Thursday, 9 December 2010

Beginning Ancillary Tasks

After completing the lengthy editing process our next challenge was to begin our ancillary tasks. We decided to begin with creating our digipak. The digipak had to have 6 sides, therefore we decided to go through our video finding stills we may wish to use on it by eliminating the ones that looked the least effective and choosing the ones of the best quality. From our research we learnt that our audience would prefer a continuous theme throughout the digipak therefore we used the patterned wallpaper our actress stood against for the lip syncing scenes on our front and back cover. We also included tour dates and review quotes and used more images than information

Here is a plan of our digipak;

Here is our completed digipak design;

After completing our digipak we then designed our magazine advert, for this we continued with the theme of the patterned wallpaper, giving our work continuity. We then included a close up picture of Lidia (our actress) and put an old paper effect on it, which gave it a vintage look; complimenting our genre. We then including information such as, tour dates, when the albums out, the artists name and song title. We used the same font throughout our video, digipak and magazine advert which we got from under the Curly section.

In conclusion we felt our our digipak and magazine advert represented our genre well and created a sense of continuity along with our video. We kept it simple and pretty, making it easy to identify our genre, whilst also giving sufficient information.

Images: Acoustic Genre

Here as some images from various artists websites, magazine articles, and print screens from the music videos that show them in a innocent, romantic and natural light; which is what we think it represented within the acoustic genre.

As we can see from above the typical representation of an acoustic singer is a young female British girl. With the odd exception, for example Sia is Swedish.

Audience Research: Questionnaire on digipaks

1.How old are you?
  • 13-18
  • 19 - 25
  • 26 - 40
  • 41+
2. What gender are you?
  • Male
  • Female
3. What kind of music do you prefer to listen to?
  • Acoustic
  • RnB
  • Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Metal
  • Indie
  • Other __________

    4. For your genre of music how would you expect your digipak to be presented?

    More imagery and less writing

    More writing and less imagery

    Very plain, not a lot of information or pictures
    Crammed with information and images

    5. Would you expect your digipak to have a consistent theme throughout or random designs on each cover?

    Consistent theme

    Random designs

    6. Would you like information such as tour dates and review quotes on the digipak?


    After compiling the questionnaire, handing it out and reviewing the data we collected we discovered that the majority of people prefer a consistent theme throughout the digipak, therefore we will use the same background on the back cover as we do the front cover, whilst keeping our genre in mind throughout the creative process. It was also revealed that our target audience would prefer more imagery and less writing, this is because it is nicer to look at. Some people decided that information such as tour dates wasn't necessary on the digipak however the majority of people we ask found it would be useful.


After researching a variety of acoustic artists such as, Kate Nash, Sia, Kate Vogele ect we discovered they were quirky and mismatching clothes. Therefore, we needed to ensure our actress was dressed appropriately. We thought a flowy dress would be the most appropriate as it creates a sense of innocence, representing our genre. We also felt that for practical matters a chunky knit cardigan would be most suitable and also we feel it would suit our genre. Either the cardigan or the dress will be patterned, preferably floral.

For make-up we want it as minimalistic as possible and her hair to be wavy, to create a look of natural beauty, symbolizing innocence/love/romance.

Conventions of magazine articles

  • Ratings/opinions/reviews from fans
  • The band name
  • Tour date details
  • Album artwork
  • I-tunes/play com adverts
  • Website details
  • Singles (taken from)
  • Album name
  • Record label
  • Nominations and awards
  • Release date
  • Statistics of tickets

Email from Maxine

We emailed our chosen artist to ensure she was happy for us to use her song and also asked her for the correct lyrics. After recieving her enthusiastic reply we have decided we will uploaded our video to youtube when it is completed and email her a link so she can watch it and feedback to us. 


The basic opening layout on Kate Nash's website is a simple but effective design reflecting her genre well, the illustration doesn't fill the page and is placed in the middle of the screen, it has no other words than Kate Nash.
This type of illustration is seen throughout the website as a theme which is common with artists websites. On Kate Nash's website you exposed to her blog, tour dates, music, photos etc. Here we can see various aspects of her and even personal photos and blogs which emphisizes the casualness of the acoustic genre and makes you feel closer to the artist. Also, as a form of convergence you can  purchase music, posters and clothing on her website and this is easily accessible by simply pressing 'shop' on the main menu, its uncomplicated and therefore this idea will hopefully generate more sales. Although her music and other items are availble for sale on the website, you can still purchase them via the original method of going to a record shop.


