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Monday, 22 November 2010

Creating cartoons

I have explained in earlier posts that I may be considering creating cartoon elements for my music video (inspired by Paula Abdul’s music video Opposites Attract), as I have included in my current album digipack and magazine cover.

The small orange hat wearing character that I created for my album digipack, I also want include in my music video. However, in the music video I want to create him appearing to play a horn to illustrate some of the horn motifs in the song.

This is what I achieved on the graphic design programme Serif Draw Plus.8…

As well being influenced by Paula Abdul’s music video, during the creation of this orange character of mine, I was partly inspired by the 80s advert for Kia-Ora (orange juice). The advert is a colourful and wacky cartoon animation.

Um Bongo is another 80s fruit juice drink with a similar advert.

I have also created a short animation of cartoon musical notes appearing on screen in time to the horn played in the song.


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Creating an animation

Here is the first animation I made for my music video. For my first shoot (as explained in my shot list post) I want to have my neon light picture from my digipack showing and when the music starts the camera appears to zoom into the blackness of the image.
Here I have made my first shot using the animation programme Serif Draw Plus. I have purposely made the animation a little jerky and wobbly, as it suits the quirky, upbeat theme of my music video. I myself am pleased with it and hopefully it will look great in my music video.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Feedback on Digipak from members of my target audience

Ryan's and Heidi's comments were useful, however after researching into my target audience,  I needed to get feedback from members of my actual target audience.

Therefore, I showed a few of my peers, who are like myself and are big fans of the 80s. These were two white teenage girls (Claire and Michelle), who in particular love Madonna, Rick Astley and Paula Abdul and one black teenage boy (Nathan) who prefers the New Jack Swing genre more, however is a huge fan of the 80s hits from Michael Jackson and Kid Creole and The Coconuts.

All of them said the vibrant colours on the front and inside cover were typical of the 80s and very eye catching. They also liked the use of the threshold effect which gave it a retro look and the use of Andy Warhol’s idea of the 3x3 square template. They also liked the neon light design I created placed on the inside.

However, they did say that there was still quite an amateur feel to it and they honestly admitted that they probably would not buy if it were on sale. Nathan suggested that perhaps I should re-consider putting the neon light design on my front cover as he thought it was a stunning image and it needed to be shown off. Michelle and Claire agreed with this.

Michelle said that she thought it was the back cover’s cartoon design just did not look right with the other images and she suggested that perhaps I should abandon the cartoons altogether.

This was some really valid feedback. It was important that I heard this from members of my target audience, as after I need to make my products marketable. I will make improvements on my digipak according to this feedback in the future.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Target AUDIENCE etc

The artificial, colourful 80s genre of my music video is different from the mainstream music videos we are seeing today. However, after doing my research, I have realised that I have elements in my music video that are not dissimilar to some modern and popular music videos.

Popular artists such as N-Dubz and JLS have tended to use more naturalistic colours in their music videos. However, I have found in some of their videos; the mise en scene is very surreal and unnatural and not dissimilar to the effect I am trying to achieve in my music video.

For example in JLS’ music video, Eyes Wide Shut, the group sing and dance in a heaven-like world. They are upon what seems to be a platform high up in the sky with many clouds in the background. There is a light brown/red filter on the camera giving the mise-en-scene a warm, comforting feel.
Screen shot from JLS' Eyes Wide Shut music video
I think music videos like this, which represent difference and a sense of ‘escaping the natural world’ gain more interest from audiences. Although I do not have the skills to create the amazing surreal world of Eyes Wide Shut, I am taking a similar approach with the use of the ‘threshold’ effect and bright colours to create an unnatural world in my video.

The use of the fantasy-like environment in Eyes Wide Shut is significantly symbolic and appropriate to the song. However, the colour effects I am using in my music video have really no symbolic elements, but they are relevant to the 80s genre and both visually powerful and entertaining. 

N Dubz’ music video for the song Took It All Away uses the popular Playstation 3 game, Little Big Planet (LBP) as their environment throughout the whole song. Each band member has their own LBP avatar created to resemble their real life appearance. The video is like a 3D cartoon animation.
Screen shot from N-Dubz' Took It All Away music video
I am considering adding elements of cartoon animation in my music video (originally inspired by the 80s music video Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul), because I think it is a creative and imaginative way of entering an unnatural world.

The reason I have looked at music videos by JLS and N-Dubz is that they have been considered as the modern ‘New Jack Swing.’  The New Jack Swing was the new black music genre of the late 80s/early 90s. Before its time, RnB and Hip Hop music were considered as two separate genres and songs would fit either in one or the other. However, the New Jack Swing combined these two genres, so songs would begin to have heavy hip hop beats with RnB/Soul vocals over the top. Some New Jack Swing songs had rapping in as well. 

