Friday, 30 September 2011

Focus Group Feedback

Recently I presented my ideas to the rest of my class. I explained my ideas of using the woods and a sinister story-line and then how, through the lyrics, I thought of using a stalker. We also re-played the song so they could listen and even played it over the start of 'Winter Stalker'.

Here are a few suggestions that people made:
  • Include lip-syncing in the form of writing and mouthing the lyrics - possibly writing a letter.
  • Using black blood instead of red blood - could prevent it become clich├ęd.
  • Keep the idea of Kristie running through the forest.
  • Whilst some agreed with the video being sinister, a couple of people questioned this.
  • The best suggestion and idea I was given was whether the stalker should be male or female.
I found the discussion really useful, as a first form of audience feedback. I was also intrigued by the idea of using another female as the 'stalker' character so I would like to look into it more.

    'Stalker' Inspiration

    Whilst looking for some inpsiration I came accross this video on Vimeo:

    The Winter Stalker from Stephen Reedy+ZerofriendsFilms on Vimeo.

    'The Winter Stalker' is an extremely creepy short holiday horror film by Stephen Reedy and Alex Pardee. When I started watching it I actually found it very scary! Obviously the end is completely different, but I love some of the shots included. I also really like the low key lighting and the mix of slow motion and normal paced shots.

    I even tried playing my track over the beginning of the video and it went really well! This has convinced me to change my idea slightly to a concept of the girl being 'stalked'.

    Idea Developments

    When I looked over my first idea again, I found that it sounded much too cliche, so I went back to the lyrics! After I read them through  a few times I tried to think of some slightly different ideas.

    Eventually I recognised some lyrics as almost 'idolising' the subject of the song. For example;
    "I see your blood is liquid light"

    "Your teenage eyes"

    "Your glittering gut parts to the dawn"

    Not only do these lyrics create great imagery, they also highlight some aspects that I would like to make key in my video, especially the age and innocence of Kristie. This gave me the concept of her being 'stalked' by another person.

    First Concept/Narrative Idea

    I came up with the idea of Kristie running/exploring in the forest (loads of opportunities for different shots). Every now and then she turns around and laughs/smiles at camera -- but within these shots there is a flashback/forward (the audience don't know) of her running terrified... kind of like a graphic match of her two expressions.

    She finally runs to this odd, run down hut thing (it's in the forest near my house) and goes inside. She finds a piece of broken mirror (referred to in the lyrics) and picks it up. When she looks in it, her reflection has blood all over her face.

    She touches her face but there is no blood. As she goes to leave, she sees a girl and a scary figure (haven't decided what he looks like yet) struggling and watches from inside the hut. She witnesses the man kill the girl and leave, so she runs to help the girl. As she does so she drops the piece of mirror.

    She runs to help the girl, but when she arrives at the place she doesn't find a body, just an identical piece of mirror to the one she dropped. She looks in it once again and sees blood on her face, and the audience see the reflection of the scary man standing behind her. He mouthes the last lyrics "Baby you're never gonna let it go" just as the song finishes.

    Wednesday, 28 September 2011

    Ideas and Developments

    So far I have decided a few things:

    • I would like the video to be sinister.
    • I would like to have some lyrics/visual relationships.
    • I want a young woman to be featured in the video, as the main focus.
    • I will feature some lip-synching from a male.
    • I will use the forest as a main location for the video.
    With regards to casting my artist/girl I already have people in mind. For the male artist, who will be doing the lip syncing I would like to use my brother, James. 

    I have asked a friend, Kristie, to play the part of a girl. She is 14 and has done some professional modelling. She has the perfect look I was picturing for my video. This also means she will be good at taking direction and look great on a digi-pack and magazine advert.

    Tuesday, 27 September 2011

    Looking for a Location

    As I live fairly close to the forest, I walked up there to take a few photographs of possible filming locations for my music video.

    There is this really great ruined hut in the forest which I would love to incorporate into my video too!

    Friday, 23 September 2011

    Texts Featuring Forests

    After the initial inpiration of using the woods and forest in my music video, I wanted to do some research into other music videos, adverts and films which feature this location.

    This music video is for the band HEALTH's song "We Are Water". Although it's incredibly gory and very sinister I do quite like the video. I am especially attracted to the lighting and the use of slow motion. Another aspect I find really interesting is the visible snow/particles falling through the air... it almost adds a sense of calm to the horrific scene.

    This is a trailer for the 2007 horror film "Shrooms". I have watched the film a few times and they manage to make the woods look really, really creepy. This is possibly down to the mist that is present in a lot of scenes in the forest.

