Year 1 Module BACM103

From Concept to Final Product (Music Video Test)

Today, we went from thinking of a concept for a music video from only looking at the lyrics and listening to the song once, to actually filming the whole video itself and finishing by 5 o’clock. Impressive!

We were given this task as a class, and each of us who were there were given roles. Jess and Ceri were the directors, Angus and James were the cinematographers/cameramen, Stephen and I were the grips and Harry was the camera operator. However, we all took part in actually performing in the video.


The song we were given:


The idea:

All of us pitched into the idea. After hearing the song, everyone pretty much had the same imagery in our heads: a nightclub, vivid colours, slowmotion, dancing. After we all spoke about this, Dejain showed us this video to to help us a bit more:

We did originally plan on doing a video very similar to this. However, we had to take into account time and eqiupment limitations. We discussed how we could have a someone with a camera and gimbal circling around a subject who would be dancing. We liked the idea of it being slow-mo, so we knew we would record in 50 FPS, and whoever would be dancing would have to dance in double speed. Although we did end up doing something similar to this during filming, we decided that doing this concept alone would become very boring after the first minute.

Instead, we took these ideas on board but expanded. We would have a slow-motion video of a club/rave. We would have multiple people dancing to give it this feel, we would have multiple angles and shots to make it more interesting, we would include the Gimbal idea but supplement this with shots of the dancer’s feet as they danced, the shadows that were created on the wall and friends chatting.


What we did

We set up three dedo lights and one kino flo. We set the kino flo to a vivid pink, and stuck different coloured gels over the dedo lights to add to the colours being created. We were aiming for the look of a night club. Since I was grip along with Stephen, I had to make sure the lights were doing what we intended, and this meant working closely with Angus and James who were testing how the set looked on the camera. Once the lights were set up, and the camera was ready to roll, we filled the room with smoke using the smoke machine. We then spent the rest of the day going through all the shots we needed. I had to leave my post as grip to be a performer in the video, and we had to do a lot of dancing! The camera was set to a shallow depth of field to help further the illusion of a club. All we could see was the smoke, lights and blurred images of people dancing. Perfect!

We did all the shots chronologically, which started with all of us dancing as the camera panned around and moved onto shots of our shoes as we danced. We then wanted shots of friend’s hanging out, so we moved the couch in the DMP room into the middle of the set. We finished off with the recording shadows created on the wall as people danced, and this required us to move the set around some more. We had to move the lights so they created harsher shadows, which meant basically moving all four so they were facing the performers and wall, instead of two being side on as was originally the case.


What I learnt

This was an incredibly valuable task, and it helped me understand some really important points.

Firstly, I now realise how long it takes to do video that is relatively simple. To actually film this, it took three hours. It’s great to have an idea of this now so I know what to expect when I come to film my own music video.

Secondly, it helped me understand the importance of commuciation, storyboarding and shot logging. At times, things were very much all over the place. Everyone was doing their own thing, and we didn’t know what our next shot would be after finishing one scene. It felt as if we were almost making it up on the spot, and this added to the confusion and to the time.

Thirdly, it’s really important for everyone to take a break. Neal kept telling us after every shot to take a five minute breather. To get out of the stuffy room, and gather yourself. This actually helped everyone a lot, and we ended up making more progress than we would of if we had no breaks; with the breaks, no one got frustrated and apart from the occasional confusion, everything ran smoothly. This is a good lesson to learn now before I work with performers in my music video.

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Year 1 Module BACM103

Other ideas I had for my Music Video

Over this whole period of planning my music video, I have had other ideas which I’ll put down below. I still might be able to utilise some of them, and other I can use in my own projects when we aren’t working towards a deadline.

Ideas for the song ‘Friend Please’:

  • Shadows that are in time with piano. Sun shining through trees over eye lids.

