly interested in, i.e. the transitions and the scrap book, as this gave us more confidence in using these ideas. 
Likewise, it was helpful to get tips from their own previous experiences, as some had experimented with similar ideas before in other projects, such as the use of mirrors.

Secondly we received feedback on our rough cut from both our peers and teachers. 
Overall this was mostly encouraging and let us know which aspects of our video worked best and therefore to leave as they were, or even develop further/ include more. For example the filters we used were popular, as well as the use of locations and variety of camera shots. 
We also received constructive criticism, which was incredibly helpful in highlighting from an outsiders point of view what needed to be improved or clarified. 
The main aspects we worked on after receiving this feedback were: 
- making sure the narrative was as clear as possible. This meant adding in a voice over at the beginning before the song, of parents arguing, as well as another clip of footage showing two parents fighting - the aim to highlight and explain the family breakdown/ divorce. 
- adding more performances from the artist. We added one more much longer clip of lip syncing to heighten the emotion towards the end and give the artist more direct screen time. 
- making the lip syncing as believable as possible. We went back and looked over each section of singing with a 'fine tooth comb' and spent time carefully cutting and moving parts of clips to make sure all was in time. 

Finally, again from our peers and teachers, we received feedback on our final cut video. 
We were pleased with the positive comments on our video and in particular the things they thought we had improved on since the rough cut; especially the purpose/ clarity of the narrative. Also the effectiveness of the mise-en-scene comments credited our extensive planning. 
However there are still aspects, as always, with room for improvement. Elements which our group itself had not perceived as an issue, were not necessarily as clear as we had hoped to outsiders. 
For example the argument clip without the audio, we assumed was clear as parents fighting and that the audience would connect it to the voice over at the beginning, however some comments assumed she was a daughter and therefore this was confusing.
Also adding this clip, then meant it affected our continuity at the end with the torn up picture in the water. Ideally we would have liked to re-film this short clip with a new picture of the "parents". However due to the location this was impossible in the time frame. 
It seems that the major things to improve, were aspects added after the rough cut/ feedback process - therefore we should have gone out of our way to check these perhaps just with the teacher before the final cut. 

4) How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? 
One key form of media technology we have used the entire way through all the processes of our media project, is this current website: . We have used this website to record the process of our music video from beginning to end and it is regularly updated by each member of the group (we are able to tag in "Labels" who has contributed to each piece of work). Blogger allows us to insert videos, screen shots and word documents into one post, as well as letting people from other groups and teachers comment on our work, making the written side (planning, research, diary of lessons/ progress and evaluations) of the project much easier.
In the beginning when we were doing all sorts of research into the artist, different genres, classifications, Goodwin's theory and the Auteur theory; as well as later on when starting the ancillary tasks and needed images of logos etc, we used the well known search engine Google. Having such a huge resource at our disposal meant our research/planning could be extensive and enabled us to make our products appear genuine. 
When filming we used HD cameras to get the best possible quality footage for our videos, as well as tripods to steady the camera and avoid any unprofessional/ unwanted shaky hands and filming.
We also took with us a regular digital stills camera, on which one member took photos whilst filming was going on. This was to ensure these were images we could edit and use later on in our ancillary tasks to make sure we had clear continuity - that the mise-en-scene was identical in all three products.

Once filming was complete, we logged and transferred our footage into an application called "Final Cut Express". This advance programme allowed us to edit our footage together exactly how we pleased. Firstly we picked the best clips from out filming and then cut them up, moving them to where we wanted them within the song. Using the small arrow keys ( < and > ) we were able to shift clips within split seconds of each other, moving them to lip sync as accurately as possible with the audio.
We were also able to add filters to certain clips, to create different effects, such as changing the colour levels, as well as changing specific levels. A variety of examples are shown in the screen shots below.

Here the colours have been enhanced. 

Here the colours are half way through a fade from colour to black and white, as you can see from the dulled colours. 

In this clip we have increased the amount of reds and blacks. 

