Sunday, 29 January 2012

CO - Magazine Ad - Edition three

This is my latest attempt at creating the magazine advert, after getting the general idea of what it should look like eventually, and I took all the feedback from my previous efforts into account when designing this one; there is a more dominant and striking background this time, and I also included less (or noticeably less) text but the vital information is still present, and I included stills from the video as well. Click this link to see the maximised image.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

SB - Movement In Metalcore Music Videos

Movement is a key aspect of metalcore videos, it visually show the velocity of the music on screen. It also shows the impact of the music on screen and the heavy, deafening sounds shaking the camera. I've been looking at examples of music videos which use movement well and looking at how we can replicate this.

Napalm Death - When all is Said and Done from Wake Up Now Festival on Vimeo.

Napalm Death - When all is Said and Done from Wake Up Now Festival on Vimeo.

Napalm Death use handheld movements typically the camera swaying from side to side or up and down this could also connote headbanging, moshing and hardcore dancing. a lot of the shots however do not show movement. This is a nice way to cut away from all of the excitement of the close ups. During close ups or individual shots of the band movement is shown, however when we see the whole band there's only a tiny bit of movement or none at all.

CO - More magazine ad feedback...

Today Sublime Transcendence got feedback from our teacher and our classmates on our advert for the magazine. On the whole the idea was well received, but the main point is that there is apparently now too much text on the page, which was a result of trying to get all the necessary information on. Obviously this meant that the background needs to be more dominant as well, and perhaps less simplistic than just the tree design we had been going with previously. I will redesign the poster shortly with all these points taken into account, and using probably a different background picture, hopefully featuring the band.

Monday, 23 January 2012

RM - The Narrative Aspect In Our Music Video

The start of the music video will feature a diegetic introduction with the band packing up, just after a gig. During this there will be band members discussing the next location and the possibility of a recurring occurrence for the band's future music videos. The music video will also feature Mitch who couldn't be at the latest film shoot, on 21st January 2012, however he would either be the driver whom drives them to their next location or still in the band depending on whether we need to record the performance footage again. This sequence would be around 30 to 60 seconds, with the latter being the maximum possible length.

After this sequence the next aspect would feature the vehicle broken down on the moors. Each band member would be performing a certain task, adventuring into the wilderness or messing around on certain instruments. Conor would be in the back of the car playing on his drums or tapping on his legs to a rhythm whilst listening to a song on his ipod. This song would be a happier song, a binary opposite to what is happening outside. Jem would be trying to fix the motor, whilst Sam, Elliot and Mitch would explore the surrounding area all splitting up in the process. Whilst each band member is spread out each one gets picked off one by one. The creature that picks off each band member will remain a narrative enigma throughout the video, although parts of the being will be shown onscreen e.g. the monsters claw, pictured to the right. This would be interlinked with the performance footage. This aspect of the music video would feature throughout the video and also form the ending with Conor being pulled out of the car.

SB - Uploading and editing our test footage

We have just uploaded our test footage and we're now starting to dabble in editing and have found some problems and what we need to rectify such as the band playing too fast or slow, things in the background like coats and bags as well as the occasional passer by. We've also found some gems of shots and framing behind bushes and behind trees.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

ALL - Performance footage shot

Yesterday, all of Sublime Transcendence and all of Sunburnt In December (excluding our guitarist Mitch, who couldn't make it to the shoot) went up to the disclosed location, a forest-y area within our town and shot the performance footage for our video. We used stationary and moving shots, tried to implement some shot variation and also varied the camera angles a bit. We'll upload it to our designated Mac tomorrow and begin editing it; we also shot some of it in time with the song, such as the close up guitar parts but most of the song we mimed live, so use of slowing down/speeding up some parts will be necessary. We have yet to shoot the narrative, but once that's done, we'll upload that to the timeline and begin editing it between the performance!

The loss of a member being able to film was at first an inconvenience, but we can hopefully continue on with the remaining four of us; a certain member being available wasn't absolutely integral to the pitch and everything should go to plan as it would've done if Mitch could've helped Sublime Transcendence out anyway. Concerning the band's appearance in the digipak, we are shooting photos within the week which were scheduled to be done even before Mitch announced he couldn't make it so we'll get on without him.

Friday, 20 January 2012

CO - More digipak updates - FRONT

Similar to the feedback for the magazine article in the post before, I have taken the criticisms and points made by both our media teacher and also various other groups in the class. Many of the comments were design orientated, such as fonts needing to be changed, colour schemes and more. Here are the latest edition of the front of the digipak.