  • All media texts are re-present reality - they are contructions that involve selection
  • Images in tects evoke diferent connotations in different segments of the audience
Possible representations?
  • Gender
  • Regionality
  • Class
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Freud's theory: erotic pleasure gained from looking at a sexual object (preferably when object ins unaware)
  • Screens within screens, CCTV, style images, webcams, characters watching performers

Friday, 26 November 2010

Choosing an actress and actor

After listening to our chosen track several times we realised the type of characters we would need to perform in our music video. We needed someone to play the part of Maxine Vauzelle and someone to act in the flash backs as her boyfriend. After discussing various people we came to the decision that Lidia Dodsworth, a Performing Arts and Media student from our school was perfect for the part, she plays guitar and sings, therefore we knew she would be capable of lip syncing and playing the guitar along to the song. She also had the right look for our genre. We then needed to find a boy suitable for a small part in our video, we decided Jacob Thompson would be perfect for the part as Lidia felt comfortable acting natural around him, which is an important factor to make our video seem realistic.

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion (also known as stop action or frame-by-frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence.

We used a camera to create various shots to enable to create stop motion animation. Here is an example of some of the pictures we took of little hearts we drew and cut out;

Filming and Editing process


Before beginning the filming process we debated whether to use one or two cameras, we came to the decision to use two as it would be effective to film a shot at the same time from two different angles, also we felt it would be useful to have one camera on a tripod and one hand held camera, to give us a variety of filming techniques.

Once obtaining the cameras we travelled to Rutland water, a picteresque setting we felt would accompany our song choice well. After arriving at Rutland water it began to rain, however we decided to continue filming as although it would be harder to film the rain created an effective atmosphere through shots such as, the close up of the rain hitting the lakes surface. We filmed various shots during the process including, performance shots with a variety of serene settings in the background. We also thought it would be a sensible idea to get simple shots of the views as back ups incase we felt we didnt have enough footage when it came to the editing process. After filming 40 minutes worth of footage around various parts of Rutland water we felt we needed a change of setting as the tranquil atmosphere may become abit boring throughout the video. We decided to go to Stamford town centre and film Lidia (acting as Maxine Vauzelle) standing still in the middle of town whilst a rush of people walked past her. We filmed her standing still for 10 minutes straight. We found that this was a difficult technique as people often either didnt want to be filmed or thought we didnt want them in the frame. We encouraged people to continue walking passed as though the camera wasnt there, after time we got the shots we were hoping for.


After importing 56 minutes worth of footage we began the editing process. We cut out all the most effective shots we wanted to use within our video and began to mute the sound, stabalize the footage and insert transitions. Once we imported the song we were able put the footage into some kind of order. During the process we came across many diffculties, especially when it came to timing with the lip syncing ect. When we began to try techniques with the footage from the town centre we decided to put it on maximum speed, this looked very effective. We also came across the problem where our song started too late, meaning the image of the guitar being played was out of time. Therefore, we came up with the idea to put a short clip at the beginning saying, 'Maxine Vauzelle- Come on over' with a aged film effective on it. We then remembered that we also needed to import the footage from the hand held camera, once importing it we discovered our most effecive shot was on there, a high angle shot of lidia spinning around, the shot was particularly good quality. Overall we found that using black and white effect, aged film effect, hard light effect and slow motion was the most effective and suitable for our genre of video.

What would i change?

If i had the oppertunity to refilm i would ensure that as a group we were fully prepared, had a detailed story board and accurate idea of exactly what shots we needed for the editing the process.
Overall, we are satisfied with the final outcome of our music video and felt we captured emotional shots that accompanied our choice of song well.

