Our finished film opening sequence.

Our finished film opening sequence.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Evaluation Question 1: Did you enjoy the main workshop day? What roles did you take? What were your best bits and why?

The Shoot Day:
A Timelapse of Our Media Shoot.

I found the main shoot day to be a very enjoyable experience, it was extremely fun taking part in a more professional style shoot, and getting to learn about all the equipment and work that goes into filming music videos.

I also found it really interesting to be taking part in the shoot from more of a performance stand-point, rather than being behind the camera like I am used to.

Me (left) having my makeup done by trained
industry professionals.

It was also great to work alongside real industry professionals, and learn from them. The whole crew was really helpful, and always up for a chat about what its like working in the industry.

My Roles:

Me (center) on set and in costume.
Throughout the day I took on several roles, my main one being an actor. In our remake I played cool kids 2 and 3, along with other assorted roles when needed. I was also able to try my hand at crying, which was a very memorable experience.
Me in my crying shot

Me (right) helping maneuver the lockers on set.

Throughout the day I also assisted the crew in several jobs such as stage management and the moving of props, and marking the shots with the clapperboard.

My Best Bits:

Overall it was a great day, but some of my personal favorite bits had to have been:

  • Using the Tiger Balm to make myself cry. Although stinging a little bit I found it really fun creating tears using the tiger balm, and in the end it gave a really realistic crying look.
  • Learning from the professionals was really great, and taught me a lot of cool tips and tricks that I can take into next year's Music Video project.
  • I enjoyed the atmosphere of the day immensely, and just being able to have fun with my friends, and come out of it, with a professional looking film at the end.
Working on the shoot day overall was amazing though, and I feel like it's something I will really savor in later life, as not many people have the opportunity to take part in such a great day.

A panorama of the studio, a day I will never forget.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Evaluation Question 2: What have you learnt from participating in each prelim tasks 1, 2, 3 and 5?

Task 1: The Audition Video

I learnt quite a lot from completing this task:

  • How to Lip-sync. Lip-syncing is a major part of the project as a whole, and I didn't realize until we made our audition video how difficult it really is, and that you would need to sing the lyrics to be able to look realistic in the video.
  • I also learnt the importance of maintaining your eye-line, and actually learning the lyrics off by heart. As in our video my close ups have my eyes continuously darting between the camera, and the lyrics we had pinned up behind the camera, and it just looks pretty awful.
  • Boldness is something I learnt from doing this, as you need to be bold to be able to create a good, fun video.
Task 2: Practicing the Performance

I learnt an awful lot from Jasmine, our performance director, about how to perform in front of a camera.
  • She played games with us such as Woo-Ha to make us be more confident and bold in our performances.
  • Jasmine also took sessions where we had to say lines, and show emotions whilst being filmed, and watched. These really helped me understand how to properly convey feelings to the camera, and helped everyone to get out of their shells a bit more.
Jazzi doing a camera session With the Band

Task 3: Planing and Organizing our Costume

Close up of me in costume with hair and makeup
Me (center) in costume

One of the key tenants you learn in organizing a costume is Beg, Borrow, Steal. Working on a very minimal budget taught me that you need to be very creative when creating your costume on where you get the clothes from. For instance the hoodie in my costume was borrowed from Sailesh, and my T-shirt was from Emilio, the rest of my costume belonged to me.

Cool Kid 2

Accuracy was also something we tried to go for a lot with my costume, as we were creating a remake of a pre-existing music video. 
My costume was based off of the character we affectionately named Cool Kid 2.
Whilst planning this costume I learnt that complete accuracy may not always be the best route, as you should aim for a costume that fits in with the personality of the character, whilst also suiting you well.
Luckily with my costume we were able to get it very accurate, and look good on me.

Task 5: Completing the Remake Edit

My finished remake edit.
Completing the remake edit was quite difficult for me, as unlike everyone else, I worked on my own. But I did learn some very useful skills from taking part in it:
  • Give yourself enough time. A problem I had was that I severely underestimated the time it would take to complete the edit. From when i first started editing I realized how slow the process is, and ended up spending basically all my free time in the Edit Suite editing.
  • Another useful thing I learnt was to match up a whole take on a higher editing track, and then splice it in when needed. This saved a lot of time, and made the process a lot easier.
  • I also learnt about quite a lot of useful tools inside Adobe Premier Pro, such as the Lens Flare, which was really useful when creating the bright flashes that are throughout the music video.