    Paramore's music video for 'Decode' is set in the forest for both the concept part and the performance part of the music video. I especially love the tracking shots which are sped up, it creates a really sinister but interesting effect; especially when the camera dodges the trees! It also features clips from the film 'Twilight'.

    I found this music promo on Vimeo. It is for a band called Black Black Hills and there is a really interesting paragraph below the video which tells you what the director's inspiration was. This is what they said:
    "The outcome of our efforts was a unique take on the idea of a modern gothic thriller. A story that combines the sort of imagery familiar to ancient folklore, pagan-esque ceremonies and the creepy stuff of ‘pulp literature’ style ghost stories. ‘The Celebration’ purposefully sets out to embrace the notion of a ‘British Mythology’. To create a contemporary fable that celebrates the mystifying forces of nature which lie deep within the ancient woodland and forests of rural England."
    I really like the idea of using ghost stories and the local area to create a music video!

    I also remembered seeing this advert on television a few months ago. It's for a newly opened ride at Alton Towers "TH13TEEN". A very scary advert to be shown on television if you ask me! The slogan is "If you go down to the woods today, you better not go alone" which I'm sure people would obey after seeing the advert. Again the use of fog in the forest and high contrast creates very sinister silhouettes and outlines of the trees against the grey sky. The black branches also create a strong contrast with the girl's white dress and pale skin, like a battle between good and evil.

    Thursday, 22 September 2011

    First Impressions and Inspiration

    After listening to my song a number of times and looking at the lyrics, I really got a feel for something very sinister going on. For some reason it reminded me of someone running through the woods from something or someone. Therefore, I decided to research music videos and other texts inspired or set in forests.
    I came across these photographs by Tim Simmons. I found it especially interesting to see all of the light variations you can acheive in the forest. The setting can either look really peaceful or incredibly sinister, but dream-like at the same time. I think that using the forest as a location could create some great lighting opportunities.

    Lyrics for My Song

    You're blessed by God my love
    Nothing can stop you from your shine

    Your skin is glass my love
    I see your blood is liquid light

    Well i'm in you, I'm who you are
    I lead an army right inside
    Your teenage eyes

    Waiting for you my love
    It's time for us to go to war
    Get up, get dressed my love
    Don't miss your chance to be a star
    A nova star

    Why don't you let it fly
    Your glittering gut parts to the dawn
    Like a rainbow, a rocket doll
    Riding the catwalk
    'Til the dawn

    You run too fast my love
    I can hear a crack inside your bones
    See all the rats my love
    Come flooding out of your headphones

    Well I'm in you, I'm who you are
    I lead an army right inside
    Your secret thoughts

    Why don't you let it fly
    Your glittering gut parts to the dawn
    Like a rainbow, a rocket doll
    Riding the catwalk
    'Til the dawn

    It's all right!

    Don't be afraid my love
    Give it to me your body loud
    It's not too late my love
    Why don't you shout your body loud

    Oh Oh it's you, playing with the muss now
    Singing in the snow
    Baby you're never gonna let it go
    Lick oof your mirror, breaking apart
    Free all your lions
    Baby you're never gonna let it go.....

    The lyrics for my song create some really great imagery in my head, although the lyrics are quite strange. At the moment I think my video needs to be quite sinister, featuring a young woman who is vulnerable and innocent.

    Wednesday, 14 September 2011

    Goodwin's Theory of Music Videos

    1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.
    Each genre holds it's own characteristics which we use to define them as being in one genre. For example Many heavy metal and rock music videos feature stage performances such as Slipknot's video for 'The Nameless'.

    2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals.
    There is a similarity or direct contrast with what is shown in the video and the lyrics of the song.

    3. There is a relationship between the music and visuals.
    The visuals in the video may be edited in time to the beats or rhythm of the song. An example is the opening to 'Empire State of Mind' by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

    4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artists.
    Ultimately record labels want to sell their artists and the best way of doing this (especially with female artists) is to show them throughout the video, usually in a provocative fashion. A great 
    example is many of Rihanna's music videos.

    5. The artist may develop motifs which reoccur across their work (a visual style).
    You may recognise certain characteristics throughout a number of the artist's music videos. This may be shown with their dress, attitude, gestures or camera work, editing and lighting. A lot of music artist's videos are directed by the same person each time.

    6. There is frequently reference to notion of looking.
    Often shown with screens within screen, looking through telescopes. Also and most commonly, the voyeuristic treatment of the female body (above). 

    7. There is often intertextual reference.
    Sometimes you will recognise the lyrics or visuals referring to another text within it. The reference to Rebecca Black's 'Friday' in Katy Perry's video for 'Last Friday Night' is a great example, as well as the appearances from other celebrities.