Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Filming - The Band Performance

When it came to filming my band performance I wanted the perfect location. Ideally I wanted to film it outside, but due to weather conditions and the difficulty of moving instruments outside, I decided that it would be much more sensible to film inside! This also meant more control of lighting, which - from watching Alternative Rock music videos - seems to be a crucial part of the performances.
There were two main music video's which influenced the type of lighting and shots I wanted to capture.

30 Seconds To Mars - Closer to the Edge

30 Seconds To Mars' music video for Closer to the Edge particularly inspired my choices of lighting and therefore the shots I wanted to capture. Although much of their performance was captured onstage, I wanted mine to be more of a 'studio' shoot. The first shot that really inspired my whole idea was

The complete darkness to begin with, then the lead singer's hand appears on the microphone, lit from the opposite side of the camera. As the singer steps up the the microphone, we can see the outline of his face and hair. It adds a sense of mystery to begin with, the identity of the singer is somewhat masked, yet the shot is beautiful and dark. I really wanted to create a shot like this, although not exactly the same. This meant that I would need some decent lights and a room that I could make as dark as possible! There was only one place I could really think of that was suitable - the school drama studio. As it already had proper lighting, was painted black and had black-out curtains. It also had a computer in it, which meant that I could play the track straight from it.
 Due to the build up of my track I wanted the performance to get more exciting throughout the video. It was decided that the band would all wear suits for the performance (luckily all of them owned one!). The performance would start of quite calm or 'chilled' and as the music built up, the guys would get more and more disheveled and sweaty. Of course, I didn't want them to get too worn out, as I wanted more than one take - so for the later parts of the performance I asked them to splash water onto themselves, so they appeared sweaty. I loved the effect the splashing water gave in the 30 Seconds to Mars video and wanted to achieve something similar. 

You Me At Six - If I Were In Your Shoes (Kerrang! Exclusive)

When it came to the kind of band shots I wanted to get I looked at a video of You Me At Six performing. I wanted to capture some different angles of both the performers and the instruments. Close-ups were a must of the band's faces and the instruments - especially hands and eyes!

The Set and Band
I was really pleased with how the filming for the band performance went! None of the boys are actually in a band, they're all from my class (with the exception of the drummer, my brother), but their performance was first class. It really helped that they all knew how to play their instruments as it made the performance so much more believable. Dan, the singer, was really busy with his own work in the lead up to filming, so he didn't manage to learn all the lyrics to my track. This was easy to overcome however, as I printed out the lyrics and stuck them to a white board in front of him. After a few rehearsals and test shots we just began. No one really knew how to properly use the lights but we managed to go crazy with them, whilst I was filming and this was extremely effective.

We took three takes initially of the whole song. I also filmed some of Dan on his own as he approached the microphone (30 Seconds to Mars style) from different angles. Once we'd filmed the first three takes, I asked the guys to go to the bathroom and splash water on their faces and we took a further three takes as well as individual takes of each performer. I am really pleased with the band's performance as they really got into it and used as much energy as possible without getting too worn out! Even I was getting worn out from trying to capture it all on camera! During and after filming I also made sure to take plenty of photographs of the band which would be used for my website.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Filming - The Narrative

Before Filming
After the changes to my narrative storyline, I realised that all of my footage could be filmed at Kristie's house. This means that I can drive to Kristie's whenever she has any free time such as after school and at weekends. Using her house as the location also means that costumes and props are easily available to us. For example, in the shots where Kristie is dressing up, we can go through her clothes to find appropriate outfits that fit my ideas.

Much of my footage would be filmed in Kristie's bedroom. Luckily it was large and light so I would be able to get different shots from different angles. I did worry that Kristie wouldn't have a large enough mirror for the shots I wanted to get, but it turned out that Kristie had a huge mirror opposite her bed! She also had lots of fashion magazines which I would need for my shots, so we spread these out on the bed in preparation for the first few shots. I also wrote a list of all the extra props I would need to take to Kristie's which included things like a set of weighing scales and a bag of chocolate.

After Filming
In all, I did several sessions of filming with Kristie. As most days I went after school, it didn't stay light for very long so these sessions were quite short. Kristie was perfect to work with. Before we started filming each time, I would explain what I wanted Kristie to do, or in some cases show her. She was really willing to do whatever I wanted, even when she had to do it over and over, so that I could get the right shots. Below are some of them:
Medium shot - Kristie infront of her bedroom mirror

Close up - looking out of her bedroom window

Medium shot - sitting on her bed with the magazines

Over the shoulder shot - brushing her hair in the mirror

Medium shot - in the kitchen

POV shot - on the scales

Close up shot - weighing food

Medium shot - magazine cut outs

Close up -  opening chocolates

Close up - crying (we dripped water down Kristie's face to create the tears)

Extreme close up - tears on magazine (I squeezed a tissue soaked in water to drip onto the magazine)

Close up - ripping magazines (I brought an old gossip magazine rather than using Kristie's)

Close up - clothes strewn over bathroom (we tidied up afterwards!)

Close up - Kristie fainting (I got Kristie to hold the camera in front of her face as she fell, to get a different but effective shot)