Here we have changed the brightness and colour contrast to give the faded/ dulled effect. 

As well as putting these clips in black and white, we have also changed the opacity levels, allowing us to overlap them and the audience to see both scenes at once. 
Once we had applied certain effects to the clips we wanted, we thought about transitions.
Final cut express allowed us either to choose from a range of fades such as cross dissolve; dither dissolve; fade to black and many more, however 9 times out of 10 we used the manual fade (or pen) tool, by which we could place markers/ dots on the opacity line and drag them up or down exactly at the rate we pleased, as well as over lapping with other clips on another level, effectively creating our own cross dissolve or fade in fade out.
Here is an example of both manual fades we created and a cross dissolve we used.
Another level we edited in our video was speed. Using the cut tool, we were able to divide certain clips and change the speed levels by either or increasing the percentage of the original.
An example of this is also shown in the screenshot above, in "clip ⩨63" has been divided in two and the first half has been sped up to 500% and the second section has been slowed down to 50%.
One final thing Final cut allowed us to do, was separate the audio from the visual, so apart from obviously deleting the background noise we did not want (such as our own singing!) we could just use voices from one argument clip we had filmed to play with the beginning audio which was not the song, to set the scene of an arguing family.

The other main application we used to create our ancillary tasks, was Adobe Photoshop.  Using templates we were able to add images, choosing from the photos we had already edited in iPhoto (an Apple mac simplified version of photoshop) and scale them to exactly the right size of the digi-pack. Once our base images were on our templates, Photoshop allowed us to put exactly what we wanted to say in our synopsis and track list etc into a text box, move it to where we wanted, choose a style/ genre appropriate font and then put it in either black or white as we pleased. We then copied in logos for production companies, record labels, barcodes, classifications and copyrights etc and placed these on the back, again scaling them as appropriate.
We also created the inside of our digi pack, using the same template, yet we added two almost opaque circles, one inside the other to look like a CD; we did this using the shapes tool.
When we copied in the images of our title text from, as this was a screen shot there was still the white behind it when we put it on our digi-pack, therefore we used the background eraser tool, zoomed in and went round the title. However once this was done we merged the layers together and from then on simply copied and pasted, just re-adjusting where necessary.
All these media technologies, although sometimes frustrating, are advanced programmes and so were all helpful in creating a successful product.

Directors commentary research

A directors commentary is normally about a film he/she has directed, this is where the director or actors/actress' talk about the success's, ideas behind the movie and their opinion on how well it went. Directors commentary's are commonly seen as a type of interview and staged in a studio where the audience will be able to see director, however, there is audio director commentaries where a section of the movie will be played and the director or people who have starred in the film will talk over the footage about their views on it, so the director will not be shown.

In our case we will be doing a directors commentary on our opinions of our music video we made.

Here is a more commonly seen directors commentary, where they are being interviewed about their movie. This would be found on the bonus features section on the DVD of their movie.

This was a video i found with some parts with directors commentary on it, again the director is just saying the ideas behind the scene and what he thought about it, in this video you see cuts to behind the scenes but most commonly the director or any cast will not be shown.

Directors Commentary Research

A director's commentary is a specially edited version of in our case a music video, however it is more often applied to a film, and occasionally other media forms such as TV series', adverts, comic books or video games.
It is there to communicate the directors ideas/ visions as well as evaluating how successful the process and product is. It also allows the director to explain some of the more practical aspects. The trend of releasing director's commentary's was first introduced in the early 1980's alongside the rise of the home video industry. Video releases of director's commentary's were originally created for the small but dedicated "cult fan" market

There are two forms of these commentaries. First they can simply be in an audio form over the top of either the film or music video.

Here is a comic example of a TV series which was actually entitled "Director's Commentary", where the voice over is commenting in a humorous/ mocking way, however it is a very good example of simply an audio commentary.

Or there is visually: sometimes a completely new video can be made, making it more like an interview, yet cut up with clips/ examples and screen grabs from the media product itself. Often this comes under bonus features on DVD's etc and furthermore, it can be an opportunity for other members of the cast and crew to comment, not just the director.