Idea based from the song ‘Migraine’:

  • Have a band playing in a forest, or out in the wild somewhere. They will be playing in front of the same set up is in the end of the ‘Migraine’ video. Then, copy this set up to a studio. You hear the studio sounds in the forest: “Quiet on the set! We are going for a take…” band members are looking up at the trees etc.
  • When someone shouts “cut”, as the song ends, we cut back to the studio looking at a guy with headphones and a clipboard. “Was that good?” asks the lead singer. ‘Alright, that was great. Get the next band in’. Current band gets pushed off by security.
  • Opening shot could be the sun on eyes, creating the shadows intertwined with light. This puts the band there, when the lead singer opens his eyes in the forest. 
  • Can have a greenscreen/fake background. Could film wilderness myself, and project it. Band could bump into the greenscreen on the way out.
  • This concept could show where a band goes when they’re playing music.

Ideas for ‘E N T E R T A I N’ remix of  ‘Holding onto You’:

  • Dark, dusty room. Instruments are playing themselves. As vocals kick in, camera pans towards singer who appears from nowhere. When vocals switch, first singer disappears, second singer appears
Year 1 Module BACM103

‘Medicine’ – Music Video Idea (Final Idea)

Medicine Lyrics

I am a sculptor / In all but name/

I find a beauty / Then take too much away/

 

Please call the doctor / I’m not the same/

I need some medicine / To numb the pain/

I fear the worst until things turn out ok/

I found the right path /

And now I pave my way

 

/ I’ve been here once or twice

/ But things are different this time

/ I carve my heart out of ice

/ With every word that I write

/ We walk around in the night

/ She falls asleep by my side

/ Until we wake up in the light

/ And see the truth in our eyes

/ There is a string on my heart

/ She pulls it down like a blind

/ That plunges me into dark

/ Then lifts me up to the light

/ There’s more to see from this height

/ She’s got her hand locked in mine

/ As soon as we fall asleep

/ She starts to wake in my dreams

 

/ We fall asleep in the light

/ And we wake up in the night

/ It’s like medicine

The lyrics seem to talk of a bad relationship/break up, so my idea will be based around this.


Concert scenes:

I can’t really storyboard these scenes out meticulously as I am only going to have a maximum of two chances to film the band playing, and only one chance if they can’t play the full song during the sound check. Moreover, it will be a busy pub and I won’t get a chance to visit the venue beforehand, so I can only make assumptions of what it’ll be like from pictures online.

For these scenes, all I can do is go with rough ideas of what kind of shots I want; apart from that, I have to go with the flow and adapt if necessary.

List of shots:

  • I want this whole segment to have a distorted feel and I feel like this will match the vibe I’m getting from the song. Therefore, wide-angle may be the only lenses needed for this, particularly for close-ups. Perhaps a fisheye lens could be used as well.
  • First of all, I want some shots of the band setting up their equipment and testing their instruments. In post, I will add the ‘buzzing’ sound of a guitar amp being tuned, along with other sounds such as people chatting etc.
  • Wide-angle shots of the stage.
  • Up-close wide-angle shot of the lead singer singing; this will create an interesting shot that feels distorted.
  • Steadicam shot moving through the stage, around the band whilst they play their instruments.
  • I want shots up close of the lead singer’s hands and guitar as he plays the guitar solos.

Acted out scenes:

Establishing wide-angle shot.

There’s an ill-looking guy sitting alone on a rocking chair in a white room. He’s rocking back and forth slowly. We hear sounds coming from a TV.

Camera switches to a shot from behind.

In front of him is an old TV. He’s flicking through boring programs.

Camera switches to a close-up wide-angle shot of his face.

He’s lifeless. He’s passing time. We hear the TV channels switching in the background. He stops.

Camera switches to a shot from behind.

On the TV, we see a live band setting up their equipment. They start playing. For the 46 second intro of the song, we very slowly pan towards the TV.

Cut to the band itself playing live. Wide-angle close up of singer singing.

We see the lead singer singing the lyrics ‘I am a sculptor / In all but name/ I find a beauty / Then take too much away/’. He finishes these lyrics at 59 seconds. We see him playing the guitar solo, and we have interchanging shots of singer, the band and the venue until the lyrics start again at 1:44. We see the singer about to start singing again, but cut.

Cut back to a distant front shot of the ill-looking guy in his rocking chair.

