Monday, 28 February 2011

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

Our music video uses forms and conventions of heavy metal videos however I think our video has a certain degree of originality due to the setting. We chose the set our shoot outside as we thought the idea of a band performing in the middle of a large expanse of field would be original and powerful as well as being visually pleasing. We also used woodland locations from the same area. These different locations blended together well in the final video and did not create continuity problems. We drew inspiration from a number of videos from a similar genre (Bring me the Horizon, Enter Shikari, Bullet for my Valentine).
We used an image of an eerie ghost like girl which we achieved through use of costume and make-up. This is an original idea as it's very entropic and is something I have never seen before. We included this idea as it links to the lyrics. The lyrics make reference to an "abortion machine" ("Turn the key, unlock the page, the abortion machine, we abort your machine") so we used the ghost girl to represent the ghost of someone who was aborted. The message of our video was not intended to be either pro or anti abortion. This is a meaning that audiences will understand if they think about the video. Metal videos often have an ambiguous or strongly interpretable narrative that is not as easy to follow as mainstream music, we feel we reflected this convention in our production. I feel we succeeded in creating a video that both conformed to some of the conventions of heavy metal videos whilst retaining our own elements of originality and creativity. There is a intertextual reference to similar metal band Killswitch Engage as one of the band members is wearing a t-shirt sporting their logo. In my print production task I used the contrast of dark tree branches against the grey sky a technique also used in rock band A.F.I.'s album Decemberunderground:

My audience research affected the way I put together my video and print production as I learned that fans of heavy metal music usually favour non-maintream themes and like a style more serious and dark. The song is serious rather than happy so we chose to reflect this in the composure of our video. Our video repeats some techniques used by other metal/rock videos such as the shots of the band performing, the style of their clothes and hair, the fast editing style, the supernatural imagery and the constantly moving camera, rarely is the camera static.

Steve Neale describes genre as "instances of repetition and difference", this thought process can be seen in our video as we used a familiar format; the band performing inter cut with narrative imagery; but put our own spin on it by putting in the image of the supernatural girl. For this element of the video I took inspiration from Horror films such as The Ring and The Blair Witch Project. The Blair Witch Project uses hand-held cameras to shoot a horror scenario in a woodland setting. This film is supposed to look real so a shaky, always moving camera is used which is a style we tried to emulate in our video. This sense of confusion is meant to frighten and excite the audience.
The look of the girl in my video was inspired by the girl from the Ring as she has a creepy, undead look which we thought worked well with the non-mainstream style of the music.

We changed the colours of the shots to create a dream or nightmare like feel, by increasing the prominence of primary colours like red and blue, which made the video seem more entropic and helped emphasise the supernatural elements of the video.

The video does not have a set linear narrative that would fit into Todorovian or Proppian structures, instead uses imagery to display a theme while there is no real plot.
The mise-en-scene of the video was similar to Bring me the Horizon's video with the band as the main focus with cut-aways to the girl.

Auteur Theory could be related to our video as we tried to make sure our video had some elements of originality and was not entirely redundant.
The cinematography is also similar to Bring Me The Horizon's video for "The Sadness Will Never End", in the way that the camera is almost constantly moving to reflect the energy of the band's performance. Another technique my influences used is that they often cut to other members of the band to emphasise the fact the band all play their own instruments rather than some other mainstream popartists.

My biggest influences for this video were:
  • The Sadness Will Never End - Bring Me The Horizon
  • Waking The Demon - Bullet For My Valentine
  • Anything Can Happen In the Next Half Hour - Enter Shikari
  • Vermillion - Slipknot
  • Stay With Me - You Me At Six
The following video is a commentary on the music video:

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