Wednesday, 16 December 2009

NW Evaluation Question (2)

"How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?"

Posted by Nick

- When looking at both our print media, including the four page digipak and the half page magazine advertisement for NME, one can see how we have been able to achieve cross media convergence and synergy

- The video is reminiscent of the ancillary texts and vice versa

- Where possible, we have set out to create a cohesive brand image, including promotional information in order to fit our brief; ultimately, to sell the ‘product’ of Peñate.

- We used information such as UK tour dates, magazine reviews and both the artist’s and the record companies web addresses to connote to the viewer the artists success,

- We used the same colours of the burgundy writing highlighted in grey on the digipak and advertisement acting as a visual link; the audience reading the magazine and seeing the artists success and thus linking this with the album, potentially buying it).

- Even though we originally tried to make our video with a challenging view, rather than conforming to the mainstream tendency to include lots of close ups and a classic ‘Indie’ storyline, (including performance and the objectification of women), we have actually conformed to the style of the videos.

- In a modern world where the internet has become probably the biggest influence on the music industry with ‘Web 2.0’ and ‘YouTube’ offering platforms for new artists to display their work, production companies are making new and exciting videos in order to grab a viewers attention, and thus through our print and video, with our postmodern theme, we have actually conformed to the genres style of videos.

- In the video we see how the artist is seen as playful, running around the woods and chasing a variety of objects, and this is one of the key characteristics which Richard Dyer says is portrayed by ‘stars’, young and youthful people who have found success and are not afraid to show it.

- He states that ‘audiences dislike age’, and thus videos have to present the artists as young, still with a lot of energy, as this gives people happiness in themselves, watching someone else’s exuberance of life.

(In the clip below, one can see how the random sequences where Peñate wanders around the woods, playing instruments, connotes energy and a fruitfulness of life.)

- When the artist picks up and destroys his equipment (albeit to defend himself from the ‘snake’), he is showing rebellion, and this is reminiscent of many other ‘rock’ videos, thus, here one can see how, as a group, we have employed intertextuality.

(The clip below is a sequence taken form our music video, what we like to call ‘the defeat’, where Peñate tries to rid the woods of the so called ‘evil’ contained within.)

- This playful attitude is also portrayed in the ancillary texts where we see the artist offering illustrative visuals to the albums name, as he is shown taking off his blindfold on the first page of the digipak.

- This connotes to the audience that he has broken from tradition and now as he sees his new setting, everything appears to be new, and this is reflected in the advert as he is shown to be doing the same.

- The combination of this with the video highlights the connotations brought to mind from the albums name. With the ‘new world’ being brought to light in the ancillary texts, this is again reflected in the video, as we have chosen to adopt relatively new techniques of stop motion animation, in keeping with the genres progressive and postmodern attitude.

- At the beginning and end of ‘Jack Peñate’ on the front of our digipak, we have a visual motif of a pattern similar to the naturalistic area behind the artist; the woodland, (shown in the screen shot above).

With this signifier, as well as the rough look of the artists with his scruffy hair and wearing a blazer with the collar turned up (rebelling against the ‘neat’ look of society, thus creating irony), the audience connotes that the artist has a new, challenging, yet natural sound.

- The font (above) also connotes that the album was perhaps 'homemade', with simple techniques, and this is found in the fact that the font has an etched and organic effect which symbolises age and thus authenticity.

- The black and white images on the digipak, as well as the magazine advertisement give a sense of authenticity

- This same idea is also apparent in the non verbal language of the artists, as his head is slightly turned to the side whilst lifting off his blindfold and this is seen as a very active and thus masculine pose,

- In most advertisements women are seen in ‘passive’ poses and males in ‘active’ poses, thus we have conformed to ideas already apparent in the media.

- Analysing mise-en-scene, we can see how we have applied to the rule of thirds on the front and back cover of our digipak with the artists arm acting as a leading line leading up to his head which is where the audience looks first, his eyes being bold and starkly white, thus drawing attention to them, and next the viewer is drawn to the typography.

- In both our video and ancillary texts there is a similar narrative in the fact that there are similar costumes as well as the same location, with subtle changes such as the digipak and advertisement being in black and white.

- These differences create a construct for our narrative and thus the audience can easily identify all three media outlets with each other.

(The screen shot below shows how the similar locations and costumes allows our audience to create a ‘visual link’.)

NW Evaluation Question (1)

"In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?"

Posted by Nick

- After watching several other music videos associated with the ‘Indie’ genre, we realised that the majority were performance based.

