Idyll – Research and Planning

Friday 24th November

For our second project of the year, were required to create a music video in our groups of 5. This may sound simple, however the planning and preparation that goes into it is immense. I have been appointed the role ‘Director’, meaning I’ll be essentially leading the group forward and making the decisions as to how we do certain things. The definition of a director is ‘a person who is in charge of an activity, department, or organisation’. The responsibility that comes with this title is definitely a challenge but I’m up for it.

The first task is to create our own short music video along with mood boards and other forms of research, this is mainly so we can get an idea of what we will be doing in our groups, look at it as a sort of ‘video essay’ where we will be analysing existing music videos and combining snippets together. It also means we can bring inspiration from our own work into the group and weave each of our own ideas into the final product should it be necessary.

We were assigned to create a survey for the year 1 media groups in order to achieve a basic target audience. When we receive our first set of results, they will then answer a second questionnaire so we can determine ever further where we want to be. This is a copy of the first survey which was mainly just to determine a bit of background information and what music their into.

Questionnaire 1

1) Out of these four music genres, circle your preferred genre. 
1) Hip-Hop 
2) Pop 
3) Rock 
4) D&B 
2) How frequently do you watch music videos in a week? 
0-3 
4-6 
7-10 
3) What platform do you often listen to your music on? 
Tablets 
DVD’S/CD’S 
Laptop 
Mobile phone 
4) Do you know what narrative, Performance and Concept music videos are? Give an example? 
5) Does music have an impact on your physical and mental state? 
6) How old are you? 
7) Would you consider yourself in the new or old generation of music? 
Old 
New 
Both 
8) Are you single? Yes/No 
9) What’s your gender? 
10) Name your favourite music artist

Monday 27th November

As we speak we are assessing these results in order to find out what the next steps are. So far we have created a pie chart with all the results form the first questionnaire in it, and now we’re creating a second survey. After receiving the results from the second survey and combining them with the first set of results we can establish a basis for the project and interpret them into it. An example of how we would do this is, if the majority of our audience are female and have asked for a female protagonist in a story styled music video then we will take this into account and look at what we can do.

meta-chart

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Whilst writing this questionnaire we felt it was a good survey, but on reflection we have only just found out basic information such as whether our target audience uses a phone instead of a laptop to watch music videos, the main thing I looked at from this survey is that the majority favoured hip hop, this is great news because it means we can consider doing that for our project which is what we all want to do. Now we need to focus on the second survey and how we can obtain more useful information to proceed further in the project.

Wednesday 29th November

Today I have been researching into music videos with a narrative to get some understanding of how the music and the narrative connect and how I may be able to use this in my music video. Each of us will be analysing a few music videos each so we can then come together and discuss our findings.

November Rain – Guns n Roses (1991)

First off, I looked at this song because I know that it is a long song, with emotion behind it, meaning the narrative involved must be gripping. I will start by saying the style of this music video is exactly how I want ours to be in terms of the constant switch between a live performance and a story. The lyrical content really links to the storyline, yet the story has been kept very simple. Its a wedding that seems to be going well, and then the ‘November Rain’ pours at the wedding reception, it later cuts to the near future where the bride has obviously passed away and Axl Rose is left alone. Its great that Axl and the bandmates are all in this music video because it creates links from the live performance to the narrative smoothly.

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Why’d You Only  Call Me When You’re High – Arctic Monkeys (2013)

I really like this music video, it is just a narrative, no live performance, but it features all the bandmates at the beginning  and then proceeds to follow a drunk lead singer Alex Turner through the streets in which you find out he is trying to meet someone who he supposedly ‘only calls when he’s high’. This confused me at first because the song was written by Alex Turner who’s asking the question of ‘Why do YOU only call me when YOU’RE high?’ yet he is the one who is high and calling the girl so its the opposite way around in the video, however I like this contradiction.

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Drown – Bring Me The Horizon (2014)

This music video is amazing due to the fact it is showing the band playing a live performance, but it isn’t to a crowd of fans who’ve bought tickets, its to a bunch of people with mental health issues and its all a set. The lyrical content is all about health issues and how we need support from each other. The key lyric being ‘Don’t Let Me Drown’ sums it up really.

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Since our group is planning on creating a Hip-Hop/Rap video, I have also viewed some videos of that genre. I’ve found that a recurring theme is either struggling or the complete opposite. Looking at artists such as Snoop Dogg, Lil Uzi Vert, and Lil Wayne, they all tend to rap about their money and jewellery, referencing the lavish lifestyles they live. Whereas artists such as Biggie Smalls, Eminem and new on the scene rapper XXXTENTACION all tend to focus on the darker side of what they’ve been through and how they got to where they are now, with the exception of some songs boasting their money and lifestyle, they primarily rap about the struggles they’ve faced.

Thursday 30th November

Today our group have been discussing all the music we viewed. We were all inspired by the camera work in ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ and have come to the conclusion that wed like to interpret that sort of style into our own music video. The shaky camera effect makes the footage look raw, along with the professionally shot slow motion this music video makes clowns running around fighting look great.

