Saturday, 28 April 2012

All - Final Cut


Here is Sublime Transcendence's final cut for Sunburnt In December's song "Like a Match to an Arsonist". The video contains horror and gore aspects with the main inspiration behind the idea being the 1981 film An American Werewolf In London directed by John Landis.


WARNING: The video does contain flashing lights and extremely fast paced editing.

All - Final Magazine Advert

Here is our Final Magazine Advert.


All - Final Digipak


Here is the final digipak.

Front Panel


Bank Panel


Credit Section


Lyric Section


Spine

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

CO - Digipak Additions

I have made some edits to the digipak, and have now included a sticker detailing the contents, and also a spine with the name of the digipak, a catalogue number and the record label on it. In addition to THAT, I have also changed the format of the inside so that there is a pullout/booklet for the lyrics, printed on every page, giving the text more room and also allowing for more images to be incorporated into the digipak. To see the largest version of the pullout, click here. Lastly, I have edited the tracks on the back of the digipak to suit the conventions more and changed the font to a more eroded and distorted one too.

To see the updated digipak back, click here.
To see the updated digipak front, click here.
To see the new lyric pages, click here.






















Thursday, 19 April 2012

Evaluation Question 4 - How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research and planning & evaluation stages?

Below is my answer to evaluation question for, where I talk about a large comprehensive list of all the difference types of technology that we used throughout the construction of the texts, including software too, and discuss their effectiveness. In addition, I will talk about the use of sharing websites that utilise media platforms to share our music video with the online community, and gain feedback through comments regarding our video. I will also discuss the implementation of websites to help research the common codes and conventions of the music videos we were studying so we could use them in our video; and we used websites like Wikipedia to research various theories, record labels of the genre, so we could help streamline our research and our ability to apply it to our video.

Evaluation Question 3 - What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Below is my answer to evaluation question 3. Here, I discuss the main target/primary audience and what they would expect, but also discuss secondary target audiences as well, the means of communication we employed to help gain software from a number of different people; talk about new media technologies, integration of social networking such as Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, MySpace, and more.

Evaluation Question 2 - How effective is the combination of your main products and ancillary texts?

Below is my answer to the second evaluation question, where I discuss a few important topics; the themes, codes and conventions that are coherent throughout the digipak, the magazine ad and the video in relation to other texts, the task's relation to the real world (as all three texts would've been created by separate companies) and also examples of digipaks, magazine ads and music videos that don't have any form of integration, going against that convention.

Evaluation Question 1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Below is my first evaluation question, done in Prezi powerpoint presentation. Simply view as a slideshow, or alternatively hold the mouse and drag to scroll around.



Wednesday, 18 April 2012

SB - Casting



In our music video the band members make up for the entire cast.  The band members consisted of an all male, late teen group. We felt it was easier just to have the band as the cast due to practical purposes and for direction it was easier to control a smaller number of people. When filming the werewolf scenes we used one of the band members who wasn't filming or whoever was holding the camera at the time. The members of the band fit in with the typical audience of the genre young males, this is also a convention of metalcore bands the members are made up of young males between the age of 15-24.

When we filmed we gave the band a uniform appearance by making everyone where skinny jeans, a black t shirt and trainers however we did change this up with the vocalists outfit. We made the vocalists outfit appear different because we wanted to single him out as the front man of the band.


Friday, 16 March 2012

CO - Evaluation Question 4 [DRAFT]

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?


  • I will include a large comprehensive list of all the difference types of technology that we used throughout the construction of the texts, including software too, and discuss their effectiveness.
  • Similarly, we will talk about the use of sharing websites that utilise media platforms to share our music video with the online community, and gainn feedback through comments regarding our video.
  • I will also discuss the implementation of websites to help research the common codes and conventions of the music videos we were studying so we could use them in our video; in addition, we used websites like Wikipedia to research various theories, record labels of the genre, so we could help streamline our research and our ability to apply it to our video.
  • In addition, the use of social networking sites and their clients; Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, MySpace, Bebo and more, and also the impact they had when being used for our video. 
  • Tools used for editing will also be included, such as Final Cut Express, iMovie, Photoshop and how we used them.

