Sunday, 27 October 2013

Focus Group Discussion

So after just a short time of using my Facebook group to begin to ask questions, I recieved some feedback from my Focus Group a.k.a. my friends. (link)

Facebook has the tendency to notify people of every single little thing that happens in a group. The people in my focus group felt that this annoyed them more than engaged them and that unless specifically prompted, they would forget to comment or take or look.
So, I suggested that I just explain my ideas to them and take their opinions there and then. Although this is not the most official or efficient way of doing things, if it means that I will actually get proper feedback then that is what I will do.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Focus Group Questions for Feedback

These questions will be posted on the Facebook page soon:
  • First I need to make sure that I post the pitch and ask them to watch and give their initial thoughts then asking 'Do you understand the concept?'
  • 'Do you think my idea is relevant to the genre?'
  • Provide a list of potential shots and ask which ones they think sound best
  • 'Does this sound interesting and does it sound like a music video?'
  • 'Is there anything you think needs to be included prop wise? costume wise? performance wise?'
  • 'Does anyone want to be a part of this video?' - then provide filming times etc.
  • 'Oli, I know you can play the guitar but can you play electric guitar? Would you consider performing in the video?'
  • Later I will ask them to vote on who they think is most suitable for the roles

Monday, 21 October 2013

My Coursework Plan

Pitch Feedback

After performing my pitch to the rest of my media class, I received some very encouraging feedback, despite realising how much information I had actually left out. For example, no-one knew exactly who was my target audience until I was asked afterwards. (target audience post) And yet still comments said that it still looked to be both interesting and achievable.

It seems that generally, people really like the pineapple idea. I think it's because it's something people can immediately identify as strange and perhaps knowing that when the main character doesn't gives an audience the sense of superiority.

Also they seemed to like the idea of making fun of typical conventions and where the humour would be coming from, which was good as these were two points I really wanted to be prevolent.

It seemed that they believed that my idea worked to engage the audience and, by process of illimination, would work well the sell the artist/music. After such positive feedback, I look forward to getting stuck in!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

My Pitch

As a part of the music video creation process I needed to deliver a pitch to the rest of my media class in order to sell my idea. Here is the video I played:

I received a lot of feedback regarding my ideas. Despite wondering whether or not the pineapple idea would be a little too hard to understand, nearly all of my feedback was very encouraging. Not only did they like the idea but also commented on how it turns my stereotypical breakup theme into something else. This is exactly what I wanted to convey as the song is accentuating the conventions of the break up and pointing out (at least from Paramore's perspective) that people get so overemotional. I am really glad that I know this will communicate clearly.

They also believed that I had an idea that would apply to my audiences well (as I explained the demographic after I was asked). There is risk to go to far on the humorous side but I planned to induce the humour in careful moderation and not go too far with the pop elements/conventions.

There was a little speculation with regards to whether or not the locations will be suitable as they have not yet been specifically decided - they involve a bedroom, a living room and a few outdoor shots - and so soon I will be doing an evaluation for availability and suitability for my possible locations.

Overall the feedback I received told me that this seems achievable as well as exciting and one person even specifically stated that they looked forward to seeing the finished video.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Video Trials

Here are some video trials I created testing techniques I could possibly use in my video.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Video Shot and Concept Ideas

What I have gathered from the lyrics is that '(One of Those) Crazy Girls' there are some very strong messages. What I gather is that:

  1. It is focused on the extent on which some girls hang onto denial
  2. It is meant to convey an over-the-top feel
  3. The relationship was clearly never going to work
  4. The subject is not necessarily crazy but IS super paranoid at best
When listening to this song, the ukulele at the start came through very strongly and immediately conjured tropical thoughts i.e. palm trees and hawaii. Yet at the same time there seemed to be a slight 50's/60's vibe to the sound (until the main guitar kicks in of course). In my mind then, I envision the subject to look a little like she might have stepped straight out of 'Grease', with her hair in bunches, big skirt and possibly the cat eye style sunglasses.

Then there comes the actual message of the song and my role in conveying that. I need the audience to get the message immediately and so to do this I want the ex-boyfriend roll to be played by a pineapple.

