After looking at the narratives of artists similar to myself like birdy and Gabrielle Alpin I noticed their dependence upon themselves to guide and feature solely within their narratives. I noticed the focus on self and emotional struggle/turmoil as a motive and drive for narrative as well as performance in this way I will stick to my genres conventions as I will solely feature in my narrative following my personal search for clues and emotional journey in recovering the past while being haunted by a demonic version of myself in a metaphorical ‘overcoming my demons’ which features heavily in the lyrics. Furthermore the lonely lyrical content and settings used in original acoustic music videos such as the mansions in Gabrielle Alpin and Birdy’s videos imply lack of human contact and interaction and allow audiences to focus on their emotional performance, personal music and lyrical content. For this reason I will cast myself as the only actor and person to feature within my setting of the old antique mansion of my music video to stick to my music genres video conventions in terms of casting and narrative.
In order to establish audience expectations for my music video I interviewed 6 people representative of my demographic (girls aged between 14-20) I played them my song and then asked them questions based on location, props, costume and narrative preferences and ideas presenting them with alphabetical options selecting the most appropriate. once finding the most preferred and selected options i implemented these into the planning and eventual filming of my music video.
I studied the nature of performance in 1 minute clips of various music videos. I noted the use of shots and their frequency within the first minute of performance. This included analysis of shot depths, angles and durations. We were then randomly allocated a song, our song was ‘Slim Shady- Eminem.’
Actors and filming
As the only male in our group Ben Blampied took the role of the performer (Eminem.) the nature of the song (rap) made it very difficult to film due to the quick fire lyrics. Therefore on close up shots we had to film lines individually in order for Ben to create the audience artist interaction typical of lyrical performance by looking into the camera lens.
We used multiple locations to keep interest and varied shot depths, movement and angles within each location. In the board room we aligned the setting (chairs) and TV screen to emphasize the artists importance within the shot composition (center of the shot.) we then used typical rap performance low angle shots increasing bens size within the shot which was furthered by his robe costume (indicating importance.) we also used external settings using the outside wall this created the rough and casual look typical of rap videos, we then positioned the tripod at eyelevel while ben leaned against the wall. Not only did this create a cool and causal demeanor typical of artist performance but his situation in the right of the shot meant we could impose the lyrics on the left as we were aware ben was struggling to say the lyrics in time. As well as individually filming close ups we used some close up side shots which were present but less frequent in the minute performance analysis, this allowed ben to read the lyrics while performing and maintain the ‘rapper image’ of carelessness, not looking at the camera.
Once uploading the files there was the challenge of adjusting the shots to the song itself. I first imported the audio (Slim Shady- Eminem) and began aligning bens mouth movements to the track, this was particularly hard as ben was not singing in time to the music played while filming therefore I had to rely solely on what his mouth looked as though it was saying. In many cases I adjusted the speed of the shots as the individual filming of lines meant bens lip movements were not the same as the songs lyric speed. This created the effect typical of performance when artists film the video at half speed and increase speed which was highly effective as Eminem uses audio plugins to create fast/high pitched lyrics such as ‘we’re gonna have a problem here.’
Once pacing in as much lyrical content I could based off the footage we had I found there were numerous gaps, however based on my earlier analysis of the first minutes performance artists typically sync the lyrics for around 40-50% of the minutes duration, therefore I used the purposeful experimental shots such as the movement on chairs, while manipulating bens gestures such as the ‘hand swish’ isolating the movement speeding it up and reversing the shot to create a dancelike movement in time to the music that was typical in my analysis of artist performance.
We also incorporated brief narrative ideas such as the vending machine and approaching the camera while using music video conventions linking lyrical context to visual stimulus such as the hand sanitizer. Finally I decided bens lip syncing wasn’t clear enough so I began imposing text over the shots, this created a ‘lyric’ style video which many artists release so audience can appreciate lyrics and sing along. This was particularly challenging as the rap song meant words were said for less than a second and I had to create and time each word to the music in order for the video to have a finished professional look. I used the ‘slim shady’ font Eminem uses on his album to keep with artist image and used colours within the shot to maintain an aesthetically pleasing image, such as the green and black from the wall, and the red and black from bens robe.
Finally on the brighter shots I added Fuji film coloration to maintain the dark lyrical atmosphere, typical grime looks of rap videos and increase the professionalism, as the setting does not look like a school meeting room.
