Category Archives: Music Video Production – BLOG

Music Video Production – BLOG

28th Jan 2015

The class has started a new project – Music Video.
Our tutor for this project will be Jim due to Kash, Paul and Mark being off. This project will be divided into 5 sections:
1. WEEK ONE -> Devising: Idea, Planning, Story Board (Pre Production)
2. WEEK TWO -> Filming
3. WEEK THREE -> Filming
4. WEEK FOUR -> Edit (Post Production)
5. WEEK FIVE -> Evaluation

For a start Jim got us talking about Music Videos and their styles. The four most well known styles are:
1) Narrative: Most common in the 1980s and 90s. A Narrative Music Video involves telling a story that is implied in the lyrics.
2) Montage: Like the Narrative Music Video – the Montage Music Video tells a story but it is shortened down. Almost a lazy way of story telling yet effective – a classic Montage is seen in the ‘Rocky’ films where Rocky is training to become a boxer.
3) Band Playing: Another type of Music Video most common in the 1980s – the video would just contain footage of a band playing their song.
4) Abstract: Considered the most easy form of Music Video. The Abstract Music Video contains no story only a series of different shots – yet can still be interpreted.

Afterwards the class was allowed some thinking time, and get into groups.
I’ve teamed up with Danielle and Martyn. For a start I asked them if there was a particular song, which they wanted to make a video to. Each of us went back to our computers to brainstorm.
My choice of topic started as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – so I began to research the story to see if I could get any inspiration. With no such luck until I started writing up what was, in my opinion, the themes to the tale. Below is my work I did as my research (or brainstorming):
Beauty and the Beast: A tale as old as time
(Original by Jeanne-Marie de Beaumont)

A wealthy merchant lives in a mansion with his three daughters. All are equal in beauty, but the youngest, Belle, is kind and pure of heart; while the two elders, in contrast, are wicked, selfish, vain and secretly taunt and treat Belle more like a servant than a sister. The merchant eventually loses all of his wealth in a tempest at sea. He and his daughters are consequently forced to live in a small farmhouse and work for their living. After some years of this, the merchant hears that one of the trade ships he had sent off has arrived back in port, having escaped the destruction of its compatriots. He returns to the city to discover whether it contains anything valuable. Before leaving, he asks his daughters if they wish for him to bring any gifts back for them. The oldest two ask for clothing, jewels and the finest dresses possible, thinking his wealth has returned. Belle is satisfied with the promise of a rose, as none grow in their part of the country. The merchant, to his dismay, finds that his ship’s cargo has been seized to pay his DEBTS, leaving him without money to buy his daughters their presents. During his return, the merchant becomes lost in a forest. Seeking shelter, he enters a dazzling palace. A hidden figure opens the giant doors and silently invites him in. The merchant finds tables inside laden with food and drink, which seem to have been left for him by the palace’s invisible owner. The merchant accepts this GIFT and spends the night there. The next morning as the merchant is about to leave, he sees a rose garden and recalls that Belle had desired a rose. Upon picking the loveliest rose he can find, the merchant is confronted by a hideous “Beast” which tells him that for taking his most precious possession after accepting his hospitality, the merchant must die. The merchant begs to be set free, arguing that he had only picked the rose as a gift for his youngest daughter. The Beast agrees to let him give the rose to Belle, but only if the merchant will return.
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty dines with the Beast in an illustration by Anne Anderson.
The merchant is upset, but accepts this condition. The Beast sends him on his way, with jewels and fine clothes for his daughters, and stresses that Belle must never know about his deal. The merchant, upon arriving home, tries to hide the secret from Belle, but she pries it from him and willingly goes to the Beast’s castle. The Beast receives her graciously and informs her that she is now mistress of the castle, and he is her servant. He gives her lavish clothing and food and carries on lengthy conversations with her. Every night, the Beast asks Belle to marry him, only to be refused each time. After each refusal, Belle dreams of a handsome prince who pleads with her to answer why she keeps refusing him, to which she replies that she cannot marry the Beast because she loves him only as a friend. Belle does not make the connection between the handsome prince and the Beast and becomes convinced that the Beast is holding the prince captive somewhere in the castle. She searches and discovers multiple enchanted rooms, but never the prince from her dreams. For several months, Belle lives a life of luxury at the Beast’s palace, having every whim catered to by servants, with no end of riches to amuse her and an endless supply of exquisite finery to wear. Eventually she becomes homesick and begs the Beast to allow her to go see her family. He allows it on the condition that she returns exactly a week later. Belle agrees to this and sets off for home with an enchanted mirror and ring. The mirror allows her to see what is going on back at the Beast’s castle, and the ring allows her to return to the castle in an instant when turned three times around her finger. Her older sisters are surprised to find her well fed and dressed in finery. They are envious when they hear of her happy life at the castle, and, hearing that she must return to the Beast on a certain day, beg her to stay another day, even putting onion in their eyes to make it appear as though they are weeping. They hope that the Beast will be angry with Belle for breaking her promise and eat her alive. Belle’s heart is moved by her sisters’ false show of love, and she agrees to stay.
Beauty and the beast 2
Illustration by Warwick Goble.
Belle begins to feel guilty about breaking her promise to the Beast and uses the mirror to see him back at the castle. She is horrified to discover that the Beast is lying half-dead from heartbreak near the rose bushes her father had stolen from and she immediately uses the ring to return to the Beast. Belle weeps over the Beast, saying that she loves him. When her tears strike him, the Beast is transformed into the handsome prince from Belle’s dreams. The Prince informs her that long ago a fairy turned him into a hideous beast after he refused to let her in from the rain, and that only by finding true love, despite his ugliness, could the curse be broken. He and Belle are married and they live happily ever after together.
Villeneuve’s version
Villeneuve’s tale includes several elements that Beaumont’s omits. Chiefly, the back-story of both Belle and the Beast is given. The Beast was a prince who lost his father at a young age, and whose mother had to wage war to defend his kingdom. The queen left him in care of an evil fairy, who tried to seduce him when he became an adult; when he refused, she transformed him into a beast. Belle’s story reveals that she is not really a merchant’s daughter but the offspring of a king and a good fairy. The wicked fairy had tried to murder Belle so she could marry her father the king, and Belle was put in the place of the merchant’s dead daughter to protect her.She also gave the castle elaborate magic, which obscured the more vital pieces of it. Beaumont greatly pared down the cast of characters and simplified the tale to an almost archetypal simplicity.
(Story found at:

