This is my A2 media coursework blog. I will be creating a music video for the song 'Confessions' by 'We Are The Ocean'. The project also involves creating a digipak album and a magazine advert for the digipak.

I am working in a group with:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Christian Metal

  • Originated in the late 1980's in the U.S.A.
  • Evanescence used to be classed as a Christian Metal band however after a while the band decided they didn't want to be branded as that so they got Christian music stores to take them off.
  • Stryper - were the first openly Christian band to gain mainstream recognition. They got a lot of their influences from glam metal and had big hair and wore tight catsuits. They mainly produced performance music videos. 
  • Underoath - 'Writing On The Walls' they produce mainly concept  and performance videos. Writing on the walls is set in a dolls house. It includes jerky camera movements, people with grey faces so they don't look real, people out of proportion and at certain points throughout the video the front man grabs onto the camera. The colour tones are almost sepia, confined spaces are used to create lots of energy and are used just generally to make the video surreal unsettling and just strange. They had a very high budget video, however there won't be very many videos like this in the near future because budgets are being heavily cut and fast collapsing.
  • P.O.D. - Mainly produce concept and performance videos, they use white colour filters and use effects on the camera lens. Constant cuts back and forward cuts between the concept and performance aspect.

Lady Sovereign - I Got You Dancing

  • Taken from her second album.
  • Released 6th April 2009.
  • Thriller style video, lots of make up and costume changes.
  • Both narrative and concept .
  • Fast paced editing, very short takes, lots of cutting to the beat featured.
  • Quick camera movements, makes it feel like it has lots of energy.
  • Stop motion photography is used.
  • Lots of shot variety included and good use of different and interesting angles.
  • Lots of 'looking' is featured especially straight through the camera lens to the audience.

Tenacious D - Tribute (embed code disabled)

  • American rock band that formed in in 1994.
  • They've released 2 albums.
  • 'Tribute' is the first single off their self-tittles album that was released in July 2002.
  • The song tells the story of their encounter with a demon that demands them to play the best song in the world. They make up a song on the spot and it just happens to be the best and the demon was amazed. But the lyrics then make out that this song that they have just come up with on the spot doesn't actually sound anything like this and it's a tribute towards it.
  • Before the song itself starts there is a narrative section that makes the music video into a small film. Jack Black and Kyle Grass enter into a cheap shopping centre karaoke booth thats been re-wired to record their tribute.
  • There isn't really much camera movement involved in the video.
  • Use of diagetic sounds.
  • Graphics program has been used for the part when they see the demon.
  • Generally slow paced editing and fairly long takes are used.
  • It also features some celebrities, for example, Dave Grohl plays the demon, and at another point Ben Stiller walks past the 'recording' booth.
  • Narrative/ Performance

Monday, 27 September 2010

Grunge Metal [The Seattle Sound]

  • Originated in the late 80's
  • It was made to combat against the hair meta genre because they saw that as a joke.
  • Pearl Jam - Jeremy - essentially narrative but with a few aspects of performance but it just includes the lead singer, extended intro and lots of use of colour filters on the camera lens.
  • Alice In Chains - Them Bones - performance video, strange camera filters used, these give a weird tone to the whole feel of the video, cave/dessert setting which links into the their album cover of 'Dirt'.

  • Nirvarna - Smells Like Teen Spirit - performance video, located in a gym in a school however they were more focussed and fussed about their music rather than how they looked. The youths are shown in the video lots to show and prove that they care about them. There is very little emphasis about what the band are wearing they weren't very bothered about what they looked like or their identity, it's very simplistic but most of the members of the band have long hair. There songs and videos often include very controversial and rebellious aspects.
  • Lots of Grunge Metal videos relate quite a lot to their lyrics.

