Wednesday, 8 December 2010


I am very happy with the video as I think it is suitably entertaining and interesting. I do wish we could have remained with the scenes of the policeman and dancing that got deleted as it was a friendly way of ending the video and conveyed the characters' new attitudes. I have enjoyed this project, though it was harder than last year's coursework as there was more editing and research involved. I am pleased with my group's efforts; Aiden kept his cool throughout and Ali was extremely useful in his knowledge of design technology. I go now.

Adios mi gente!!


Monday, 6 December 2010


Today we put our covers and inserts together into a cd case

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Here I will describe exactly what media technologies we used during the three stages of our project.


Believe it or not, the internet was what we used for our research. Once Aiden told us that his uncle was Roni Size and how we would most likely be able to use a song of his, we each looked through his songs on YouTube and on his Myspace.

Sure enough, Aiden used his mobile phone to make a call to his uncle who said there was no problem using a song of his. If he had, for some reason, not allowed us, we would have obviously searched for unsigned artists/groups through internet and word of mouth. Thankfully, we never had to deal with spending time finding someone as we already did straight away.

Roni Size's myspace page had only a few songs, and it was on there that we first heard the song 'No More' which we found appealing because of its slower tempo, melody, and lyrics. We also used google to search the lyrics so we could print them out for studying them when it came to coming up with ideas for the video, and so we could give them to any actors we may need to learn lines. We also used Youtube to watch some Roni Size music videos to see if there was any influence we could gain from them. We also looked through his website and his page on wikipedia for research on the artist.

Obviously, we used this website Blogger to write up our process, as well as to follow each other's separate research and analyses. Once we had drawn our storyboards and written our shooting schedules, we used a scanner (as seen below) to scan them onto the computer so we could insert them onto our blogs.

Finally, we used the online delivery website Amazon to order the four masks for the actors to wear.


We used digital camcorders (mostly my own, but we used one of the school's alongside mine during the filming of Julia) so that we could actually film anything. The only problems we had with the digital camera was that the battery ran out during the start of our filming of the cigarrete-jabbing scene, but this was quickly resolved by exchanging our battery with a fully charged one from the media department. Having had plenty of previous experience, we were at complete ease with filming hand-held. The only time we used a tripod was during filming Julia, when we had one camera placed on a tripod directly in front of her for a completely steady mid-shot; we ended up only inserting about five seconds of this shot into our music video. The rest was hand-held because not only was it easier to film some sequences this way, but also because any unsteady shakes we had went well with the song's tempo. The LCD screen is also very useful as we can see what we are filming without having to put our eyes right up into the lenses (as one would whilst using older cameras) which could affect our camera movement.

This is exactly how our cameras
looked except that the colour was a
darker and we didn't have this kid
our LCD screen.

Of course we needed some tapes so that we could record anything, of which we used two.

To take pictures of our filming, filming locations, and any images we needed for our cd inserts, I used the camera on my mobile phone which was good enough quality. When it came to editing, we used the programme iMovie, on which we cut clips and put footage in order, as well as choosing transition and lighting effects. The most common feature we used was they key 'Apple + T' to cut footage. This programme was on the iMacs.

For the creation of our CD sleeves and advert, we used Adobe Photoshop to create the right visuals. Firstly, we created a new project and then unlocked the image. Once our images were on the programme, we changed the colour to black-and-white and used the 'Dark Strokes' effect for the inserts of the two masked characters. We then placed the slogan in red lettering. For the other two inserts, we made sure they were both in black-and-white and used the same red lettering for slogans and fictional credits. The album cover was done by fading in an image of the mask over a picture of a landscape, also having the colour in black-and-white. We used the red lettering for the titles, track list, and brief info. For the magazine advert, we used the exact same image of our insert with one of the masked character and zoomed it in so that he is in much more close-up. Then we just wrote all the texts again in red lettering and in different fonts. I have always found the programme quite confusing and though I could use the tools, I still had to remind myself exactly where was what and which tools had what effect. My post about the work we did that day explains better.

For the editing that we used to add effects unavailable on iMovie, we used a few programmes. Photoshop and AferEffects enabled CGI effects to be added - this was needed for the blood and for making the cigarette look alight, as well as for creating the more cinematic-style colour in our video which was made through trying out different colours and contrasts.

The programme AfterEffects was also crucial so Ali could overlay Julia onto the narrative scenes, and to write a formula which enabled the visuals to zoom in and out and shake around thus matching our audio.