CO - Evaluation Question 3 [DRAFT]

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

  • For the feedback evaluation question, I will start by talking about the main target/primary audience and what they would expect, but also discuss secondary target audiences as well.
  • Discuss in depth the means of communication we employed to help gain software from a number of different people; talk about new media technologies, integration of social networking such as Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, MySpace and more (comment on effectiveness of these platforms) 
  • Discuss the usefulness of the feedback; not all of it was constructive or good in any way, talk about how we didn't use some of it judging on what was commented on.
  • Similarly, I will also talk about how we felt about the feedback we were given by people, and whether we took it on board or rejected it. 
  • To summarise, we will discuss the usefulness of the feedback on a whole.
The main feedback for our music video focused on these points

  • We took out all the shots where the houses were noticeable by either erasing the shot entirely or editing the scaling of it and cropping it until the houses were out of shot, creating a mis-en-scene.
  • Edited out some of the effects and layering styles we included when creating the video, due to the fact that they didn't fit in or looked bad/not in keeping with the text
  •  Similarly, feedback caused us to add a lot of varied yet subtle effects to help give our video a bit more of an edge, and incorporating new media technology
  • We tried to integrate a four-shot into the performance but our feedback told us that it didn't really work with the other, faster and quicker shots of the section
  • Another big point of feedback revolved around the diegetic introduction being too long and not needed, we reduced this a significant amount
  • We included more shots of Sam in the performance after getting feedback stating that he wasn't in enough; we changed this by increasing the scale and cropping.
We also got quite a bit of feedback regarding our digipak;


  • Our first design for the front panel featured a vector Flash trace of a stage on a celestial background; while all of us within Sublime Transcendence liked the design, some others thought the vector gave the digipak cover an unwanted cartoon-y feel, so we revamped the design totally.
  • The designs were favourable afterwards, yet we had incorporated some found images in the creation of the digipak and we were trying to avoid doing this; to remedy the possible plagiarism, we went out and took the shots we wanted ourselves, in a similar style to the found ones.
  • Another point brought up during feedback was that the first drafts of the digipak didn't integrate many elements from the other texts, though this applied to our first design only.
...and regarding our magazine ad;

  • The main point of the magazine ad's feedback was that the background apparently had no relevance to the video, even though we all thought it did, so we compromised with this feedback.
  • Similarly  the digipak,. the first magazine ad designs didn't involve much integration with the other two texts.
  • The first designs, according to our teacher, didn't fit in with the common codes and conventions of the target audience, such as magazine adverts that would be found in Metal Hammer/Rock Sound etc.

CO - Evaluation Question 2 [DRAFT]

How effective is the combination of your main products and ancillary texts?

For this evaluation question, I will mention a few important topics; the themes, codes and conventions that are coherent throughout the digipak, the magazine ad and the video in relation to other texts, the task's relation to the real world (as all three texts would've been created by separate companies) and also brainstorm examples of digipaks, magazine ads and music video's that don't have any form of integration, going against that convention.

Below are some of the combinations of key themes that Sublime Transcendence have incorporated throughout the texts we made;


  • Inclusion of isolated, rural, eerie setting; occurring throughout the digipak's panels, the mag ad's background and the performance and narrative of the music video. 
  • Similar shooting style and mis-en-scene are combined in both the music video and the mag ad; they both feature bloodied-up band members and instruments in a rural setting, though the framing is different.
  • A degree of image and layer manipulation through all three texts, eg; black-and-white filter in magazine ad,  the layering and opacity manipulation in the music video, and the colour correction and filters within the digipak. 
  • We did actually have a few binary oppositions too, a few aspects that go against the convention of integrating all the themes into every single text; these included the fake blood being present in all texts apart from the digipak, some of the photographs that were intended to be shot having their location taken out of the final product due to their inability to access, amongst other reasons.
  • The unseen, enigmatic antagonist of the video is only seen in half of the video; we will explain this in a lot more depth later in the evaluation but we wanted the creature to be as unseen as possible, whilst retaining a presence, so we decided to depict what it had left behind in the magazine ad, and its location in the digipak, though no shots of the creature itself.
  • The time of day also differentiates throughout all three texts, for the panels of the digipak, dusk, dawn and midday are all featured (we wanted to avoid the night cliché), there is dark and light within the music video, and total darkness in the magazine ad. 