Evaluation Question 3: Are you pleased with the footage and your finished edit? Is it how you expected it to look? What works really well and what would you change?

My Final Edit of the Echosmith - Coolkids Remake

I am very pleased with my finished edit of the remake. I feel like it went really well.

I was quite surprised with how well it turned out, because I didn't realize some of the shots that were filmed during the shoot day, and thought there would be much less footage to pull from.

However having a lot of footage was also quite a trouble, as there was so much to go through when trying to find the right shots whilst editing.

What Went Well:
  • I'm happy with some parts of the edit, like the opening sequence, which I feel that I was able to match directly to the original video really well.

  • I also am pleased with, where we didn't have some specific shots, I was able to use other shots and improvise whilst staying within the style of the music video, and not making cuts that were too jarring.

What Could have Gone Better:
  • Viewing it now I am quite dissapointed with my grading of some shots, as I feel they have come out too green, or just a bit too desaturated. These shots go across most of the video and, even though my grading was based completely off the original video, they just seem a bit out of place or weird.

  • Another Issue we encountered was thatt we didnt actually have the footage for some shots, so we had to improvise. Some of these improvisations look ok, but others don't look that great. For instance, a MS of Meera had to be created by zooming in really far, and this really decreased the quality of the shot.

Evaluation Question 4: How do you think your prelim experiences will impact on your approach to next term's music video coursework? WIP

The Cast after a hard day of Shooting

The Prelim was a really great project, and I have learnt loads of tips and tricks to take on into next terms music video project.


In terms of pre-production I learnt quite a lot, despite not being very involved in the pre-production process. For instance:
  • I've learnt quite a lot when it comes to organizing and planning a costume in preparation for a shoot. Always remember the key tenants of planning costumes Beg, Borrow, Steal.
  • Also I've learnt the importance of getting a call list, as it allows you to plan out the day easier, as timing is a very important party of the shooting, so you need to know your shoot schedule well.
  • The importance of rehearsals is something I've learnt from pre-production, as I wouldn't have known how to convey feelings in front of a camera without the assistance of Jazzi and the classes that she took with us.


I was quite involved in production from the shoot and this taught me quite a few things:
  • The proper use of the equipment:
    • We were given a course at the beginning of the shoot day on how to control the lighting in the studio.This will come in extremely useful when filming in the studio for our own music video.
    • We were also shown how the cyclorama works, and how to successfully take it down at the end of a shoot.
    • We were also introduced to other equipment we hadn't used before, that would be useful during the shoot, such as the silk, and the flags, which came in very useful when blocking and softening light to get the correct intensity of light.
  • How to treat the actors. By being an actor myself in this project I now have a better understanding of what it's like to be acting in a music video shoot, and how best to treat the actors when they are on camera. This has also allowed me to find out how best to convey ideas to the actors, and them be able to do what I intend.


Post-production was the part of the prelim that I was most involved in, as I edited the video by myself. This was quite difficult as it took a lot of time,and it was hard to get a second opinion on shots without disturbing other people. Even though I was already confident in my editing abilities, I do think that I have learnt quite a lot from editing this project:
  • Grading. In our film opening project Noa did most of the grading, however since I was working on my own in this project I had to learn fast. I feel that now I have a much better appreciation of how hard it is to grade a video. I've learnt how to use Procamp and Three-way-color-corrector to get the desired effects, for instance Procamp should be what you mainly use, whilst Three-way-color-corrector should only be used afterwards to tweak the color of some shots.
  • The software. In this project I feel like I know Adobe Premier Pro really well, and I now know how to do things I hadn't done in any projects before, such as adding a blur effect, or adding lens-flares to a shot.

Overall I think this project has taught me a lot of useful skills that I can take into filming my music video next term, and I feel much more prepared for the project to come.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our Opening Sequence:
Our Film is Titled A Sight for Sore Eyes, and is a mockumentary focused on Toby, A boy who suffers from invisibility, and his first year away from home at university.

