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Unit 8 Evaluation

For our final major project I teamed up with John Warwick to produce a
music video. We wanted to make the video as controversial as possible
in order to make our production creative and different to other music
videos. The aim was to bring more attention to the fact that 40% of the
time domestic violence victims are male. We wanted to show the other
side of domestic abuse that people don’t think about, there isn’t enough
clarity brought to this issue and this is what we wanted to achieve.
We chose to use the song ’Reason’ by Spooky Black. We chose this
due to the fact that the song is upsetting and heart wrenching when you
listen to the lyrics. We wanted to provide visuals that suited the song and
kept the Lo-Fi vibe. In the production John played the role of the
cameraman and I played the part of the editor. We also decided to use
Emma Johnson as the female actor in our production due to the fact that
she has experience in acting and we thought because at the time Emma
and I were in a relationship so the footage didn’t look awkward or forced
at all, it made the video look more authentic.
Throughout the year I have chosen to do editing as my specialism as it’s
what interests me the most and it’s also
the part of productions that I like the
best. I needed to make sure that for our
final major project this was the best
piece of editing that I could possibly
produce. We needed the final edit to
look as professional as possible in order
for the issue in our video to be put
across right so that audiences become
more aware. I
spent a lot of time
in the editing
process, using
the techniques that id learnt, e.g. strobe and
colour correction effects.
Before we started our final major project we sent out a survey asking the
opinions of the audience to see what they think about our idea. We gave
a brief synopsis of our production idea just to see straight away if people
like our idea and think it will work. 66.67% of the survey population said
that the idea would work which lead us to go ahead with the idea and try
to make it the best we could as the majority of the people who answered
our survey said it would work. Although some of our audience thought
that the idea wouldn’t work we still went ahead with it as its an issue that
John and I care strongly about and we thought more attention should be
brought to the issue of domestic violence.
Another question that we asked straight away was ‘How do you think we
could improve our idea?’. We asked this so that we could find out from
our audience themselves how they think our production could be better
already. We received a few comments from this question that mentioned
that the video should be as realistic as possible. We took this into great
consideration when producing the footage. We tried to make it as
realistic as possible by using make up for some of the scenes which
makes it look like whats happening to me is real. For example in the
scenes when I have a black eye and blood on my face, this conveys
whats happening to the viewer better than it would of if we didn’t use
make up. Due to the fact that the viewers can see whats happening in
detail to me they can empathise with me and it makes the video more
powerful.

People also asked us to include lots of effects and colour, we did this to
the best of our ability to make the video as professional as possible.
Genre and style

We chose to look into and research the Lo-Fi Hip hop genre due to the
fact that it’s the genre of music that John and I are really into and we felt
that if we made a production within our favoured genre we would enjoy it
a lot more. It also gave us the opportunity to be as creative as we could
be. The fact that we both are into the genre means that we found it easy
to bounce ideas off each other for editing techniques and shot types.
The part that helped us a lot was the time that we spent doing secondary
research on the lo-fi genre and the artists and production techniques
within it. It helped us greatly as it gave us the opportunity to learn what
makes a lo-fi music video. We were able to look at artists that inspired
us from that genre, this lead us to understand how to create a lo-fi music
video. We tried to stick to the genre the best we could in different ways.
For example some of the editing techniques that I used suit the genre
well, e.g. where I overlay different clips but put them as boxes on
screen.

I used this clip near the ending of the music video. The clip is cut to the
beat well as during the outro of the song you can hear multiple claps at
the end of each bar, this clip shows up on one of the claps which
demonstrates that I can cut my clips to the beat without much struggle.

This clip is played at the beginning of the video, ‘R E A S O N’ is the


name of the song and the fact that the title is a light shade of pink and is
made transparent is a lo-fi production technique. The fact that the
background clip is a long shot of woodland scenery also shows how our
video has stuck to the Lo-fi genre. The long cinematic shots of the
background suit the genre as the show loneliness or someone being lost
which is what the lo-fi genre focuses on. People with mental issues that
can find clarity in the lo-fi genre.

