Friday, 14 December 2012

Group: Evaluation - Question 3


The target audience for Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto is 13-24 male and female. It is always important to test a concept for a video with the target audience before going into production, as it is a very large investment, and a production company need to make sure that the product will sell. We ensured that we undertook this process during pre-production by creating a mini pitch/mood board and presented it to a sample (of 11 people) from the target audience so that the flaws and difficulties were highlighted to us, and we could alter and correct these. The methodology we used was a focus group.
Mini Pitch Results
- Design of the pitch
- Interesting visual ideas
- Excellent use of media technology (such as the green screen and various effects)
- Not enough concept, it may get quite tedious having one shot
- It could be incredibly difficult/complicated to do, especially in reverse and with the green screen
- It could look really basic if we don't come up with a 'twist'
Evaluation & Changes:
- Splitting up the one single shot with B-roll footage of the destruction of objects and toys
- Not have the footage of the child in reverse as it's too complex
- Instead, have the people playing in the background in reverse
- Have some kind of interesting 'twist' at the end involving the child, fire and toys

We added to our mini pitch in order to create a main pitch which would be presented to another sample of our target audience in the method of a focus group. We incorporated our concept into the pitch, along with ideas for costume, lighting and location to reinforce the research that we had previously conducted. We combined the focus group with the method of questionnaires which were distributed to a group of 14-18 year olds in order to ask questions about our concept, and we included these results into our pitch. The target audience gave us feedback when we pitched, and highlighted weaknesses and issues that needed to be changed before we could get the green-light and go into production.
Pitch Feedback
- 30 seconds of visual
- Well planned and thought through
- Location ideas
- Concept and visual ideas
- Detailed, clear layout of the pitch using Prezi
Weaknesses & Issues:
- Actors... Where will we get them from, and who?
- Constant tracking back shot... How will we ensure a steady track every time we shoot?
- Is the whole concept too boring or uninteresting, due to the slow cutting rate?

After shooting, and whilst in post-production, our classmates, teachers and technicians gave us helpful advice and feedback, as well as constructive criticisms, suggesting changes that needed to be made. This acted as continuous feedback that we achieved throughout the weeks of editing. This wasn’t necessarily feedback from a target audience, however it acted as technical support which improved our final product and acted as support.

Finally, we carried out a screening of our music video to a sample of our target audience, in this case our peers, aged 17-18. The purpose of testing it was to ensure that it met the expectations of the target audience, was conventional of the postmodern form of a music video, and to see whether it either reinforced or challenged the conventions of the Alternative-Pop genre. We again used the method of questionnaires, receiving 24 back out of 30, and the results stated that some of our key strengths were: the opening sunrise time lapse sequence, the slow motion shots of children running in the smoke as people thought these shots created a professional look, and finally the overlaying footage of flames because it related to the song title.

We encoded the text to portray the narrative of a boy whose life has literally gone ‘Up In Flames’ and is now a social outcast, and it was clear from our music video screening that this preferred reading was largely taken by the majority of the sample due to the positive feedback and evaluation.

When we tested the digipak and advert, the methodology we used was questionnaires. Our sample size was 15 and the main results were that both ancillary products reinforced the meta narrative of the band, and the front and back panes of the digipak looked highly professional, along with the image used on the advert. However, our target audience said that the behind-CD pane with the bokeh shots appeared disjunctive and unrelated to the rest of the digipak.

JP: Evaluation



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HCT: Question 4

HCT: Question 2

HCT: Question 1

You can use Andrew Goodwin’s (dancing in the distraction factory, 1992) critical framework to analyse our new music video for ‘Up in Flames’ – Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto). From viewing our video you can see that it conforms to the typical conventions of a modern music video in that there is a clear relationship between the music and visuals as well as an increasingly popular convention of visuals before the music begins.

The music video conforms to conventions of this genre of alternative pop, for example we shot at 720p at 50 frames per second allowing us to slow the footage 50%, giving the video a dull emotional feel. We further reinforced this through emotional colouration and de-saturating our image around 40%-this gave a cold, seriousness to the video. Also the iconography in the video, specifically costumes the character wear are modern and commonly associated with the ‘pop’ scene.

The performance in the video is conventional in some respects however in others it could be seen as quite an artistic, conceptual approach. For example the protagonist is lip syncing to the lyrics although this action is very normal he seems to be in an unconventional location of a rural area, which challenged stock locations. Therefore some shots of flames and the teddy burning are very unconventional of this style as the performance shots seem incongruous and disjunctive.

 The post production is somewhat conventional in that the typeface is related to the traditionally used ‘Every true type is a waterfall’ font in the Mylo Xyloto album. They are used for the main titles in the video whilst the record label logo is also shown to be conventional.  A slightly transparent effect by changing the opacity of the title is shown which creates a unique style. Using these fonts also increases the bands meta-narrative and image as they are used with the Mylo Xyloto album. This construction is also reflective of the genre.