Friday, 22 October 2010


After scouting a location we came across this picteresque setting at rutland water, the bench fits our pitch ideas along with the riverside.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Pitch Ideas


Launched3 August 2008
Owned byBox Television
(Bauer Group/Channel 4)
Picture format16:9, 576i (SDTV)
Audience share0.3% (September 2010, BARB)
SloganMusic and Then Some!
CountryUnited Kingdom
ReplacedThe Hits
Sister channel(s)Channel 4

4Music is a music channel in the United Kingdom and available on some digital television providers in the Republic of Ireland - its web component can be found at with its own Facebook and Twitter pages. It is the only channel within the Box Television Network to be branded under Channel 4 and the only channel in the network to be broadcast in widescreen. The channel replaced The Hits. The channel is Free to Air (FTA) on Digital Terrestrial (Freeview), but as a pay subscription channel on Digital Satellite (Sky) along with the remainder of the channels in the Box Television group. All Channel 4-owned channels however broadcast free-to-air.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Analysis of a music video

Adele- Chasing Pavements

Label- XL Columbia

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins(born 5 May 1988), known professionally as Adele is an English singer songwriter. She was the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008. She is a multi-Grammy Awards nominee who has won two awards, Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2009.
She has described her musical style as "heartbroken soul." Adele agrees with critics that have suggested that her vocals are more developed and intriguing than her songwriting. She also received praises from Paul Rees, editor of Q magazine, who said it was "refreshing to hear something different" after a thousand years of "identikit bands who want to sound like The Libertines".
By the beginning of 2009 listeners and critics started to describe Adele as unique. AllMusic wrote that "Adele is simply too magical to compare her to anyone". Venus Zine recognized Adele on its 25 under 25 list of women for her “distinctive, unusual voice” that “blends the bubbly clarity of pop with the sophisticated phrasings of jazz and blues.”

Genres-Pop, soul, jazz, blues, country

This is a long shot from birds-eye prospective. Here you can clearly see two people interacting. They are laying on a pavement (relative link to the song title) however they are moving in a way to make it look as though they are stood up. From the previous shot we can see that the video is shot on a street, as we can see a road, parked cars and houses. The leaves surrounding the shot and the actors dress show that is it autumn, this is a romantic shot of the two people meeting. The lighting isnt very bright, emphasising the time of year it is.

Here is an establising shot, this shot confirms ideas of it being on a street, side walk. This shot is very picturesque. The mise-en-scene supports the serene atmosphere, as it has quiant features such as the old fashioned lampost. The shot shows the artist walking along the path in slow motion, singing in casual autumn clothes, this does not make her stand out from the actors within the video. However the close up shots of her singing make it clear that she is the artist.

The video follows the song structure well and changes pace with the music, for example, when the chourus begins the still couple on the pavement begin to move and the video begins more upbeat with the music.
The video uses mainly straight cuts however there are some blurred effects used, for example; when adele is sitting in a car with a man the blur her face out whilst she is singing to make the viewer concentrate on his reacted facial expressions.

Here is a shot to show the actors' movements. The move in a very contempary style to suit the artists also contempary style. In this sense the relationship between the music and the visuals is very strong.
This shot also shows the varied use of effects, as this shot is black and white, this could give an impression of surrealism. 

Conventions in popular music videos

Technical conventions

  • Band shots, whole band shots and perfomance clips
  • Shadows, mise-en-scene reflects atmoshere, equal division of shots upon band members or focus on key members
  • Highlighting, brightlighting
  • High angle/low angle, special lighting effects
  • Close ups/extreme close ups
  • Animation and video special effects (e.g. CGI, Green Screen, etc)
  • Colour effects - more monochrome/black and white
  • How is narrative use? Balanced with performance? Cut into performance? Merged with the performance?
  • Narrative - does is AMPLIFY the lyrics? Or does it focus on a specific part of the lyric and ILLUSTRATE it? Or does it CONTRADICT the lyrics?
  • Remember that narrative may not be constructed in a traditions manner - may be partial/disjointed - e.g. use of montage
  • This refers to the process where on media text may take ideas from another existing text - it may be a carbon copt, a pastiche, a parody or a homage - e.g. a music video may borrow elements from a well known film
  • This is 'borrowing' of images, narratives, etc and reconstructing them can be seen as 'post-modern'
  • It draws the audience into text - they recognise elements - they're 'in on the secret'
  • Glamour/popstyle lifestyle
  • Playing out 'popstar' lifestyle within video
  • mean and moody men
  • Seductive poses from female artists
  • Anti-establishment activity
  • Deserted locations and straight forward narratives
  • Guitar solos
  • All playing to the audience
  • Short skirts
  • Cleavage
  • Trying to portay a certain image - intertextuality
  • Voyeurism (people watching other people when they don't know)
  • Urban locations
  • Dancing
  • Crowd shots
  • Destroyed enviroments