- Many bands chose to follow the ‘mainstream’ route, with many meat shots as well as the concept of breaking the ‘fourth wall’

- This allowed the audience to identify with the artist and thus, potentially, buy their music,

(a good example of this is You Me At Six’s video for ‘Save it for the Bedroom’,

- As we wanted to challenge these ‘mainstream’ conventions, we decided that, although we would have aspects of performance, we would not shoot the whole video in this style, (we thought this would have been something that audiences have seen all too often). We then set about deciding how we could intertwine an artistic element into the video.

- We found that many videos had an artistic aspect which was completely irrelevant and not particularly associated with the music at all, engaging the audience with the unexpected, in a focused manner, thus creating an enigmatic video, the viewer to carry on watching to see the outcome,

(one such video that employs this theme is another song by our chosen artist, Jack Peñate,

- We decided to use ‘stop motion animation’ as, like the videos we had seen, it was not necessarily associated with our genre, and it also provided a great platform to experiment with.

- We used the idea of a snake, (made from three individual bed sheets, plaited together, with a sock for a head), casually rooting around in a woodland, (a location which was symbolic of the music’s organic sound, with lots of drums and guitars layered over one another, with a slight autumnal feel), until it finds the artist, Peñate, with a battle sequence ensuing.

(In the clip below, taken from our final cut music video, you can see the snake being formed, followed by the battle sequence.)

- Using Goodwin’s critical framework we can see that there are certain elements of videos which are recurrent throughout all genres, and like hundreds before us, our video has done the same.

- Primarily, our video has a strong link between the music and visuals.

- Many shots are cut in time with the music’s fast pace, denoting a lively and exuberant video, thus connoting a racy lifestyle of the artist, (one of Richard Dyer’s writings on the representation of ‘stars’ is that they lead fast and rebellious lifestyles which their fans idolise).

In the clip below you can see how the video has been cut in accordance with the beat of the music, we had to speed up and slow down sequences to achieve this.

- There are some sequences where the artists lip-synchs, thus bringing to relevance the form of a music video.

- Whilst our video does not have as many meat shots as one would find in, for example, a ‘boy band’ video.

( , JLS’ video for ‘Beat Again’ is a prime example of a video with lots of close ups, obviously very heavily influenced by the needs of the record company).

- As a group, we have chosen to include a variety of shots, ranging from close ups to long shots, employing the notion of looking, (in one shot we look on from a distance at the artists performing, as if we are watching him do something personal), which all identify with the audience so as to promote the artist and the music, which was the main intention of the project.

- In the majority of close up shots, the singer is looking directly at the camera, thus establishing para-social intimacy with the viewer through a first person mode of address; the artist looks at their audience as if they are speaking to the individual directly, and this is also conventional of all music videos

- On listening to the lyrics we decided to go for a completely disconnected video as we felt the lyrics did not make a lot of sense, and illustrating or amplifying them would altogether make a very confusing video.

- We had hoped to achieve narrative fuzz through the two strands of our video, the first being the construction and later the journey of our snake, and the second being the artist performing.

- We edited our video so that towards the end, we had sealed off all loose ends of the narrative, showing the audience the reasoning behind the two characters being in the woodland; a face-off.

- The video reinforces the dominant yet residual ideology that all men are strong minded and capable of defeating any obstacle that is thrown at them, in the fact that, in a battle between the artist and the snake, Peñate wins, thus reinforcing this traditional male trait.

- Intertextuality is apparent here in the fact that we have used a similar idea to the ‘lone hero’ action movies, one sole man saving the world from any threat it faces.

- The narrative creates the idea of a ‘binary oppositions’ between the snake and the artist, as all through the video the audience is wanting to know what will happen and then at the end when we see the two battle we allow the audience to, theoretically, pick their side and thus watch the outcome play out.

(In the clip below one can see how through the two separate strands of our narrative, we have allowed our audience to pick who they want to see win the decisive battle.)

- Primarily our video creates a lively and fun atmosphere; the audience seeing the snake come to life and then later, rather comically, wrestle the artist, being postmodern and ironic.

- We edited our video in time with the music so that each shot which was intended to be comical, such as the fight sequence being emphasised by each beat.

- We do not directly show or explain to our audience that what is being formed is a snake; it is their own beliefs certifying that what they are seeing is a living snake. This is certified through the snake’s movements, intertwining through the trees, with many fast camera movements connoting speed and agility.

- If it wasn’t for these signifiers, it would be very difficult to convey to the audience what was being created, as our video is very lo-fi, we may have created a thoroughly boring video which the audience would have perceived to be three sheets and a sock moving around some woods, which is exactly what it is, however, this lo-fi technique, combining fast camera movements and mise-en-scene suspends disbelief.

(One can see, in the clip below, how the agility of the snake and the movement of the camera enabled us to connote a living thing made from something manmade.)

- We have also chosen to employ bricolage, combining two different styles, the first being stop motion animation and the second the performance, to create a video with a ‘postmodern twist’, using the idea of ‘avant garde’.

