Year 1 Module BACM101

BACM101 Reflective Report (v2)

The power of Sound Design:

Task One: Sound Mixing and Design – Foley

Task Six: Produce a Soundtrack

Task Eight: Radio Play

I came onto this course with my interest firmly being on film, TV and videos – and I’d still say it still is my main interest – but surprisingly for me, Sound Design ended up being the area that interested me most during this semester.

The ‘Produce a Soundtrack’ task was definitely peaked my interest the most, and it was also the task which helped me learn the most about myself. Further research after completing this it led me to discovering genres completely new to me, and genres I absolutely love now: vaporwave and lo-fi. “Vaporwave is primarily defined by heavy use of sampling, layering, distortion, chopping, screwing, and invocation of ‘80s and ’90s culture” (Colton, 2017). Lo-fi is not too dissimilar: it literally is “a term suggesting poor sound quality, the opposite of ‘hi-fi’…” (Harper, 2014). Even more interestingly for me, these two genres have led to stylised videos that make use of VHS effects and 1980s retro grids to match with the retro sound of the music. There has been a rebirth of this kind of retro media, all stemming from albums such as ‘Far Side Virtual’, ‘Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1’, ‘Floral Shoppe’ and videos such as Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’. This new ‘a e s t h e t i c’ style is something I’ll be taking away from this task and applying in future projects. The vivid colours, retro looks and authentic vinyl sounds all appeal, and I’m very happy I found something new about my taste.

Although I found task six the most enjoyable, it was the Foley and radio play tasks that made me truly understand the importance of audio, something I was naïve to before. I learnt how Foley is something that the audience should only notice when it’s not there; it lifts a project to another level, yet still immerses the viewer enough to the point where it goes unnoticed. Moreover, I learnt about all the inventive ways you can recreate sound so it sounds like the original object; I actually got to do this during task one with party poppers! On a more extreme level, you can literally record a slow motion bullet with the “spout of a ’70s coffee percolator” (Chamberlin, 2018). The radio play task rounded it all off for me as it opened my eyes more to the storytelling power of sound. ‘The Revenge’ by Andrew Sachs opened up whole new possibilities for me as it wasn’t something I thought was possible. Taking Larry Sider’s advice on board, this task forced me think about the small details and how important it is to place yourself in the audience’s shoes. The effect audio can have on the viewer (whether it’s music or a Foley soundscape) was emphasised a lot during Larry Snider’s sessions, and I can see why now.

Example of a game being turned into a 1980s era retro video.
The Simpsons with a vaporwave touch.
An example of my work, based on the vaporwave style.
More of my work.
And more!
Floral Shoppe’ Album cover
Still from ‘Hotline Bling

Choreography, Space and Light:

Task Three: Edit together a short video segment – Choreography

Task Five: Stop Motion

Task Seven: ‘Do What You Do’

Choreography is something else I was bit naïve about before starting this course. I used to think that choreography was just do with the movement of people, but I was really interested to find out how it can apply to light/shadows and to camera – the latter being what interested me most. This was completely new to me, and I was able to explore this new interest with Jess when we used the dolly together on task three. I absolutely loved this, and it really helped me understand famous shots like the dolly zoom from ‘Jaws’ more. Moreover, using a dolly allowed me to explore the space of the shot, which helped me understand more about immersing the viewer within the scene, allowing the viewer “to feel a certain intimacy with a character, or feel more present in the scene” (Renée, 2017). Furthermore, I was also able to explore the space of the environment in the stop motion task. As opposed to focusing on what the camera was doing, we focused on what the set design was doing, which helped me learn even more about the possibilities of film and just what you can do to keep your work interesting.

On the flip side, the Aesop’s Fable video I did for task seven was a single static shot, so I had to think hard into what was happening in the shot to keep the attention of the viewer. Choreography played a big part of this video as a result, and I was able to convey the feelings of the subject using just my hands. Whilst task three and five opened my eyes up to different techniques that can keep your film interesting, task seven taught me more about resourcefulness and simplicity.

If I’m honest with myself, I didn’t explore lighting/shadows enough and it’s something I’ll challenge myself to do in the future.