Here a more straight forward interview with a director and actress.
We will be taking this approach.


1) Our media product uses the conventions of typical media products in many ways. The song we chose to do was “You are the moon” by The Hush Sound, which is a indie band. The song in particular is a slow and sad one with a moving atmosphere so this challenged the conventions of an indie music video as they would commonly be quite up beat. We also tried to portray a narrative within our media product which also would normally go against the conventions of an indie media product as they are mostly simple and just showing the band play their songs. We looked at music videos by other well known artists such as; Professor Greens' 'Read all about it' and were most influenced by Christina Perris’ song “Jar of hearts”. We liked this video as it shows the same genre and gives of the same mood and atmosphere as The Hush Sound, so we looked at the main conventions of it and tried to interrupt them into ours. The main ones we looked at were the colours used, the costume/make up and the lighting, from these we were able to show similar conventions of what an audience would see in any other real media product e.g. simple makeup/costume, dull and plain colours and dark but soft lighting. We challenged other conventions such as using extras, having a simple narrative or none at all and having basic props by having quite a complicated storyline and many props, we did use an extra but only one for the dance as it fitted in with our storyline of the two sisters. We didn’t feel that our media product needed all of these conventions as it was not necessary to the song. Our shot types were simple which relates to Christina Perris’ video, we mostly used slow cuts which were softened by a fade into the next clip as again we thought by using harsh cuts wouldn’t portray the feeling the song gave off.

2) Our main media product and ancillary tasks have worked together very well. We have kept them linked together by using the same colour pallet e.g. soft and neutral colours to give off the same atmosphere as the song. This allows all three products to create the same mood allowing the products to be easily identified by our target audience. Our digi pack and magazine advert have a image of the two artists featured in our music video, which we took on set whilst filming. The two images were taken at the same location; Graftham water, in Huntington. We took the pictures from different areas within Graftham allowing there to be a strong link between the mise en scene without being to similar. This also allowed us to have a contrast between the two ancillary tasks as one image was in front on the sunset and another on the rocks but still showing calmness through the soft colours. Also, by filming and using images taken at Graftham show the distance between the sisters and the real world, it implies they want to escape everything and just be alone as they are in a isolated area. We took photographs from behind as we wanted to keep the mystery of the two sisters and symbolise that they both hold a facade to people to hide their true feelings about their situation. This helps the audience to emphasis with the two artists and maybe some could relate to feeling of wanting to hide away from real life and the situations they may need to face. 

We looked at many different font styles and sizes until we found one that we personally thought showed the genre and mood of the song really well. The font was feminine, soft and seen to be in a hand written style giving a personal touch to the products. It also showed that we were trying to appeal more to the female audience of all ages as there is no focus within the products to imply that it is for a particular age group. 
So by incorporating all these different factors into our media product and ancillary tasks the audience can easily identify with our artists work as they all have a strong link between them and mise en scene is kept identical throughout.

3) By getting audience feedback on our media product and ancillary tasks we were able to alter and develop our ideas to suit the audiences needs. Feedback was given throughout making our media product and ancillary tasks so we was informed of any problems well in advance so were able to sort them out with having plenty of time left for editing and the making of our digi pack and magazine advert. We were given feedback firstly on our pitch for the song we wanted, the audience highlighted any problems that they thought we might face and asked us to explain how we would shoot the footage, this helped us plan more ahead of just ideas and made us think more about the practiabilty of our media product. we then got feedback on our rough cut footage which allowed the audience to tell us about anything they did not understand or what did or did not work well within the video, this helped alot as it bought up things we may have missed or overlooked, e.g. the narrative, as we understood what was going on. We were then given feedback on our final cut, this was mostly about our editing techniques, this was also very helpful as it allowed us to edit our video to the audience taste and made sure the genre was put clearly across.