Thrash Metal

  • Fast tempo and lots of aggression, fast percussion, low guitar riffs, shredding style of guitar playing
  • Big 4 Thrash Metal bands: Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeath, Metallica.
  • Anthrax - Madhouse - it's set in-front of a mental asylum mixed in with theperformance concept. Fast takes in time with the music split screen effect is used.
  • Metallica - Fade To Black - completely performance based, footage taken from an actual live gig, black is used quite a lot and it helps to signify the genre, they are also wearing black.
  • As with most performance music videos, there is lots of focus put on the lead singer and in Thrash Metal they are normally male and sometimes topless. 

Weezer - Island In The Sun (Spike Jonze Version)

  • Concept video
  • Involves the band in a hot place (maybe Africa?) near mountains, playing with cute and cuddly animals.
  • Very soft lighting and slow motion makes it nice for people to watch and it makes it accessible for a very broad range of audiences so that more people will want to watch it and buy the music. There's nothing within the video that could be objected about.

Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff

  • Performance video with some aspects of concept included. very typical to the genre of 'Nu-Metal', lots of leaning into the camera and looking straight through it and at certain points a fish eye lens is used.
  • Includes loads of different people including celebrities such as Eminem.
  • There are some big crowd scenes that the fan base helped with, this show that the band are loyal to their fans and they care about them.
  • Nu-Metal band, one of the most iconic from the sub-genre
  • Includes the band members showing off and proving that they can play their instruments. At certain points some of them switch instruments.

Nu-Metal [Rap]

  • Critics say that the genre is disappearing because some of the bands are creating different genres, but others say that the genre is recovering because Limp Bizkit has a new album coming out.
  • Their songs are about suffering and bad things that they have taken from their personal life (such as drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide, pain, paranoia, hurtetc..). This fits in with their target audience of teens so they will be able to relate to it a lot.
  • The mainstream success of this genre was in the 1990's - 2000's 
  • Mostly performance videos with narrative concept ideas also included that fits in with the lyrics. In the video for 'Papa Roach - Last Resort' the audience were surrounding the stage).
  • The clothing of the people included in the music video help to anchor the genre.
  • Very realistic which is quite different from many other metal videos.

Guns and Roses - Sweet Child Of Mine

  • Shot in black and white, howevere it has a few colour sequences included. Black and white can tend to be a little risky but they were a big band at the time so they could take the risk and use it.
  • They use the idea of removing the fourth wall and looking behind the scenes which is a little unusual, but this shows a more personal side to the band.
  • The band logo is shown straight away on the bass drum, and on the backdrop behind the band, this provides anchorage for the audience.
  • It uses the ideology of the performance music video, however it's filmed in a warehouse but with no audience just the film crew and technicians etc.
  • There is lots of background footage used as if a fan has taken it. Other camera's filming the band and lights are also shown so you can see the process of the video being made.
  • Some cutting to the beat is used and the editing speeds up (especially during the instrumental break).
  • It's a post modern video, even at the time that it was made. The actual meaning of the video is a little obscure and it can't really be pinned down.   

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Codes and Conventions of Heavy Metal Performance Music Video's

  • Quite a lot of the time it's ususal too see a little bit of concept or narrative ideas included aswell as the performcance aspect e.g. setting up before the gig or on the road on-route to the gig
  • Lots of quick camrea movement to give the video lots of energy and break up the takes a little.
  • In some cases documentory footage is used of the band prehaps when they are on tour this also breaks up the video.
  • Music videos are used as a marketing tool for the band to sell records and so people can see what they are like and how good they are so then more people will also look up other songs they have done.