CO - Evaluation Question 1 [DRAFT]

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Introduction;

  • Discuss question, and possible problems and other interpretations of the question 
  • Define the conventions of the format that we have incorporated into our text
  • Compare what we've done with said conventions
  • Compare the genres; our chosen one with other ones and discuss conventions 
  • Summarise

Within the answer, I will discuss in depth these points concerning our video/videos of the genre;

          Conventions overall and conventions we ended up using

  • Goodwin's theory; narrative and performance concepts and the integration of the two in our video
  • The use of lip-synching throughout our video, how and why we did it etc, and it's place in the metalcore video spectrum
  • Close-ups of instrumentation throughout the performance side of the music video 
  • Quick paced editing
  • The lighting of the video, high-key, low, artificial etc
  • Focus on the lead singer of the band, explanation as to why that is an apparent convention 
          Conventions of our digipak used
  • Strong, coherent point of intertextuality between the digipak's panel designs and the music video text itself
  • Bonus features within the sleeve and disc itself
  • The aesthetic layout of the digipak; the colours, the tones, the effects...
  • The credits of who was involved in the mastering, engineering, recording and production of the album
  • The lyrical booklet containing all the vocalists' songwriting material 
  • Copyright information for the digipak
  • A barcode and possible QR code
  • Label logos and information
          Conventions of the magazine advert

  • Plenty of detail concerning the band's upcoming digipak release, yet a tasteful amount, not overdone
  • A vibrant and noticeable background, dominating yet not too overbearing
  • A sizeable band name heading the top of the magazine ad
  • Screenshots of the product
  • Tour dates
  • Internet directories

Monday, 12 March 2012

RM - Research in Music Video Directors P. R. Brown



P. R. Brown is a graphic designer, photographer, and music video director. As well as being well known for directing music videos he is also known well for designing album covers. Some of the album covers he has designed are for Mötley Crüe, Korn, Godsmack and Marilyn Manson. However he has directed music videos in a range of ranges. Bands he has directed music videos for include Bullet For My Valentine, My Chemical Romance, The Smashing Pumpkins, Slipknot and many more.

Click here to see his full filmography

Sourced: Wikipedia




Each time P. R. Brown produces a music video he either tries to follow it on from the previous music video produced, an example of this would be My Chemical Roman's "Sing" with their music video following on from their pprevious single "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)", or tries to create something a little different compared to the band's previous videos. He has also known to take inspiration from films including The Road. The following extract is taken from an interview with VEVO talking about Lamb of God's music video for “Ghost Walking” which he produced.

P.R. Brown: I got a basic brief from the label as to where the band was going with its visuals and message for the whole album. And we made a teaser for the album a few weeks ago. It had snippets of one track, and a lot of the imagery was around Armageddon. It’s from the band’s perspective of there being no one left to save. It takes on this found-footage feeling of an underground movement that’s just about the end times, basically.

VEVO: Something that would parallel the film The Road?

P.R. Brown: Perfect call, yes. That’s the vibe of the album. So with that in mind, it was “how to do we make a lyric video with that kind of sensibility?” It was kind going into the notion of found archives and redacted text that the lyrics could come out from. The band has redacted text in their album art work as well. So that was the backbone for creating the lyric video: what would it be like if I found all these hundreds of documents with cryptic messages in them.

The full interview can be read here.
This is a similar approach to the music video we are producing as the main inspiration for our music video is the film "An American Werewolf In London".

Sunday, 11 March 2012

CO - Digipak's relationship to video and original images

I created the digipak's designs with the same idea that I'd had with the magazine ad, and that was to create a recurring theme through all three media texts. The main idea I wanted is that of the location and surrounding area that we shot; this involves Ilkley moor, stills from the wood where we shot our video and other varying areas of greenery. Our original plan was to shoot at the 12 Apostles on Ilkley Moor, but this soon became problematic as we could not get the equipment up there, especially in the snowy conditions we had.
The 12 apostles credits section background.

