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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

How to edit my Poster

In the past i have done plenty of editing on video formats but ever have I needed to edited a still image.

I was obviously aware of the famous adobe Photoshop software but i wanted something a bit more simple to get started with.

I had a search on the internet and found a lovely website called picnic that lets you edit your photo's online and then simply save them as an edited format back onto your hard drive!!

It does however limit you to a certain amount of effects so therefore I had to go back to Photoshop to add all the extra bits.

Here is where I am so far:


Making a poster is a key concept of selling my artists singles, with a good poster comes a brand image of the artist, this is key in making the artist popular.

You can recognise many artists by visual motif's found in their posters alone, this is why it is important to make a great poster.

I am currently researching into other artists of the same genre's posters. An artist called Devlin has caught my eye with very similar posters to which I can create but I'm sure I can put an interesting twist to create an independent image of my artist.

Below are a couple of examples:

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


This is my anamatic for my video, essentially it is the shots i will be filming that i have drawn out and edited together along with the track.

This is going to be very useful for when i come to filming because i will know exactly how long each shot needs to be and it will be very hard for me to forget any shots that i may of done without any prior planning.

Having this anamatic will make the filming side of the project very easy and it is a great way of organising everything.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Feedback on my ideas from a focus group.

The first person I asked for oppinions about my ideas was Dan finn.

I told Dann about my ideas for my shots and my locations.

He really liked my ideas and thought they were all really good aspects of the genre i am trying to portray.

He gave me a few new ideas like to keep the locations as run down and grotty as possible as it will fit the genre really well, he also said that to have some overgrown plants would look great in the video and he even gave me a few locations that he thinks would be good which you can see on my next post.

I then asked Dan Coulston for his opinions on the same thing.

He had a very similar opinion to the other Dan and said very similar things in comparison about the nature of the locations.

He also gave me the great idea that I should include a dog in the video, a staffy would be optimal he said.

I also thought it would be good to get a female opinion on my music video ideas.

Therefore i asked leah beavis her opinions on my ideas. I even ran through a couple of my ideas for the shots and camera angles.

She absolutely loved the ideas and gave me some new ideas in ways that i can use the locations that Dan suggested to me.

All the feedback i had from this focus group filled me with confidence and gave me a few things to work on so i'm really happy i did it.

Institutions of British Hip Hop

By far the biggest and best represented record label for British hip hop and Grime is Relentless which features artists like dizzee Rascal and Roll deep including Wiley.

As a result they are not the independant record label they were when they started as budgets for music videos reach many thousands and special effects are even used in some productions, as a result it is not the right record label for my music video as the artist is just starting out and as a result the video has a very independant theme and therefore a low budget is used to make the video whereas Relentless use a high budget.

A smaller more independant record label i have researchd is 1st blood records, a very independant record lable with low budgets and relatively small name artists, as a result it is the perfect record label for my artist to start at and my video will hopefully have the independant feel to it that a lot of the artists in 1st blood records have in their videos.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Target audience

British hip hop is generally assosiated with anti social behaviour and crime, this is backed up by many of the artist representing the genre getting involved in fights and criminal activity.
As a result the music generally talks about criminal activity and creates a representation of the audience aswell.

After researching where and when music from this genre is played it becoimes very obvious who the target audience for my track is. I found that tracks from the genre are generally played later at night on the radio generally on channels like radio one extra, a radio station owned by the BBC. I know for a fact that their target audience is the younger generation as many people in my friend group listen to it when they are driving and when researching it i found they are targeting a younger audience as their website is marketed towards that audience.

The channel AKA also play music of this genre throughout the day and have a forum online to promote artists in the genre.

Therefore it is fairly obvious that the target audience is of the younger generation and for people living in more urban areas and larger cities.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Album cover Inspiration.

I've looked through many album covers in my research and i have found a common image in many of them.

The common theme in many of the album covers is that the artists are stood up against a wall. I do not know why they do this but it is something i can easily reprecate for my album cover and it is also something i can use for all my pannels on my digipack!

This is Devlin's album cover, he is a very famous british grime artist and it is in many ways identical to the preview album cover of a very independant young rapper.

This is british rapper Chipmunk's album back cover and it shows a very similar image to the others. This means that i can easily use this kind of image in my digipak and it relates extremely well to my genre.

Another theme that comes accross in many covers is that they are in a park and there are kids park toys in the background. Again i can't say where this ideo comes from but i think it will be easy to replicate for my back cover for example.