Composition and Design:

Task Two: Image Making and Manipulation

Task Four: Produce a narrative based poster that “sells” a story

These tasks helped me consider composition for the first time ever, with task two specifically showing me how to construct images, using composition, to tell a story. I learnt about everything from shape, to pattern, to colour, to framing; and also how the rule of thirds can “produce images which are more engaging and better balanced” (Photographymad.com, n.d.). But I also learnt that this rule can be broken, with work by Wes Anderson being the perfect example. As a result of this task, I’ve started to consider the principles of composition every time I get my camera out now, so it is already something I’ve taken on board, and something I’d like to continue improving on in the future – I’d love to create a video that draws heavily on cinematography, combined with an atmospheric soundscape that shows the beauty of the things that go unnoticed to us on a daily basis.

Task four showed me how to design an image to capture the audience’s attention. I’m very interested in graphic design, especially artwork for book covers or adverts, and from doing this task I learnt a lot more about how to make something that is eye-catching. Moreover, both tasks combined showed me how you only need one image to sell a story, and how I can achieve that. I can now take this extra knowledge into the next book cover I produce!

References

Billington, A. (2016). Amusing Short Film ‘The Foley Artist’ Shows the Importance of Sound. [online] FirstShowing.net. Available at: https://www.firstshowing.net/2016/amusing-short-film-the-foley-artist-shows-the-importance-of-sound/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Chamberlin, B. (2018). Epic Sound – The Guide To Sound Effects. [online] Epicsound.com. Available at: https://www.epicsound.com/sfx/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Colton, S. (2017). Love in the Time of VHS: Making Sense of Vaporwave. [online] The Politic. Available at: http://thepolitic.org/love-in-the-time-of-vhs-making-sense-of-vaporwave/ [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Dix, P. (2016). Watch a Robotic Trump Destroy the World in Absurd Vaporwave Video. [online] Flavorwire. Available at: http://flavorwire.com/580673/watch-a-robotic-trump-destroy-the-world-in-absurd-vaporwave-video [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Francis Han, S. and Peters, D. (2016). Vaporwave: subversive dream music for the post-Internet age. [online] Vaporwave: subversive dream music for the post-Internet age | Editorial | Bandwagon – Live music, bands and concert guide for Singapore, Manila and Jakarta. Available at: https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/vaporwave-subversive-dream-music-for-the-post-internet-age [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Harper, A. (2014). Lo-Fi Aesthetics in Popular Music Discourse. Ph.D. Oxford.

Markowitz, D. (2018). 5 Vaporwave and Future Funk Tracks to Get You Ready for YUNG BAE. [online] Phoenix New Times. Available at: https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/music/5-vaporwave-tracks-to-prepare-you-for-yung-bae-at-valley-bar-10913771 [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Photographymad.com. (n.d.). Rule of Thirds | Photography Mad. [online] Available at: https://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/rule-of-thirds [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Renée, V. (2017). The Visual and Emotional Effects of Using Dolly and Zoom Shots in Your Film. [online] No Film School. Available at: https://nofilmschool.com/2017/02/visual-and-emotional-effects-using-dolly-and-zoom-shots-your-film [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Sachs, A. (1978). THE REVENGE BY ANDREW SACHS : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. [online] Internet Archive. Available at: https://archive.org/details/THEREVENGEBYANDREWSACHS [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

YouTube. (2012). Fastest Vertigo-shot: Jaws by Bill Butler (1975) HD. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbeXzJDYxS0 [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Bibliography

Billington, A. (2016). Amusing Short Film ‘The Foley Artist’ Shows the Importance of Sound. [online] FirstShowing.net. Available at: https://www.firstshowing.net/2016/amusing-short-film-the-foley-artist-shows-the-importance-of-sound/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Chamberlin, B. (2018). Epic Sound – The Guide To Sound Effects. [online] Epicsound.com. Available at: https://www.epicsound.com/sfx/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Colton, S. (2017). Love in the Time of VHS: Making Sense of Vaporwave. [online] The Politic. Available at: http://thepolitic.org/love-in-the-time-of-vhs-making-sense-of-vaporwave/ [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Dix, P. (2016). Watch a Robotic Trump Destroy the World in Absurd Vaporwave Video. [online] Flavorwire. Available at: http://flavorwire.com/580673/watch-a-robotic-trump-destroy-the-world-in-absurd-vaporwave-video [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Elias, D. (2018). GARY RYDSTROM talks “the little details” and the power of doing a good job on THE POST – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW. [online] Behind The Lens. Available at: http://behindthelensonline.net/site/interviews/interview-exclusives/gary-rydstrom-talks-the-little-details-and-the-power-of-doing-a-good-job-on-the-post-exclusive-interview/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Francis Han, S. and Peters, D. (2016). Vaporwave: subversive dream music for the post-Internet age. [online] Vaporwave: subversive dream music for the post-Internet age | Editorial | Bandwagon – Live music, bands and concert guide for Singapore, Manila and Jakarta. Available at: https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/vaporwave-subversive-dream-music-for-the-post-internet-age [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Harper, A. (2014). Lo-Fi Aesthetics in Popular Music Discourse. Ph.D. Oxford.