                The video employs an artistic/creative approach to conventions in that there are many shots throughout the video that seem irrelevant to any kind of narrative such as the flames and light bulbs. They may also seem unconventional in that much like the child lip syncing; the bulbs and brick seem unorthodox in relation to the music creating it as a pastiche and reworking of a deeper meaning or signifier. Although these shots seem disjunctive they are a part of a narrative, this creates repeatability and an intriguing style.

                Goodwin discussed the relationship between lyrics and visuals to be an important convention. In relation to the whole video, it is clear that the main singer is lip-syncing in time as well as moving to the beat expressively. This reinforces the words and themes trying to be portrayed. However in the chorus sequence it is more performance-based and lip-syncing is shown more loosely as visuals are primarily based upon ‘flames’ and destruction. This is because the image of the real flames is a much more powerful image that the shot of purely one singer as it is more illustrative, especially for the chorus where the song is more upbeat creating an amplified message. This is important on a song of slower pace.

                 He also considered the relationship between music and visuals to be important conventions. In certain shots we can see evidence of some kind of link between the music and narrative trying to be portrayed. There is a hard narrative to understand and could also be seen as a pastiche of certain elements such as a child’s life or a situation is metaphorically going ‘up in flames’. In some negotiated readings we are unsure on the particular meaning of this narrative and therefore quite a lot of enigma surrounds the narrative.

                  The narrative also draws upon binary oppositions through the juxtaposition of the solitary child and happy children in the background. This is done through their raw emotions as the protagonist is seen to be dull and emotionless whilst the children are laughing and enjoying themselves. Also through iconography and mise én scene the dull and dark costume of the protagonist contrasts against the children’s warm, bright, colourful clothing. The bands meta narrative is addressed through the symbols on the protagonists cheek. These relate to the album and Coldplay overall image.

                He made reference to the notion of looking. The particular effect represented in this music video is how the boy is and the only character in the video breaking the fourth wall and looking directly into the camera, reaching out to the viewing and allowing us to see into their emotions through an extra diegetic gaze.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

HCT: Advertisement Construction

I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 to construct my advertisement for or song of choice - 'Up In Flames'. I decided to use print screens to keep track of my progression so that I can place them onto the blog here and explain the process.

1) Firstly I created a blank A4 document as this is the size we would be printing onto. Through 'File' 'New' and selecting the international paper size of 'A4'

2) Next I used the 'Place' tool to put the photograph of the boy in. We took this photo on the second shoot day. I used the 'Black and White' tool in the image adjustment menu after 'resterising the image' in order to customise the black and white effect. I also used other adjustments such as 'Shaddow and Highlights' and the 'curves' tool to change the white highlights and darker tones to create a more contrasted image.

3) After creating the black and white base image I created a text layer and typed 'Up In Flames' in the conventional coldplay font which i found on as 'every truetype is a wisefont'. I then used the 'magic wond tool' to select hte text, selecting inverse and deleting to create an effect that made the text subract itself. Then the selection allowed me to fill the outer area around the text with white so the text was visable.

4) After I used the 'Magic Wond' tool to select the text, right clicked and selected 'feather'. I changed the feather property to 6px. This was to get rid of angle sharp edges that didnt look natural, the result is shown below.

5) Then I used the 'Rectangle Marquee Tool' to draw two rectangular boxes and painted them yellow. This looked great although it masked the original image and was quite dazzling. So I changed the 'opacity' to 63% which gived a great look.

6) After I thought that the Coldplay font  needed a shaddow, so I applied a 'drop shaddow' effect by double clicking on the layer and changed the angle to 56%, the distance to 9px, spread to 9% and the size to 5px.

7) After this I thought the the orginal image was still very masked by the white background and that there was quite a lot of negative space in the advertisment. I changed the opacity of the white to 53%. This allowed the original image to seep through and just about ilimate any negative areas. I also added some titles to the areas above and below to make our advert more convention. These included 'Coldplay Presents' at the top and 'Mylo Xyloto - January 2013' at the bottom. I did this by using the text tool. I also applied the same drop shaddow effect as before to this text.

8) Then i decided that the white was quite contrasting to the main image underneath. I selected that layer and used the paintbursh tool to paint on a darker grey colour.whilst keeping the same opacity. The overall effect looked very good and was a good representation of the dull feel we were portraying.

9) After this I thought that there could be some kind of promotion at the bottom, similar to the one I analysed as part of my research to make it more conventional. I also 'placed' the parlophone logo and made the white transparent by using the magic wond tool and deleting the selection. I thought that a promotional text line would be appropriate to advertise the music video. I came up with, 'Pre-order the single on iTunes and recieve the music video for free.'

10) The text needed to be slightly altered by changing the spacing and alignment of the logo. I matched up the bottom line of the text 'parlophone' with the mylo xyloto text and the spacing of the promotional text.


Monday, 3 December 2012

Friday, 30 November 2012

JP: Editing Updates

Below are several printscreens illustrating how we have progressed during post-production.

This screenshot shows how I used the motion tool on Adobe Premiere Elements 9 to align our clip and size it correctly in order for there to be a seemless change for our ending.