CO - Magazine Ad - Edition two

Over the last few days, I have been working on editing the magazine article after the initial feedback. That feedback generally went along the lines of;

  • More features and aspects - the magazine advert needed additional information on it such as tour dates of the featured band.
  • Tickets details, such as where you can buy them from
  • Merch details, same as ticket aspects; where you can buy it.
  • More variation in the font and general style of the advert.
I have taken this feedback into account and I have edited the design, subtly, but in such a way that you can see the changes. Click here to see the maximised image.  

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

All - 2nd Vodcast: The Narrative Aspect In Our Music Video

Below is our second group vodcast, talking about social media (including sites like Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube), filming arrangements location scouting and conventions in videos. We previously tried to upload it a few times but it hasn't worked up until now due to issues with the filetype.

RM - Mag Ads: Gallows - "Grey Britain" and "The Vulture (Part II)"

Artist: Gallows
Album: Grey Britain
Magazine Found In: Kerrang!

Album Magazine Advert
The majority of the page is the album artwork which features a Union Jack with a shield and a white rose overlaying the flag. The artists name (Gallows) and the album title (Grey Britain) also feature on the page, above the shield. At the bottom of the advert there is a list of UK tour dates. The advert also contains information including the release date of the album, which in this case is the 4th May 2009. There are also several website addresses including Relentless' to obtain exclusive studio footage, as well as the album's own website

Quarter page advert for
the band's single
"The Vulture (Part II)
Earlier in the same magazine, same issue, there is another advert for the same band however this time it is for one of the albums singles "The Vulture (Act II)", it is also a quarter page advert unlike the one found later in the magazine for the album. Again the same text is used for the band's name and the single. The advert includes information about where the track can be downloaded this also includes a strip at the bottom of the advert for the full album.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

CO/RM - Final location scouting

After school today, Richard and I visited the area we're shooting at on Saturday. We took some pictures to give potential feedback providers.

SB/RM - Deconstructing Digipak: Nirvana "Nevermind"

Artist: Nirvana

Album: Nevermind
Album Producer: Butch Vig

Record Company: DGC Records

Genre: Grunge

Year Released: 2011 (originally released in 1991)

Additional Information: 20th Anniversary Edition, this features the basic CD as well as B-Sides, Smart Studio Sessions, The Boombox Rehearsals and BBC sessions. The digipak also contains a small booklet containing photographs of the band with brief information about the album and credits on the songs included on the two CDs. The outer-casing has a blue theme, with an image of a baby swimming under water, with a dollar waving on front of it, the blue theme carries on apart from on one of the interior panels where a red panel with a monkey appears. On the inside the theme is that of a notebook with handwritten song listings.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

CO - First magazine article draft

This weekend I started work on the magazine article which is required for the course, accompanying the digipak. I used one of the blogs from last year, Beth Cooper's, and also a magazine ad I found in popular underground metal music magazine, Metal Hammer. For applications, I used PhotoShop primarily, and also the iPhone app Instagram, to edit one of the CD's on the front cover. I included information such as the band's releases, contact info and social networking options, how it is available for download and more. Below are some screenshots from when I was working on the magazine advert.

Creating the layers...

...and editing the images.

The filesize of the final image is 15.3MB which is extremely large for a .jpg file, so the picture on this  blog is not as big as possible. Click here to see the image maximised.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

CO - Feedback on digipak designs so far

Our teacher and some of our classmates have given Sublime Transcendence some feedback regarding the initial digipak ideas, and while everyone agreed that the general stellar/cosmic/celestial idea was a nice touch and a nice theme to go with. However, a few disagreed with the stag's head design on the front, arguing that because the skull was a Flash drawing, it looked too cartoonish and novelty to be considered normal for the genre. Here is another similar design but with a different take on the skull; I took a photo of a dog's skull and doctored and edited it to sit the theme of the cover.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

CO - Digipak updates.

Below are some designs I've done on PhotoSh00p 4.0 for our digipak, following a few different themes and ideas, mostly nature and space related. I did the drafts on a small scale so the canvas would be easier to work with, so the designs below will not be exactly on the digipak as they are depicted here, apart from the last one.
The finished 1st draft of the cover,
with the title of the EP added. 
The proposed back of the CD case,
when it comes to the final one this draft
won't be changed much at all.

The final design for the front of the digipak, similar to
the inital drafts in the previous post.