My music video has got the typical colourful 80s appearance to it, however there are heavy influences of the New Jack Swing in it as well, such as the dancing (inspired by Bobby Brown ‘The King of New Jack Swing) and the costumes (partly inspired by New Jack Swing artists, MC Hammer and Guy). Also the track of ‘Summer Love’ is very typical of the New Jack Swing genre.
The people who like the urban artists of today (such as N-Dubz and JLS who combine RnB and Hip Hop together in their music) are likely to be part of my target audience. These people will most probably be young black males aged 15-25. Young black females of around the same age are likely to appreciate similar music, but they will probably be more attracted to the ‘boy bands’ such as JLS. The ‘boy band’ image is something that is not apparent in my music video.

People who appreciated the music of the New Jack Swing era will also be part of my target audience. These are likely to be black youths (both male and female) of the time who are now aged around 30-40.
Popular New Jack Swing artists

Because of the 80s influences, as well as the New Jack Swing influences, in my music video, people who appreciated the synthesizing, manufactured sound of the 80s are also likely to be part of my target audience. The track ‘Summer Love’ is very much in the New Jack Swing style and there are clear 80s influences apparent in the song.

People who like the music of Rick Astley, Paula Abdul, Madonna and Queen (although they were more ‘pop rock,’ their worldwide successful song in 1984, Radio Gaga was mimicking the 80s sound), are also likely to be part of my target audience. These artists’ style was very pop-like and because of the genre, the music probably appealed more to a white audience. Michael Jackson was one of the few black artists of the 80s who really entered the pop genre in his music; however he still attracted largely a white audience. This group of people are likely to have been teens in the 80s, therefore are probably now aged around 35-45. However, I think this particular group of people will be more female dominated, as a lot of women were head over heels in love with both Rick Astley and Michael Jackson and also a lot of them were heavily influenced by the style of Paula Abdul and Madonna.

Queen's Radio Gaga
Finally, people who are now in their teenage years and appreciate ‘retro’ music (like myself) are also going to be part of my target audience. I discovered a lot of 80s and New Jack Swing hits from the incredibly popular Playstation 2 games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (GTAVC) and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTASA).

GTA: Vice City fictional Radio Presenters
GTAVC is set in early 80s Miami. Nearly all the vehicles you can drive in the game have a radio, and the player can choose from nine radio stations to listen to. The music of course is all hits of the early 80s, from artists such as Queen, Michael Jackson, Kool and the Gang etc. From various forums on the Internet, I have discovered that a lot of young people in my age range have grown fond of 80s music due to GTAVC.

I also grew fond of the New Jack Swing from GTASA. The fictional radio station, CSR 103.2 on the game is dedicated to the New Jack Swing, and plays songs from artists such as Bobby Brown, Guy and Boyz II Men. This too will have undoubtedly had some influence on the music tastes of the young people playing this game.

GTA: San Andreas' fictional Radio Stations

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Costume Research

Here are some images of the 80s and New Jack Swing fashions that have helped me choose the costumes for my music video.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Music Video Animatic and Shot List