Here are some of the shot ideas I am speculating at the moment:
- Over the top crying w. ice cream eating in pj's. Either still with singer in the immediate front or moving around a circle which she is stood in the middle of.
- some form of simple synchronised movement/dance of singer + girls styled to look 'break-up crazy' i.e. messy hair and make-up, clothes a little bit punky and aggressive.
- walking up to front door in the rain with flowers
- singer thrashing on her bed next to someone playing the guitar solo in a hawaiian pineapple shirt
- purposeful marching towards the camera with scowel

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Audience

Now that I understand Paramore's appeal, I need to think about who they are appealing to. A suitable audience profile would probably be something like this:

  • They would probably be C1 or lower on the Jicnar's scale providing they are still fairly young otherwise they would into E as students
  • In terms of age 14-26 would probably be most suitable, although at a push they could reach into the very early 30's.
  • Their pyschographic would fall under individualists and explorers
  • Paramore's fanbase consists of both genders although Hayley's dominant presence tends to tip the scale towards females 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Understanding Paramore

It's safe to say that over the years, Paramore have undergone a lot of changes. In 2004, Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis, Taylor York and Josh and Zak Farro formed the American alternative/punk rock band. In 2005 their first album 'All We Know Is Falling' came out featuring the track 'Pressure' (seen below). The track was so popular that a 'simlish' version was featured in the game 'Sims 2', which for many, including myself, was the first anyone had heard of Paramore. As you can tell, this is not the video of a super established band, but things soon changed.

Paramore's next album 'Riot!', released in 2007, was really what established the band. For many fans, 'Riot!' still continues to be the favourite album as it best embodies the alternative/punk rock style. 'Misery Business' was probably the most popular song of the album as well as Hayley Williams' favourite. The song features an immediatly identifiable guitar intro and the band's soon recurring motif of distinctive lyrics. The video itself is quite obviously thought about way more clearly than 'Pressure'.

There is a much clearer narrative, intersected with editing that displays it in equal measures to shots of the entire band, featuring mostly however around Hayley. Her hair and makeup is a lot 'louder': the colour contrast has been increased to accentuate this. Above all there is a very strong sense of motion. the editing is extremely fast paced and the camera rarely keeps still either featuring a pan, zoom or tilt in virtually every shot. There is a heavy element of 'looking' as a series of shot/reverse shots follow the perspectives of the characters of the video (particularly to illustrate the reactions of the 'bitch' character's actions in more detail). Also, Hayley looks in to the camera for the majority of time she is seen singing, as it typical. However at one point, she actually grabs hold of the camera a few times, shaking the lens into view so that the audience are reminded that she is aware of our presence.

 'Crushcrushcrush' was also a killer hit from the 'Riot!' album. It again features a lot of movement however it is toned down quite a bit to fit with the tempo of the music. The movement then in this case comes through the band members and actors in majority, although the camera (for the majority) still does not just stay still. There is also still high contrasting colour: Hayley's orange hair stands out bright against the pale blues of the background. There is also a play, once more, on the aspect of 'looking'. We see a couple of men with telescopes and binoculars looking at the band and looking seedy with their mouths wide open and smiling.

'Brand New Eyes'
In 2009, Paramore released 'Brand New Eyes'. At this point they had managed to establish themselves globally and it was clear that Paramore was now more than the punk rock band they had begun as. 'Brand New Eyes' featured tracks that began to expand from the genre. Some of the songs though just as brilliant, were taking on a softer alternative styling. Some may argue that they were all the more better for it as instead of defining them by genre, you would define Paramore as Paramore.

This video for 'Brick By Boring Brick' once again follows a clear narrative except compared to 'Misery Business', there is more focus to it in comparison to the band focus. Hayley is the only member of the band really seen, and rather than being separated, she is placed within the narrative world. Though the effects are at some points quite cheesy, there has been quite clear effort to create more synaesthesia. The video is more amplifying - you see a big hole being dug on 'we'll dig a deep hole', the girl in the video wear butterfly wings while it's heard that she's 'ripping wings off of butterflies' - which overall does make it more engaging. There was a step taken in this video to show that they were trying something new, especially as Hayley's trademark orange hair had been replaced by flowing platinum blonde.

'Playing God' took the focus back to the band a little, featuring them in a story where they'd all been imprisoned by Hayley. Again we can see hints of amplifying visuals, during 'the way I, way I see it' Hayley glares at each of the band members with a magnifying glass. At one point also, she is seen looking into a mirror and after each line Josh Farro echoes 'I'll point you to the mirror'. These few shots also have a deeper layer of relevance as they resemble the back cover of the album (link) with the empty frames seen surrounding the mirror. This little link back to the album is also seen in the video for 'The Only Exception' as seen below (probably on account of the fact that they shared the same director: Brandon Chesbro).