The digipak credits. We've had some audience
feedback for this and it was generally favourable
apart from the text being somewhat hard to read in places.

The lyrics booklet. 

Here is a screenshot of how I've been making the designs, by using both Adobe PhotoShop 4.0 and 10.1 to create the canvases, effects and finished editions. 

In this part, I am designing and editing vector traces and patterns
for the digipak back, as well as patterns used elsewhere on the designs.

Lastly, this is an example of how the final digipak front came together, by
importing parts from other canvases and editing different bits and pieces with
the tools PhotoShop provides, such as shadow effects and tints.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

CO - Digipak designs (so far)

The original vector trace of the skull,
drawn by me.
Yesterday, we all got together and discussed various designs for our digipak. I used Adobe Flash Pro CS3 and Photoshop Elements 4.0 on an iMac with a Windows operating system to start the initial design; we decided that it might go on the front cover, OR behind the main CD tray within the case. We conducted some research into the idea of skulls/other similar imagery as a convention of metalcore digipaks before we started, and Sam decided that the skull of a stag would be a good idea, set against a celestial background.
The ALMOST-finished design.

Once I'd drawn the skull shape, I opened Photoshop and found a suitable space photograph, then imported the drawing and superimposed it on the background. After toying around with a few shadow effects, we collectively settled on a transparent/ghostly effect as it added to the creepy/supernatural feel on the art more. The design for this part is almost done, I just need to add some text.

SB - Update On Our Digipak

At the moment we're designing our cover for the digipak and coming up with a theme relating to lyrical content as well as our bands image, looking at other band's themes from the same genre we can see that they share similar themes normally revolving around skulls, bones etc. The album cover we have so far has a stag's skull on it and we haven't decided on background yet but want to incorporate something that will look 'metal' as many other bands include this skeletal motif, As I Lay Dying, Motor-head, Avenged Sevenfold. The skull is used in metal covers because it symbolizes death which is a theme touched upon by many metal bands in their lyrics, as well as undeath.

Many metalcore bands use a digitally painted album cover. They normally fit the theme of the album for example TDWP's album WRAABB (left) the cover fits in with the lyrics of one of their songs Louder Than Thunder, the album's artwork was produced by Dan Seagrave who has produced many other band's covers such as Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Demon Hunter.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

SB - Metalcore Record Labels

During our research the type of label influences the advertisements as well as places where they're shown.

Some examples of labels which are famous for showcasing metalcore bands.

Rise Records.
Victory Records.
Century Media Records.
Metal Blade Records.
Earache Records.

Bands on Rise Records are: The Devil Wears Prada, Of Mice And Men, Attack! Attack!
Bands on Victory Records are: Emmure, A Day To Remember, Strife
Bands on Century Media Records: Tesseract, Suicide Silence, In Flames

Rise was founded in 1991 by Craig Ericson in Roseburg, Oregon. He released a small number of 7" records before putting the label on hiatus to attend college. Ericson didn't release anything further until 1999, after moving to Portland, Oregon. He began issuing small-print 7" records, and his first CD release came in 2000, from the group One Last Thing. The label gave a strong foundation to bands Ever We Fall who later signed with Hopeless Records and Fear Before the March of Flameswho signed to Equal Vision Records. Later signees, including Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Breathe Carolina and The Devil Wears Prada gained considerable popularity while with Rise, and moved on to larger labels such as Suretone Records, Fearless Records and Ferret Records, respectively. Rise has also signed some veteran bands likeThe Bled, Bleeding Through, This is Hell and From First To Last. Rise Records' releases are currently distributed nationwide by ADA. The label is currently made up of 28 bands.

Originally focusing on hardcore punk or post-hardcore bands, Victory later expanded to emo, pop rock and metal. The label has had multiple records exceeding the 250,000 sales mark, including gold records The Silence in Black and White by Hawthorne Heights and Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want to Be. Recently, Victory has expanded their roster to an even wider variety of genres, including nu-metal and alternative. In early 2002, 25% of the label was announced to have been sold to Universal Music Group. However, later that year the deal was terminated by Victory. Victory is currently partnered with and distributed by Sony's RED Distribution.

Century Media was founded by Robert Kampf in Dortmund, Germany in 1988 and has gone on to launch the careers of bands such as Divine Heresy, Eyehategod,Nevermore, Moonspell, Diecast, Suicide Silence, Winds of Plague, Iced Earth, God Forbid, Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Warbringer, and Shadows Fall. The label specializes in many different styles of heavy metal music. A number of artists listed are licensed to Century Media for the American market from labels mostly based in Europe. Century Media is also home to legendary acts such as Napalm Death, Celtic Frost, and Trouble. From 1995 to 2007, Marco Barbieri was the label's president.