- Our video could also be said to suspend disbelief, as it is completely irrelevant and we have tried to distance ourselves from the boring videos which we believe occupy the music industry at the moment.

- Our somewhat playful take on the genres music videos is evident through signifiers such as the woods, where the artists performs by himself to nothing but an empty woodland, only occupied by the snake.

- this is starkly different to traditional ‘Indie’ videos where artists perform in front of large crowds. (The screen shot below shows our video, concept based, compared with a Kings of Leon video, performance based.)

- Looking at semiotics, we can see how the iconic image of the door signifies to the audience that we are moving to a new area or perhaps a ‘new world’.

- Every time the door opens, we are moved from one set of action to another, either from the snake to the performance, or vice versa, and this connotes to the audience that each area we go to is ‘new’.

(The door connotes moving to a ‘new world’, shown in the clip below.)

- The snake may also connote to the audience the idea of the ‘first temptation’, having religious beliefs attached to the idea of the snake tempting man, this being represented in our video, thus creating a binary opposition between man and snake.

- As the door has been placed in a setting in which one would not expect to find it, we have created irony whilst also keeping in with Peñate sounds, combining, music from classical instruments to sharp electronic beats, and this is reflected in the fact that we have a door, (something man-made), and the woodland, (natural)

- Our video is also very polysemic, by leaving certain aspects of our narrative out, we have allowed our audience to create their own reasoning as to why the two are in the woods, and this is very in keeping with the style of other videos.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

MS - Evaluation Question (3)

What have you learned from you audience feedback?

Within the media you are ultimately creating a product to sell to an audience, so it is vital that you give the audience what they want or your product will not be successful. In our case we were creating a music video. Music videos are created to help promote and sell the artist or band, so it is vital that your video appeals to your target audience or you will not promote the artist or band which is the whole point of creating the product. Our product can be for both focused and ambient viewing, widening the target audience. You could watch the whole video and really concentrate and try and understand and work out what the snake is all about, or you could just watch parts of the video as you are doing something else and still enjoy it.

We conducted our audience research at three stages throughout the project. The purpose of the audience research was to test our ideas to make sure we are on track, and so we could make any suggested changes before it was too late. We conducted our first piece of audience research prior to the pitch, to see what people would expect to see in our video. From our first piece of audience research we found that:

· People would expect to see the artist in the video

· They like the idea of stop motion animation, they thought it was 'innovative'

Our second piece of audience research was after showing the rough cut. The questions that we asked our focus group where:

· Did you enjoy the video and why?

· Does it stand up to repeated viewings?

· How do you perceive the artist/band?

· Name one shot you liked and why?

· Name one area that could be improved and how?

The findings were very successful. They were as follows:

· 100% of people enjoyed the video

· 100% of people thought it would stand up to repeated viewing

· People’s favourite shots were either the opening sequence with the reverse time painting, or the combat scene between the artist and the snake.

· The area that was brought up for improvement was the lighting in the video.

The final bit of audience research we used a Survey Monkey questionnaire once again. The final piece of audience research was just to check what the audience thought of our final product. From our final audience research I can see that:

· 100% of people liked the video and thought it could stand up to repeatability

· 100% of people thought the video fitted with the track

· People had mixed opinions as to whether this is an ‘indie’ or ‘alternative’ song

· Once againg the lighting was mentioned as a weakness

· Nobody thought there was anything missing from the video that they would of liked to see in it.

Although people thought that the lighting was a weakness of our video, we improved it as much as possible using the brightness, contrast, hue and saturation altering options in the editing software. The problem was that it took us so long to film a short sequence the lighting would change by the time we had finished. I think that people had mixed opinions on the genre of the video was more due to the weakness of the question rather then the video itself. Jack Penate belongs in the indie/alternative genre, and that was not an option on the list and you could only tick one box. Below is a screen shot from my Survey Monkey results collection page.

Monday, 14 December 2009

MS - Evaluation question (4)

How did you use the media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?


Stop motion animation was a vital part of our video; it gave it a unique look and distinguished our project from others. Initially we tried using a digital stills camera to take an image of each movement. We tried this method out in a reccie to a potential location. We found that it would be extremely time consuming in the editing process. We then tried the stop motion capture in the Premier Element editing software. To do this we open the capture window, then clicked on the stop motion button.

We the played the footage and clicked ‘grab frame’ on the frames we wanted.

The editing software automatically put all of the frames together and once we were happy with it we could export it as a video clip. This meant all the frames were put together in one clip, this would make it easier if we wanted to speed up the clip or make any other adjustments to it because it meant that we would only have to make the change to one clip rather then to each individual frame.