He’s sat like Daniel Day Lewis from ‘My Left Foot’. He looks ill. The camera slowly pans towards him as he murmurs the lyrics ‘Please call the doctor / I’m not the same/ I need some medicine / To numb the pain/ I fear the worst until things turn out ok/ I found the right path / And now I pave my way’.

During this, on the white wall behind him we see a projector start projecting video of his past relationship. Happy times.

*These lyrics finish at 2:08. At 2:19 in the song, we start to hear whispering. The whispering stops at 2:53.*

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Intercut close-up wide-angle shots from the right and left when whispering segment of song starts.

He’s in discomfort. He’s shutting his eyes hard. He’s moving his head around. He trying to forget.

We cut to the images being projected by the projector.

The happy times have turned dark. There’s arguments, fighting, a break up. When the whispering stops at 2:53, a guitar solo begins to close out the song. At this point, we cut to another shot.

Intercutting shots of the band playing live, the ill guy and the projections during guitar solo.

Close-up shots of band, with the lead singer playing his guitar solo.

Close-up wide-angle shots of the guy. He’s in a lot of discomfort at this point.

Shots of the projections.

All these things start to intercut even faster as the guitar solo goes on.

Cut to a shot just of the guy

The second the song finishes, he’s clicks. He’s back to normal. Sat up straight.

Cut to shot of a guy in a white coat. The lights are blinding. You can’t see his face.

“Next patient!”

Relationship/break up scenes:

Again, this is something else I feel I can’t meticulously storyboard. I know I want multiple scenes of the couple in love, and multiple scenes of the couple breaking up. I also know these scenes will take place in the same white room the ill-guy is sitting in.

In terms of actual shots, it’s something I’ll most likely decide on the day. However, I don’t think they can be too complex since we’ll only see them in the projections during the actual video. Therefore, stable wide angle and close-up shots is what I’ll be aiming for.

 

Year 1 Module BAIS300

Perfume Advert Sound Effects

Ceri has come up with the best Synthwave song, and I think we’ll be going ahead with that for the perfume advert. However, the horror aspect still needs to be covered, and this will be best covered in the other aspect of sound design: sound effects. Therefore, I’d like to look into what sound effects might work for the perfume advert, taking the ‘location’ the perfume advert is set in into account.

Here’s my list:

  • Wind sound effects

The advert takes place in an abandoned circus tent, so I think this will work. You would hear the wind howling and whistling, with sounds of the tent flapping in the wind.

  • Rain and thunder

Perhaps we hear rain tapping on the tent. We could also consider using the sound of thunder. In a lot of horror films, you hear thunder and then see a flash of light, and in that brief second see something horrific. Perhaps this could be an opportunity to apply this to one of our scenes in the advert?

  • Faltering light

Maybe some of the lights we include inside the video can be glitching. Again, in horror films we see light bulbs faltering but we also hear them faltering. In our storyboard, we spoke of strobing lights. Perhaps this could be an opportunity to use some creepy sound effects such as a faltering/buzzing light bulb.

  • Footsteps

This is an obvious one, but there are two characters in the advert. Going back to the basics of creepy footsteps will add to the atmosphere.

  • Whispering

Again, seeing as there are two characters we could include whispering. Perhaps we could add a slight echo to this whisper.

Year 1 Module BACM103

Crop factor – EF-S v EF Lenses

So, since doing my research on lenses earlier I’ve made some important discoveries with Ceri.

Two types of cameras:

There’s two types of cameras: full frame and APS-C. Cameras with full frame sensors have a size of a 35mm film frame – 36mm x 24mm. The Canon APS-C sensor is a smaller 22.3mm x 14.9mm. The field of view is smaller when using the same lens on an APS-C format camera than it would be on a full frame camera. In other words, Canon APS-C cameras have a 1.6x crop factor.