Emailing the Artist

Genre and Marketing

A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music.
Music can be divided into many genres in many different ways. Genres can be distinguised by the time period, techniques and instruementation

Music Genres;
Heavy Metal
Drum and Bass
The genres of the song we have chosen are Acoustic/Soul/Blues.
  •  Acoustic music comprises music that solely or primarily uses instruments which produce sound through entirely acoustic means, as opposed to electric or electronic means. 
  • The blues genre is based on the blues form but possesses other characteristics such as specific lyrics, bass lines and instruments.
  • Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues

Traditional & New methods of marketing
Since the birth of the Internet, marketing methods have changed.
Traditional methods (indirect):
  • Press, radio, television and general advertising
This puts the record deal completely in the hands of the record comapny, Marketing costs are not recoupable under this model, and so unless a minimum figure is set in the recording contract, then here is no guarantee that a label will put a effective amount of money into support a band's marketing campaign.
New methods (direct):
  • The internet, particuarly websites such as MySpace
Bands are able to use this direct marketing to their advantage as they can talk directly to their fan base before they even have a record deal. This has cut ou the necessity for a more traditional marketing platform in order to reach and audience. However, in order to have long term success, the band neeed to have a strong marketing strategy combining both direct and indirect marketing (radio, press, TV, online and club pluggers as well as advertising).

Record labels usually base the amount htey spend of the marketing on the estimated number of records that each artist will ship to the shops. Managers do not have any control over how much money the label invests in marketing their band.
Due to the rapid decline in physical record sals, the music industry is llooking at different models to break and markt new artists.

How a plugger can help?
Most record labels build a promotional campaign for a new band by investing in plugging teams who deal with national radio, TV and press promotion as the main areas to focus on, followed by regional press and radio,, and student and club promotions on top of that. A radio plugger will see a new live band and approach them to offer their help. National radio and press are often more likely to play demos of unsigned band if they know a plugger is involved.
This is a vital area of marketing, if a band has a successful national tour, there willl be a regional radio and press campaigns to build the profile around each date.

Finding fans
There are no rules when it comes to breaking a new band and there are various marketing tools at the artists disposal. The internet is still one of the best places to market a new artist The general idea is to initially try and find the hard core fan base for a band and once the album is released to move beyond that fan base by marketing to a wider audience usuing billboards and Tv advertising.

Kate Nash-Marketing her new album 

Here is a printscreen from her website show an advertisment for her new album, 'My Best Friend Is You', it is a link.

Here is a printscreen of what the link in the previous printscreen links you to, it enables you to choose what country you are from and shows images on the right hand side of kate. One of the images shows her creating a heart shape through her gesture of hands, this is a typical representation for an acoustic genre, as it signifies love/romance. Above the selection of countrys is an advertisement for Limited Edition Album, the advertisement includes a link of the website it is available from. This part of the website isnt very imformative, but includes what it needs to and includes alot of imagery.

Here is a printscreen of the amazon website, selling Kate Nash's album, once you pick a country on the previous printscreen you are then linked to this website, encouraging and enabling you to purchase it. This is a form of convergence selling the product linking straight from the artists website to the shop. It is also a form of synergetic marketing. This is a good marketing technique as it not only advertises it but allows you to buy it at ease.

The printscreens below show the rest of the amazon page for Kate Nash's album, it gives details of the album, songs included, similar artists and reviews;

We also discovered that her album was also advertised on the guardian website, as its a newspaper is included detailed reviews;

During our research process we came across a magazine advertisment for the realease of Kate Nash's new album. We felt studying and analyzing the advert would help us to understand how magazine adverts represent the artist and how it is layed out, this would help us when creating our own magazine advert.