4)  New media technologies were used quite alot throughout our media product and ancillary tasks. Our main media product was shot on HD cameras, giving us the best picture possible for our music video, this worked very well as the camera picked up on lighting and captured the colours. We used Apple Mac computers for all of the work that was done. e.g. editing, blogging and ancillary tasks. The Apple Macs have certain software not accessible on ordinary computers, such as Final Cut Express and Photoshop. The Apple Macs have a toolbar at the bottom of the desktop allowing you to open up any program easily and very quickly. we used the Internet to use to upload images, ideas and record a daily diary of what we was doing out of and in each lesson, we also used the Internet to use to do most of our research into music videos of the same genre, magazine adverts and digi packs. Our media product was put onto a programme only on Apple Macs called Final Cut Express, this allows you to put all your footage onto this programme and play around with putting clips in any order you wish. It also allows you delete, cut, speed up or slow down clips, this was very helpful as you can edit your clips footage exactly how you wanted it, and by slowing down and using toolbars on the programme it made syncing the artist filmed and the lyrics sung much easier. Final Cut Express also has many options to choose from in terms of colouring, brightness/contrast and transitions which you could experiment with on individual clips. We mostly played around with the lighting and colouring of our clips to try and portray the right mood of the genre, we also used different transitions from one clip to another instead of just using cuts, we used soft and slow fades, again adding to the atmosphere of the song. We used a programme called Photoshop, which is only accessible on Apple Macs, to complete our ancillary tasks. Photoshop offers a range of choices for people to use in order to get the effect that wish. Photoshop allowed us to play around with brightness/contrast and colours of our photographs and still images take.n from our media product. From this we were able to keep continuity throughout our media product and ancillary tasks by portraying the same genre and giving of the same atmosphere which was given off in our music video.

Monday, 28 November 2011


1) Our media products use and challenge the conventions of real media products in different ways. As we chose to do "You are the moon" by The Hush Sound, our music genre was acoustic indie pop, and for this song it was quite soft and sad, so the piece had a real atmopshere and mood to it. We had quite a few influences from other artists, such as Emile Sande and Proffessor Green - Read All About It, Adele - Set Fire To The Rain and Christina Perri - Jar of Hearts, which was my biggest influence for our music video.

Jar of Hearts had a similar mood to the song that our group had chosen and we wanted to create something that followed the same genre characteristics, mood, colour and atmosphere that she had in her video into ours. Our shot types were similar to those in other music videos of the same genre, long shots and close ups. Our editing was quite similar too as we included lots of soft fades and merged clips together as well as overlaying them to create a unique and interesting effect as well as editing the colours, to make them a lot darker and moodier to add to the atmopshere the song gave. Some differences however included animation or CGI (computer generated images) which we weren't able to do in our video, but they do a lot of in other videos - such as Labirinth and Tinie Tempah's video - Earthquake, due to the fact that technology has developed so much over the past years to amazing and new levels. Another difference is that in Christina Perri's music video, she has quite a lot of extra's in it, whereas we only had one (an extra dancer as Ruth danced in the video as well) so our video focused a lot more on the artists, which Christina Perri does do in her video but you can also focus on the other people involved which you cant do in our video as you arent able to.

2) Our ancillary tasks and main product link together really well, and combined, create a really effective pack all round. We researched into font styles and size to find a few that tied in really well with the genre and song, to keep continuity between our products. We also kept the colours muted, soft and dark giving off quite a sad atmosphere but strong and continued mood throughout it all, again linking the main product and ancillary tasks together really well. By doing so, we felt that then the audience would feel sympathy for the artist and give off this sense of innocence throughout, keeping everything suttle and soft for our target audience. For example we used black font for the bands name and title of their album, as dark colours helped to mimic the mood of the video too. The font choice also came down to choosing a font that also fitted with the band name and style of their music, so we chose to use a font called "Jenna Sue" from (Shown below)

We took photographs of our artists on set, so at Grafham Water so that not only would have good quality images to work from, but also the images linked into the video, so that there was strong continuity between it all, easily recognizable for our audience as well as looking interesting enough for a purchase because if the font and the layout and overall look of the digi-pack had been not very proffessional looking, people would just ignore it on the shelf. We also figured that 'The Hush Sound' would have more female fans, due to not only the style of the music and lyrics but also because as there is a woman singing, making it more relateable to the female audience, so we had to choose font and colours that suited our target audienece.