When we went out on our first shoot, the camera was in ‘snow’ mode. This meant that when we came to capture our footage its was very bright and white, so you could hardly see the leaves on the ground. As the shots we did on our fist shoot took a long time to do; and we still had all of our other footage to film, we decided that we would not have the time to redo it, so we had to try and rectify the footage with the colour editing options. We changed the brightness, contrast, hue and saturation. This enabled us to take some of the brightness out of the footage and make it softer. On all future shoots we made sure the camera was in ‘autumn’ mode which was much more appropriate for what we were filming.

On the left is the footage we shot in 'snow' mode. On the right is the same footage but when the saturation, hue, contrast and brightness has been edited


We used a blog to document our coursework. It was used to show; our deconstructions, our ideas, where our inspiration came from, document any filming we do and to show any other work such as our pitch and audience research. A vital part of the blog was it interactivity. The blog enabled myself and Nick to comment on each others work and ideas, so we would always have a way of referring back to what each other thought about an idea. Our blog enabled us to add clips from you tube, this meant that we could illustrate what our idea is using examples, so we could show each other what we meant as it is sometimes hard to put into words. We were also able to upload out pitch presentation onto the blog using slideboom.

Above is a screen shot of our blog. Below is a screen shot of Nick and I having comenting on a post.


Initially we thought we would have to use a digital stills camera through out our coursework. However, this proved to be very impractical, and we ended up using a DV handheld camera. We were very familiar with this camera as we had used it the previous year for our foundation portfolio coursework. The only issue we had with this camera was the ‘snow’ setting as explained above, but that was easily fixed. The cameras are fairly delicate and needed looking after. We made sure that we had an umbrella with us at all times to protect the camera in the event of rain. Any moisture getting inside the camera could break it and it could corrupt the tape.


We used publisher for both our digipak and advertisement, using it as a basis for the final print work. We first of all set up two separate documents, one for the digipak and one for the advertisement. We then went on to page setup to determine the sizes for each, the advertisement being 22.1 cm wide and 9.6 cm tall. For the digipak we did the same thing, determining the width and height, this being 14.85 cm wide and 12cm tall. To achieve the four page digipak, (two pages being joined together to give four sides), we went onto layout, again in page setup, and clicked booklet. We then adjusted the sizes to conform to the digipak size.

Survey Monkey

For audience research we used survey monkey. Survey Monkey provides a template which helps you set up your questionnaire. Once you have created your questionnaire, Survey Monkey provides you with a link so you can e-mail your questionnaire out to your target audience. Once someone has completed the questionnaire the results automatically get sent back to my Survey Monkey account. Once I have got all of my questionnaires complete, I can then collaborate my results into graphs where appropriate.

Above is a screen shot of the Survey Monkey quesyionnaire design page. The arrow indicate the button to press to add a new question. You then get to select the type of question you want and the type of response, such as multiple choice, or text box etc.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a new form of internet. It is where we can upload, create and comment on the internet, for example Youtube and Blogger. Our Blog is an example of Web 2.0 as myself and Nick used it to comment on each others work. We also shared ideas and research via our blog; for example I would post any ideas I had for the video on our blog and Nick would be able to look at it and comment on what he thought about my idea.

NW Timeline (December)

Posted by Nick

Above is the scanned image of our December timeline, detailing what we have achieved during the month, including finishing the filming project for Thursday 3rd December, and later, doing our evaluation task to be handed in on the last day of term, Thursday the 17th of December. In order to achieve this we have had months of editing and obtaining information, reviewing our video in order to complete our evaluation. The colour coding system is the same as that for the past two months (simply scroll down to see the timeline for October and November to see the key), however, a new area, the evaluation, is now highlighted in Purple.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Music Video Final Cut

Posted by Nick

Above is the link to our final cut for our music video! After 7 weeks of filming and editing, we finally completed the project, providing visuals for Jack Penñate’s song ‘Give Yourself Away’ from his 2009 album ‘Everything Is New’. We allowed ourselves 4 weeks for filming and three for editing, and after a difficult production period, we finally completed it. Please watch the video, and if you feel obliged, please rate and comment it.

NW Final Digipak and Magazine Advertisment

Posted by Nick
(To see an enlargement of each image, simply click on it and it will open in a larger size on a new window.)
Above are the final print layouts for both our digipak and magazine advertisement.
The images were taken in the same location as our video, this being the Tonbridge Woodland. We thought these images from this location would be really effective, as they sum up the tone of Peñate’s sound; very natural intertwined with sounds from various influences.
We both gave our ideas of what we thought the images should be of for both the advert and the digipak, and we came to the conclusion that we should try to depict Peñate coming into a ‘new’ world to coincide with the album’s title ‘Everything Is New’. We finally decided that Peñate should be shown in the images to be blindfolded, later taking off the mask to see this ‘new’ world.