The label’s most popular band is Lacuna Coil. Shadows Fall experienced its greatest success during its time with the label. Iconic hardcore punk band Sick of It All also resides in the Century Media family. Lacuna Coil’s 2002 album, Comalies, became Century Media’s first act to crack the Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at #178 two years after its release. Their fourth album, Karmacode, improved on that achievement, having sold over 490,000 copies since its release, and peaking at #28 on the US Billboard Album Chart. It hit number one on the Top Independent Albums Chart. Shadows Fall’s 2004 album, The War Within, set a new milestone for the label with a Top 20 debut on the Billboard 200 and also debuted at number one on the Independent Albums chart, having sold over 300,000 copies since its release. Other notable artists on the label that have also made appearances on the Billboard 200 include In This Moment, Arch Enemy, Stuck Mojo,Nightrage, Behemoth, Strapping Young Lad, Suicide Silence and God Forbid. The Finnish band Sentenced were awarded on August 14, 2008 for their platinum Buried Alive DVD labelled by Century Media. In April 2009, the label announced that they were extending their existing distribution deal with EMI, who had been distributing their releases in the United States since 1997, and in Europe since 2005, to include Australasia.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

CO - Online visibility example - Elitist

For our research we are conducting a certain amount of investigation into how bands such as ours increase their notoriety using the media. For example, one such band, Los Angeles-based technical metalcore band Elitist, who have risen to fame in the undergroud djent/metal scene by using social media to get noticed, through websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and more. 

Elitist formed in December 2010 when Rodriguez and original vocalist Jacob were trying to re-start their previous band Another Day In Vain and recruited Hall and original drummer Robert from another previous Rodriguez project The Fortune Teller as well as bassist Mike Danese. The group decided to create a whole new sound which Rodriguez says is “a balance in our music that will appease both musicians and non-musicians with smart songwriting and a main lyrical theme of having strength to keep pushing forward.” A progressive viewpoint as well as a progressive sound as it were. Based in Los Angeles Elitist shares camaraderie with such fellow neighbouring artists as Volumes, Bermuda and Erra. The release of Caves to the internet last year ignited kids nationwide to take instrument in hand and try to play along and post instrument covers on youtube.

The band used the internet, principally websites like SoundCloud and MySpace, due to their built-in music players, to distribute their songs (for free normally, but with the option to buy on iTunes) to the masses online. They then got a stronger following by utilising other social media/networking sites like the most popular Twitter and Facebook to attract more attention, then started work on the Earth EP.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

CO/All - Progress so far

Here is a rough list of what we've done so far for the A2Vid2012 music video course, such as research, casting and more, and also a short list of what else we have to achieve before the February deadline.


What Sublime Transcendence has done already 

  • Research into the history of metalcore
  • A few podcasts with more planned
  • Location scouting is complete and we have a few ideas on where we want to shoot now
  • Influences for our video, such as certain techniques that have been using 
  • Certain codes and conventions of metalcore
  • Camera angles to use
  • Research into the bands of the genre 
  • Brief research of diectors, e.g Adam Powell
  • Influences from films, such as American Werewolf in London
  • Behind the scenes of recording the song
  • Sample scene
  • Animatic 
  • Cast Members
  • Use of new media technologies, such as integration of social networking, blogging techniques and Final Cut Express to name a few
  • Logo + company name/blog

What Sublime Transcendence needs to complete

  • Organise a storyboard for all the shots we are going to take
  • A lyric sheet, with annotations and timings
  • A date on which to film the performance
  • A date on which to film the narrative 
  • Shooting both dates (we intend to shoot on separate days)
  • More vodcasts
  • More podcasts

Monday, 2 January 2012

CO - Location scouting

After a recent band practice, Sam, our vocalist, and one of our guitarists went up to Ilkley moorside to scout some locations for our video which we plan to start shooting on soon. Whilst we found a decent amount of possible areas to set up, we were always faced with the problem of how we were going to get the equipment that far onto such remote territory, especially the instruments like the drum kit. Here are some of the photos we took of possible locations. 

A nearby (enough) forest on the Eastern side of the moor.
Large, flat scrubland and moorland with rocky outcrop.

Mitchell, our guitarist, near a path with ferns and more
rocky outcrops.