Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Evaluation Task 1
Evaluation Task 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
With our music video we aimed to develop on the well established conventions associated with the dance/DnB genre. many other media product try and do the same ending up pushing the boundaries of the genre and expanding the audience.
Whilst researching by looking at current artists and pioneers of the genre, such as The Prodigy, Pendulum, Chase & Status, Deadmau5, Squarepusher and Netsky (to name but a few), we learnt that all the aforementioned artists had a lot more in common by means of presentation than they did with artists of radically different genres.
For example and are two different genres, and you realise that instantly as you arrive each one. I don't want to get too into websites just yet as it was one of our ancillary tasks that I will be talking about later, but the two websites fit into their gerne stereotypes.
Music Video

The video above is one I found after we had made our video, but just goes to show how well we did with creating a video that fits into the Dance/DnB genre. A person awakes after a night of partying, goes about his day as a music producer, takes (what we assume to be) an mind altering substance, notices the effects and goes to another party.
The moment I saw this video I was stunned with how similar it was to ours and to “The Prodigy- Smack my bitch up”, this is probably because they were clearly influenced by The Prodigy - Smack my Bitch up and so were we. Whilst the above is almost a complete copy of The Prodigy's, ours deviates away more to the effects of the hallucinogenic I have supposedly taken.

The first video I watched to research the conventions of the genre was The Prodigy - Smack my Bitch Up.
This video was amazing at challenging gender stereotypes whilst at the same time perfectly conforming to dance genre stereotypes with a great final twist where the audience find out that the main character is female.. You go through the whole video not realising it was a female lead role right until the end, but the video is full of alcohol, bars, bright colours, partying and drugs. I wanted to create this sudden moment of realisation in our own music video, and did so by having him regain consciousness on the snooker table we see at the start. I didn't want this to be an "it was all a dream" type ending, so we included some flash ups after it had all finished to give the impression that although all he had just been through was a "trip" he was still under the effect of the drugs.

We have 4 members to our group, Jack, Louis, Sam and myself. This would be unusual in the Dance/DnB genre as most artists are males in their 20's and 30's. This is very much a niche in the market. Most bands that consist of young males are ones in completely different genres, such as The Wanted, or JLS. Most artists in our genre are solo, so that the music they create is their own and not influenced by anyone else, by being a band in this genre we are breaking one of the biggest conventions that confine the genre.

With our video we decided to incorporate the hallucinogenics as it is commonplace in the genre of (although not limited to) dance music to have drug references.
Along with the Deadmau5 video and the Prodigy video there are these:

The Shamen - Ebeneezer Goode 
This video gave us the idea to use unnatural movement and camera angles to show my state of mind isn't quite right.

Pendulum- Crush

Although this video doesn't reference drug taking, it does show an altered state of mind where the lead role can't come to terms with what he has done (killed his girlfriend for possibly cheating on him) and believes he is still seeing her when in actual fact she isn't there. We incorporated this into our film by means of the clone. Only my character can see the clone of himself which is bent on killing him and it represents his inner self who knows what he is doing (drugs) is wrong, and the clone (imaginary/mental) trying to destroy the actual physical presence (Ben) of doing it.

Squarepusher - Come on my Selector (edited in

This music video shows brilliant use of editing to the beat, something we incorporated in our music video. Most of the shots are no longer than a second or two, which gives a very fast, lively, exciting and action-y feel, perfect for the break beat genre (a subgenre of dance).

The idea for Sam and Daniel to wear a mask came to me from our original plan to use costumed characters, as Louis found a video by Aphex Twin (Richard James) called Donkey Rhubarb where Richard is dressed in a huge bear suit.another infulence is the film 'V for vendetta' where the main character V always wears a white mask. 

When we tried to make a matching shot film form Example- Kick start we all looked into the remix of it. This  music video by Example - Kickstarts (Dubstep Remix), in which a man and woman are being chased relentlessly by a gang. It was these two concepts that I merged together to get our idea of giving Sam the mask and my character being chased by his clone.

Additional Points and Theory 

Loftus's Theory - Weapon Focus
One of the theories we encorporated into our film was Loftus's theory on weapon focus. This theory stated that when a weapon was in the scene, people would focus most of their attention on that, rather than looking at the scene as a whole. The scene this effect is most noticeable in is the POV shot from Ben's perspective when the clone is walking in through the door. During filming we had accidentally filmed Ben a certain distance from the camera, and in the next shot, he was standing a lot closer. I hid this with an effect where he "fuzzes" out and then back in, as if he has teleported closer. This was a very quick job on the effect as I didn't have time to mask all the way around Ben, I just drew a garbage mask around him. But with people looking mainly at the gun, the shoddyness of the effect goes un-noticed. 

Todorov's Theory of Narrative Equilibrium
Todorov stated: "Stories begin with an equilibrium or status quo where any potentially opposing forces are in balance. This is disrupted by some event, setting in chain a series of events. Problems are solved so that order can be restored to the world of fiction."

If we apply this to our story, we begin with a natural equilibrium. Ben wakes up from the party but isn't any worse for wear. He then takes the hallucinogenic (the disrupting event). The chain of events that follow is Ben being chased by his clone. Then equilibrium is restored when the trip finishes and Ben regains consciousness on the table.
By using visual effects we were able to make it easy for the audience to suspend their belief. We could show Ben, and a Clone of Ben at the same time without it looking fake, just by using After Effects to layer two separate videos and create one video with a high level of verisimilitude.

Goodwin's Theory - Music Videos as a form
With knowledge of Goodwin's theory that the lyrics of a song should be represented in a film, we incorporated this by every time the word "Piranha" was heard, a cut was made, either to the dog or the mask. With the song having very few other lyrics other that the aforementioned and "teeth rip razor sharp, vice like power, tear you apart", it was nearly impossible for us to link any more than we did.

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