I cut the same clip up into 3 sections and used the time stretch tool to speed all 3 up at varying speeds and overlayed them on top of each other using different tracks and altering the opacity tool. I then used the fast blur tool to slighly blur the clips to give the effect that the boy was posessed or devil-like.

Below is a screenshot showing our timeline so far and how we have begun to overlay clips using fading transitions and altering the opacity.

I used the motion tool on this clip to stabilise it and frame it better and track the boy skipping.


I have began to use the RGB colour correction and the HLS tool to desaturate the clip to make it more cinematic.

Simliarly I used the HLS tool on the footage of the flames to slightly desaturate them again giving a more cinematic, professional feel and tone.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

HCT: Spare Clips

We have a number of clips that are unorganised, sitting to the right of our timeline. We need to organise these clips as it is clogging up the process and is confusing when trying to find clips and sorting the usefull from the useless. This print screen shows these spare clips, as you can see it is hard to see what each clip is when un-rendered and when they are this small.

HCT: Editing Update

Today this is what our timeline is looking like. I have ordered our clips into a more systematic arrangement so that we have a rough cut to go by. The result means we have found areas that need to be improved and others that are ok. There is still a lot that needs to be done before completion although we are getting there.
The following things I have seen that need to be altered:
  • Good relationship between the last two shots and matching.
  • Colour grade the entire video.
  • Patch up some of the areas where lip syncing is not good.
  • Reduce the amount of shots of just fire.
  • Double check cutting rate and timing of cuts throughout.
  • Show rough cut to the class to get feedback on the whole video.
  • Apply vignette where needed.

Monday, 26 November 2012

JP: Editing Update

During the last few lessons and today's lesson I have imported various steadicam shots of the children playing to the timeline and shots of the flames to intercut the main meat shot.

One thing I have particularly done is overlayed footage using the opacity tool which is shown in the screenshot below. This looks more cinematic and professional.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

JP: Digipak Construction

Whilst constructing the Digipak for our album, I screenshotted my various steps in order to obtain evidence and talk about the techniques I used in the process of creation.

1) File > Place. I imported the pictures and used the line tool to align the boy on both front and back cover, however after aligning the back cover correctly there was missing space below the photo.

2) Image > Adjustments > Black & White. I edited the colouring of the photos to turn them into black and white, and then cropped them. I then created brush presets using (Edit > Define Brush Preset) to look like paint splatters and added a few splats of colour on the edges of the pictures. I then used the clone stamp tool to fill in the negative space by copying areas of the concrete and pasting them.

3) Image > Adjustments > Curves. I used the curves tool to adjust the tone and contrast of the photo to make it look more vibrant and professional.

4) Gradient. By applying a gradient with black and transparent colour I created a vignette over both covers. This emphasised the subject more and made it look professional. I adjusted the opacity and changed the effect to 'overlay' in order to make the vignette more subtle.

5) File > Place. I placed the photo that would be positioned behind the CD (top left) and cropped it to size and rotated it so that when printed out it would be in the right position.

6) Using the brush presets of paint splatters I had already created I applied neon coloured paint splatters to the image to link in with the front and back covers.

7) File > Place. I placed the inside cover photo (top right) and cropped it to size and rotated it too. I then imported a picture of the up in flames logo and removed the background and positioned it over the top of the photo.

8) Image > Adjustments > Black & White. I used the black and white tool to make the photo duo-toned again and then altered the logo to create a mask where the colour would shine through. However I decided to remove this as I didn't like it or think it looked professional/commercial.

9) Shape tool. I used the shape tool to draw two opaque yellow rectangles to represent the double stripe Chris Martin (the lead singer of Coldplay draws on his hand).

10) Using the overlay effect I made the shapes translucent and lowered the opacity slightly too.

11) Text. I added a new text layer using the 'Every Truetype is a Wisefont' typeface to create the text for the spine of the CD cover to say 'COLDPLAY' 'UP IN FLAMES'.

12) Clone Stamp. I used the clone stamp tool to select areas of the hoodie and paint-paste them to remove the GAP logo.

13) A screenshot of the final photo with the logo removed.

14) A screenshot of the digipak so far.

14) Text. I created a new text layer to say 'COLDPLAY PRESENT UP IN FLAMES' in the 'Every Truetype is a Wisefont' font. Magic Wand > Select Text > Delete. Right Click > Select Inverse > Brush tool to paint white over. This created a cut-out effect. However I found this quite basic and so undid it.

15) Text. I created a new text layer to simply say 'UP IN FLAMES' in white in the Coldplay font and positioned it in the top section on the front cover.

16) Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. I edited the hue of the image behind the CD (top left) to a bright vibrant pink colour to match the neon feel.

17) Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. I used the gaussian blur tool to slightly blur the paint splatters behind the CD and around the edges of the front and back covers. This created more of a colour-seeping-in effect as opposed to actual paint splats which I strongly believe looks much more professional.

18) Inner Shadow. I changed the opacity of the cover text and the spine text so it was more overlayed and added an inner shadow to both. This made the text stand out more and make it look more professional.

19) Text. I placed the Parlophone Records logo and created a new text layer to include a copyright phrase to conform to conventions.