Disney’s adaptation:
An enchantress—disguised as an old beggar—offers a prince a rose in exchange for shelter in his castle from the cold, but the prince arrogantly refuses. In response, the enchantress transforms him into a beast, and his servants into household items. She gives him a magic mirror that enables him to view faraway events, along with the enchanted rose that she had offered. To break the curse, the prince must learn to love another and EARN her love in return before the rose’s last petal falls. If he fails, he will remain a beast forever. Ten years later, a young bookworm named Belle is bored of her village and seeks excitement. Due to her nonconformist ideals, she is ridiculed by everyone but her father Maurice and an arrogant, muscular hunter named Gaston. Despite other women flirting with him and many men admiring him, Gaston is determined to marry Belle. She repeatedly rejects his advances.
Maurice and his horse Phillipe get lost in the forest while traveling to a fair to present his wood-chopping machine. After being chased by a pack of wolves, he comes across the Beast’s castle. Inside, he meets Lumière the candlestick, Cogsworth the clock, Mrs. Potts the teapot, and her son Chip the teacup. However, the Beast quickly discovers and detains Maurice. After Phillipe leads Belle to the Beast’s castle, she offers to take her father’s place. The Beast accepts the offer despite Maurice’s objections. While Gaston sulks over Belle’s rejection, Maurice returns to town and is unable to convince the others to save Belle from the Beast. The Beast angrily refuses to let Belle have any dinner that night after she refuses to dine with him. Despite this, Lumière offers her a meal. While he and Cogsworth also give her a tour of the castle, she wanders into the forbidden West Wing. The Beast inadvertently chases her into the forest by frightening her in frustration and she encounters the pack of wolves. After the Beast is injured while fending them off, Belle thanks him for saving her life. He begins to develop feelings for her while she nurses his wounds and he delights her by showing his extensive library. While the two begin to bond, Gaston pays Monsieur d’Arque to send Maurice to the town’s insane asylum if Belle refuses Gaston’s proposal again.
While SHARING a romantic evening together, Belle tells the Beast she misses her father. He lets her use his magic mirror to see him. She sees Maurice dying in the woods trying to rescue her. The Beast lets her go out to save him and he gives her the mirror to remember him by. She finds Maurice and brings him home. As Gaston is about to bring Maurice to the insane asylum, Belle proves Maurice’s sanity by showing the Beast with the magic mirror. Realizing Belle loves the Beast, Gaston convinces the band of villagers that the Beast is a man-eating monster and leads them to the castle to kill him. He confines Belle and Maurice to their basement.
Having stowed away into Belle’s baggage, Chip manages to free them. Gaston confronts the Beast while the servants fend off the villagers. The Beast initially is too DEPRESSED to fight back, though perks up after seeing Belle return to the castle. He battles and defeats Gaston in battle on the rooftops, though spares his life by ordering him to leave. When the Beast reunites with Belle, Gaston stabs him, only to lose his footing and die. Belle professes her love for the Beast, who dies before the last rose petal falls. With the spell broken, the Beast is revived into his human form, and each of his servants also resumes their human form. Belle dances with him in the ballroom.
(Story found at:

Themes (or ideas) of my own interpritation:
Love: In this tale two people fall in love. One is of extreme beauty, while the other is ugly to behold. Yet despite this Belle falls in love with the beast; as the two grow fond of each other’s company. Belle’s choices tell us that, in terms of romance, a man (or partner) should be loved by the quality of their soul and heart, rather than the quality of the face. (This particular theme links to the moral of the tale.)
Sacrifice: The most recognisable sacrifice is seen when Belle takes her father’s place at the castle as the Beast’s prisoner. However the other sacrifice is when the Beast lets Belle go to help her father, who is ill – as the Beast knows how much her father means to her. Yet by doing this kind act, the Beast knows that he may have lost his chance to become human again. However the Beast does an act that is known in true love – he put Belle’s needs before his own.
Equality: At the begging Belle is partly afraid of the Beast, and the Beast behaves in an aggressive manner (mainly yelling, or growling but he never hits Belle). However as the story progresses both Belle and the Beast begin to have feelings for each other, and see each other as equal. Unlike the times of the era, when the story was first written, Belle is seen as an actual person through the eyes of the Beast – rather than just a ‘housewife’ or isn’t ‘traded like cattle for the advancement of men’(Lady Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl)
Isolation/Escapism: When Belle goes to the castle it is deep within a forest, and far from the outside world. It’s almost as if she goes into another world entirely – as if escaping from reality.

Music Video style/type choice:

(This idea was inspired by the theme of escapism – the idea of entering a world of a mind’s own imagination) A young woman, named Alexie, who feels more at peace when reading her books and day dreams, reflects on the harsh world of reality. Wanting to be free the young woman magically finds her way into an enchanted world, where she finally feels acceptance.

Song choice:
The Escapist – Nightwish

Who’s there knocking at my window?
The owl and the Dead Boy
This night whispers my name
All the dying children

Virgin snow beneath my feet
Painting the world in white
I tread the way and lose myself into a tale

Come hell or high water
My search will go on
Clayborn Voyage without an end

A nightingale in a golden cage
That’s me locked inside reality’s maze
Come someone make my heavy heart light
Come undone, bring me back to life
It all starts with a lullaby

Journey homeward bound
A sound of a dolphin calling
Tearing off the mask of man
The tower, my sole guide

This is who I am
Escapist, paradise seeker
Farewell, now time to fly
Out of sight, out of time, away from all lies

A nightingale in a golden cage
That’s me locked inside reality’s maze
Come someone make my heavy heart light
Come undone, bring me back to life
It all starts with a lullaby

My interpretation of what’s happening in the lyrics:
The song is about escaping from the harshness of reality. The singer is seeking a way to be free from this world, which controls and traps a human, while becoming ‘the Escapist’ who can break free from those bonds. This song really fits with my idea – plus I also happen to listen to ‘Nightwish’ in my spare time.
I like my idea a lot – but there is parts that feel too big to film in the space of time that has been given to us.
* * * * *
Jim then had the class discuss about Techniques used in Music Video making. The following which we need to think on is:
– Edit:
* Split Screen
* Colour Grading
* Past Representation (using colour)
* Handheld
*High, or Low, shots (Angle of camera)
Then Jim gave us a homework task. I needed to research a film director who began his, or her, career in Music videos. Then I needed to look for similarities between the style of the music video and their films.