Still, we used an image of the 12 apostles anyway because of the foreboding and isolated appearance of it, and also due to the aspect of intertextuality it had with Stonehenge, i.e the Spinal Tap-esque feel, but not as tongue-in-cheek.We used quite a lot of pictures from this area, and used Adobe Photoshop to edit them subtly, I decided to go with black and white undertone.
Another shot we used, for the back panel.
This is the front cover; featuring a forest
canopy, edited with instagram. 

Magazine Ad - relationship to video & original images

Another shot I played around with.
When I was creating the magazine advert for our group, I thought it should have a strong theme that echoes through both the advert's layout and also links in with our music video, forming a sort of contextuality through both media texts. I had done a series of drafts before the final one was completed, and those also related to the video, and included pictures, stills and more, but the backgrounds needed work and were not prominent and detailed enough.

Here are the original images that I took for the advert's background. I created these by lying my guitar down in the grass and covering my arm in food-colouring (the colouring was blue, so I had to make the image black and white instead) to give the impression of a bloodied band member, a theme obviously recurring throughout the whole music video.

The final image used for the advert.
One of the runner-up ideas, I liked the torch
aspect on this one.







Friday, 9 March 2012

SB - Relationship of Artists to Genre

Miss May I
Metalcore is a very formulaic genre with many bands falling under the same sound. This is very typical of bands who fall under the Rise Records label, they're often ridiculed and parodied because of the similar musical style and influences and the majority of them sound very 'cut and paste' examples of bands like this are Attack Attack!, Miss May I and Make me Famous. These bands stick to the formulaic conventions of the genre heavily and don't really try to differ from the conventions, and follow all the rules, such as incorporating multiple breakdowns, dischords, clean vocal passages and dowtuned riffs.



The Devil Wears Prada
However there are bands who challenge the rules and can still be classed as a metalcore band. Examples of this are The Devil Wears Prada, letlive (to a certain extent) and Underoath. These bands are seen as changing the genre and often disregarding some of the common conventions. The Devil Wears Prada are famous for starting off like a typical Rise Records band. (regarded as the first band to start that trend off) They quickly left Rise Records and joined Ferret who are a more hardcore orientated label and started to incorporate more of the hardcore elements in their music. Gradually over time the band has got heavier and heavier while other bands (normally on Rise Records) have got less heavy and started to become what TDWP started out being. letlive. are a band that have incorporated many genres into their music they can be labelled as hardcore or metalcore but really they oppose genre and don't want to be caught under the same net as typical metalcore bands.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

CO - Using Final Cut Express

As a way of incorporating the use of new media technologies, classes this year and the year beforehand have heavily advocated the use of Final Cut Express, a variant of Apple's hugely successful Final Cut Pro. This rather fantastic utility allows users to import footage in a variety of formats including .xml, .mov, .mp4 and many more and use a whole host of different tools, appliances and devices to edit whatever you want. We all thought that the use of Final Cut Express helped us extensively throughout the video's creation, and still is. It was of course a huge step up to being restricted to iMovie '08, which was the program that a majority of us used last year for our film openings, as we got to use so many more features; notable examples on our video include (or will include when we're done with it) various "hot colour" tints such as deep red and sepia, glows, fades, possible dazzles, the earthquake effect (which obviously shakes a chosen focal point to simulate a tremor) and a lot of fade in/fade out/cross dissolve transitions. However, the main effect that we used in FCE was the use of the bezier brightness and contrast slider, where we darkened and lightened shots we needed, which we couldn't do before. To summarise, the use of Final Cut Express has greatly helped Sublime Transcendence achieve all we wanted by using effects and precision within the post-production stages of our video.