3) Throughout the ancillary tasks and main product we gained audience feedback constantly. From our initial pitch, having the feedback meant that if there were any glitches that we had not for seen or problems that we hadn't noticed or could of risen, and were warned about because they had been spotted meaning the feedback helped us gain knowledge of the tasks ahead of us.
The main points to focus on that we were given were:
- Where we were going to film, would it be possible to get there and back?
- Whether we had a piano available to use at ease and when we needed it
- What type of editing would we use? Too much editing could make our video look unproffessional and cheesy.

After we had made our roughcut, our audience were able to give us feedback on whether they understood what was going on, anything that didn't work and the things that did. This helped us to create a much stronger music video, as we know what the audience were looking for and what was unexpected but worked well. The main points we were given to focus on to improve our video further:
- We needed to clear up our narrative to make it less confusing for the audience
- We needed more cuts so that it made the video more interesting to watch, for example the dance scene is too long by its self and gets a little bit boring, so we added in clips that would not only help our narrative but also make the video more intriuging.
- Lip synching needed to be better as it was out of time in parts

When we were given our final piece of feedback on the final cut of our music video, this helped us gain insight into what would work in our ancillary tasks, for exapmle the fact that the colours in our music video gave off a really strong atmosphere meant that we should continue it through to our poster and dvd pack as not only would it keep its continuity but make it easily recognisable for our audience to make the link between the products and video too, which it did. Having feedback gave us the chance to create the ancillary tasks to the best they could be.

4) Throughout the construction of our music video and ancillary tasks, we used a lot of media technologies. As we used the apple mac, it meant that the internet was easily accessible, as well as a lot of editing software was available for us to use as we pleased. We used "Blogger" ( to record all of the information and notes that we collected throught the process and making of our music video from start to finish. It also made it a lot easier for us to find pieces of information or details if we needed them, whether it be for the music video, general planning or the ancillary tasks, whenever and wherever because the blog is easy to access on not only computers that could access the internet but our mobile phones too. We used google to research into the music industry and find out information that we needed to know to help along the way of producing, as well as emailing the artists to ask permission to make a music video using their song. On the apple mac, we were able to use 'Final Cut Express' for the making and creating of our music video, adding in transitions and cuts whenever we felt it to be appropriate, as well as being able to edit colour of the footage and being able to slow down and speed up the footage as well.

We used 'Photoshop' to create our digi-pack (the dvd cover and poster) adding in our own images, changing colours, fonts and editing images to a high standard, and so both Final Cut Express and Photoshop gave us the chance to create a music video and digi-pack to the best of our ability and make it as realistic as possible.
Finally we had our touch screen HD video camera to record the footage for our music video as well as a tripod to help keep the shots as still and steady as possible and an HD camera to take still images throughout - not only helping to keep a visual record of what we had acheived but also to help us if we needed to use the photo's in any way through planning to our digi-pack, which we did actually need to use and so we had good high quality photos to work from.

What is a directors commentary?

There are two types of directors commentary, audio and visual.

"On disc-based video formats, an audio commentary is an additional audio track consisting of a lecture or comments by one or more speakers, that plays in real time with video. Commentaries can be serious or entertaining in nature, and can add information which otherwise would not be disclosed to audience members." - Wikipedia

An audio commentary has the director commenting a long with the film, tv program, music video ect as it is playing, so you can just hear a voice over the top of the footage giving information, details and their own personal opinion on things as it plays through.