As part of the feedback for our production I decided to ask the survey
participants if they thought that the production suits the lo-fi genre of
music and why. By doing this I was able to see what people think of our
production and if we did it right. 100% of the survey participants said that
the video did suit the genre of music due to its editing, camera angles
and the narrative within the video. This allows me to gather that the
people who have seen the video think that it’s a lo-fi video which was the
goal that we set ourselves. By getting this feedback from the survey
population we are able to say that our video is part of the Lo-fi genre.
At the start of the project we sent out a survey to start us off with ideas
for our production. We asked the survey population what they would
expect to see in a Lo-fi music video so that we could find out the
techniques that we needed to incorporate into our production in order for
it to suit the genre. Unfortunately most of the responses that we received
weren’t very helpful. One of the comments was to use ‘wavy’ editing so
we took this into deep consideration as our production commenced. We
used lots of different editing techniques that suit the Lo-fi hip hop genre
so that our video doesn’t look out of place. We needed to make sure that
the footage matched the style of music in order for it to look as
professional as possible.

When doing our research we looked into different artists like I mentioned
before but we looked into different styles of music videos within the
genre. We wanted to look at how different music videos within the genre
have different styles. Here are the examples that we found…
We looked at the music video for ‘Again’ by Louis Culture which
demonstrates a style of music video. In this you can see the different
techniques that the producers used for example you can see how they
overlaid shots and used boxes to give each clip something extra to make
it more visually appealing for the audience. The box effect is used
throughout the Lo-fi genre and lots of artists use it in their songs. This
isn’t an example of a narrative music video as there isn’t a storyline
that’s easy to follow. I would also say that this music video isn’t a
performance video, although there are shots of the artist lip syncing
there isn’t a live or band performance.
We took this into consideration when producing our final major project as
we decided to include multiple different lip-syncing shots as well as the
story line to make sure our video is a good mix of both types of music
video.
We also looked at the music video for the song ‘crazy dream’ by Tom
Misch and Loyle Carner because the style is different to the ‘Again’
video and we wanted to see which style of video we preferred. Each
video has its own style of editing and camera work. The aim of this was
to see which styles we preferred and wanted to put into our production.
From this screenshot you can see how the video for ‘crazy dream’ is
different to ‘Again’ in many ways. This is a performance music video due
to the fact that throughout the video there are shots of Tom playing the
guitar, singing and there are multiple shots of loyle Carner. We wanted
to use a lot of the same techniques that you can see in the video for
‘crazy dream’ as the editing style is one that we wanted to achieve for
our production. We took some elements from this video and
incorporated it into our own e.g. this video is visually appealing, due to
the fact that it’s a performance video the visuals to match the song need
to keep the audience happy which is why we used a lot of colourful
editing and strong visual effects.
This music video displays Adobe after Effects very well and it was
something that we wanted to add into our production but due to the lack
of editing knowledge and time we weren’t able to toy with these effects
which could have let our production down.

After looking into both videos we decided that we preffered the style of
the video ‘Again’ by Louis Culture due to its simplicity. The box effects
and the slow motion we thought would work a lot better for us due to the
factthat our song is slow and depressing. We thought that if we added
too much colour and effects it would take the viewers attention away
from the issue within our video.
Techniques

After looking into style it leads me on to talk about the techniques that
we used. Throughout the video John and I experiment with lots of
different production techniques. John’s specialism was Camerawork
which meant that he researched into and played with different
techniques such as focus pulls and dolly zooms.

This is one of the shots that demonstrate an example of john using the
focus pull technique. In this shot the camera is focused on me standing
in the field and the focus then pulls away onto a shot of me standing by
the bypass bridge. This technique worked well for us as it draws the
viewers’ eye from one thing in shot to the other smoothly. It made the
production look more professional as john did this multiple times.