A video converter programme was used to change the file's format on AfterEffects so that it could be uploaded back onto the iMacs as they had different outputs. Also, so that we could transfer the files we used usb memory sticks. We also used this memory stick to transfer the actual song so that we could import it onto iMovie.

Facebook and MSN were used for each group member to contact each other regarding filming days and editing processes. Oh and of course, we used this website Blogger to write up our process!


We did not use many media technologies for this stage in comparison to the other two. Obviously we continued to use Blogger to write our evaluations..for our audience feedback, we decided we would just use the video cameras on our phones rather than to prepare the camera and find a firewire to upload them and all that business; instead we quickly used USB cables to upload them onto our computers. I also used my phone to take a picture of the sample questionnaire as scanners were unavailable. This method was much more simple. We used Quicktime Player as we had to convert our original music video into this format so that we could upload it onto Facebook and onto a DVD for burning, as were unable to do so straight from the iMovie programme.

Speaking of which, we used a DVD for burning our music video onto it so that it can be sent off. We briefly used the internet to reinforce our previous research on drum and bass' conventions, but that is all.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Audience feedback is really important to all media industries; in this case, the music industry. The public's opinion is a detailed method for artists and producers to reflect on their work, as they may become aware of certain flaws they had not realized otherwise; it can also influence them on how to improve certain aspects of their work and it is also encouraging when they are given support. When the feedback is positive, it is beneficial for the artist's confidence as they can acknowledge their success and happily further establish themselves in their area of expertise.

The industry is keen to please their target audience as they are rewarded with money. That is why audience feedback is so important - listening to the public and pleasing them means more sales of the artist's work, more interest and reports by the media, more concerts; it is all round beneficial for the artist/s and all those involved. Ignoring audience feedback is a major fault it can lead to a huge failure - if the feedback is bad and nothing is done about it, the artist and companies risk losing fans, money, endorsements, and any interest whatsoever.

Our target audience was from ages 16-25 but we tried to widen the appeal to older members as well because we believe the message it sends can be appreciated by all ages. We have received a lot of feedback as we had five questionnaires filled out and uploaded the video onto Facebook where people commented on it. We also had people just randomly watching it in the editing room. The comments on Facebook were all short and positive comments including "this is impressive" and "loving the work!". I showed the video to a fifty year-old woman who claimed that she enjoyed it, that the video was interesting entertaining and that the message of anti-violence was clear to her. Many praised the effects we used and the shaky movements we added during editing. They also told us they understood the video's meaning/message. We also had positive feedback on our album cover and advert. We were told the front and back covers looked somewhat menacing which is what we wanted, and that the slogans and insert images were effective and a good idea, although some said the image of the policeman was less effective than the others. Nothing bad was said about the magazine advert, everyone claimed it was eye-catching which pleased us a great deal.

Here is an extremely positive questionnaire feedback from an 18 year old girl. The quality of the picture is awful so I have written it underneath.

1. Did you enjoy the video? Answer honestly.
Honestly loved it, wouldn't mind watching it again

2. Did you feel there was a message being conveyed, if so what?
Street crime being stopped

3. How did you feel about the violence displayed on the music video?
They presented it in a really good way

4. Did you understand what the mirror scene was referring to; if so what is the correlation?
It was from the film taxi driver I think

5. Which of the three scenarios do you find the most effective?
I really liked when the policeman came rapping

6. Which part of the video did you enjoy the most?
The end part and the start

7. How clear was the meaning of their taking off the masks?
Really clear it showed they ended all the violence

8. How well do you reckon the visuals matched with the audio?

She left this answer blank so I presume she did not understand

9. What is our opinion on the shaking/distorted effect used throughout the video?
Really liked it added a special effect to it

10. How conventional is the video for its genre of drum and bass?

11. Would this video encourage you to buy the album (which would be filled with similar songs and lyrical content)?
Yeah to be honest

12. How effective and cohesive are the album cover and advert?
There is a strong cohesion with the masks and they are effective and interesting

12. What would you have changed?
Umm... nothing really I can't think of anything

13. What would you have added?
I don't know

14. Please rate out of 10. Do it!
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
She rated a nine. Wow!

No one told us that they did not like the video, but there were indeed forms of negative feedback. For example, one girl told us she enjoyed the video but "not so much the violent parts". She said the violence was uncomfortable to watch and that if she had changed anything she would have had "less violence". This is a fair enough opinion, but I think it would have been harder to prove our point if we did not display the violent moments. Interestingly, she said she found the phone-mugging scenario, which was the shortest, the most effective because it related to social class. I am glad she noticed that as it was an aspect we were keen to show but that was not emphasised much.