Markowitz, D. (2018). 5 Vaporwave and Future Funk Tracks to Get You Ready for YUNG BAE. [online] Phoenix New Times. Available at: https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/music/5-vaporwave-tracks-to-prepare-you-for-yung-bae-at-valley-bar-10913771 [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Photographymad.com. (n.d.). Rule of Thirds | Photography Mad. [online] Available at: https://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/rule-of-thirds [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Renée, V. (2017). The Visual and Emotional Effects of Using Dolly and Zoom Shots in Your Film. [online] No Film School. Available at: https://nofilmschool.com/2017/02/visual-and-emotional-effects-using-dolly-and-zoom-shots-your-film [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Sachs, A. (1978). THE REVENGE BY ANDREW SACHS : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. [online] Internet Archive. Available at: https://archive.org/details/THEREVENGEBYANDREWSACHS [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Winkie, L. (2018). How ‘Lofi Hip Hop Radio to Relax/Study to’ Became a YouTube Phenomenon. [online] Vice.com. Available at: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/594b3z/how-lofi-hip-hop-radio-to-relaxstudy-to-became-a-youtube-phenomenon [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

YouTube. (2012). Fastest Vertigo-shot: Jaws by Bill Butler (1975) HD. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbeXzJDYxS0 [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

YouTube. (2013). FL Studio: Chord Progressions + A Little Theory (Basic – Part 1). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnIBaDjM_14&list=PLODAfS1EnYrlg3Tg15ukT4_zsZkfv1ruM&index=2&t=0s [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

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Year 1 Module BACM101, Year 1 Module BACM102

Radio Play (Task Nine) – BTS

“Radio is the theater of the mind; television is the theater of the mindless”.

– Steve Allen

Introduction:

The risks I took on this task was to attempt to mix field recordings I did with my phone, with sound effects from online and make it seem as if it was one ‘package’. However, this did help me learn how little you need to make something decent; in other words, it helped me learn more about resourcefulness. Moreover, it also helped me learn more about audio mixing. These skills will definitely help me on future projects that need to be done quickly and it will also help me with any future audio projects that have quick turnarounds too. I could learn this futher by doing different courses on audio mixing in Audition, but also by learning (and practicisng) more field recording as it is one of the harder methods for recording audio. The thing I would do differently next time is remember to rent out a proper microphone!

The task:

For this task we had to create a section of a radio play that captured an ‘incident’, and only five words of dialogue was allowed to be in the final piece.

The idea:

Thinking of an idea for this task was actually tougher than I thought it’d be. In the end, I started to think of my daily routine and what sounds I hear. I decided that I would focus on my journey to university as I use the train, and that in the radio play I  would create an ‘incident’ during that journey: forgetting your ticket.

What I did:

To do this, I did some field recording on a few of my train journeys to and from university. I wanted to try record people waiting, and the rush to get on the train. However, you couldn’t really hear other people that well, and I think using a better microphone would of helped here; a mistake on my part but a lesson for the future.

I did focus on other notable things, though. I got recordings of the announcements, the beeping of the train doors, train doors closing and that sudden silence that follows the doors closing, the announcements from within the train, the movements and noises of the train etc. There was a big emphasis on realism and detail during talks with Larry Sider, and that’s what I really aimed for by recording everything.

In the editing software, I combined the sounds I recorded with sounds from online. The sounds I used from online were mostly for accentuating sounds I didn’t get cleary during the field recording, such as the train approaching. All the sounds (personal and from online) mixed really well, and the last step was just to record the incident; me forgetting my ticket. I recorded me going through my bag and getting my headphones out, and then added in some sounds effects of clothes rubbing uo against a microphone to simulate the sound you hear when you put headphones on. I then recorded the little bits of dialogue I needed, and finished off with a train horn sound effect I got from online to cover up the language used!