Due to the fact that my specialism is editing I looked into different


techniques for the editing process that would help me improve our
production and to make it look as professional as possible. I wanted to
learn techniques that I previously didn’t know so that I could
demonstrate how I’ve progressed over the first year of college. Editing is
my favourite part about every production so it was important to me to
make this project to the very best of my ability. We looked into videos
within the Lo-Fi genre that demonstrate these techniques. So in the
video for ‘Crazy dream’ they demonstrate the strobe effect but they use
it slowly due to the fact that it’s a slow song. The fast strobe works for
our production because the loud claps when the beat drops suit the
strobe as it means that both the clips being played link together well for
the next bar and it just gives the clip that little bit extra. We kept to the lo-
fi vibe in the editing as
we used pale colour
that are commonly
used in videos for the
Lo-fi genre. For
example there’s a shot
in the production where
the strobe colour is a
fade pink which gives
the video that Lo-Fi
chilled out vibe.
I looked into and researched the montage technique for our production
because we needed to tell a story in a short amount of time. The
narrative of our video is portrayed in the montage technique of the
abuse. It shows the passing of time and progression in the space of
around 10-15 seconds. Without this technique the video wouldn’t be as
effective, it gave us the chance to show the audience what’s happening
in the relationship in a small amount of time.

These are the shots that demonstrate this specific technique. It shows
the audience how the abuse and fighting is progressing and getting
worse over time. It’s at the point when she has me on the ground and
carries on to hit and kick me. This conveys to the audience the extent
that it has got to. It’s not just an argument, its abuse.
Another technique that I researched into and played with was the strobe
effect. I also completed test shoots on this technique so that I could
demonstrate how I’ve learnt how to do it and that I’ve practised it
multiple times before incorporating it into our production. Researching
into it helped me a lot to learn the technique as I learnt about setting the
strobe period to a longer time than the strobe duration so that flashes
faster. By setting the strobe duration to 0.03 seconds and the strobe
period to 0.10 seconds means that the strobe effect is fast paced and it
works well with the clap sounds in the song.

This shot is where the clip of Emma grabbing me is strobed behind the
shot of me lip-syncing. This worked well as it meant that the clips fade
well together and it makes it more visually appealing, it also gives those
few shots a much more professional vibe. This shot gives the chorus of
the song a much stronger effect due to the fact that the strobe plays
when the bass and the main beat of the song drops after the pre chorus
build-up of Emma looking through my phone. This worked well as it
shows the audience how the violence starts and they then see a shot of
me screaming the lyrics which makes the scenes more believable as it
looks like it’s me who’s saying it and who is affected by it.
From researching how to do this effect by watching YouTube tutorial
videos I was able to learn that you can play with the strobe effect in
different ways, for example if you set the ‘strobe’ from ‘operates on
colour only’ to ‘Makes Layer Transparent’ it makes the clip that you
place above transparent so when the strobe plays instead of it just being
flashes of light it flashes the clip above it. By putting an additive dissolve
on the end of that clip as well meant that after the strobe it fades into the
‘transparent’ clip. This gives it more of a music video vibe and it makes
the video less boring for the audience as there are effects to keep them
engaged.
I also looked into colour grading a bit, I previously knew how to do some
of this but by watching tutorials on how to
do it properly I was able to incorporate this
technique into the editing process. I leant
from a YouTube tutorial video how to play
with the mid tones and shadows etc of a
clip which makes a massive difference as
you can add vibrancy to any clip to make it
look warm or colder depending on what
you’re trying to convey.

This clip demonstrates how I played


with the colour correction to make
this clip look colder and bleaker. It
gives the effect to the clip that we
want to convey to the audience, we
want them to think that I’m lonely,
sad and upset, by simply dulling the
colours it gives the clip that effect.
Content and narrative

Our music video is based off the conflict between a male and a female in
an intimate relationship. We wanted to show both sides of the argument
so we decided to show me talking to someone else on the phone and we
also show how Emma’s effected by what’s happening as well as how the
abuse is effecting me. By showing both sides of the conflict we were
able to show the audience that what’s going on in the video is effecting
both of the characters in different ways.
This is the shot in the opening scenes
of the video where you can see Emma
crying over a blurred shot of me in the
field. This clip shows that Emma’s
upset about what’s happening and
she’s thinking about me due to the fact
that the clips are overlaid. This
technique gives implies to the audience that Emma’s thinking about me
and is very upset.