Surprisingly to me, a couple of people said they did not understand what was going on from the rap scene onwards (not understanding who the rapping guy was, why they threw off the masks) which means that they did not grasp the meaning of the ending. I found this disappointing as I reckon it was quite obvious he was a policeman as he shows his badge, and them taking off the masks after he has a word should make it fairly easy to put two and two together as to what is going on.

Here is an interview with a female of 17. We were pleasantly surprised to find that she is a fan of Roni Size, telling us her brother got her into his music.
Unfortunately the file on the phone did not work during the uploading. Very disappointing.

During the video, she says she enjoyed it, and gave interesting criticism on the visuals claiming they were too shaky. She also criticised the use of a white person for the rapping scene as the vocals sounded like they were obviously coming from a black man. This is something we were always aware of and had indeed been looking for a black male to do the part but none seemed keen to do it and we were running out of time. We just hoped it would not be too noticeable but sometimes it is just inevitable.

We were very interested to see what the artist himself Roni Size would make of our video, so Aiden passed by his studio one evening and used his phone to record some quick feedback by his uncle.

We are glad that he liked the video, it would have been very disappointing if he kicked at the screen screaming how horrible it was. He comments on how there could have been more energy and sharper edits; I reckon he was underwhelmed at the pace of the visuals because of how used he is to seeing professionally speeded visuals in so many of his own music videos and others of the genre. While it is a bit disappointing he did not grasp the full meaning of the masks, he did understand the message and we are grateful that he told us we made a good job.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


The main motif that links our music video, album covers, and advert together is the use of the masks. The masks are an integral part to the campaign as they symbolise the violence and crime that we want to get rid of; it is when the characters wear these masks and 'hide from society' that they indulge in these acts of violence against it. All three products are cohesive by including this representation, which is seen constantly throughout the video, is faded onto the covers (and seen in the inserts), and is the main interest of the advert as the image would not be as effective without it. Because the masks are simple yet intimidating and thus memorable, purchasers will recognise what campaign each product is part of after they've seen one because they would remember the mask's image.

There is another strong cohesion between the CD sleeve and advert but not so much the music video - this is the colour. The covers, inserts, and adverts have the same harrowing colour effect of black-and-white with some red boldness, but this is not the case with the video. Had we known right from the start that is how our other products would turn out, we may have considered doing the same for the colour of our music video and shoot it in a way that we could incorporate lots of red colour for a variety of things onscreen. But having said that, if we had the exact same visuals in all three products, then sure enough there would be a strong link but it would then give an appearance of lack of imagination if they are all given the same treatment. Besides, the music video is a full representative of one song out of eleven on the album. We did give the video a grainy look, so it's not exactly bright-coloured. There is a synergy between the CD inserts and the music video as the inserts are full of images to do with the video, either being screenshots or stills we took on location.

The image on our magazine advert is taken
straight from the video

An already existing cohesion of the artist which we have followed is the placing of Roni Size's logo on our album cover, as he has the logo on his album covers; so our combination is effective enough.

Cohesion is important so that the product is recognisable and reaches its target audience's attention; this way the artist's sales and interest are continued as their fans stay loyal and remain interested in the marketing surrounding the artist - if an artist changes its established image, fans can feel disappointed and betrayed and lose interest. However, some artists do take the risk to alter the cohesion they have been following. A prime example is pop star Madonna, who evolved continously through changing her image every two years or so - new looks, new music styles, new ways of presenting herself, new attitudes, new acts, new designs etc. She proved a change of image does not lose all an artist's fans, indeed it can gain even more.

Our campaign gives a rather gritty and deep image which is unusual for Roni Size as he has already established himself. Obviously, were this for real, it could be an example of the artist moving into a new direction which could be succesful or not; given the subject matter I think it could gather plenty of interest.

In conclusion, I do indeed find the combination effective because all three products are cohesive and stand out due to the strength and meaning of its theme.