For the digipak front cover we used a CU to sell the ‘brand’ of Peñate, the audience seeing the artists face and thus linking him to other previous work. We also used the idea of the first person mode of address, looking at the camera and thus identifying himself with the audience, creating a very personal image. The interior of the digipak included an image of me as Peñate, blindfolded, standing on the pathway leading into the woods, and where the CD would be placed, we had a very simple image of the woodland by itself, with two trees filling the foreground. The back of the digipak was an image of me as Peñate, blindfolded, with the text on the left hand side, and thus this image adhered to the rule of thirds. We also had to include information on the copyright, a barcode, and any promotional information that we saw necessary, thus we gave the web addresses for Peñate himself, as well as the label group XL recordings.

For the advert we used similar images, however we chose to use a wide angle shot for the advertisement which measured 4cm x 7.2cm. To achieve this wide angle shot, we took three separate images, panning the camera after each so that we could, in the editing process, combine all three to give the appearance of one wide image. When taking the images, we made sure that I, as Peñate, was positioned in the second image, and thus in the middle of the final image. We positioned the text around the images so that the attention of the audience was drawn towards the artist, again, ‘selling the brand’ of Peñate. On the advertisement we included various pieces of information, including the artists and albums name, magazine reviews from companies associated with the ‘Indie’ genre, including NME, Mojo and Kerrang, promotional information such as the artists and record labels web addresses and UK tour dates with the locations and the relevant information to book tickets. All these pieces of information are commonplace on magazine advertisements as the record labels wishes to sell the artist as much as possible.

For both the digipak and the advertisement, we decided to put them in black and white. However, when we did this in Microsoft Word, the images were very dark and not a lot could be seen. So, after a while of altering the images brightness and contrast, we decided on putting all images in greyscale, and then changing the brightness to +20%, and the contrast to -10%. This then gave the appearance that the images were in black and white, but all the relevant information could be seen clearly.

The typography on both the advertisement and the digipak was put into a burgundy colour on Microsoft Word. I thought that this colour was symbolic of the autumnal feel of our music video, and thus this would connote once again to the audience the albums sound.
Once I had put all the text in this burgundy colour and later put it over the images, it was very hard to read. To solve this problem I highlighted each set of text and gave it a grey background so that the audience could see the text clearly.

NW Filming 30th November

Posted by Nick

On Monday the 30th of November, I took my final trip to our location, the woods behind my house to film the final sequence for our music video.

After we had completed our rough cut and shown it to the class, we received a lot of positive feedback from the class, and the general consensus was that our video was very near to completion, all that needed to be done was to speed up or slow down some shots. But as a group, we felt that the story we had been trying to portray in our video was not finished. So, we sat down after our first screening of the rough cut, and went through the video again, deciding to add in a sequence which we had not storyboarded, to fill up the final instrumental section, replacing shots of me, the lead singer, playing the drums around the woods, with a final battle between me and the snake; this way, we would be able to explain to the audience both mine, and the snakes purpose for being in the woods, thus finishing the ‘story’ we were trying to tell.

So, we set out into the woods, along with the drum kit and the snake and set about filming the sequence. We started off by filming a few reaction shots showing me seeing the snake approaching. Once we had done this we filmed the snake, in stop motion, approaching me, with both a POV shot, and one where the snake jumped up, giving the impression hopefully in the final cut that the snake was about to attack me. After this, we filmed a few shots with both me and the snake in, setting up the mood for the final showdown between man and reptile. Once this was complete we filmed a variety of shots, close ups, long shots, high angle, low angles of me attacking the snake on the ground as in the previous shot we had filmed me batting the snake away with the drum stand. Once this was complete, we did the final stop motion shot, of the snake moving towards a tree and then covering itself in leaves, giving the impression that it had been defeated in the battle and now chose to rest. The final shot of the day was of me walking away from the camera, with drum kit in hand, this was achieved by me standing against the camera lens and then walking away, which when we captured, seemed really effective as the shot was completely light then as I walked away more and more light came into the shot.

Overall, this was a very effective shoot as we now had the final component to our video and could now substitute it in, thus completing the story. In the editing process, we simply had to speed up the shots to fit it in to the video.

NW Shot Idea - Woodland (2)

Posted by Nick

Above is a link to a music video which, like ours, includes a variety of shots of a woodland area, with a few shots of the sun, similar to ones in which we have used for our video. I really like the natural imagery in the video, the band are shown having a fun time, messing around, highlighting the idea of the rebellion motif in classical ‘Indie’ videos. When we are filming the final sequence for our music video, I hope to film a few filler shots similar to those in the video, so that we can give the appearance of rebellion in our own video.