In this shot the audience can see how


what’s going on in the relationship
between Emma and I is effecting me.
In the shot you can see me with my
head in my hands, I’m sitting there
also with a black eye. This shows the
audience to extent of the abuse that
I’m going through in the video. The
fact that I also overlaid this clip with a shot of me standing by a
motorway bridge emphasises this effect on the audience as it conveys to
them that I’m contemplating suicide due to the abuse. This gives these
few shots more effectiveness and hits the viewer harder.
After researching heavily into domestic violence we were both able to
see and understand more how to put across the abusive side of the
relationship in the video. In our research we looked into the way men
react to abuse and we also found that its 40% of the victims. By looking
at how males react when subjected to abuse we were then able to
incorporate that into our work. In our research we found that men tend to
isolate themselves when they’re going through something like this. So
after finding this out we made sure that for the production we showed
lots of shots of me on my own looking lost and ‘isolated’. This helped our
production have a stronger effect on the audience as they were able to
empathise with me as they can see that I’m lost and alone , I don’t know
what to do or where to go. This emphasises our point well and makes
the scenes more relatable and believable. The shot below demonstrates
this well as it conveys that I’m lost and deep in thought.

In our production we also tried to include lots of performance shots so


that our production had a strong narrative as well as live performance
shots so that the video comes together for a polished final product. By
us including lots of lip-syncing we were able to send the message better
due to the fact that as well as a narrative to follow there are shots of me
saying the lyrics in a way that makes it look like that’s what I personally
am saying and thinking.
We asked the survey population if they think that our production portrays
domestic violence and why? We wanted to find this out so that we could
see if our video has done what we planned it to do. We want the
audience to think about domestic violence when they watch our video so
that people become more aware of the issue. Some of the feedback that
we got mentioned the makeup that we used and how it makes the
domestic violence side of the video more believable. People also have
mentioned the fact that the woman in the production is very over
powering physically which helps give the production the right vibe. It
conveys to the viewers that Emma is unstable and physically aggressive
where as I’m vulnerable and weak which implies that I’m subjected to
violence as I can’t stand up for myself.

The narrative side of the production is based around the progression in a


relationship but in a negative way. We wanted to portray to the audience
how a relationship can start off being fine but then as time progresses
things may happen that makes the relationship more one sided or
abusive. The video shows how a relationship can turn for the worst
which is what we wanted to portray as we want there to be more light
shone onto the issue.

We asked the survey population if they thought that we had a good


narrative within the music video so that we knew how to improve for next
time or how to make minor changes. The feedback that we got said that
our production did have a good narrative and it was easy to follow which
is what we wanted. We wanted the audience to understand what’s going
on in the video and to be effected by what they’re seeing so that again
more awareness can be brought to the issue of domestic abuse against
men. John and I looked greatly into the narrative of our production and
gave it lots of thought, we wanted to make it right and we wanted to
send out the right message. After seeing these results it shows that we
were successful in producing a goof narrative.
We started off the production by showing me by myself to introduce me
as a character. We wanted the audience’s first impressions of me to be
sympathetic which we pulled off well. As the video progressed this is
when we started introducing Emma more and by overlaying clips of us
both it conveys to the audience that we’re thinking of each other, this is
what we wanted the audience to think because then as the video
progresses we began to show more shots of Emma and her getting
gradually more aggressive and violent. We also wanted the video to end
unsolved so that it leaves the audience wanting more, we thought this
would also be more effective as we don’t see it getting any better, the
last shot is of me on my own depressed. This adds a lot of effect to the
video right at the end to leave it almost on a cliff-hanger.
This now leads me on to Characters as without the right characters the
video wouldn’t have the same effect.