A visual commentary (for example seen in the special features or bonus discs of films, such as Harry Potter), you see clips of the director talking to the camera (and sometimes other members of the production team and cast) about the film, what their opinion is on things, details and information, just like in an audio commentary, in between clips of the film whilst they talk, so you get to see the face of the director talking.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Finsihed Digi pack

Here is our finished digi - pack cover laid out flat.
The still image was taken at Grafham water and gives a mysterious air to the artists as the audience can not see their faces. The colour theme is fairly simple, sticking with a black and white continuity.
It contains all the necessary information including; ratings, certification, features of the disc, a bar code, synopsis and details of its creation from running time to director.

Here is the inside of our pack.

Magazine Advert

This is our magazine advert. We used this picture as the colours linked into our digi pack, aswell as the text colours and font. It has a clear theme in the use of location in the picture used on this magazine advert and the digi pack. We font we used for the title 'The hush sound' is modern but comtempary linking with the modern theme and genre of the song.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Lesson plans and deadlines

Wed/ Thurs 23rd/24th November - Digi-pack and magazine work
Mon 28th November - Timed response to evaluation questions
Wed 30th November - No lesson - type up timed response onto blog and prepare your script
Thurs 1st December - Filming your script - 45 minutes in studio only
Mon 5th December - Editing 
Wed 7th December - Editing deadline
Thurs 8th December - Peer feedback
Mon 12th December - Finalise blogs

Wed 15th - Fun Lesson! :)
Fri 17th - Arts Picture House trip to watch music videos

Monday, 21 November 2011

What we expect to see in a DVD digipack and Poster advert.

What we usually expect to see on any DVD, movie or music video, are the conventions listed below:

  • An age rating in reference to the content of the video and reasons why
  • The DVD logo
  • Who produced the DVD
  • Comments commonly made by music companies, magazines and local newspapers
  • A star rating
  • A synopsis 
  • What the DVD pack contains, such as; 
  •                                              - Tracks included
  •                                              - Bonus features 
  • An image of the artist(s) or an image of something relating to the video i.e main prop used (piano)
  • The name of the band or singer
  • The title of the DVD, this is normally one of the tracks included
  • A continuous colour or tone throughout the front and back cover to link it all together.

What we would usually expect to see on a poster is similar to the above, but the poser would include:

  • A list of shops, or websites where the DVD can be purchased
  • The date and day the DVD is released in shops and online 
  • A photograph of the artist(s) or a still from the music video
  • The same colour or tone used on the DVD - this helps consumers find the DVD by looking for the colour or layout
  • A comment or star rating
  • The name of the band and singer
  • It may possibly list a popular song that is featured on the DVD

Thursday, 17 November 2011

DigiPack - attempt 1

This was our first attempt at our video digipack. We have choosen not to go with this idea
 as it did not flow together, such as the colour are very different from eachother in terms of 
brightness aand contrast. We have decided to go with another phorograph from this location
 and stretching it across the frint and back cover of the DVD. By doing this we keep the 
digipack in sync.

Analysis of a video/dvd cover/advert from the artist - The Hush Sound

As we could not find a dvd cover we have used their cd cover. We think their CD cover works really as it fits in with their genre of music, we think the image used works as it is showing a calm and quiet country side. It also shows the artists, selling their image. The artists themselves are very de-saturated so they dont merge into the background, they stand out but it links as the colours are low key also.
Our idea differs from this but we are thinking about using a landscape shot and muted colours as this ties in with our video.

This is The Hush Sound poster and it ties in well with the cd cover because the font is the same, the colours are similar - all muted and low key, and there is still landscape in the image. Although it is illustration, they've still linked the two together.

In this video, the artists are quite isolated and the colours are muted as well, tieing in with the poster and cd cover. There is contrast in the video as the colours change from muted to bright in certain clips at the end, although when it is bright, it is the girl from the band, so it is promoting the singer by herself instead of altogether with the band as well as telling a story and eventually the whole band is bought into highly coloured and bright surroundings and bright clothing and faces.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Response to feedback

After reading our feedback we can see that, if we had more time we would have filmed the argument in a more homey situation and given the actor playing  the mum more props to distinguish this character.