The final stage of the Digi pack design process required the use of a new software ‘InDesign.’ by using the template of the CD, inside cover, front and back of the packaging we had to insert our designs, however the exact measurements required further manipulation and altering to ensure to cover looked visually ‘balanced’ and was not cut off by the safety margins when printing the DigiPacks. Therefore I duplicated the outline layer into the Photoshop files and altered my text and images so that the eyes and text were not cut off by the red edge and all was contained within the blue safety margin that can cause slight alteration when printed. inside the Digipack I maintained the minimalistic colour scheme with my black logo over the grey coverage mirrored over the simplistic white CD similar to the L printed on Lorde’s CD and the blue ‘eye’ promotes aspects of colour like the umbrella on Gabrielle Alpins CD. Overall the Digipack minimalism emphasizes original acoustic musics stress on the importance of the music as oppose to visually bombarding audiences with colour and images, as the music speaks for itself. In this way my Digipack sticks to album conventions such as Lorde’s logo, colour scheme, as well as thematic elements and hints at my artists lyrics, image and music video narrative through subtle detail, colour manipulation, image choice, font and logo development.
Using my research of other artists within acoustic original music such as Lorde and ed Sheeran I noticed the typical columned listing of 10-12 songs in handwriting font. I used 10 titles of my own original songs and placed them uniformly below one another, tying into the controlling link of obsessive compulsive disorder and further lined my logo at the top similar to ed Sheeran’s ‘divide’ logo and Lorde’s circular sketched logo. I used the standard font and copy write text that is used on album covers manipulating the text inserting ‘Jersey’ music where relevant. I added the bar code to the bottom left corner and the universal music logo to the bottom right as typically management companies demand recognition and visual display on the album cover. Over all I maintained the dark sinister and emotional atmosphere of my album cover to keep its relevance to my writing and also imply the colour and interest to be found within the music itself rather than displayed visually on the outside, enticing audiences to purchase and listen.
I decided to develop the banner Digi pack further. The original image of Beauport beach looked aesthetically pleasing and eye catching while maintaining a typical location of original acoustic music however as this location will not be used in my music video I decided to experiment with the central banner image, linking to themes within my narrative and artist. As the narrative follows an exploration of clues using photographs and the historical mansion setting the reference to time and searching within the past is relevant to the lyrical content and thematic ideas within my music video, therefore I played around with the representation of time manipulating the image of an antique clock from the house altering colour using sepia to highlight the detail in the clock face, however artists such as Lorde and Gabrielle Alpin use minimal colour schemes so I experimented with black and white to keep to conventions of my genre.
Although the clock face ties in with visual representations within my video its link to the artist and title are not explicit. Therefore I researched controlling activities and impulses such as obsessive compulsive disorder. I then took shots of dominos and manipulated the background to create a disorientation around the edge and manipulated the images to create an exact uniform implying control and metaphorical domino effect as all aspects of my artists life a ‘crumbling down’ as described in the lyrics. Furthermore the black and white visually ties in with the conventions as my genre keeping a minimalist impression while also creating eye-catching aspects such as blue and red eyes that make my Digi pack stand out in CD stores increasing artist recognition and sales.
The symbolic triangle surrounding a circle has become a media icon for the illicit group the ‘illuminati’ media has speculated celebrity affiliation with the group linking artists such as Beyoncé. I My initials depict the two shapes Anassa O’Neill, I therefore represented the A using the triangle and O as the central circle, in order to convey the relevance of the shapes I continued my name within the shape ‘nassa’ and ‘neill’ in contradictory white making the logo eye-catching. I experimented further as the Oneill was not easily legible so I created a central blue eye (my own colour) and used layering and colours to create an aesthetically pleasing image that is bright. This directs audience attention to my logo as it looks directly at them and compels them to merchandise (logo, Digipack) as human nature naturally seeks out faces and furthers the intimacy original acoustic artists tend to develop with their audience.
I continued to use the ‘A’ to represent the artists name and incorporated connotations of unearthly/godly imagery that my narrative explores through the 2 versions of myself. Furthermore the lyrical content implies death and connotations of a hellish life and the prospect of relief in an afterlife, I therefore used the angel wings to depict the stereotypical imagery associated with my genre of acoustic original music similar to that used by birdy and Gabrielle alpine dress in an angelic style. Once again I bring in the concept of vision and perception that run through my lyrical content and narrative creating ‘life’ within the image as the A becomes personified and creates a visual interest and supernatural element rather than a simple triangular hole in the A.