Characters
The characters in the production played a massive role as they had to
be right so that they would suit the role the best. We went through
audition processes in order to find the right actors for the production. We
auditioned Joe for the role of the male in the video but he couldn’t take
the lip-syncing seriously so we decided that I would audition myself. I
was auditioned by lip syncing the opening few lines of the song, I took
this part seriously and put my all into it so it meant that I was the right
person for the job as it looked a lot more believable. I had an interview
with John where I discussed how I think I’m best suited to the role due to
my knowledge of the song and the genre of music.

I had to play the role of a young man who is insecure and is very
vulnerable due to the abuse that he’s being put through. I think that I
suited this role well due to the fact that because it was our production I
knew exactly what emotions I wanted to put across and I knew how I
wanted to portray them for different shots.

For the role of the female in the production we had to find someone
that’s loud and overpowering. We felt that Emma was the best option for
this role due to the fact that she has experience in acting and she knew
the song so she knew how she wanted to play her role as well as
guidance from us. The fact that Emma and I at the time were in a
relationship made it better as we weren’t awkward around each other
when filming which helped a lot due to the fact that it meant that we
could act normal and just have a chat when filming the scenes where we
are looking like a good functioning couple. Emma had to play the role of
a girl who’s insecure but feisty at the same time. Emma suited this well
as she has both of those quality’s so the acting part for her wasn’t that
hard. Especially for the scenes where she’s beating me up.

We asked a question in the feedback survey that helped us to get an


understanding of our acting skills and ability. We asked the question, ‘Do
you think Emma and I played the part well as the characters in the music
video? We asked this so that we could gather the opinions of the people
who took the time to watch our production. What was really good was
that nobody said that we didn’t play the roles wrong. 18.18% of the
survey population said that we did at some parts and the remaining
81.82% said that we did play the roles well. This helps John and I a lot
as we were then able to see from the survey results that we did it well
and to a good enough standard that the audience that it was believable,
whether that was all the time or at some parts of the video. Either way
we were able to see that we’ve done it right.
Qualities

Throughout the production there are different qualities that I think are
really good and really bad. They include technical qualities, aesthetic
qualities and creative qualities.
Some of the technical qualities that I really like and I think that went well
were mostly in the editing process, for example by me learning how to
use the strobe effect I was able to demonstrate how the technical side of
our production has improved and adapted over time. The qualities link
together, for example I think that the technical and aesthetic side of the
production links well as due to the technical work that I put in during the
editing process payed off and made the aesthetic of the whole video a
lot better and made it more visually appealing. Other technical qualities
were the camera shots and angles. A lot of the time the shots focus
pulled but sometimes that effect wasn’t wanted, I think to improve next
time we need to take the camera setting up into deeper consideration.
The aesthetic qualities of the video was how it all came together to
produce a final piece of work. I think that it went really well due to the
fact that although at some points the shots weren’t focussed, a lot of the
time this worked well as it made the clips flow better. When some of the
clip transitions went from out of focus to a focus pull this works well and
is aesthetically pleasing. The makeup also gave off good aesthetic
qualities as it made it look professional and added to how the music
video looked, it’s
more aesthetically
pleasing than the
first draft.
We then asked the survey if they thought the editing was good and
which parts they liked the best. This helps us have a better
understanding of the aesthetic qualities within our music video. A lot of
the feedback was helpful as it mentioned how the colour grading was
good and the transitions which boosts the aesthetic of our production
and the feedback also gave us the opportunity to improve the
productions aesthetic as we were told by one survey participant that the
effects and colour grading was a bit random at times so after this we
were able to make corrections to our work by making the effects,
transitions and colour grading less random by making a lot of the colours
and transitions the same. I think next time to improve this we should of
sent out a survey earlier in order to gain feedback faster and less near to
the deadline date.