Full-Frame-to-APS-C-Comparison-640x426

EF-S v EF

“Put simply, Canon EF-S lenses are designed solely for use on Canon APS-C DSLRs. Canon EF lenses are designed to work with full frame and APS-C DSLRs from Canon.” … “If a Canon EF-S lens were to be used on a full frame DSLR, it would produce heavy vignetting (the corners would be black) because the image circle produced by the lens is too small to cover the larger sensor. Canon EF lenses have been around since the film SLR days. They were designed to cover a 35mm film frame. Because EF lenses have a larger image circle, they will cover full frame sensors and APS-C sensors.” (Reagan, 2014)

What this means for me:

I have a Canon 600D, which has an APS-C sensor. As a result, I have to be aware that, although I can use both EF-S and EF lenses, images produced by EF-S lenses will be cropped due to the 1.6x crop factor.

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Cropped APS-C vs full-frame APS-H

References

Reagan, E. (2014). What is the Difference Between Canon EF and EF-S Lenses?. [online] Photography Bay. Available at: https://www.photographybay.com/2014/02/23/what-is-the-difference-between-canon-ef-and-ef-s-lenses/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

Year 1 Module BACM103

Lenses (Research)

During our session with Dejain on the 4th of March, I began to see how much of a difference lenses can make to your camera. The standard lens that comes with the Canon 600D doesn’t look that great compared to other lenses you can buy in its place the difference this makes to the quality of the camera really amazed me.

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The rest of this blog may seem like I’ve just spent ages copying and pasting and not anything else. That kind of is the case, but I have read through everything over and over, and the purpose of this blog is to really help me and give me a place I can refer back to everything so I don’t have to open four different web pages.

Lenses

Wide angle lenses capture a wider field of view than standard and telephoto lenses. They also distort distances along the z-axis, therefore making the images appear longer than they actually are. As a result, these lenses are great for establishing shots. Wide angle lesnes produce a deeper depth of field than a standard or telephoto lens, making them extremely useful for handheld scenes; you can set the lens to f4, put the focus wheel to infinity focus, and follow the talent without worrying about focus. Wide angle lesnes aren’t great for closeup shots as it will distort the actor’s face, however.

Standard lenses produces images that are very similar to what we see with our eyes, making it great for dialogue scenes. Unlike the wide angle lens, you can get up close as it doesn’t distort the view. They also create a nice shallow depth of field as the field of view is closer.

Telephoto lenses have a narrower field of view compared to the above two, plus they compress the space along the z-axis of the frame making the background appear closer to the foreground. Similiar to the wide angle lens, this lens also distorts the z-axis too and makes movement along that axis very fast. Because of the compressed feel the telephoto lens has, close-ups on human subjects make them look very flat. However, the shallow depth of field you can get with a telephoto lens can be very, very shallow; amazing for when you want to focus on a small area on an alreadu close-up object. For long shots, it’s recommended to use a wide lens, but telephoto lenses will compress the background which gives it a unique perspective.

Fast prime lenses

Aperture controls the amount of light that will hit the sensor or film. Aperture is measured in f-stops which is light divided by the diameter of the aperture and the widest it will open will be its classification for either being fast or slow. If it opens really wide (1.2, 1.8 etc) it will be classed as fast. Lenses that can only hit 3.3 and 5.6 are classed as slow.

A fast lens requires less light to register an image, whereas a slow aperture requires more light. Fast lenses cost more, but for DSLRs and filming they are essential else you’ll have to have a lot of lights for when it gets dark and you’ll be forced to increase the ISO which will make the images grainy.

Prime lenses have fixed focal lengths; 50mm is only going to stay at 50mm (no zoom.) This is preffered as prime lenses focus on image quality rather than the convenience that a zoom lens gives you.

Aperture

“A large aperture results in a large amount of background blur. A small aperture results in a small amount of background blur. In a dark environment – indoors, or at night – you will probably want to select a large aperture to capture as much light as possible.” (Photography Life, n.d.)

Aperture-Effect-on-Brightness

Depth-of-Field-Comparison-f4-vs-f32

Size-of-Aperture-Chart

Capture

 

ISO

“ISO is simply a camera setting that will brighten or darken a photo. As you increase your ISO number, your photos will grow progressively brighter. For that reason, ISO is a good tool to help you capture images in dark environments or be more flexible about your aperture and shutter speed settings. However, raising your ISO has consequences. A photo taken at too high of an ISO will show a lot of grain, also known as noise, and might not be usable. So, brightening a photo via ISO is always a trade-off. You should only raise your ISO when you are unable to brighten the photo via shutter speed or aperture instead (for example, if using a longer shutter speed would cause your subject to be blurry).” (Photography Life, n.d.)