References:

SACHS, T. (1978). THE REVENGE BY ANDREW SACHS : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. [online] Internet Archive. Available at: https://archive.org/details/THEREVENGEBYANDREWSACHS [Accessed 19 Dec. 2018].

Year 1 Module BACM101

BACM101 Reflective Report (v1): Produce a Soundtrack

Produce a Soundtrack (Task Seven) – BTS

For this task, we were required to create either a movie soundtrack, or an atmospheric soundscape using Foley sounds imported into the music software as samples. I wanted to achieve this brief by creating an atmospheric soundtrack.

Processes involved:

  1. First was the research phase. I looked up ambient soundtracks first as my original intention was to create something relaxing and ‘spaced out’. I also looked up some tracks I already knew; particularly thought-provoking ones, songs that makes you day dream and eerie atmospheric songs. During this phase, I also watched tutorials on FL Studio.
  2. Now that I knew what I wanted to do, I began to play around and use FL Studio. This was a huge challenge as I don’t know anything about music, and FL Studio is a very confusing program. I began by learning the C-Major family of chords on piano, putting them down in FL Studio and playing around with the pattern of them. I mainly copied a pattern off YouTube, then added to it to create my first ‘song’; but it wasn’t something I was completely happy with.
  3. After this first dabble, I gave it another shot, this time with a MIDI keyboard and more knowledge from one of Chris’ sessions. I learnt an easy version of ‘Neon Gravestones’ by twenty one pilots, and then started to play around with that tune until I came up with my own. This was the basis of the whole song, and from there it was all about adding to it. I went through all the atmospheric ‘droning’ sounds I could find in FL Studio, played around with them until I came up with patterns and added them to the song. From there, it was a matter of adding things like a bassline, and of course Reagan’s speech as I had decided by this point I wanted to relate it to the SWFTA project. By complete accident, the soundtrack I had come up with sounded very eerie, but I loved it and it went down brilliantly with the class.

This was by far the most enjoyable and satisfying task I did during the last two months. For the longest time I’ve been interested in using this kind of software to create atmospheric music and atmospheric remixes of songs, and this task finally gave me a start after years of putting it off. This, combined with the fact I knew nothing about music before making this soundtrack, is what made this task so great for me. The sense of satisfaction and happiness I had with my own work is why we do what we do.

On the technical side of things, I managed to learn a lot about FL Studio: the layout, what different instruments are available, mixing and how to put a song together. I can now open FL Studio and at least have a basic knowledge of where to start.

Furthermore, the power of audio became even clearer. There was a huge emphasis on the effect audio can have on an audience (whether it’s music or a Foley soundscape) during Larry Snider’s sessions. This task drove that point home for me: the incredible way it can change the audience’s mood, immerse them, place them somewhere else, scare them and most importantly for this piece put them somewhere else.

Moreover, I learnt more about listening and hearing, something I had to do a lot whilst making this soundtrack and something else that was emphasised a lot during Larry’s sessions. I had to pretend I was the audience whilst listening to my own soundtrack countless times, questioning if it was dragging on, if it was having the same effect on me that I wanted it to have on the audience, if the piano made sense, if it was tense and so on.

Further research into this new-found love after completing this task led me to discovering genres completely new to me, and something I absolutely love: vaporwave and lo-fi. “Vaporwave is primarily defined by heavy use of sampling, layering, distortion, chopping, screwing, and invocation of ‘80s and ’90s culture” (Colton, 2017). Lo-fi is not too dissimilar: it literally is “a term suggesting poor sound quality, the opposite of ‘hi-fi’…” (Harper, 2014).

Even more interestingly for me, these two genres have led to stylised videos that make use of VHS effects and 1980s retro girds to match with the retro sound of the music. There has been a rebirth of retro media, stemming from albums such as ‘Far Side Virtual’, ‘Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1’, ‘Floral Shoppe’ and videos such as Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’.