We appreciate that there isn't a huge variety of transitions used however we did experiment with others and they distracted from the narrative and didn't fit in with the emotion.
The picture that was torn up, if we had more time we would have changed with a picture of the two actors having an argument and placed this in the scrap book at the beginning, but because of the location where the water was filmed it was impossible to replace this.

We too spotted the camera in the mirror and were very disappointed we hadn't noticed this earlier. However, as there was not another clip to put in its place we did try and crop the frame but it interfered with the artist.
We inquired about the editing techniques needed to make the scrapbook turn its own pages and these were very complex and as our initial feedback mentioned the story line was unclear we decided to focus on correcting this.

Feedback on Finished video


  • We thought that the video had some good elements within it
  • The dance routine worked very well 
  • There is a very good variety of locations used in the video giving it additional depth
  • There are a good range of shot types and angles used
  • Some of the lip syncing and acting didn't seem overly convincing
  • The argument between the parent and the daughter although being a key part to the narrative would have been better in our view to have been left as sound over the top rather than image as it is a bit confusing as to if it is supposed to be the mum or daughter
  • Additionally, the location for the argument is clearly a class room and not particularly fitting with the rest of video
T2 - 38:

  • The start of the video worked well to introduce the story of the video.
  • The shot duration was good to the pace of the song.
  • The shot variation was good, as well as the way that the shots were implemented into the video.
  • Lack of transitions, the ones that were used weren't used as effectively as they could have been.
  • The lip synching was still out on the mirror scene.
  • There was no clear distinction between whether we were watching a narrative or an artist.
  • The continuity was off. The picture thrown into the water didn't match any previously shown characters.
  • There was only one shot showing Jack and the other actor, it seemed as if it was only used due to lack of footage rather than having an actual impact on the narrative.
Lewis, Liam & Matt T2-37

We think it was very brave to include dialogue before the video starts, but it payed off and concentrated the song on a certain issue, which people can relate to. The filers over the clips are effective, as are the fades particularly during the dancing scene. The piano playing is really good, and fits the music perfectly. The shot with the dog is nice as well and completes the family sort of ironic feel to the song. The end shot of the song is really good, with the blowing out of the candle.

We weren't too sure why the two girls are wearing the same jumper. Also during one of the shots in the mirror you can see the camera which is an easy but bad mistake to make. Also whilst you were pitching for the song against Abi's group you said you would turn the pages of the scrap book and animate it somehow, we were disappointed not to see this effect. More lip syncing could have been used. Use of the 'Grandfather clock' shown in the background of the mirror shot could have been nice, to give the video a rustic edge.

Ben, Samanda, Michael, Ryan

- Variety of shots was good
- Artist was promoted through the piano playing and close ups
- The black and white bit worked well
- The candle shot at the end was effective as it matched the pace and feel of the song
- Image matched lyrics
- It gives a good storyline as well

Monday, 14 November 2011

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wednesday 9th November

In todays lesson we have concentrated on a small sections of clips and the way they fit together.
When looking at the clip of the artists packing up the car we used a higher speed as the content was important but by having a normal speed with the duration of the clip it would may have been boring to the viewers.

We cut the ending of the car clip when shutting the boot and added in a fade transition to the next clip. We have done this to make this clip more effective and add the to impact of the storyline of moving. We then added a fade to the next clip to soften the transition between clips as the song is slow and soft itself.

We had someone look at our video without knowing any of the narrative, they understood the story we tried to get across so we was successful in that. They then gave us some tips about not having the production sound in at the end of our video and just have the piano playing into a fade, they also said it would be nice to see more shots of the artists singing. From this we are going to act on it and put in more singing clips and fade the music at the end, we hope this improves the video for the viewers to watch.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday 7th November

In this lesson we spilt into two. Ruth and Caroline did some final editing of our footage and changed clips around to make more sense of the narrative. They experimented with a split screen and found problems with filling the area with all footage and covering all the black back ground. Also after this we saw that the spilt screen did not look right so decided to edit the clips around to again make more sense.