Audience Research: Questionnaire on music

1.How old are you?
  • 13-18
  • 19 - 25
  • 26 - 40
  • 41+
2. What gender are you?
  • Male
  • Female
3. What kind of music do you prefer to listen to?
  • Acoustic
  • RnB
  • Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Metal
  • Indie
  • Other __________
4. How many hours do you listen to music a week?
  • 0 -2
  • 3 - 5
  • 6 - 8
  • 9 -11
  • 12+
5. Do you prefer to just listen to the song or watch the video as well?
  • Just song
  • Music video as well
6. Do you think it's important for the style of video to suit the song?
  • Yes
  • No
7. Do you go to gigs to see you favourite artists?
  • Yes
  • No
8. How often?
  • Once a week
  • Once a month
  • Twice a month
  • Very rarely
  • Never
9. Do you prefer videos that are unique or follow the usual conventions of their genre?
  • Unique
  • Follow conventions
10. Are there any bands/artists that you are influenced by?
11. What do you think makes a good music video?

Deconstruction of lyrics

  • Our genre is mainly acoustic, with a mix of blues and soul
  • Our song had a slow tempo throughout, as expected with an acoustic song. However, the tempo sped up in the chourus to keep in time with the upbeat music
  • The chourus is repeated twice, with two verses sandwiched between them, creating consistancy and a sense of repetition
  • The only prominant instrument within our song was acoustic guitar, a simplistic backing track to suit our genre

  • Verse 1- 00:00-00:43
  • Chorus-  00:44-1:13
  • Instrumental-1:14-1:17
  • Verse 2- 1:18-1:38
  • Chorus- 1:39-2:17

    Tuesday, 28 September 2010

    Analysis of a music video

    Sia Furler- Breathe me

    Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (born 18 December 1975), also known simply as Sia, is an Australian soulful jazz-styled pop singer and songwriter. At the 2009 Aria Awards, she won the award for Best Music DVD and Some People Have Real Problems was nominated for Best Breakthrough Artist Album. She is noted for her work with Zero 7 and her three major label solo albums. I have chosen to anaylis one of her music videos as Sia is one of Maxine Vauzelles influences.

    As a solo artist a majority are the shots are based on her, the camera follows her around and they have used a clever composition technique of polariod shots being shown quickly to animate her movements.

    At the beginning of the video there is a fade to white transition as the music begins. The mise en scene is old fashioned, suiting her unique style of voice. The colours within the shot are very dim, and the use of polariod pictures emphasize the vintage theme. This is a mid-shot, the camera is following her around the room, it effectivley makes the viewer feel like they are in the room with her.
    The video is set in what appears to be an old victorian house, in London, we can tell that it is situated in London when she goes outside at the end of the video.

     The old fashioned theme is continued, with the vitage pattenered wallpaper and dull colours. This is an over the shoulder shot of her looking into the mirror, she looks unsettled.
    The editing of the video is quite upbeat in comparison to the slow tempo of the song, however the video fits in well with the song, as it shows her alone and unhappy not knowing what to do, and the song is quite depressing including lyrics such as, 'hurt myself again today...', hence the dim lighting, which creates the atmosphere. The fast cuts between each polariod keeps the viewer intrested.

    Throughout the video the artist has been dressed in a simple night gown, but as she looks in the mirror a shot of her with a strange mask on appears, this brings a sense of surrealism to the video, showing shes a unique artist, there is then another shot of her in a colourful fancy dress costume.
    There are no instruments show in this video, as she only sings, it is therefore only focused on her.
    The video follows the song structure well for example, when the lyrics are 'be my friend, wrap me up', it shows her on her own looking like she needs somebody, the lighting gives her an innocent yet sad appearance.

     Here is a high angled shot, looking down on her sad expression near the polariod pitctures. In the mise en scene everything is dark, even the wood. However, she is now wearing something abit more modern, casual and brighter. There is then a zoom in and extreme close up of the polariod pictures and the composition technique is continued.

     This panning shot shows all the polariod pictures used in the film, this is an effective shot as it shows the video was not computirised. They look jumbled, representing the lack of care for the artist has for herself within the song and video. The camera moves very fast past all of this and straight back to the artist.