1200px-hotline_bling
Still from ‘Hotline Bling’              

vaporwave_grid_sun
Vaporwave grid effect

floral shoppe album cover
Floral Shoppe’ Album cover

In conclusion, this new  ‘a e s t h e t i c’ style (the term that is starting to be used to describe all of this combined) is something I’ll be taking away from this task as it has really peaked my interest for different reasons, such as the idea of bad quality actually being the aim of this style. The vivid colours, retro looks and authentic vinyl sounds all appeal to me for some reason, and I’m happy this task let me discover something new about myself, which I’ve already started to dabble in:

80s Retro Text Effect2.jpg

References

Colton, S. (2017). Love in the Time of VHS: Making Sense of Vaporwave. [online] The Politic. Available at: http://thepolitic.org/love-in-the-time-of-vhs-making-sense-of-vaporwave/ [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Harper, A. (2014). Lo-Fi Aesthetics in Popular Music Discourse. Ph.D. Oxford.

YouTube. (2013). FL Studio: Chord Progressions + A Little Theory (Basic – Part 1). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnIBaDjM_14&list=PLODAfS1EnYrlg3Tg15ukT4_zsZkfv1ruM&index=2&t=0s [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Bibliography

Colton, S. (2017). Love in the Time of VHS: Making Sense of Vaporwave. [online] The Politic. Available at: http://thepolitic.org/love-in-the-time-of-vhs-making-sense-of-vaporwave/ [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Dix, P. (2016). Watch a Robotic Trump Destroy the World in Absurd Vaporwave Video. [online] Flavorwire. Available at: http://flavorwire.com/580673/watch-a-robotic-trump-destroy-the-world-in-absurd-vaporwave-video [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Francis Han, S. and Peters, D. (2016). Vaporwave: subversive dream music for the post-Internet age. [online] Vaporwave: subversive dream music for the post-Internet age | Editorial | Bandwagon – Live music, bands and concert guide for Singapore, Manila and Jakarta. Available at: https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/vaporwave-subversive-dream-music-for-the-post-internet-age [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Harper, A. (2014). Lo-Fi Aesthetics in Popular Music Discourse. Ph.D. Oxford.

Markowitz, D. (2018). 5 Vaporwave and Future Funk Tracks to Get You Ready for YUNG BAE. [online] Phoenix New Times. Available at: https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/music/5-vaporwave-tracks-to-prepare-you-for-yung-bae-at-valley-bar-10913771 [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

Winkie, L. (2018). How ‘Lofi Hip Hop Radio to Relax/Study to’ Became a YouTube Phenomenon. [online] Vice.com. Available at: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/594b3z/how-lofi-hip-hop-radio-to-relaxstudy-to-became-a-youtube-phenomenon [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

YouTube. (2013). FL Studio: Chord Progressions + A Little Theory (Basic – Part 1). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnIBaDjM_14&list=PLODAfS1EnYrlg3Tg15ukT4_zsZkfv1ruM&index=2&t=0s [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019].

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Year 1 Module BACM101, Year 1 Module BACM102

‘Do What You Do’ (Task Eight) – BTS

“The beginning of purpose is found in creating something that only you understand.”
Tyler Joseph

Introduction:

The risks I took were to create a video that attempted to draw on everything we’ve learnt during the last two months, making After Effects the backbone of this video and recording live footage, something I’ve not done much before. These helped me to develop my skills in After Effects and helped me to further memorise the skills we have been taught in areas such as Sound Design. In the future, I can apply the new effects I’ve learnt in After Effects to a wide range of projects, but more importantly it’s a stepping stone to learning a whole lot more about the program. Moreover, it is also a stepping stone to learning more about using cameras and recording live footage as well. I can research this further by doing short courses on After Effects on sites like Udemy.com and Lynda.com, and by also learning off people who do know a lot more about After Effects. As for cameras, I can do Wednesday workshops, and also just start using my camera more and learning off the internet. The one thing I would do differently next time is film from different camera angles.

The task:

For this task, we could do anything we want… as long as it has a connection, however tenuous, to an Aesop’s Fable. However, we were encouraged to explore areas we aren’t so comfortable with, or haven’t done at all, as opposed to stick to our strengths.

The idea:

Originally, I wanted to look at the meaning behind one of the Fables as this is the kind of video I’ve been wanting to do for a year or so now, and I thought that this task could kick-start my own ‘informational’ videos. However, upon reading some of the Fables I soon found out that this idea wouldn’t work in this particular case because of how short and to the point the fables are.

I went back to the drawing board. I knew the area I wanted to brush up on specifically was After Effects as I haven’t used it in a few months and it is the one program I’ve always told myself I want to master, but at the same time I wanted to try apply as many of the skills we’ve learnt the last few weeks as possible.