Shot 1 – Summer Love neon light picture, music begins and the camera zooms into blackness.
Shot 2 – Zooms out of the blackness to reveal a close up shot of en electric drum kit – we see the hands playing the drum kit.
Shot 3 – Close up side shot of main protagonist tugging their jacket collar
Shot 4 – Close up of feet tapping to the beat
Shot 5 – Close up of hand tapping the side of their leg
Shot 6 – Silhouetted dancer doing a move
Shot 7 – An animation of music notes appearing to the beat of the horn
Shot 8 – Tracking shot from behind the drummer
Shot 9 – Animation of cartoon dancers doing moves to the beat of the horns
Shot 10 – Long shot of dancer pulling a move
Shot 11 – Split screen – Left: Long shot of three dancers performing the routine. Right: Close-Up of Protagonist lip syncing to words
Shot 12 – Mid –shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 13 – Long shot of three dancers
Shot 14 – Split screen again
Shot 15 –Moving shot of protagonist lip-syncing
Shot 16 – Close Up of a random person (probably one of the dancers) taking a sip from a colourful looking cocktail
Shot 17 – Long shot of three dancers (from the side)
Shot 18 – Long Shot of dancers (from the front)
Shot 19 – Close up of an eye opening up
Shot 20 – Girl with cocktail winking at the camera
Shot 21 – Close-Up of somebody dressed up in summer gear over doing the lip-syncing
Shot 22 – Dynamic moving shot of the drummer
Shot 23 – Summer gear dressed person having a smile (close-up)
Shot 24 – Long shot of two silhouettes pulling a move
Shot 25 – Close – up of foot tap
Shot 26 – Close – Up of someone pulling down some shades
Shot 27 – Long shot of solo silhouette doing a fancy move
Shot 28 – Mid shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 29 – Front and long shot of three dancers
Shot 30 – Moving shot of drummer
Shot 31 – Long shot of someone doing a cool move
Shot 32 – Front and long shot of three dancers
Shot 33 - Long shot of someone doing a cool move
Shot 34 – Close up of a girl blowing a kiss to the camera
Shot 35 – Shot of colourful cocktail surrounded by fruit
Shot 36 – Shot of girl drinking cocktail
Shot 37 – Close up of someone laughing at camera
Shot 38 – Shot of dancing feet
Shot 39 – Side silhouette of someone lip syncing
Shot 40 – Mid-long shot of someone with lyrics appearing at their side
Shot 41 – Mid shot of the person shrugging, the lyrics have disappeared
Shot 42 – Angled (Tilt) shot of three dancers
Shot 43 – Once again side shot of silhouette lip-syncing
Shot 44 – Shot of dancing feet
Shot 45 – Angled (Tilt) shot of three dancers
Shot 46 – Close up of eyes putting on shades
Shot 47 – Animation of moving with words saying, ‘They know it’s time for…’
Shot 48 – Slow motion – hands come together to make a heart shape
Shot 49 – Split screen once again of dancers and protagonist lip syncing
Shot 50 – Close up of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 51 – Numerous shots fill up the screen and then ‘Summer Love’ appears in the middle of the screen
Shot 52 – Shot of dancing feet
Shot 53 – Side silhouette lip syncing
Shot 54 – Long shot of dancing silhouette
Shot 55 – side silhouette lip syncing
Shot 56 – Moving shot of drummer
Shot 57 – Long shot of drummer not playing drum kit – just posing
Shot 58 – Close up of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 59 – Lyrics appear on screen
Shot 60 – Mid long shot of someone lip-syncing
Shot 61 – Close up of funky writing on piece of paper
Shot 62 – Close up of summer dressed person lip syncing
Shot 63 – Animation of the lyrics ‘It’s a blast’
Shot 64 – Long shot of someone doing a cartwheel
Shot 65 – Mid shot of someone nodding their head to the beat
Shot 66 – Close Up of dancing silhouette
Shot 67 – Close Up of drummer playing
Shot 68 – Close Up of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 69 – Long shot of someone lying down on a deck chair raising a glass
Shot 70 – Mid close up of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 71 – Close up of silhouette lip syncing
Shot 72 – Close up of one of the three dancers
Shot 73 – Mid long shot of someone doing over the top dancing and lip syncing
Shot 74 – Lyrics appearing on screen
Shot 75 – Long shot of silhouette holding a pose
Shot 76 – Moving shot of drummer
Shot 77 – Mid shot of someone lying in the deck chair looking chilled
Shot 78 – Extreme close up of someone laughing
Shot 79 – Extreme close up of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 80 – Mid long shot of three dancers
Shot 81 – Moving shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 82 – Close up of hands playing drums
Shot 83 – Close up of hand tapping side of leg
Shot 84 – Long shot of dancer
Shot 85 – Long shot of silhouette dancer
Shot 86 – Animation shot of musical notes
Shot 87 – Moving shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 88 – Close up of girl blowing a kiss
Shot 89 – Close of foot tapping to the beat
Shot 90 – Moving shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 91 – Close up of deck chair person chilling
Shot 92 – Moving shot of drummer
Shot 93 – Shot of dancers feet
Shot 94 – Close up of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 95 – Multiple, random shots appear on screen to the beat
Shot 96 – Long shot of drummer
Shot 97 – Mid long shot of silhouette dancer
Shot 98 – Mid-long shot of drummer
Shot 99 – Close up of three dancers
Shot 100 – Long shot of three dancers disappearing and fading at random places on screen to the beat of the music
Shot 101 – Picture of the album image
Shot 102 – close up of hand tapping against the side of the leg
Shot 103 – Long shot of silhouette dancer
Shot 104 – Shot of foot tapping to beat
Shot 105 – close of hands playing drums
Shot 106 – Tracking shot of drummer
Shot 107 – From the side, long shot of dancers
Shot 108 – Close up of hand holding cocktail
Shot 109 – Close up of summer dressed person
Shot 110 – Close up of fruit
Shot 111 – Animation of people dancing
Shot 112 – Long shot of dancer
Shot 113 – Mid shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 114 – Split screen of protagonist and dancers
Shot 115 – Mid shot of two silhouettes posing
Shot 116 – Moving shot of protagonist lip syncing
Shot 117 – Long shot of three dancers