The narrative of my music video involves 2 versions of myself, one haunting the other. I took inspiration from Lorde’s logo of illustrated herself composed of outlines within a circle, I decided to use a triangle as it prompts the image of an ‘A’ for Anassa (artist name) and furthermore my video explores the concept of illusion and vision as 2 of the same person interact therefore I used the icon image of 2 outlines creating the central illusion of a vase inserting a triangle within the center to further the depiction of an ‘A.’
My video represents visual disruption/disorientation in this way I have manipulated the coloration of images applying desaturation to maintain the simplistic colouring typical of original acoustic music genre while playing on expectations by removing my eyes and placing them on a separate layer enhancing colour and brightness to exaggerate their contrast from the dull surroundings attracting audiences as human nature means we instantly catch one another’s eye and therefore makes my Digipack stand out from others and on a practical level increase sales. Furthermore on the lower image I altered the coloration adding a red tint that conveys insanity and the alternate self that is represented within my video furthering the lyrical concept of ‘losing control.’ I experimented with the implementation of text creating banners through the use of filling the background I chose black as it represents mystery and visual blindness that contrasts the focus on eyes while highlighting the unsaturated images. Furthermore I experimented with type face such as brick and handwriting that connote to prison like text (controlling) and handwriting conveying the personal nature of original acoustic music sticking to Digipack conventions of Ed Sheeran and Birdy.
The inversion of silhouettes are frequently used in the original acoustic genre as it implies a loss of identity and mystery that is conveyed through the emotive and personal content of the original music, I therefore experimented with silhouettes by taking the image of myself sat within the mansion setting of the video and removing myself, filling the background layer black and implementing the handwriting title ‘control’ in the contradictory white to the fill. I then worked on adding the artist name, however just placing this over the background gave little significance and did not draw enough attention to or look professional for the cover so I removed the stone outline of the fireplace and inserted the artist name over the top, I used the same formal font however this looked false and out of place so I experimented with brick fonts to give the impression the artist name is engraved in the surrounding/environment which links to the videos thematic clues and connection to the house as a reasoning for loss of ‘control’ as well as evoking images of prison/containment. although the text added to the overall appearance I found the coloration needed alteration as other artists typically use 2/3 colours to keep a simple aesthetic so I used filters on the image such as black and white, removing of red, colouring red and saturation while also experimenting with reverting the background and text colour (white/black.)
Using the thematic motif in my narrative of past discovering self I decided the front of my Digipack should have a representation of myself enlightened, the candle ties into the antique mansion setting as well as the climactic burning of photos/images from my past in my video. I created the impression my face was lit by the candle using vignette on the image and extracted and placing the candle image over the top using 3 feathered ellipse tools to create a realistic flame. After studying artists similar to myself such as Lorde I noticed the simplistic colouring and therefore chose tinted text limiting the visual variety to a flame like yellow and black surrounding, furthering the concept of mystery and supernatural present in my video. When experimenting with text I initially chose handwriting typefaces used by birdy and Ed Sheeran I experimented with letter spacing to add visual complexity and simplicity that was aesthetically pleasing and balanced. However the artist name created an unprofessional image as it typically appears in a more ‘formal’ typeface so I experimented further and decided on ‘Britannic Bold.’
Animating the house
For my music video narrative I want to create a haunting quality within the house. Therefore I want to animate inanimate objects such as paintings. As the narrative involves my artist seeking clues as to where she ‘lost control’ I thought it would be increasingly affective to impose my artists face on the paintings. I therefore did a test shoot imposing my own face on the painting above myself. I used a mask to remove the surrounding image and isolate my face, I then added feathering to blend the imposed image onto the painting in the video. I created 2 versions the first has no colour alterations and therefore lacked realism, however I used tint on the second to allow the imposed image of myself to blend in with the photo.
My music video narrative involves an alternate self following me around therefore I did a test of split screening overlaying and cropping 2 videos of myself to create an interaction that furthers the thematic haunting I want to create in my video. I used feathering of the edge of the screen and careful adjustments between shots to ensure the division between the two clips was unidentifiable.
Animated Split Screening
In my narrative I want my the two versions of myself to pass information/clues between one another leaving photos and objects for the other to find, therefore I did a test run of animated split screening. This involved filming myself put down an object and walking away then collecting the object and leaving the shot. I overlaid the two videos and worked carefully to crop the image as I moved across, I aligned the images and feathered the edge to make the audience unaware of the division allowing the video to have a ghostly quality and the haunting aspect increasingly real as the two versions of myself physically interact.