CO - Role of Audience Feedback

As we near the end of our production stage of our music video, we can safely say as a collective that audience feedback has been an extremely important and significant part of the creation of the video. Without it, we would not know what to expect from a wide demographic or a second target audience, let alone a first one, and each session of feedback has helped us strengthen both our performance and our narrative as we worked on it. The audience feedback ranged from smaller points such as "This person could be wearing this instead of this to create a better mis-en-scene" etc. to much larger points such as "I recommend you film in an entirely different location", both of which we took into account and used to help better our production. Similarly to that we also took into account more technical aspects, such as improvements that could be made using Final Cut Express, and also utilizing parts from its large palette of effects to incorporate the use of new media technologies into our music video.

CO - Representation of Gender in our video



To begin with, it would be important to note that our video roughly features the gender-based conventions of most metalcore/metal, as the most predominant feature is the fully male lineup of Sunburnt In December. Most bands of the genre have this gendered approach, such as August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, The Acacia Strain, Periphery and more, just off the top of my head. Going against this convention however, are bands such as Kittie, Arch Enemy, Aliases, Eyes Set to Kill, iwrestledabearonce! and more all feature female  
Leah from ALIASES, a prog-
ressive metalcore band, a subgenre near
our own one, defying the convention
of all metalcore bands having all-male members.
vocalists or members. We realised that we had the all-male set that the target audience for our genre would recognise, yet within our actual video's narrative, we tried to break away from convention a little bit, because of the reason that it is often a final girl/scream queen that is obviously chased by an unseen being, inhuman or other, and all of us in Sublime Transcendence agreed it was a good idea to have an all-male cast, not just for practicalities, but so we could link it well to the performance whilst forming a binary opposite to the more conventional female leads.






All - Budget

Whilst creating our music video we have had to work with a very limited budget, like all groups which across the year. The only time we needed to buy items was creating the fake intestines and fake blood.


The items we bought to create the fake intestines, and there prices follows:
Tights - £3.50
A lot of kitchen roll - £1.25
4x Strawberry Jelly (125grams) - £0.37 each

The items we bought to create the fake blood or as follows:
1x Golden Syrup (454grams) - £0.99
1x Red Food Colouring (38Ml) - £1.05

We also bought and used some fake blood however we feel that the fake blood we created is of higher quality.

Here is our vodcast on how Sam created the fake intestines:



Sunday, 4 March 2012

All - Final Digipak Designs

Here are the main panels that we are using for our digipak, all have gone numerous feedback-induced changes along the way. We plan to use some images of the landscape for possible additional panels too.



Front panel.
Lyrics.
Credits.
Back panel.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

CO - Latest Magazine ad edition

I have just completed the latest edition of the magazine ad, this time including all the feedback we got from the last effort I made. It includes aspects of layering and a whole new design, focusing on a still from the music video, a bloodied band member with a discarded instrument. To see the image in its maximum resolution (the filesize is massive), click this link.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

All - Feedback on Latest Rough Cut


For our latest rough cut we got the following feedback:
  • Remove all the shots that contain houses. We have managed to cut these shots out by rotating and panning into the shots.
  • Remove all explicits although the "Bleeps" need to be added to add to the humour of the music video,
  • A possibility to link the first shot into the second of the introduction is to fade the moon into Conor's face. Also extend the transition and zoom into the moon,
  • The diegetic introduction is too long and needs to be reduced. At the time of receiving these notes it was around 36 seconds however now we have managed to reduce this element to by reducing clips that go on for too long.
  • The need to use more transitions that fade ins/outs. An example of this is trying a four shot split screen of each band member picking up his own instrument. When we tried this we felt it didn't suit the genre of our music video.
  • There is a need for more close-ups of Sam, especially in the intro of the song. There is also a need to reduce the amount of group shots incorporated.
  • Earthquake transitions on close-ups of guitars.
  • Bring the narration soon earlier,
  • During the chorus focus more on Mitch instead of the rest of the band,
  • Include artificial zooms
  • Include more multilayering at specific times (particularly in darker areas and skyline in lighter areas),
  • The claw shots are too quick. There is a need to give the audience the chance to establish what is happening. Also need to cross-cut between the chase and performance aspects.
  • A need to think about the song and certain aspects and reflect it in our editing.
  • Slow down footage to produce a slow mo effect if there is not enough gore,
  • Remove any awkward shots i.e. A shot of Sam where he stops moving to remove some of the fake intestines,
  • The narrative aspect needs more sense of a creature lurking on the more. Also the possibility of creating a false scare,
  • Shots of the moon incorporated into other shots in the narrative gives more sense of a creature.
  • Re-dub Conor's lines "Guys Im going for a piss" to something similar to "I'm going to be one at nature" adds to the humour also have a diegect zip,
  • Slashing noise followed by a shot of blood rushing down.
  • There needs to be more shots of the creature to anchor what it is,
  • Also a need for more close-ups and extreme close-ups of Sam,
  • A possibility of red liquid being spat out. However in our first shoot we did try to create this with red blood capsules it didn't work but we could try and use a different substance in the form of a liquid.
  • The narrative aspect needs to be more dynamic also needs to come in earlier.
  • To add further humour to the music video we could include a portable barbecue which intestines are thrown onto. Later on in the music video a band member could eat these. The video also needs more gore.
  • Another possibility to colour saturate the snow in where Mitch and James fall over to red, signifying the two slipping on blood rather than snow.