This is Wiley from the famous Roll Deep crew.

This is British hip hop artist Giggs with his album Walk in the Park.

Camera Angles.

In Hip Hop the general image of an artist is of power and an uprising from poverty. To portray this in their videos artist use low angle shots to look up at the artist, this is commonly used in cinema and television dramas to show the more powerful protagonist.

Here are some examples of performers using low angle shots to create the visual presense that they are strong and powerful.

T.I. @ the Chaifetz Arena -- 2008.02.19

This is  the rapper TI performing in concert but when combined wiht the shot below would make a great shot for my british hip hop scene.

Banksy Tesco sandcastles

Shot ideas.

To create a visual motif for the artist in modern hip hop performers use hand guestures to either show they are part of a gang or graffiti to show who they are and what they represent, here are some examples.

Above is the crip signal, a famous gang in America.

Above is a graffiti call of the Latin kings, a latino gang in America.

By having a visual motif the audience will be able to recognise my artist not only by their music and their appearence but also by this visual motif in any future videos that he does.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


A digipak is the way i want my video or track to be distributed, all the best singles are now distributed via digipak.

It is essentially a CD case but made of card and has eithere a picture or a pattern on it. By having it distributed in this way people will be more likely to pass it and it will catch their attention therefore it will increase the good image of the overall product.

Here are some examples of successful digipaks in the hip hop market:

My Main Character.

My main character is going to be one of my friends at school. He is 17 but if seen by a random person in the stream they would normally assume he is around 19 which is perfect as the artist rapping says he is 19 years old at the start of the track.

It is vital that my character comes across as a youth from the run down areas of london, therefore the way in which i dress him is vital. For example it would look rediculous if he was wearing expensive branded suits or chinos and a polo shirt. He will be wearing a hooded jacket and most likely either tracksuit bottoms or scruffy jeans and some trainers typical of todays eastlondon youths.

Man throws a missile during rioting in Enfield

This is a photo of the way in which some of the people from london dress.

The artist is an asian youth and it is key that my character matches this image. My character is very tanned and isn't asian but if hooded it would be very difficult to tell he isn't.

Above is a photo of Jordan my character. As you can see he comes across as a the ethnicity of british asian. We will have to work on some kind of make up to create a less clean image of him and to make the illusion he is from the area the artist is from and to create the image that the artist is a poor man rapping about his life.

Where My Track Will Be Played.

On sky channel 370 is a music channel called AKA, it plays all the big new hits from major artists aswell as the new up and coming artists. Millions of people my age watch this channel religeously and it wis hugely popular with the teenage party lifestyle, i have even been to parties where instead of a playlist on their ipod they simply put the television on channel 370 and played channel AKA. This would be a great way in which to get my music video out there!

This would hopefully produce a popularity for my track, not only can they view my video from the television but they can also whatch it on the internet via the AKA website or the obvious

Friday, 30 September 2011

Record labels.

The track i am using requires an independent record label and there a plenty of British hip hop labels to choose from. This is because there is not much money in the business and therefore there are not many major record companies for this genre.

One of the largest companies for this genre is the record label "boy better know" which includes such artists as "wiley" and "skepta"

This Record company does not suit my artist however as not only is it too large and now becoming more mainstream but the music in the label is more following the Grime route of British hip hop which does not work for my track, which is much more of a hip hop track.

The record label I will be using is Aim2Break records. They are a record label that keeps it simple and don't force  the artist to change their music to suit the trends of the music industry to make them sell more records, the label simply takes the music as it is.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I have thought long and hard about where i want to film my video. As the genre is nritish hip hop it needs to be a run down area of the country, it should be in London as that is the area the rapper is from. Therefore i need to create the image that the video is filmed in london.

To do this i need to create an illusion, by filming an establishing shot of a tall block of flats which are very common in london and are normally assosiated with the capital city. The nearest tall block of flats i know of are in southampton where i will go to and film this establishing shot.

By having this shot to start the video the audience will assume that the rest of the video is filmed around those flats.

I will not however be filming the rest of the video at the flats in southampton as it is such a long way to go if i get back and find i made a mistake on a shot or i want to have another shot in the video, therefore i want to film the rest of the shot in dark locations around bournmouth and christchurch in the underpasses and some of the dirtier areas i know of.

This photo is not from a flat block and may not even be from London but the audience will no know this and therefore the illusion that it is in the block of flats in London is complete.