The idea I came up with in the end, with the help of my brother, was applying a Fable to a modern day situation. I decided on ‘The Old Hound’ and applying this Fable to a usually reliable journalist who is for once late on filing in his section of a newspaper. As I couldn’t draw on any actors, I decided that telling the story using text messages on screen, in a Sherlock Holme’s esque style, would be really cool and help me cover the After Effects side of things.

What I did:

Filming:

To start with, I got my brother’s friend (who once worked in theater) to narrate the ‘The Old Hound’ Fable so I could use this in the video. The next day, with my brother’s equipment still out from his podcast recording with his friend the previous day, I got him to help me set up a camera and his Zoom H6 microphone opposite where the subject (me) would be sitting. We actually changed rooms to get better lighting after a few takes, so the room in the BTS video wasn’t actually where we recorded.

We rehearsed what I’d do a couple times in a few takes, then did it for real with my brother directing so we didn’t get any timings wrong.

Post-production

With the narration and footage now done, I could finally start editing.

I started off with adding in the text effects with After Effects. Cut short, I found the iPhone speech bubbles online, put them inside After Effects, animated them, added in the text, animated the text and then added in some motion tracking so the text moved with the phone.

For the phone music player effect: I found all the icons used online, put it together using Photoshop, put that mockup into After Effects and animated it so it looked like it was actually playing something. The slide and touch gestures you see were made using shape layers in After Effects.

20181201_170509

The last thing to do in After Effects was the Sherlock Holmes sketchbook effect you see just before the narration kicks in, very basically again: this was done by drawing a random mask using the pen tool, adding the ‘roughen edges’ effect, fiddling around with the settings of that effect, and animating the mask expansion so the mask animates in. Then it was just a matter of downloading a paper texture and applying this, plus the mask effect, to the part of the video I wanted to apply it to.

I then went to Premiere Pro where I started to assemble everything together, with the clips I edited in After Effects replacing the original footage. I also had to work on the sound as I had my brother directing me what to do in the original footage. I cut out all the times he spoke, only leaving in the parts where I put my phone down for example, and then download a room ambience sound effect to go underneath the parts I left in so it could fill the gaps. I also recorded some wind noises for the narration part of the video. Really, Premiere Pro was just used to assemble everything together so I can’t go into much detail.

One mistake I made during the making of this was to do the effects in After Effects first. This meant that when I came to colour correct the footage, it was also changing the colour of the text boxes. This obviously creates more work as it means I’ll have to colour correct the footage inside Premiere Pro, re-load that footage back in After Effects and then re-export the footage from After Effects.

EDIT (Colour Correction):

I found some time to colour correct the footage after my mistake.

Before:

Untitled.jpg

After:

Untitled2.jpg

Feedback:

  • Cinematic black bars can still be seen under the sketch effect.
  • The font looks very stock.
  • Eyes drawn to the bright spot in the video. The bright spot (due to the lighting) combined with the lines on table that seem to lead towards the bright spot cause this.
  • Think more about composition when doing short films.
  • Very powerful.

References:

ExpertPhotography. (2018). Photography for Beginners: A Complete Guide (Updated 2018). [online] Available at: https://expertphotography.com/a-beginners-guide-to-photography/ [Accessed 11 Dec. 2018].

Year 1 Module BACM101, Year 1 Module BACM102

Produce a Soundtrack (Task Seven) – BTS

“You’re going to fail a few times, because that is the only time you actually learn something.”

Hans Zimmer

Introduction:

I took a huge risk challenging myself to create an atmospheric soundtrack as opposed to putting Foley sounds together, and to also do that inside FL Studio; a very complicated program. I would also say I took the risk using the MIDI keyboard to come up with my own piano pattern, seeing as I don’t know much about music at the moment. However, I feel like I was successful in the end and taking these risks really helped me develop new skills with FL Studio. It also developed my listening and musicality skills, and I would even say it developed me slightly more as a person as I felt a huge sense of achievement at the end of this task, not only with actually coming up with a good piece I was happy with, but with doing something I’ve always wanted to do which is create music. In future projects I would apply these to creating my own music for my videos. This may be instrumental or atmospheric music, but music I can use free of copyright nonetheless. I would also love to apply it to creating chilled out remixes of some of my favourite songs. I think the best way to research this further would be to learn basic piano, and therefore music theory, and study FL Studio. I could look into getting piano lessons, and for learning FL Studio it really just comes down to watching videos on YouTube, such as ones made by Chuki Beats. I’ve put some examples of the work I want to produce below in the ‘Task’ and ‘Idea’ section. The one thing I would do differently next time would be to possible add some more instruments to create more of an atmospheric effects, and play around the left and right channels.