All - Full Rough Cut 1

Here is our first full rough cut of Sunburnt In December's "Like A Match To An Arsonist". This full rough cut contains both narrative and performance aspects. We already have some feedback on how to develop this edit and are planning to receive more in the very near future.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

All - Vodcast 3: Making Fake Intestines

In this vodcast Sam shows you how to create fake intestines, which were used in the video "Like A Match To An Arsonist" by Sunburnt In December.

Friday, 10 February 2012

ALL - More feedback

We have edited another sample scene and got feedback on it from the class,





  • Remove all swearing
  • Get rid of shots done on the second camera because they contrast way too much with the quality of the main, first one
  • Consider reshooting, again, due to the location not being remote enough 
  • For the narrative, get rid of most of the dialogue in the introduction and focus on the mid shot of the cigarette being lit
  • Keep the shots of torches on the ground 
  • Delay the beginning of the song and the band playing and continue with the diegetic intro and the narrative

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

SB - Editing All Of Our Footage

At the moment we are editing the footage that we filmed on sunday and monday. We have found some problems with lighting in the narrative shoot but we have found a way in which we can make the shots lighter, by playing around with the brightness and contrast of the shots.

We have cut up all of our performance and found a large contrast in quality between both cameras we used which could be a problem however we will try to include fleeting shots taken by the camera with the worst quality.

We have included a lot more shot variation from our first shoot such as close ups and a lot more framing

Monday, 6 February 2012

ALL - Performance footage update

Yesterday, Sublime Transcendence and the other members of Sunburnt In December met to film the performance of our Like A Match To An Arsonist video. Unfortunately Jem wasn't there as he had 'work' so we drafted in our friend James Newton to play bass. Before they arrived, we all started making the props; these includes making the fake blood (cunningly fashioned by mixing hot golden syrup, water and red food colouring) and intestines created from jelly, tissue paper, and the freshly-made fake blood.

The rest of SBID then arrived and we set up the drums and guitars in the same location as our last shoot; the snow covered much of the surrounding area (as it tends to do) which masked the road behind us and also some of the houses, giving our location a much nicer look and a more remote one. We recorded a whole lot of coverage, over an hour of performance, much more than we shot last time, which was about half of that, maybe even less, and we made sure we used a lot of more camera angles and techniques due to the use of two cameras rather than one. We had decided to film, effectivly, every shot with the two cameras therefore leaving us two different angles per one play through.

The band also played with playback this time. Therefore there is less chance of the band being out of time unlike before.

We are importing the footage today however it will take longer as we have more footage than previously as well as having to import the footage from two cameras. However we aim to start editing the footage as soon as possible.

One problem we have noticed while looking through the footage is the possible continuity error of the snow, we filmed in the snow and now the snow is melting away.  This could cause a problem when we film our narrative as there is less snow. We could mention this in the video with some dialogue, but it's going to be very hard to slip into the conversation.