ISO-brightness-chart

ISO-200-and-ISO-3200

When to use a low ISO:

“You should always try to stick to the lowest ISO (base ISO) of your camera, which is typically ISO 100 or 200, whenever you can. If there is plenty of light, you are free to use a low ISO and minimize the appearance of noise as much as possibly.” (Photography Life, n.d.)

“Optimally, you should always try to stick to the base ISO to get the highest image quality. However, it is not always possible to do so, especially when working in low-light conditions.” (Photography Life, n.d.)

When to use a high ISO:

“The bottom line is that you should increase the ISO when there is not enough light for the camera to capture a sharp, bright photo any other way” (Photography Life, n.d.)

iso
Stole this off Ceri!

What lens should I buy?

As a result of these past few camera and lens sessions with Dejain, I have realised that I need to invest into a new lens, or at the very least know what lens I want to use, ready for this music video.

It’s hard to know what I want right now as I still haven’t got an idea for my music video, but I am going to try break it down. First of all, I want the capability to be able to film in low light conditions, therefore I need a fast lens in other words, a lens with a low f-stop. Second of all, I want to have a wide field of view, so this would mean a lens bewteen 24mm and 35mm. However, I also wouldn’t mind looking into a standard prime lens, a common option being a 50mm. Thirdly, I have a budget. Right now, I’m not prepared to spend thousands of pounds, so they need to be cheap and good.

Therefore, I’ve narrowed it down to either a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens or a Canon EF-S 24 mm f/2.8 STM Lens. As I’m writing this, an opportunity to film a band during a concert for my music video has come up; therefore, I need to take this into consideration too. Indoor concerts are usually dim, with only the stage lights to illuminate the performers and crowd. As a result, a larger aperture will be needed, and I need to aim for “apertures in the f/1.2 to f/2.8 range” (Anon, 2019).  Both lenses I am looking at cover this, so we are all fine there.


References

Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.adorama.com/alc/what-is-the-best-lens-for-concert-photography [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

McGregor, U. (2013). The Best DSLR Filmmaking Lenses – Cinematography Tips. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=301&v=zGimVEpT0IA [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

McKinnon, P. (2017). What LENS should YOU BUY?!. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnMY1u7M90o [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

Park Cameras. (n.d.). 50mm Lenses Explained | Park Cameras. [online] Available at: https://www.parkcameras.com/50mm-lens [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

Photography Life. (n.d.). Understanding Aperture – A Beginner’s Guide. [online] Available at: https://photographylife.com/what-is-aperture-in-photography [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

Photography Life. (n.d.). Understanding ISO for Beginners – Photography Basics. [online] Available at: https://photographylife.com/what-is-iso-in-photography [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

Wexphotovideo.com. (2019). 10 Affordable Lenses for Canon Users | Wex Photo Video. [online] Available at: https://www.wexphotovideo.com/blog/buyers-guides/10-affordable-lenses-for-canon-users/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2019].

 

 

Year 1 Module BACM104

Pulling Focus & Depth of Field

In this session, we learnt more about aperature (f-stop) and how to control it to create either a shallow or a deep depth of field.

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Dejain set us a task to take two pictures one with a shallow depth of field and one with a deep depth of field – for five types of shots. These five types of shots were: long shot, mid shot, close up, extreme close up and establishing shot.


Pulling focus

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Dejain also showed us a really cool trick to save time on repeatedly having to adjust the camera for different actors. He got Steve, Angus and Reader to stand at different distances from the camera, and assigned them all a colour of tape (red for Stephen, blue for Angus and yellow for Reader.) He then adjusted the aperature to bring each person into to focus, and stuck a piece of corresponding tape on the correct settings for each person. This meant that all you had to do was twist the aperature and focus rings on the lens to where the tape was telling you to, and you’d find the correct settings straight away. Pretty useful!

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This session was personally very useful for me as I’m still learning the ropes in terms of cameras.