The task:

For this task, we had to create either a movie soundtrack, or an atmosphere using Foley sounds imported into the software as samples. The program we were inducted on was Logic Pro, but since this was an Apple-only piece of software, I used FL Studio.

This was a great task for me personally as I have been interested in remixing, and creating atmospheric music for a long time. I have never got around to actually playing with these different programs, such as Logic and FL Studio, mainly because they are quite daunting and I don’t know a whole lot about music. But this task has definitely given me a kick, and because of it I will be looking at music theory, playing piano and learning a program like FL Studio in my free time.

Example of the kind of remixing I want to do one day:

The idea:

From the start I knew I wanted to create everything from within the program (FL Studio). I also knew I wanted to do something atmospheric, and I wanted to try relate this task to the SWFTA project. To relate it back to SWFTA, I wanted to find a famous speech on freedom. I couldn’t help but choose Reagan’s. I also looked back at some of the atmospheric music I’ve listened to in the past, and also searched up some new stuff. Some of the examples are below:

Chris’ example in his lecture about soundtracks in the Thursday afternoon session helped a lot too:

What I did:

So, to start with I looked up a lot of FL Studio tutorials. Not knowing much about music really held me back here unfortunately (but it also gives me something I want to learn about). Therefore, I searched up the C Major scale on piano and put that into FL Studio. I then played around with it’s arrangement.

This was just the beginning of playing around, and after Chris’ lecture on Thursday, I rented out a MIDI keyboard on the Friday and came home to start my second attempt. I began by learning a fairly easy version of ‘Neon Gravestones’ by twenty one pilots on the keyboard, and then began playing around with it until I came up with my own tune, something I was quite proud of! I added some lower bass notes on the piano, and also added in an actual bassline for when this little tune starts in the second part of the soundtrack. The tune ended up being kind of eerie. I then spent ages exploring FL Studio to find the atmospheric droning noises I was looking for, and found a lot of atmospheric sound effects and instruments. Again, I played around with the MIDI keyboard on a few of the sounds until I came up with something.

I knew I wanted a flat humming noise in the background to continue throughout the whole duration, which I found and played on one of the low Cs. And then I wanted to fill out the beginning section of the song with atmospheric noises that rose to a peak, and then dropped out. Again, I found these and just came up with a simple pattern with the keyboard. I also played a simple note progression using the normal grand piano instrument in FL Studio for the first half of the song.

The second half of the song was made up of that tune I came up with, a long with more of the atmospheric noises and a speech on freedom by Ronald Reagan, which I imported into the program and edited. I also found a cool static radio sound effect in FL Studio which I added in just before Reagan speaks.

Really, it was just a lot of playing around, failing a lot and occasionally stumbling onto something. Not knowing anything about music did hinder me a lot, especially when looking up tutorials on FL Studio, but I’m happy I’ve been giving some motivation to perhaps learn piano, some music theory and FL Studio.

With a few small tweaks, I am definitely considering using it for my SWFTA video. I love working with music, and I’ve already had a better envisionment of the video just from creating this soundtrack. I also couldn’t help but create a quick poster using Photoshop for this soundtrack as well:

Freedom - Poster

References:

MusicRadar. (2008). The quick guide to creating a soundtrack. [online] Available at: https://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/the-quick-guide-to-creating-a-soundtrack-156113 [Accessed 11 Dec. 2018].

Year 1 Module BACM101, Year 1 Module BACM102

Stop Motion (Task Six) – BTS

In the tech session, we played around with the idea of light and shadows being used for stop motion. We thought it would be cool to make a trolley seem as if it was a car going down the road, and the idea to create this illusion would be to move the lights we had set up back and forth throughout a number of pictures, simulating street lamps.

“You’re literally sculpting in space and time.”