So far a little synopsis of the idea is ‘A pirate is walking around the town and gets into a fight, resulting in a beating’. We will merge footage of a live performance along with this storyline. We’ve just received our second questionnaire so from this we will respect what the audience have stated and change the plan to fit there needs. Below is a copy of the questionnaire, the results will follow.

Questionnaire 2

What is your favourite sub-genre within Hip-hop?

1) Close ups
2)  Extreme long shots
3) Wide shots
4) Lean angle shots (high/low)
6) All of the above

Results:

meta-chart

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Reflecting on the Results

Our cameraman has managed to get in contact with a local hip hop group called ‘The Prophecy’ who would love to work with us so we can make them a music video. The majority of the target audience answered UK Hip Hop and G Funk, this is good because the prophecy have adopted these styles into some of their songs.

As expected, the majority of the target audience were torn between Crime and Wealth when asked about what themes they think are associated with hip hop, as you’ve seen if you’ve read the synopsis our video is leading towards the crime theme, however after reading this, I may discuss with the group that it would be beneficial to add some wealth themes to the music video.

When asked what has the biggest impact on a music video, 9 people said clothing, followed closely by props and locations with 6 and 7 votes. Our group have been discussing all three of these aspects as we believe they are all just as important as each other. linking all three of these in some way will 100% result in a successful music video. Judging by the results for question 4 it seems that the audience like separate hip hop artists so its good to see that they are on the same wave length in terms of how they like to see their music videos.

8 people said they expect to see all colour themes in hip hop music videos, along with 5 others stating they expect to see dark colour themes. As a group this is what we were expecting to here, we are going to interpret this into our own music video potentially inputting some black and white scenes.

The majority of the audience said they expect to see all types of camera angles in music videos, some people also said the ‘Dutch Angle’ which if you don’t know, is the angle where the camera will be tilted so horizontal lines will come out diagonal on the film. Another angle suggested was ‘Close – Ups’ which is totally agree with as it will make the music video seem quite intimidating if the actor or rap group is up in the viewers face. Our group have discussed all these topics and have agreed that the next stage is to put all these results to work and begin to create a storyboard with the synopsis we have.

Moodboards

Ive decided to look at two types of Rap/Hip-Hop. I split it into two groups, one being hip hop and rap up until about 2010, and the next being hip hop and rap from the past couple of years. Ill explain a little about how its changing so fast from what it used to be and what era of Hip Hop my group will be looking into further.

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As you can see I’ve compiled a selection of images together. I may be difficult to tell here, but from what I’ve gathered by searching for images of rappers and watching different music videos (listed below) I’ve come to the conclusion that the more modern hip hop has more to do with the artist themselves and the way they look and come across than the actual lyrical content, what I mean by this is that the artists nowadays tend to just rap about the lavish lifestyles they live and show this through there appearance (gold teeth, coloured hair) and music videos which often include fancy cars and diamond watches etc.

From looking at a few music videos, the older style of hip hop seems to be more about gang culture and how these people have come from nothing and made something of themselves. The lyrical content really shows this along with the music videos often featuring the artist in their hometown revisiting their old lives.

Bibliography for Video Moodboard

  • Lil Wayne – Fireman –  Dir. N/A
  • G-Unit – Poppin Them Thangs – Dir. N/A
  • The Notorious B.I.G – Juicy – Dir. N/A
  • Ice Cube – You Know How We Do It – Dir. N/A
  • XXXTentacion – Fuck Love ft. Trippie Redd – Dir. N/A
  • Tyler, The Creator – Who Dat Boy  –  Dir. Tyler, The Creator
  • Lil Uzi Vert – XO Tour Llif3 – Dir. Virgil Abloh
  • Trippie Redd – Love Scars – Dir. Peter Chen

The Plan

We created a teaser trailer for the music video, this was a 30 second preview of whats to come. It featured the opening scene of the music video with a rolling text thats states ‘coming soon’, simple but effective. Being director I explained to my group that I feel this will be a simple edit, yet super effective and time saving so we can focus on the main product. We handed this in on Wednesday 20th December.

Now its time to focus on the main product. As I’m writing this its still the 20th, today we break up from college for 2 weeks. We come back on the 4th January. Our group as a whole won’t really be doing much in terms of progressing the project. I’m working a lot and that is the case for a couple of the others in our group. We have figured out that we won’t be majorly affected if we don’t film anything yet which is reassuring, as long as we get straight into it on the 4th.

4th January 2018

Its a good job I didn’t organise any filming dates because I worked almost every day in the holidays! It was nice to know that me working a lot wouldn’t affect the dynamic of the group because no one was meeting up to film anyway. As I’m writing this post we are discussing the next steps in order for the most progression.

10th January 2018

We’re on the way to completing our pre production documents, there is actually a lot more that needs to be done than we originally anticipated, we created list of all that needs to be done and who would be doing it, obviously assigning everyone to the work that fitted their role the most. We should be ready to film next week with all the planning documentation in place. The reason we are taking our time is because we’ve all had previous experiences where little planning has resulted in failed products.

Thursday 8th February 2018

With the hand in date closing in, we are finishing up last little bits of work, the music video is so close to completion. As you can tell, I’ve neglected these posts a little recently, thats simply because of the work we’ve all been putting into the filming and editing stages. I will upload the music video to YouTube once its ready so you can watch it there.

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