NW Digipak Idea - Fonts (2)

Posted by Nick

After having a group discussion on what we needed to achieve in the magazine advertisement and digipak, we concluded that all the fonts that we thought we might use were not in keeping with the natural theme, intertwined with the artistic images. So, we set about searching for a new font, and after a while searching we found the font above, called ‘Body Hunter’ from the website We thought that the font connoted the randomness of the album, with many influences, through its random lettering. We knew that a solid clear font would not be in keeping with the digipak or advertisement, so we decided to use ‘Body Hunter’, as you can include a variety of swirls and curves onto the text.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

NW Photos - Digipak and Advertisment

Posted by Nick

Above are all the images from the shoot, including ones that didn’t make the cut when it came to deciding which ones would be most suitable for the ancillary texts.

Below that are the images which we have taken for both our digipak and magazine advertisement which we have put into black and white, something which we hope will give the images a more ‘artistic’ feel, and perhaps connote to the audience that Peñate’s sound is quite retro, with complex instrumentation intertwined with simple lyrics.

We took the images in the same location as our video, the Tonbridge Woodland, as we feel that the song which we made a video for is a reflection of the whole album, with a very earthy and autumnal feel, thus connoted through the images of the trees. The magazine advertisement (bottom right) is a combination of three separate images which we took, panning the camera after each one, as we wanted to achieve a wide angle image for the size of our advertisement, 4cm x 7.2cm.

Monday, 23 November 2009

NW Filming 20th, 21st and 22nd November

Posted by Nick


This weekend, Mark and I decided to film all the footage which we needed to fill in the gaps in our music video.

After two weeks of filming stop motion animation and performance based shots, later capturing and editing them, we knew what needed to be done or re-done, because the stop motion and the performance only occupied roughly half of the song, thus we had to film a lot more. On Friday, we collected the camera and tripod and both headed back to my house.

Here we decided to film all of the make up shots which we would later put in stop motion, hiring my mother to paint my face with eye liner, forming a variety of patterns, as Mark decided he wasn’t as crafty with the make up kit as he originally thought.

The shoot was successful, and we also managed to shoot a variety of filler shots, including one where mark threw leaves on my face which we wanted to put in reverse time so they appear to be flying off, as well as a time lapse, where the trees were silhouetted against the sky, capturing the transition from day to night.


We decided to get up early so that we could capture the majority of our footage in the light, as it was coming to the time of year when it became dark very quickly. Filming early also ensured that if we had to re-do shots that we weren’t happy with, we would have enough time to do so later on in the day.

We started out by filming the ‘building' of the snake, depicting the three individual sheets which make up the snake moving independently, with shots of them each rolling up in stop motion, plaiting together, and later having the sock ‘head’ move towards the plaited sheets, giving the snake life. This shoot took very long and was very strenuous, as we had to move each sheet individually which took three times longer than when we had been moving only the snake.

We tried to achieve as many angles as possible, using high and low angles, as well as pans and tilts showing the creation take shape.

When we headed home after a long day filming we decided to stop and quickly record some filler shots in the woodland, simply of panning and tilting around.

The shoot was successful as the weather meant that we could film all day, and we were now confident in the fact that roughly the first third of our video had been filmed.


On the final day of shooting in the weekend, we decided to try and shoot all of the performance, as well as the door, but we knew we would have to work fast as we both had our own commitments at one o’clock, thus another day of early filming begun.

We headed to the area of woodland which we had shot the early performance shots at, and as we ventured further in, we realised that the previous night’s rain had made our location very damp and thus potentially more risky for the crew and equipment.

We begun with the performance regardless, capturing a lot of images of me playing the drums, as well as the drum rolling down various hills.

We also filmed a few shots at different trees where I repeatedly hit the tree, hoping that these would look similar to the arty yet random images present in Peñates other videos such as ‘Tonight’s Today’.

We also decided to film a few stop motion shots similar to what we had already filmed, where I wandered around the woodland, stopping at various trees, banging the drum. We were careful not to include any rubbish or the bridge which overlooked the woods in our footage, as this was what made us decide to re-shoot the footage in the first place.

Once the performance footage had been filmed, we realise we did in fact have enough time to shoot the door opening and closing. We quickly headed home and employed my father to unscrew the door. We then progressed back into the woods, and quickly set about filming the door in the woods.

This proved very difficult as we needed the door to open and close in stop motion, however, after a few attempts, we decided what worked best (the cameraman walking up to the door so that the person who was to open it by tilting it a small amount), and filmed this from a variety of angles.

