18 June 2014

Planning your Advanced Portfolio - Summer Work

Use the summer time to find your song and start your research.

In the meantime, this is the kind of letter that you'll need to write to the copyright owner; though they might not reply to you, at least you've taken the right steps to get permission. Alternatively, you might want to ask if it would be ok to have your video posted on your school's YouTube channel.


1. Complete the  Evaluation of your preliminary task

2. Complete at least 2 analyses of music videos using Goodwin's points as sub-headings.
Example 1: Analysis of Rihanna - Disturbia (using Goodwin's Ideas)
Example 2: Analysis of Marina and the Diamonds- Oh No

3. Watch as many past students' videos as possible - select a few to embed and write a comment (or a few notes) on - this might be features you like or don't like and some screengrabs of interesting shots. GATHER AS MANY IDEAS AS POSSIBLE NOW.
PHM YouTube Playlist - other schools' videos


4. Watch as many varied videos as possible, embed some / screengrabs interesting ideas + few bullet points to comment.
Park High Media YouTube Playlist - Range of music videos plus playlists focusing on important directors (Jonze, Williams, Fincher, Gondry etc.): Playlists.

6. You could start your CD cover / digipak research now. Hit the shops and look at your own collection... Prepare a collage of interesting CD covers.

7. Watch and make a few notes on what you have picked up from it. This video was recommended by the person who's in charge of A2 at OCR......

The Videographers Guide Ep. 1 - The Music Video from Hypebeast on Vimeo.

EXTRA - CHECK OUT: http://www.bbc.co.uk/introducing and also there on Twitter (bbc.co.uk/introducing We support unsigned, undiscovered & under the radar musicians No need to Tweet us links, just upload your tunes at bbc.in/Uploader)
[last year's] BBC Norfolk Music Video Festival

Last year's BBC Music Video Festival Facebook page - some fantastic videos!

Finally, if you don't subscribe to COUP online magazine yet, you really should! Great article from last year: "The Soap Girls - A Branding Exercise"

Have a great summer. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter - we mainly send relevant links for your Exam units: start reading about We Media, Online Age and Media Regulation! So many debates at the moment!!!

15 June 2014

Week starting 16.6.14: What needs to be done now...

Hi everyone and a warm welcome back!

Before I go on, Issa James has posted the great post below with plenty of links to music videos that we want you to look at. It is crucial that you spend time becoming familiar with different genres and that you pick up ideas from a wide range of videos. Of course, there are other sources of inspiration such as films, TV drama and books!

But before I go on further, let's go back to basic information.

1. You will be starting your coursework straight away. Trust me, you will need the summer to make a good start! Once again, the coursework accounts for 50% of your final grade and we usually finish by Christmas with a little time in January to complete the evaluation.
The brief is to create a promotional pack for an upcoming album (you will have to invent an artist/band), including a magazine advert, a music video for the single coming out, and a digipak for the album (6 panels minimum). So, 3 products this time around!

2. You need to start a new blog to start recording your work. Please send me the URL as soon as possible. Include your name in the header as well as your candidate number. Include a link to this class blog.

3. You need to understand that there are many genres of music videos, usually dependent on the music genre being promoted. Overall, there are Performance videos, Narrative-led videos, but the majority include a mix of both.
Two key theorists who will help you deconstruct and analyse videos are Goodwin and Vernallis. I will provide templates summing up the main conventions they have come up with to support your analytical work and we will of course go through their key points together.

Starting with Goodwin, here are the key points:

Andrew Goodwin has identified a number of key features which distinguish the music video as a form:
- There is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, with the visuals illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics.
- There is a relationship between the music and the visuals, with the visuals illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.
- Genres are complex and diverse in terms of music video style and iconography
- Record companies will demand a lot of close-ups of the main artist or vocalist. Videos allow artists to present and modify their 'Star Image' to the public.
- Voyeurism is present in many music videos, especially in the treatment of females, but also in terms of systems of looking. Some examples are screens within screens, cameras, mirrors, etc.
- There are likely to be intertextual references, either to other music videos or to films and TV texts; these provide further gratification and pleasure for the viewers/fans.

Please use these to get started with your music video analyses. It goes without saying that you will need plenty of screengrabs!

4. We will be completing some preliminary tasks to teach you a few skills in preparation for shooting and editing your own videos. The first one will take place this week. You will need to be ready on Wednesday to shoot a lipsynched song of your choice. You can work in groups of 3 groups of 2 or 3 groups of 2.
You must:
- bring the printed lyrics
- have learnt the song lyrics before the lesson
- bring any prop you might want to use.

Here are examples from previous years:

See you Wednesday in the media pod! I cannot wait.

Welcome Back! You are now A2 students.

Hey Guys, in preparation for your A2 studies I have listed a bunch of useful links for you to check out.

This is the range of music videos playlist, assembled for your perusal!
Range of Music videos

Simple videos that rely on lighting & a strong performance (some of these are in the above playlist)

One Take performance with an emphasis on lighting

Same artist as above utilising dance & shadows (black & white)

Classic performance video that inspired Miley Cyrus

An almost film noir look in this iconic video

Heavily reliant on performance

Using real subjects & scenarios along with performance

Simple + performance based This controversial song went viral & made the artist popular

Dance led video with interesting lighting

Good example of cutting to the beat -Dance led video using smart choreography & switches between colour (I challenge you count how many cuts!)

Lip sync by another performer

Innovative reverse video by Spike Jonze

Innovative one take performance video

Student examples

The following are screen shots from student videos in the past year that utilise good lighting


Split screen

Simple and effective lighting