Another important part of the production was the creative aesthetic of


the video. This was based around the way that we used different
techniques that we haven’t before. I demonstrated this when I learnt how
to incorporate the strobe effect and the VHS effect. I watched YouTube
tutorial videos that helped me learn these techniques and I also
produced test shoots that in turn allowed me to practise these
techniques before using them in our production.
We also wanted to gain feedback to see if our creative qualities were up
to standard for our target audience. We asked the survey population
what they thought was creative in our music video and why. The
feedback that we got lead us to believe that the work that we produced
was creative and helped us to send out the right message in the right
way. The feedback that we got said that the editing and the narrative
both were creative. This helped us realise that what we had produced
does show creativity and shows all of the required qualities. By learning
new techniques I was able to express my creativity to the best of my
ability.

What went well in our production?


There were a lot of things that went well in our production that helped to
give the final piece a well-polished and professional look. For example
some of the things that went well were the camerawork at different
locations, the editing and the acting/lip syncing. The fact that we bought
smoke bombs to add effect to our video helped us to give the video
much more effect and made it look way more professional which was
what we wanted.
The editing process also went really well due to the fact that when we
were shooting we shot to edit, this is where we could picture how I
wanted to edit each shot as they were being filmed. This gave us an
advantage as it meant that we were more organised and we knew
exactly what we wanted at each location. The editing went well as I
learnt good new techniques and I also had previous knowledge of how
to play with the colour correction of different clips to convey different
effects and emotions. The lip syncing also went really well due to the
fact that I knew the song off by heart so I knew how much emotion I had
to put into different shots. The makeup also really helped us to make the
production look more professional.

How could it of been improved?


I think that our production could be improved in a few different ways. I
think that if we used a stabilizer when recording the footage would be
less shaky and we could have used smoother camera movement with
panning to give it that professional look. I also think that another way our
production could be improved would be if we researched more into
domestic violence so that we could gather more shot ideas and body
language knowledge. I think also if we finished the research earlier we
would have been able to spend more time in the recording and editing
process which in turn would have made our production even better than
it is. Due to this I also said that I was going to play with after effects but
due to our lack of organisation I didn’t have enough time to learn more
techniques.
I think next time what I would do differently would be that we should
spend more time in the research stage so that when it came to filming
we knew exactly what we wanted and we didn’t end up making up shots
on the spot, although this worked for us I think next time I want to
produce a script and storyboard earlier so that we can change and adapt
it and be a lot more organised. Another thing that I would do differently
next time would be watching more tutorials to learn even more editing
techniques so that I can make my work look as professional as possible.

Comparisons

This is another song by spooky black which also lays in the Lo-Fi genre
the video is an example of something that is similar and also different to
our production. The similarities are. The way that their editied, for
example in this music video you can see how spooky black has used the
overlaying effect for a lot of shots, there will be a shot of him in two
different places but within the same shot.

Another similarity is the VHS effect, in my video and in Spooky blacks


you can see how it looks like an old VHS tape at parts. This is also
where our videos are different due to the fact that he used this effect
throughout the whole video and I only used it at some parts. The other
key differences are the choices of location and the fact that Spooky
blacks video doesn’t have a strong narrative but our video does.
The other Music video that I chose to compare my work to is the video
for the song ‘Sunflower’ by Rex Orange County, I chose this song as
there are a lot of key differences and similarities. The similarities that
both videos share are that this video and my video both have a strong
narrative. Although the genre of music is different and the stories are
different, both videos portray a story through the use of montage clips.
The major differences are the editing and camerawork styles, this is due
to the fact that the songs are in different genres so the tempo and editing
techniques used will be different for each, for example ‘Sunflower’ uses
mostly cut and cut to the beat editing where as our video explores
different effects that help the professionalism of the production.

How do you think your now suited to the media industry?

I think that now after completing my Final Major project I am much more
suited to the industry than I was before due to the fact that from doing
this project I’ve learnt and mastered techniques that are a vital part of
music videos and media production. By doing this project I’ve been able
to gather that editing is what I want to do in the future and I would love to
go into the media industry. I have learnt camera skills through working
with John and working in a pair helped me a lot and I know that
teamwork in the media industry is crucial to complete professional well-
polished productions. After doing this project I feel like I am way more
suited to the industry than I was before and I want to pursue a career in
film making thanks to the Final Major Project.

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