Jade and Louella went through the blog checklist and made sure all the blogs were updated and finished and contained all the information needed.

Wednesday 2nd November

On Wednesday 2nd November we made the decision to film extra footage after the feedback we got from the rough cut. The comments we got mainly focused on the idea that the music video did not make sense. In order to act upon the feedback and improve our video we filmed a scene of packing some boxes and packing the car to enhance the story of the artists moving out.

We also filmed an argument between 'the two parents' and placed this at the beginning of the film to explain to the audience the purpose of why the two main artists are moving out.

This will hopefully enable us to convey our story for the video better to the audience.

Target Audience Research

We think our main target audience would be teenage girls, mostly for the reason we have 'female teenage artists.' The style of song is more appropriate to females too rather than males due the slow nature of the song and contemporary style.

The exception's for our music video would commonly be voyeurism of the artist, extras such as dancers and props, and normally their would be a love interest. We have not applied these to our music video as we did not think it was relevant and did not match our narrative, because of this we have used simple filming of the artists, props and make up instead.

The viewing habits of our target audience would be to watch something they can relate too, this could be the narrative, lyrics or talents of the artist, such as playing the piano. The situation that has been represented in the video is quite generalisable to the vast majority of teenagers in our society, this helps them to understand and be interested in the content of the video.

Classification Research

"General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
Unaccompanied children of any age may watch. A ‘PG’ film should not disturb a child aged around eight or older. However, parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger or more sensitive children."
We researched the classification for our video and we thought it would be appropriate to give it a PG classification by reading the statement above. Our video contains a small section of a mild argument between two adults, this may be seen as upsetting for a  very young child as it talks about the separation of parents. In general, the video should not have any affect on a child of a young age, but we thought by giving it a PG parents can be aware of the minor argumentative content. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Rough Cut comments.

Below I have listed the main good and bad points that have been said about our rough cut music video.

Good Points...

  • 'Really like the storyline throughout the video'
  • 'Good locations and a variety of camera shots'
  • 'Good use of transitions'
  • 'Good effects'
  • 'Good footage used'
  • 'Good shots of the piano'
  • 'Scrapbook will work once complete'
  • 'Mise-em-scene is appropriate.'
  • 'Good ideas'
  • 'Good angles used'
  • 'Props relating to the scene'

Points for improvement...

  • 'Narrative is confusing'
  • 'Could have more shots of singing'
  • 'The viewer needs to understand more'
  • 'Some more cuts'
  • 'Emotions are not very clear'
  • 'End may be abit to long'
  • 'Do not understand the beginning'
  • 'Lip syncing out at times (looking in the mirror), and could be improved'

From looking at the points of improvement we can plan how to spend our filming time efficiently to meet the requirements. 
The rough cut beginning was not finished which may be why the narrative was unclear from the beginning. We are hoping to film an argument, showing the mother taking the children, we hope this will then make the narrative clear to the viewers. 
Alot of comments were made about singing more and the lip syncing, from this we will try and edit the footage to match the singing up with the artist singing, and try to put in some previous singing shot we cut out - this may however mean having to cut out other footage or shortening some clips. 
But shortening some clips may benefit us as comments have been made about the duraction of some clips, watching the rouch cut back we have also noticed these and some other areas we can improve. Such as; the shots of the sketchbook need to be alot shorter then they are. Also, the shot of graffron may not hae to be used as when looking back we did not really see how it linked to the narrative or rest of our footage. 
It has also been seen that it is not made clear it is a family moving getting broken apart, we will try and mend this and make it clear to viewers that this is the storyline. We hope to do this by showing a shot of an argument and the mother gabbing her two children, if we can, also have a door shutting and boxes getting packed into a boot of a car. 

We hope by improving these and filling in gaps within the narrative we can improve our video and make it clear to an audience what is going on within the video.  

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Attempting to contact the Artist

This is a screen shot of the page we chose to use to contact the artist, The Hush Sound. The blue highlighted text on the right hand side of the page is the email address we used.

This is the email that we sent to the band.
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