I will also need to have a recording studio that can easily be done in a normal classroom or a room in my house.

 This is american rapper Eminem in his video for "no love". As you can see the shot is of him recording and you assume he is in a recording studio but for all we know he could be anywhere.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

My genre (UK hip hop)

Ok so i have thrown myself in at the deep end! This genre is not only a music genre but very much a way of life for some people, it is used and many ways to portray political views and peoples strong and sometimes overly strong opinions of the way Britain runs.

The genre has a history that not many people understand and it has taken me hours to research it. It all started in the 1980's when british artist Dizzy Heights released their single "Christmas Rapping". I found a recording on youtube but it sounds like it has just be recorded straight from the vinal.

Your probably wondering where it all came about from and this is the tricky bit, if you have just listened to the track you may of mistaken it for an american track, this is because the genre originated from the american hip hop scene, it emerged like in america from the graffiti and break dancing scene, it quickly moved into the party and night club scene and was a real hit in its early years. It isn't however a conventional music genre as it  is formed in a very much more urban scene that pop or indie music with gang culture now leading the way in mainstream British hip hop.

We have obviously now moved on from the likes on Dizzy Heights and now British hip hop artists are dominating the uk charts and even are starting to dominate the world stage. The genre has a fairly wide spectrum as we do consider uk grime to be a part of uk hip hop which has a huge underground supporting and this is depicted in almost every music video with them being filmed in car parks, underground clubs ad dark alleys to show us they're lifestyle and in many cases criminal upbringing.

Nowadays our hip hop scene is found in the capital London with massive names such as Dizzie Rascal dominating the scenes even with bands such as N~Dubz. These artists do not perform music that is similar to the hip hop i am making a music video too, the track i will be making a video to is very remenisent of the "old school" british hip hop that we used to see which is similar to bands such as JMC with this record "when i'm home"

This record is very reminiscent of the Americanised hip hop we were used to seeing in the 80's and 90's, this is also clear in the music video with big trucks and black and white effects, this is going to be a huge help when i am brainstorming ideas for my music videos.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Why do we have music videos?

In the past there were only records on vinal but now we have music videos wherever we look!

the first ever music video was produced by the beatles and the track was called "strawberry fields forever" it was produced in 1967 and had almost everything in it! from stop motion animation to jump cuts from daytime to night time. It was very simple to do, it featured the band running and dancing around an open field. It is now recognised as the first music video ever.

From then on music videos appeared everywhere with all bands making new music videos all the time.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

how have music videos changed?

Music like all things changes from generation to generation.

We used to have very relaxed and simple music videos like this one by Rick Astley:

All it is is a man and a woman dancing, how simple can it be! This is a classic music video from the decade and there are many more like it, this came from a time before narratives were introduced into music videos.

How is this different from today's music videos?

Music videos have evolved and adapted to compliment the demands of the rapidly growing audience. People don't want to see a one hit wonder dancing to his own song any more. People want to see the lifestyle and the partying of the celebrities superstars. We see a much different location to the older videos as a huge amount of videos are now filmed on and around the coast in warmer holiday climates, examples of this are JLS's new hit "she makes me wanna" In this video the artists dance round topless on the seafront. The use of the video in this example is simply to make more sales!

Another example is Nicki Minaj's new sing;e "superbass" this video features her dancing around a pool stroking muscle filled men in a sentual way!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

What makes a great music video?

Like in Film music videos are found in many different categories:

There are the mainstream music videos that are very similar to the blockbuster high budget films that are out there for example the harry potter series. These music videos are normally the chart toppers as there is a lot of money used in the budgeting of them. A great example of this would be the video to Rhianna and Eminem's chart topper "i love the way you lie". This blockbuster of a music video went straight to number one with estimated budgets going well into the millions!
The reason for such a high budget for a music video was because it had Hollywood movie stars on it with Megan Fox from transformers taking a star roll.

The other music videos are the ones produced on a much smaller budget usually by "indie" bands or by solo artists just coming into the main spotlight. This is what we would call an independent film in the film industry for example the kings speech. A great example and one of my favourite music videos is the stereophonics hit "Could you be the one"
This is a brilliant music video because of its simplicity, the cuts aren't so quick you can't tell whats going on and there isn't too much going on, it was really cheap to film and had both performance and theatrical takes to it and this is why i think it's great.