Our film mostly sticks to the conventional forms used in film openings in style, narrative struture, genre conventions, and general conventions of film openings:. I created a mind-map to show this:

Use Ctrl Mousewheel to zoom in and out, and drag to move.
Theorists we used when creating our sequence:

  • Todorov:
    • In terms of the classic narrative pattern the opening sequence of a film usually makes up the equilibrium at the beginning of the film, with everything relatively happy and stable before the disruption.
    • We can see this in What we do in the Shadows as the opening sequence shows the vampires living happily together before Nick comes in and disrupts their usual lives.
What we do in the Shadows Opening sequence
    • In terms of the classic narrative pattern our opening sequence represents the equilibrium at the beginning of the film. In this equilibrium Toby is happily living at home with his mum and brother.
  • Barthes:
    • Our film mostly uses enigma codes to create suspense and humor. For example The sequence starts with you knowing Toby has a genetic disease, but you don't find out hes actually invisible till a few shots later. This quick pay off creates humor as the audience expect it to be something really bad, but instead the outrageousness of it helps to create humor.

  • Propp:
    • In our film we didn't really apply Propp's character roles much, however our characters do slightly conform to the archetypes created in the character roles in some respects:
      • Toby, the Protagonist. Toby is the main character of the film, and although not particularly heroic or brave in any way throughout the film he goes on a mental journey, and learns to be more outgoing.
      • Joyce, the Helper/ Mentor. In our opening Joyce works as a mentor to her two sons, even though she doesn't focus on Kenny he still sees her as a role model.
      • Kenny, the Antagonist. Although he is not particularly a bad person Kenny's jealousy of his brother leads him to slightly bully Toby.
Joyce Lerone
Toby Lerone
Kenny Lerone

Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our sequence:
In our opening sequence we have represented a quite stereotypical white middle-class family in the form of a single mother, and two very contrasting teenage sons. Our opening sequence also positively represents disability.

Viago from What we do in the Shadows
Toby Lerone:
  • Toby is very socially awkward, and has been home schooled his whole life.
  • For him we tried to represent him as someone who hasn't had much communication with the outside world. For inspiration for his character we looked at Viago from What we do in the Shadows.
  • To emphasize Toby's awkwardness we tried to give him very awkward dialogue in the same style as Viago.
  • Toby represents a large group of teenagers who feel that they don't really fit in, and the invisibility emphasizes this, as it helps to connect with teenagers who feel like they are invisible, and don't really have a place to fit in in society. However through the film we see Toby finding a place that he fits in to.

Kenny Lerone:
  • We chose to have Kenny's character contrast greatly with Toby's character by being very outgoing and a more self-obsessed character.
  • For Toby we wanted to represent someone that hasn't really experienced much motherly love, and tries to cover up his insecurities by acting out, as he thinks it will get people to like him. We wanted Kenny to seem really self obsessed, as he is trying to be like how he believes his mother to be. An inspiration for Kenny's character in our sequence was J.P. from Fresh Meat.

Clip of J.P. from Fresh Meat (only the first half of the clip is relevant, and please excuse the rude language).
  • We tried to create this character for Kenny by making him turn every question around to himself, and through the inter-title to show that he hardly ever stops talking about himself.
  • Kenny very much represents the stereotypical rich teenager in our sequence.

Joyce Lerone:
  • We tried to make Joyce the "fitness mum" type of character who favourtises Toby.
  • Joyce very much embodies the single-mother character, as she is very much independent and hates her ex husband. To represent these characteristics we really emphasized the fact that she is single, by showing her on Tinder, and creating comedy through her hatred for Toby's father.
  • a big influence for her character is Aunty Angela from Outnumbered. We really liked the passive aggressive new age style of Angela's character, and felt that she really connected with the character of Joyce.
Aunty Angela from Outnumbered.

  • We really wanted to show Joyce as someone who has just left a long term relationship, and is enjoying her new single life.
The Family Unit:

Our film opening contains representations of the family unit. Here is a diagram I created of common representations of the family unit in the media:
Representations of the family unit in the media.
In our sequence the representations of our family are slightly different to these as the family has a slightly different make up. In our family Joyce plays the role of the Mother and Father from classic representations by being the main "breadwinner" and being distant to one son, whilst being close with the other. Toby takes on some aspects of the role of the son by not being comfortable in social situations, however he is more awkward and nervous than standoffish. Kenny takes on aspects of the daughter and son representations as he is extremely conscious of how he looks, but also suppresses his emotions and doesn't particularly like other people much.

Another key area of representation for our sequence is disability as Toby is invisible. We hoped to positively portray disability in our sequence by showing that even tough Toby has a genetic condition that affects his life, he is still able to live a full and happy life, and is even going to university.We wanted to show that Toby's disability does affect his life, but he is able to deal with it and not feel like he is missing out much.

Toby talking about how his disability affects his family