Overall, this was a very successful shoot, as we now had the whole of the footage we needed, and thus anything else we needed to film would be decided when we had watched our footage back and decided if it was good enough for the final cut.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

NW Digipak Idea - Text Layouts

Posted by Nick

Above are our print layout ideas for our digipak. We have chosen to go with a simplistic theme, with black and white text and background, as well as potentially, having black and white images for the whole of the album. The font we have used is called ‘Times New Yorker’, downloaded from

I believe the font is very clear and simple, and will not detract from the images. The ripped effect around the text connotes that the album is very natural, and also, this is similar to the jagged and rough look of our location for the video, and thus presents a visual link for the audience.

NW Filming 17th November

Posted by Nick

Yesterday, Mark and I went to our woodland location in Tonbridge to film our stop motion animation, as well as some performance shots for the verses in the songs. We filmed for roughly three hours, with the first half being dedicated to the stop motion, and the second, the performance.

We managed to film a variety of shot sizes for our stop motion, and we tried out a few shots where the image is partially blurred to highlight the eerie feel of seeing the snake move through the woodland. In the performance part, we filmed a variety of angles as well as movements such as panning and tilting which maintain the pace started with the stop motion.

We found it very difficult to properly lip synch the words in with the song, and thus we have kept shots of the singers face to a minimum, choosing rather to include filler shots which we had already captured in and round the woods. As Peñate is an ‘Indie’ artist and has a specific audience, there isn’t as much need for meat shots as there would be for a boy band music video.

NW Digipak Idea - Group

Posted by Nick

This week we have set ourselves the task of completing all capturing the shots of what we have already, as well as potentially editing the majority of the performance aspect for our video. The stop motion animation has taken a lot longer than we had originally planned, as we have had to re-shoot on tapes we have already used, and this has corrupted two of our tapes which we have to now re-do.

Due to this happening we have now decided to do a digipak together instead of one each, as this will decrease our individual work load and thus free up more time to work on the video, which is, for us, the main priority.

Monday, 16 November 2009

NW Filming 15th November

Posted by Nick

On Sunday the 15th November, I went to our location to capture some stop motion animation footage of our ‘snake’ moving through the woodland. This was a successful shoot as I got a lot of footage in a short amount of time, shooting for roughly 2 hours and capturing the same amount of footage which previously had taken me about 6 hours to record, and I believe this is partly due to the fact that once I had got the hang of shooting the stop motion effect, I could do it very efficiently, and thus, hopefully, I will now be able to film a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. After showing our teachers and peers the footage which we had already, it was decided that we should have a wider variety of shots, and thus in this filming session I did a variety of POV shots, high angle shots, and lots of camera movements.

NW Filming 14th November

Posted by Nick

On Saturday I went to our only location, the woodland near my house, and shot as much of our performance based shots as possible. However due to weather conditions which brought on heavy rain and strong winds, we had to wait inside before clear conditions began to show, and this, this really dug into the time in which we had allowed ourselves to shoot in, taking into account what time it got dark. This meant that in total we were only filming for roughly 2 to 3 hours, and although we captured some good shots, this was not a sufficient amount for the performance in the video and therefore we will have to go out and shoot again this week.

NW NME Magazine Advertisment Sizes

Posted by Nick

As a group, we have decided to individually design our digipak, and work together to create a magazine advertisement. For this task, we have decided to use the popular British music magazine ‘NME’ (‘New Musical Express’), which is one of the frontrunners in showcasing new ‘Rock’ and ‘Indie’ music from various bands across the world. Established in 1952, the weekly magazine has continually raised its standards, with new bands coming in from far and wide to show off their music.

The back section of the magazine is dedicated to advertising artists’ new albums, tours or merchandise. There are also tour dates and locations in this section so that the reader can easily identify where their favourite musical talent will be.

This is the section in which our advertisement will be, and to do this we must create a commercial fitting to the magazines set sizes, these ranging from a whole page ad, measuring 24.5cm by 31.5cm, to a smaller corner ad measuring 4cm by 7.2cm. We will be making our advertisement for a 7cm by 15cm ad space.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

NW Timeline (October and November)

Posted by Nick

Above is a print screen of our timeline planning sheet for the months of October and November (simply click on the image to enlarge it in a new window).

We have been using our timeline to plan shoots as well as what we will be doing in the lessons, whether we will be working on the digipak, adding to or editing the blog, or capturing footage. Once we have met deadline we set ourselves or feel we have finished what should have been in a certain week, we can tick it off the timeline and move on to other tasks which we need to complete.

From looking at the timeline and knowing ourselves, we can tell that October has been a successful month; our pitch was well received, with all positive feedback coming from our peers which subsequently has helped us to alter our idea to suit our genre. We have also completed reccie’s in this month, showing what locations are suitable to the task. As well as designing and filming our storyboard, compiling our visual ideas into the track so we can see what, hopefully, the finished product will look like. At the end of the October month was half term in which we set our digipak task to design visuals for the album front and back cover, as well as the interior, and also the magazine advertisement.