The reason for the stereophonics video being so great is that it is just so simple; there are no special effects or Hollywood style pyro techniques that you see in Eminem’s video. This works so well because it goes with the rhythm of the song itself, if the song had a much faster BPM (beats per minute) then it would not have such a good effect. The video has been thoroughly thought through as all the lighting in every shot is perfect to show a clear silhouette of the performers, the shots are all perfectly done and the close ups on the guitars are immaculate.  

George's A2 advanced portfolio

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Our audience

I posted our film opening on facebook to get some comments from friends and family, the comments we received were really possitive and the only people giving any criticism or advice were of the older generation. This is good for us as our target audience is of the younger generation and all of the people of of this age gave us a positive response.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Evaluation 1

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

evaluation 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

our first problem was the way in which we were going to film the scenes, as one of our key shots was a party scene with a point of view shot. The scene is in the protagonists dream and we needed to portray this aswell. we took inspiration from a tv comedy called peep show.

Here is a link to a popular brittish sit com called peep show:

We sort of jumped into the filming without being too sure about how to film the POV shots, we watched a few programmes and found peep show which is all filmed in POV. So we looked at how they filmed it, They were using top of the range cameras and we couldn't affored them and they would not work to our film brief of an independant film.

I then took inspiratioin from the extreme sports channel where the snowboarders clip cameras to their helmets and board down the mountain, so this was something we could do. We therefore attached our camera to a builders helmet in order to create a realistic POV shot.

Above is a picture of a filming device we took inspiration from.

This picture above if the device that we came up with to film the party scene and the scene in the sixth form.It is verymakeshift but is perfect for creating a realistic image and shows that it is an independant film with little funding.

We also needed to come to terms with some more advanced editing, for example we needed to put a reverb on the sound for the party scene to make the audio sound like it is a dream. We also needed to do some clever cutting and editting to make the scenes run smoothly and converge seemlessly. This means we learned a lot about the adobe premier pro technology for editing the scenes together.

We used a simple hand held camera to film the POV shot which was simple and easy to use with an auto focus which made it very simple for us to do our party scene as there was little to go wrong and we could not actually see what we were filming so we learned to keep it simple when using technology for complicated shots!

For the other scenes we used a more high tech camera which rested on the shoulder of the cameraman. It was large and bulky and we found it hard at first to get used to the size of it. It had an auto focus as well as a manual focus and we used both to film the scene in the bedroom. We used the manual focus to create a blurred image behind the alarm clock and it took a while for us to understand how to use it but it looked really good once we worked it out.

We learnt a lot about technologies in the process of making our fim openings. From the editing process to being able to adapt simple things to create good images that we wanted.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

evaluation 7

7. Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

Above is the preliminary task i did in a seperate group earlier in the year.

Above is the Completed film opening.

I feel that I have learnt a huge amount from the preliminary task. I think that it dawned on me how hard it was to create even such a small film as the one we did for the preliminary task and I think I learnt that you need to do a lot of work and planning to make the idea look good and be successful.

The preliminary task was all about continuity and I think that we used the experience of making that video to make sure there were no continuity errors in any of the shots that we filmed for the film opening and I think that our attention to detail was key in doing this.

I think the main thing that I learnt from doing the preliminary task was the shots that work in different places, for example the zoom shot right at the start of the preliminary shot is not very good and I don't think that it works very well, because of this we did not use the zoom feature in any of the shots that we filmed for our film opening.

Other shots we used poorly in the preliminary task were the close shots and the mid shots. In the film opening we used these very well and especially the way we used the establishing shot that I have never used before in the first part of the bedroom scene to link to the extreme close up on Dan's face, I think this works very well!

The sound in my preliminary task was terrible and for this reason I was cautious whenever we were using sound because I learnt that even the slightest noises are picked up on the highly sensitive recording equipment, because of this we recorded a dub over of the narration to make sure the sound was perfect and I think this made the opening very good.