Compared to some earlier videos, the entire feel of this one is a lot softer to match the feel of the song. The lighting is a lot softer and the cuts are quite few. Long takes allow the video to flow more in accordance with the music.

From Five to Three
In December of 2010, Josh and Zak decided that they would be leaving the band. This changed a lot of how Paramore was now percieved, mainly as the reason for their leaving was probably due to the amount of focus placed on Hayley. Then in June 2011, 'Monster' was released, the first song to not feature contribution from the Farro brothers.
There a very strong focus on each of the band members again (however Hayley is still prominant) and extra care has been taking to provide particularly striking visuals to go along with the music e.g. lamp firing sparks, striking the wall. I feel that overall it made a really big statement - they wanted their audience to know that Paramore was still strong as ever and I feel they proved it well (at least with this visual delivery).

Most recently, the new and smaller Paramore released their long anticipated album named simply 'Paramore'. Though still inkeeping with the Paramore 'motif', they had still managed to stretch a little further out of the typical American punk-rock sound.

'Now' came out as an album preview, serving very well as a taste of what was to come. The concept of the video is simple yet so unbelievably effective. The editing is very in-keeping with the sound again (it is another prime example of effective synaesthesia) and works so incredibly to grip your attention. It is very loud and makes quite a potent statement; a statement which says 'we are back.'

'Still Into You' received a lot of mixed reception. Some of the audiences liked how they were seeing a new, but still very Paramore sound whereas others felt the track (and, to a further extent, the album) was far too 'pop' for what they were expecting. I would argue that Paramore have never truly succumbed to the genre they happened to fit in but instead made the music they wanted. Now, I would consider them alternative rock. However, even this feels too defining, hence why I have chosen to take this look at Paramore and the potential audiences they have, rather than the audiences of the specific genre.

They are fun, they are loud, they are creative, visually stunning and absolutely BURSTING with emotion. And I feel, most importantly, that that is what I should bear in mind when developing and filming my video.

Monday, 7 October 2013

After a Week

It's been a week since I contacted Kristina Cotsamandis asking permission to use '(One Of Those) Crazy Girls' and I have had no reply. Therefore, I will just be continuing to work towards producing a video for this song - especially as time is of the essence.
Therefore it is decided that this will be the song I use.

Friday, 4 October 2013

What Are the Words?

I haven't had a reply as yet, but just in case I should probably take a look at the lyrics anyway. Below are the lyrics to '(One Of Those) Crazy Girls' taken from The lyrics are very important when considering the type of video I want to make as well as helping to create potentially better synaesthesia.

Now when you say you wanna slow down,
Does it mean you wanna slow dance?
Maybe you just want a little extra time
To focus on our romance.

What do you mean I got it backwards?
You know we're gonna be forever.
Why are you tellin' me goodbye?
Aren’t you gonna stay the night?

Are we really over now?
Maybe I can change your mind?
Soon as you walk out my door,
I’m gonna call a hundred times.

Now I walk under a pink sky (ooh),
Lovers float along and pass me by.
I pour my heart out to your voice mail,
Let you know I caught a bus
To your side of town.

And now I’m standing at your doorstep
With Los Angeles behind me.
If you don’t answer I’ll just use the key
That I copied 'cause I really need to see you.

If you're not here when I break in,
I’m gonna go to your closet,
Just so I can smell your skin.
As the chemicals swim,
I know I’ll never love again,
I swear I’ll never love again!

Baby, are we over now?
Maybe I can change your mind?
As soon as you walk out my door,
I’m gonna call a hundred times!

I’m not one of those crazy girls,
I’m not one of those crazy girls,
I’m not one of those crazy girls,
I’m not one of those crazy girls.

Hey, baby, are we over now?
Maybe I can change your mind?
As soon as you walk out my door,
I’m gonna call a hundred times!

Baby, are we over now?
Maybe I can change your mind?
Soon as you walk out my door,
I’m gonna call a hundred times!


Now I’m one of those crazy girls,
Now I’m one of those crazy girls,
Now I’m one of those crazy girls,
Now I’m one of those crazy girls.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Asking for Permission

On the 23rd of September I sent an email to Paramore's publicity representative Christina Kotsamandis, (far more reliable than atempting to contact Hayley herself) asking for permission to use their song '(One Of Those) Crazy Girls' as it is my first choice. Below are 2 screenshots displaying my email and showing that it has sent.

As of yet I have had no response.