– Phil Tippett

Introduction:

The risk we took on this task was to experiment with a Google Maps being the set design. This was something we had seen in another video, but it is definitely a hit or miss as to whether it works out; and once you’re halfway through the stop-motion video it is very innconvenient to turn back. Taking this risk helped me to personally develop my ideas on experimental ideas and what set-design can be, as well as working to a close deadline and making use of what is around you. In future projects, I can apply this new experience to coming up with more interesting set-design for different projects; but I also learnt to make the most of what is around you too, especially if you are working on a project with a short turn around. I may research stop-motion further by studying stop-motion films like ‘Isle of Dogs’, and also looking into the different types of stop motion that I was not aware of such as pixilation. I was quite amazed by the number of films that I didn’t know was filmed using stop motion.

The Task:

For this task, we had to create a 15 second stop motion video. This meant we first had to take 180 pictures, and then put them together in Premiere Pro. Tom and I joined the production design group for this task, with Ceri and Jon joining the group later on.

The idea:

I already wrote my brain storm of ideas I had for this task: Stop motion task ideas:

Some of the ideas were a bit too complicated to do in the amount of time we had, but I wrote them down onto the blog for future use. In the end, we all took inspiration from this video:

It is a VERY cool concept, and I’d really love to spend some time at some point in the future doing something similiar. We decided to film in the DMP base room. We set up the camera opposite the TV which we were Apple sharing Google Maps onto. We used Ceri’s idea of moving chairs across the screen, the intention being for it to almost be like bus or train seats next to a window. We then decided having a table come across with Tom on it would just be hilarious, so that’s what we did! We did try keep an eye on the amount of pictures we were taking by keeping track in a notepad. Unfortunately, we still managed to mess up as we only took 177 images. This is something learnt, and on the next shoot I do that is similiar to this project it’ll be something I definitely keep a closer eye on.

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My version:

When brainstorming ideas for this task, I kept telling myself that I wanted to think how I could use stop motion in my own personal projects. I don’t like the idea of doing tasks for the sake of it, hence why on a lot of my tasks I have added meaning to them by giving them purpose, such as making them adverts. For this one, I really liked the idea of using stop motion as a movie title sequence or intro. I really love title sequences that are funky and different, so I used the Napoleon Dynamite title sequence as my inspiration for my own version.

Jon had also recommended during the week, and so I drew inspiration from that as well, plus the discussions we had during the previous seminar on how sometimes just playing around when creating something can mean you end up with great results, so I just started playing around in Premiere Pro until I came up with something. The song gave me so many ideas, and that’s what helped me think of the idea as I thought the song reminded me of a retro cop show, or possibly a modern cop show trying to be retro. Jon’s sun glasses helped me a lot too!

I am definitely starting to realise even more and more how much I love working with music. It is something I touched on during the Thursday afternoon session with Chris last week, but with each task I’m starting to play to that passion more and I’m really enjoying that. I think it would very interesting to submit a sketchbook entry with this passion in mind, and it’s something I’ll look into doing for a future entry.

What I did:

The making of the video was pretty simple. It was just a matter of downloading a free retro-looking font, and adding in the text. Cutting out Jon was done by exporting a snapshot from Premiere Pro, then using the pen tool in Photoshop to cut out the background. I knew I wanted a gold-ish overlay over the video, and in the lumetri presets panel there was something similar to this in the ‘Canon 7D’ section. We used a Canon 6D for the shoot, so there isn’t really any difference between the two.

References:

Wilson, S. (2016). The 27 greatest stop motion movies of all time. [online] Den of Geek. Available at: https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/stop-motion-movies/43540/the-27-greatest-stop-motion-movies-of-all-time [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018].

Year 1 Module BACM101

Stop motion task ideas:

Idea one (advert)

  • Range Rover from outside, inside it’s cardboard.
  • Rolls Royce, inside inside interior is real.
  • Tagline that talks about how Range Rover is fake; they use fake wood instead of real wood. Cardboard represents this point.
  • Range Rover falling apart from inside. Punchline – ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ (example).

Idea two (artist creation)

  • Artist leaves room.
  • Inaminate object starts to create something on the artists desk.
  • Inspired by Toy Story and Google Maps video

Idea three (Dream sequence)

  • Falling off cliff dream
  • Cardboard cutouts falling off books.

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Idea four (Movie)

  • Recreate movie scenes with cardboard cutouts.

Idea five (Movie title sequence)

  • Inspiration: Napoleon Dynamite title sequence.