One of the main problems in my preliminary peice was that the actors were not properly briefed and this is because we did not plan the storyboards well enough and we did not prepare the scripts and actors for what they had to do, and for this reason they found it very hard to do and the end result suffered because of it, because of this I learnt to plan properly and to make sure we organise the actors well and make sure they know excactly what to do.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

AS film openings

We have been set an assignment to create a film opening. We have been put into groups to work together and make the film openings. I am in a group with dan finn, leah beavis and alice griffin, we started the process by picking the description of our film openings. The choice of film was devided into 4 briefs, these are:

A mainstream action film that will appeal to 15-25yr old males
Your film should appear to be based on a "fictional" comic book

(Opening to Dark Knight, Kick Ass, Sin City etc)

Watchmen here:

Film Brief 2

A supernatural thriller that will appeal to female audiences
Your film should appear to be an international co-production

(Opening to The Others, Gothika, Shelter etc)

Film Brief 3

An independent movie featuring a young protagonist
Your film should appear to be financed through regional funding

(Opening to Fish Tank, This Is England etc)

Film Brief 4

An art house feature to appeal to adult audiences
Your film should appear to be based on an actual event in the last 2 years.

(Opening to Elephant, Milk, Che etc)

We chose to make our film opening in accordance to brief 3, this means our film has to be independant and needs to have a young protagonist.

We then ran through ideas of what the film should be of, as we had to make to film to a certain breif we had to evaluate what it should look like to be considered an independant film.

What is an independant film?

and independant film is a film which is not produced by a major film company for example 20th century fox. Independant films are usually made with far lower budget than blockbuster hollywood productions. We can usually distinguish between independant films and larger budget films because of the style they are shot and the content of the film, the artists inspiration is normally much more fluent in independant films and this means that independant films have the tendancy to challenge normal stereotypical views.

Our opening plot.

The film opening starts with a teenage boy dreaming he is in a party, the camera is fitted to a helmet and is used to create a realistic point of view shot. Below is an example of how point of view is used to portray an event where the person is not fully conscious:

the song is called smack my b***h up.

We used this music video to give us further ideas on how the scene should look, for example we used a similar kind of music to make the party sound realistic and very hyper, our camera also is reactive when the person operating it moves and this makes it more realistic.

the scene then developes with the young protagonist walking past the people that would normally pick on him and bully him at school and their reactions to him being completely different, in the dream they are kind to him and great him like a party hero and make him feel really popular and important, the young protagonist then walks up the stairs and see's his "dream" girl at the end of a corridor, she turns with a fluent swish of the hair and this is used to show her to have the looks of a goddess. She grabs the boy and pulls him into the bedroom, this is when he is woken up by the alarm clock and the camera cuts to a close up of the alarm clock with a manual focus to distort the character. The next scene is of the boy getting ready for school and the aim of this scene is to juxtapose the image given of the boy in the dream, he is made to look as if he is a party heron in the dream but in real life the audience can identify him to be a geek. This is done by low angle shots and by the mise on scene of the scene.

Our aim in this scene is to show him to be a very different person to the person we saw in the dream scene. We will do this by exagerating the boys movements and making him seem a complete nerd. We use a lot of detail to make this happen, we are making revision posters and putting them up on his wall, we also will use a background from a warhammer website which people will connotate to the stereotype of nerds by using hegemonic beliefs. This is how we will use mise en scene during the film opening.

During this scene we will use dubbing to add dialogue which we also need to portray the character of the nerd. This is how we will use non diagetic sound during our film opening.

Our credits will then appear and this will done via the use of the computer, we are going to create a website and the we will record us moving around the website and going past the names and titles of the people in our group. This will then be edited and the writing will come up whilst we a going past it to look like we are writing the words as we are going past.

This then goes through to the title where we will also have filmed the two main characters walking to school and then bumping into eachother, we will do this on a dreary and rainy day to create a sad look of the characters. The title will come up after some clever editing to have a split screen and the title will come up letter by letter.

Here is our story board edited together to form an outline for how the filming should be done, this is called our animatics.

We also created a mood board to show what we used as inspiration for our ideas for the film opening.This is our mood board:

Our potential audience is assumed to be younger people which are female, between the ages of 12-30, just to be sure we asked a group of people whether or not the would watchit and the majority were of this segment. The people weasked were our focus group. Wewould advertise the filmby creating a webstie and by creating pageson popular socialnetworkingsites for example twitter and facebook.

We used actors from our group to make it easier and this also meant that they knew what they needed to do and they could give good feedback from the actors point of view. The locations we used were very easy toobtain,we used myhouse for the party scene and invited a few friends round to act as extras and we gave them detailed instructions to make sure they did it perfectly and were not confused. We use Dann Finn's bedroom to film the bedroomscene as it was very close to schooland we could film it in a two hour period.

We did not need many props or costumes but we made sure we had complete continuity if we had to film the scene again and we did this by making sure the locations were exactly the same and the clothes of the actors were exactly the same.