  • Some of the transitions between scenes are sometimes cut to the beat however not all of the time
  • There are lots of close ups of things such as the fret boards, the bass drum and shots over the head of the drummer show that the band can play their instruments well.
  • Narrative ignima is included and created by not seeing band the members faces.
  • Lots of behind the scenes footage is also used in many examples shots of this include the venue, soundcheck, tour bus, roadsigns, and other backstage access this makes the video a little bit more personal for the audience.
  • Most of the shots will include the lead singer in them (especially close ups).
  • Diagetic sounds are often used in the introduction making it into a micro-drama/ short-film.
  • Members of Heavy Metal bands stereotypically create an image that's true to the genre this includes having long hair and wearing black clothing, they are also quite often seen smoking, drinking alchohol (Jack Daniels) and wearing a hat backwards.
  •  Some narrative and concept videos, other members of the band walk past the lead singer and are just in the background.
  • Some bands may use their music videos as  opportunity to show their support to their fans and maybe include a more personal side to the band, and if the crowd look like they are having a good time at the bands gig then other people will want to go to their gigs. e.g. Bruce Springsteen pulls out someone from his crowd up onto the stage and dances with them.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

  • Lady Gaga (24)  from New York, America, produces pop and dance music however she also writes songs, is a record producer, dancer and business woman. 
  • She has been signed to record labels such as Def Jam, Streamline, Cherrytree and Interscope and has produced 4 singles that reached number one in the UK Singles Charts and also both of her albums have reached the number one position in the UK charts.
  • 'Bad Romance' was the 6th single that she released and it got to #1 in the UK. 
  • Too be very broad this song is 'pop' but also dance and has some features of techno and trance included.
  • This song is aimed at people in their early teens (tweenagers) mainly females however elements of the 'male gaze' is brought in at various points throughout the video. Make up and dressing up also has a big part of the video. Lady Gaga is outrageous, rebellious, and different from the 'norm', this reflects the tweenager idea of acting up at an age your not at and pretending to be someone you aren't.
  • This video was probably made on quite a high budget, it's very other the top and there are lots of different costumes used from scene to scene.
  • This video follows the narrative type of music video where they have chosen to follow the lyrics of the song. However this video is unique and abstract so not everything totally fits in with the lyrics. However there isn't really any performance aspects involved.
  • Personally i think that 15-34 is the main target audience for the video. Males like what they see in it and this is signified by the 'male gaze' aspects included because of the woman, the fact that they aren't wearing much and explicit scenes, this is made very clear and there is no effort made to hide this.
  • It also appeals to the 'pink pound' and gay culture as the video is really camp.
  • Sometimes she looks directly into the camera at the audience to try and gauge their attention however when she is singing various lyrics she looks at the men that are sat around her because those specific lyrics are aimed at them. Eyes and 'looking' is really important in music videos as I will look at this more as I look at different examples of music videos, it's especially significant in this because she either wears specially made contact lenses or her eyes have been photoshopped to make her eyes extra enlarged and almost doll like.
  • At one point she is seen with not much make up on and crying, this shows her feminine and more gentle or personal side to her character. 
  • Tortue is included in the video, this could be her way of showing how women are portrayed in the media and their position within todays society. At various points she is stripped of her clothing and this is totally out of her control. Her body is a very big focal point of the video and she could feel that she needs to use her body in this way in order to make sure she sells records. During the video she plays with the idea of her gender (which has been speculated about lots in the media since being in the fame spotlight about her possibly being a hermaphrodite) and also her identity.
  • She makes intertextual references to Madonna in the video which shows there is a sense of post-modernism included. Lady Gaga has used lots of elements from the music video for 'Vogue' by Madonna. She uses a big metal bra at the end of 'Bad Romance', Madonna also uses one similar in her video for 'Vogue', at the time it was released, it was very iconic and different from the rest of the video's available at that time.
Feminists VS Post- Feminists.
  • Feminists would say that Lady Gaga produced the video for 'Bad Romance' in the way that she did because it's the only way for her to make money, sell records and stay in the spotlight. She dances and shows lots of her body because she feels she has to and this is the way that today's society wants to see her and through this she is being exploited. 
  • Post-feminists would say that Lady Gaga is showing that she is a powerful woman is really in control of what she is doing. They would also say that she is in control of everything and is just being playful with her ideas.
Menaissance and He-cession
Woman are now earning a lot more than they did before and are slowly taking over the men in our society. Some people would say that our society is changing from patriarchy (male dominated society) to matriarchy (female dominated society). This is called a 'meaissence' or a 'he-cession' , men are also becoming more heterosexual and the idea of the 'new man' and being feminine  is becoming increasingly bigger. This has all come about from the past 10 - 20 years with the likes of people such as David Beckham endorsing various moisturises and products to take care of yourself.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Kanye West - Good Morning