Monday, 29 November 2010


It is not simple to fully decide on how conventional our music video is in relation to the genre of drum and bass as the song 'No More' is a somewhat unusual drum and bass song. Someone could even mistake it for a song of the R&B genre. This is because the song's amount of differing lyrics and slower tempo allow more of a melody and less of that 'boom boom shake the room' which drum and bass is mainly associated with. However, the beat is still fast enough to be classified under the genre and there are many cases of even slower drum and bass songs, many of which fall under the intelligent/atmospheric drum and bass sub-genre which I mentioned on my drum and bass research towards the start of the blog.

The conventional aspects of drum and bass music videos are showing a performance (sometimes live) by the artist/s, or containing a narrative concept most likely filled with abstract images, or quite commonly a blending of the two. An example of this is the video to 'Propane Nightmares' by Pendulum; the narrative section shows the group as part of a religious cult trekking through a creepy forest into a desolate house where the cult proceeds to each commit suicide; these somewhat disturbing scenes are intercut between the band performing onstage in the house during the carnage, before attempting to escape.

This mixture of performance and narrative is roughly what we have done, though with more emphasis on the narrative. Obviously the singer and rapper we have are not the real ones but our point comes across. Our video does not contain any abstract visuals, although we have a couple of symbolic images but no abstract ones. So whilst we do follow the conventional style of a drum and bass music video, the fact that it carries a social message makes our video a little different for its genre. This is because although many music videos do carry social themes, such as the video to 'Where is the Love?' by The Black Eyed Peas, the genre of drum and bass does not seem to go down that way.

One of the symbolic images is of a church
at the start of the video before the characters

are even introduced; its image represents

the peace and unity both which is part of

the anti-crime/violence message of our
and which the delinquents eventually
come to find at the end of the

The next symbolic image is the final shot of
the video, which shows the three masks thrown
on the floor. This image symbolises the characters'
sins thrown away and forgotten, and is very

important as this action of 'taking off' violent
and anti-social ways is what the video encourages

those real-life versions of our characters to do.

The lyrics and mood of the song contrast heavily as the lyrics are distressing and desperately wishful, but the melody and musical arrangement of the song are upbeat and fun. This contrast is similar in our video. The content is depressing, but we have presented the visuals an entertaining way through the shakes and zooms as well as the near-parodic scene of the policeman rapping.

The use of distressing lyrics being sung in an
upbeat way is shown well by Julia as she is seen
smiling and has a positive presence. It is as if her

presence in the video, fading in and out of the
violence, is like a ray of light which eventually

guides the characters to the right path.

Although we only have two brief brutal-ish moments (the blood splashing out and the cigarette jabbing), one may think that such violence is inappropriate for music videos. Well there are many music videos which contain very grim content and (mostly in heavy metal music videos) a fair amount of gore. A good example of a grim content in a music video of the drum and bass genre is the video to 'Smack My Bitch Up' by The Prodigy; this video depicts a night out filmed from a first-person perspective and shows scenes of drinking and driving (including a hit and run incident), drug use, vandalism, violence, and sex. So our video is actually quite pleasant! If this was a real video, it is quite likely they would have an 'edited' version which would cut the shot of the victim being kicked in the head, and of the cigarette in the eye.

The editing to most drum and bass music videos consist of really fast and flashy shots and shaky camera movements, which rapidly zoom in and out and spin around distorting the visuals. A good example of this is the music video to Reprazent's song 'Who Told Ya', in which VIDOEOFO. We have followed this tradition by giving the video the same style of shaky movements and rapid zooms which we achieved through editing. Had our video been done professionally, there would have also been a vast array of rapid shot cuts but that was too complicated for us.

Here is an example of the zoom and visual

Another aspect to making our video look
realistic was contrasting the colour and adding
lenses flare so that it resembles real music videos.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the most common drum and bass album covers consist of an abstract/unusual image, or of a more straight-up image displaying a set of speakers/ravers/rave paint/music notes. I reckon that our album cover is cohesive with the abstract style drum and bass album covers, not at all with the straight-up style. While not totally abstract, I think that our cover is suitably strange enough as the black-and-white image of the wide isolated landscape with the faded mask raises questions as to what it means.

I find this cover a bit similar to ours as
the image is also shows a long shot of
an empty landscape

There is no specific tradition for a magazine advert advertising a drum and bass album as they are inspired by the album covers/styles themselves, so the adverts will also be done in one of the two styles I mentioned. Ours is cohesive with our use of the mask on the cover, first insert, and music video as it shows one of the masked characters walking. This is not abstract as it is quite simple but we feel it is an effective image.