We are halfway through November at present, and in general we have once again had a successful few weeks so far. We have done a lot of filming, however, we have substituted some digipak designing task which we set on our timeline for editing, because we hadn’t realised the true time scale of using stop motion animation. Our blog has been edited sufficiently, and we have both altered the majority of our blog posts so that our teachers and peers can understand clearer what we have been doing on the course. For the rest of the November weeks to come we will hopefully be able to keep to our timeline, but with the gruelling process of stop motion, as well as having to adopt a wet weather contingency, we are not sure as to what we will be able to film as all our locations are outside, and the weather may mean that we have to postpone shoots which will, as a result, alter what needs to be done each week.

We have used a colour coding system for the timeline, and this has allowed us to easily identify what needs to be done when. The key is as follows:

Blue- Pitch
Yellow- Blog
Pink- Storyboard
Red- Filming
Peach- Capturing
Brown- Digipak
Grey- Booking equipment
Green- Deadlines

The November month is being completed in each lesson, and we have written down what needs to be finished by the end of the month, and once everything is complete, we can move onto planning for the December month, in which we will be compiling footage, interviews, images, voiceover, all for our evaluation task which is to be completed before the term finishes.

MS Digipak and Advertisment Ideas

Above are my ideas for my digipak front cover, and advertisement. The top two images are in keeping with urn woodland theme, the first being a low angle shot looking up a tree (a shot similar to one in which we are using in our music video), and the second is a computer graphic, where I simply changed the colour and the contrast of a photograph to make the image appear as a logo, representing the natural theme of Peñate’s music. Below these two images is a wide angle shot of woodland which we intend to use for our magazine advertisement. We will take three separate images of woodland, each progressively panning on from the next so that we can merge all three pictures together in Photoshop so it looks like one wide image. In the bottom right hand corner we will have Peñate standing beside a door (something which we will be using in our music video).

NW Digipak and Advertisment Ideas

Posted by Nick

As a group, we have decided to design our own digipak (consisting of a front and back cover, as well as two interior pages), and have decided to create the magazine advertisement together. As both of our digipak ideas involve woodlands, mark choosing to have an album cover of just trees, and I choosing to use the woodland as well as Peñate in the photograph, we will make our advertisement centred around the area in which we filmed our video in, a woodland area in Tonbridge, and hopefully this advertisement will be visual links to both of our digipak’s.

NW Digipak Idea - Fonts

Posted by Nick

Above are some of the fonts that I may use on my digipak as well as our group advert.

I have chosen to use these fonts as they are very simple, with connotations of a ‘no nonsense’ feel, which is reflected in Peñate’s album; he has produced music which is new and creative, whilst maintaining classic ‘Rock’ and ‘Indie’ beats.

As my digipak ideas are of photography, rather than using computer based graphics, I think each font will blend well with the images, as each is relatively plain, and thus this will enable the audience to focus primarily on the visuals rather than the text, the fonts not detracting from the ‘wow factor’ achieved by the images.

As you can see, all fonts are in black and white and I believe that I will keep them this way, perhaps altering them to have a white border so that they stand out against the photographs.

All fonts have a slightly ‘etched’ effect in which the letters look as if some of the colour has been rubbed out, and I believe this connotes age, as if they have been weathered, and this is something that I thing will help the audience to identify with the ‘woodland’ theme of both our digipak and music video.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

NW Digipak Idea - Drawings

Posted by Nick
(The images can be enlarged by clicking on each, thus taking you into a new window. The real page is in our zip folders.)
Above are my digipak ideas for the album cover, back and interior of the Jack Peñate album ‘Everything is New’.

On the front page entitled ‘Digipak Ideas’ I have given my ideas for both the front and back cover, with ideas on visuals, characters involved, the positioning of the text and shot angles and sizes.
Here I have presented ideas such as using an elaborate border, having a low angle or high angle shot, and using detailed make up and costume. On the reverse page is my mood board for digipak ideas with Victorian imagery, using images of old circus workers, such as the ring master, a ballerina, and a strongman. As well as these characters, I have also included famous paintings, elaborately creating ideas of an idyllic world. When I was creating my mood board I liked the idea of ‘fantasy’ and my images here, with the circus characters, and images of fairies etc. have allowed me to develop my initial ideas on the front, of simply Peñate by himself, to an elaborate image which has a ‘fantasy’ theme.
On the back there are also images of the album cover interior, and these are simply photos of Peñate, again with a supernatural theme, with various elaborately dressed characters in each shot.

When the time comes for me to produce my digipak, I will take all images in the woodland area in which we are filming in so that our audience can create a visual link between the music video and the advertisement.