  • Kanye West (33) is an American rapper, singer and record producer.
  • 'Good Morning' is the opening track from his 3rd studio album that he released in 2007.
  • The song wasn't actually released as a single however, the music video was produced be Takeshi Murakmi (he is the person behind the artwork for the album) a Japanese pop - artist.
  • In the video Muarkmi brings to life the various designs he had compiled for the album booklet.
  • He uses cel-shaded animation with a computer graphics program. It makes computer graphics appear as if they have been hand drawn.
  • The video takes place in 'Universe City'  in a futuristic time period.
  • The protagonist in the video is West's mascot and trademark, "Dropout Bear". It appears on the covers of 4/5 of his albums (including 'Graduation') and also various single covers and music videos.  
  • The narrative of the video is the "Dropout Bear" overcoming various obstacles in an effort to get to his college in time for his graduation ceremony.
  • This style of music video (animation) is unique for it's genre, but i think the video fits with the music  and it works really well. 

Katy B - Katy On A Mission


  • The video includes lots of close ups of her face as she is the main focal point.
  • There are a few locations used in the video such as; in a car, at some recording studios, at a party / club night / gig performing with shots of lots of people dancing having a good time.
  • At certain points during the video a blurred lens is used on the camera, this makes the audience a little disorientated and could signify or connote that the people on screen have been drinking. 
  • Slow motion is also added as an effect so the people at the gig move in time to the music that is layered on top.
  • The video uses quite a wide range of shots for example some of them are shot at strange angles,  using a side on view of her singing.

Sub Genres Of Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal is a very broad genre of music and within it there is loads of scope for very different sounds and styles. I have done some research looking at the different sub genres and here's my findings...

  • Death    
  • Nu
  • Phantom
  • Black
  • Goth
  • Viking
  • Tech
  • Pirate?
  • Industrial
  • Thrash
  • Funk
  • Grime
  • Death core
  • Metal core
  • Grind core
  • experimental
  • Christian
  • Crust punk
  • Doom
  • Drone
  • Extreme
  • Folk
  • Glam
  • Groove
  • Neo-classical
  • Post-metal
  • Power 
  • Progressive 
  • Sludge 
  • Speed
  • Stoner
  • Symphonic
  • Traditional heavy metal
  • Underground
  • Melodic-death metal

Sunday, 12 September 2010

3 Types Of Music Videos

  • Narrative - following the lyrics 
  • Concept - nothing really to do with the song just using the music with lots of scope to do whatever they might refer to the lyrics briefly
  • Performance - the band performing, this could include one or all of the band members.

Guns and Roses - Welcome To The Jungle

  • Heavy rock/ metal band that formed in the late 80's.
  • Music has changes a a lot in the way that it is consumed. Especially from things such as tapes and vinyl's into CD's  and MP3's.
  • The music video is an advert or branding for the band/ artist, lots of rock videos feature the band showing off and proving that they can play their instruments well, so their videos usually feature lots of close ups of fret boards, bass drums and the singer etc...
  • The band use their own experiences in the video, using footage of when they went to a big city.
  • It features a woman as the object (this is very common in music videos) this is for something known as the 'male gaze'.
  • Males are normally the main audience for rock, heavy metal and rap music.
  • The band have very distinctive clothing and  hair style codes. They were a new band at the time this song was released and they had a different and individual style compared to other bands. 
  • Largely medium shots are used however there are a few long shots and close ups of Axel. He is in nearly all of the shots as he is the lead singer and arguably the most important in the band.
  • Documentary footage is intercut into the video, this is quite common in some music video's, especially using TV news footage.