29th Jan 15
I’ve done the requested homework in the brief form of notes. Which will help me to write a more detailed answer later.
Choice of Director: Marc Webb
Examples of Music videos:
– Evanescence: Call me when you’re sober (a personal favourite)
– Green Day: 21 Guns
– My Chemical Romance: Helena
I chose to analyse the music video by Evanescence:
* Dark Fairy tale/Fantasy (reference to Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast)
* Quick cut shots – Dramatic
* Few long shots – mostly on the end scene where Amy lee walks across the table, and everything flies off.
* Zoom in and out shots

Examples of films:
– The Amazing Spiderman films (1 and 2)
– (500) Days of Summer
I chose to analyse a scene from the Amazing Spiderman 2 – Time Square scene Elector vs Spiderman first fight.
– Like in the Evanescence music video Marc knows how to make a scene dramatic.
– Close up shots/quick cuts
– Zoom in shots
– Long shot on any action

Today Jim showed us two examples of music videos – ‘Come to Daddy’ by Aphex Twin and ‘Come into my World’ by Kylie Minogue – to help us think about how what we film for our video must relate to the song in a way.

I’m happy to say that our group has made a song choice – ‘Animal I have become’ by Three Days Grace. And Martyn has come up with the plan of what to film. His idea is going to be a narrative music video about a man spiralling into insanity after his girlfriend leaves him – leading to him murdering her. I think that this will be an interesting genre to take on, perhaps a bit risky, and how it will turn out.

30th Feb 2015
Today me and my group got on with paperwork – which was mainly our Pre Production work. I wrote up the shooting schedule. Our group then just did paperwork for the rest of the day, once Martyn showed us where he wanted to film.

4th Feb 2015
We started our filming today/test shots at Location no. 1.
Martyn had us filming nearly all morning, the group did pretty well though setting up the glider was a bit fiddly, before returning to the college. For the rest of the day I spent doing paperwork. Me and Danielle took turns filming, which is something we’ll do through out the filing process – so that me and Danielle have something to do while Martyn acts in the music video.

5th Feb 2015
Today was another day to do filming – me and Danielle swapped doing filming. We managed to get some more shots done. The group is doing very well keeping on schedule – Martyn plans to watch the footage, and see if there’s anything else we need.

6th Feb 2015
We have finished filming at location No. 1, before we moved on to location No.2 – filming at this location didn’t take very long, then at location No. 3.
So far I think the groups doing really well. We have a laugh on location while filming.

11th Feb 2015
We returned to location No. 3 to do more filming. Martyn did really well in letting us know what he wanted – in a way he is our employer/client as well as director. We then returned to college and spent the afternoon doing individual paperwork.

12th Feb 2015
Today we did what may well finish filming all that we need for our video. However Martyn is going to watch the footage and see if there’s anything missing. The last of the footage we need – Martin says that he’s going to do it at home.

13th Feb 2015
Today I just got on with paperwork because Martyn says that we’ve got our footage which we need. After half term I’m going to edit the music video, and any other paperwork – is going to be done over half term.

25th Feb 2015
First day after Half Term – we only have three days left to finish this project.
Today I’m swapping between sorting out the clips for the video, and laying out my paperwork. My plan is to finish what paperwork I can. Task 1. can be finished tonight, Task 2. can be finished tomorrow – as well as Task 3. However Task 4.can be finished on Friday. I plan to have a word with Martyn about the story board, so that I can create the Music Video he envisioned – because Martyn is the client (in a way).

26th Feb 2015
Second to last day.
I’ve sorted out the last of the final clips for the video through Stream clip – so that when it comes to exporting the video it won’t take as long as it normally would. My target for today is to finish my Music Video, and put it onto my WordPress, so that it leaves Friday free to finish off any paperwork.

27th Feb 2015
Nearly finished my video – juts need to add the final clip. For the moment I’m just finishing off my other pieces of paperwork. I just need to add Danielle’s Risk Assessment. However because Martyn isn’t here – I can’t add the Treatment – however I’ve added his storyboard. I now plan to start writing up my evaluation, before putting my Task 1 in the correct place.