Tuesday, 31 January 2012

CO - More Magazine Ad Feedback...

Today Sublime Transcendence got feedback from our teacher and our classmates on our advert for the magazine. On the whole the idea was well received, but the main point is that there is apparently now too much text on the page, which was a result of trying to get all the necessary information on. Obviously this meant that the background needs to be more dominant as well, and perhaps less simplistic than just the tree design we had been going with previously. I will redesign the poster shortly with all these points taken into account, and using probably a different background picture, hopefully featuring the band.

CO - Magazine Advert - Edition Three

This is my latest attempt at creating the magazine advert, after getting the general idea of what it should look like eventually, and I took all the feedback from my previous efforts into account when designing this one; there is a more dominant and striking background this time, and I also included less (or noticeably less) text but the vital information is still present, and I included stills from the video as well. Click this link to see the maximised image.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

SB - Movement In Metalcore Music Videos

Movement is a key aspect of metalcore videos, it visually show the velocity of the music on screen. It also shows the impact of the music on screen and the heavy, deafening sounds shaking the camera. I've been looking at examples of music videos which use movement well and looking at how we can replicate this.

Napalm Death - When all is Said and Done from Wake Up Now Festival on Vimeo.

Napalm Death use handheld movements typically the camera swaying from side to side or up and down this could also connote headbanging, moshing and hardcore dancing. a lot of the shots however do not show movement. This is a nice way to cut away from all of the excitement of the close ups. During close ups or individual shots of the band movement is shown, however when we see the whole band there's only a tiny bit of movement or none at all.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

RM - Narrative Aspect

The start of the music video will feature a diegetic introduction with the band packing up, just after a gig. During this there will be band members discussing the next location and the possibility of a recurring occurrence for the band's future music videos. The music video will also feature Mitch who couldn't be at the latest film shoot, on 21st January 2012, however he would either be the driver whom drives them to their next location or still in the band depending on whether we need to record the performance footage again. This sequence would be around 30 to 60 seconds, with the latter being the maximum possible length.

After this sequence the next aspect would feature the vehicle broken down on the moors. Each band member would be performing a certain task, adventuring into the wilderness or messing around on certain instruments. Conor would be in the back of the car playing on his drums or tapping on his legs to a rhythm whilst listening to a song on his ipod. This song would be a happier song, a binary opposite to what is happening outside. Jem would be trying to fix the motor, whilst Sam, Elliot and Mitch would explore the surrounding area all splitting up in the process. Whilst each band member is spread out each one gets picked off one by one. The creature that picks off each band member will remain a narrative enigma throughout the video, although parts of the being will be shown onscreen e.g. the monsters claw, pictured to the right. This would be interlinked with the performance footage. This aspect of the music video would feature throughout the video and also form the ending with Conor being pulled out of the car.

Monday, 23 January 2012

ALL - Performance footage shot

Yesterday, all of Sublime Transcendence and all of Sunburnt In December (excluding our guitarist Mitch, who couldn't make it to the shoot) went up to the disclosed location, a forest-y area within our town and shot the performance footage for our video. We used stationary and moving shots, tried to implement some shot variation and also varied the camera angles a bit. We'll upload it to our designated Mac tomorrow and begin editing it; we also shot some of it in time with the song, such as the close up guitar parts but most of the song we mimed live, so use of slowing down/speeding up some parts will be necessary. We have yet to shoot the narrative, but once that's done, we'll upload that to the timeline and begin editing it between the performance!

The loss of a member being able to film was at first an inconvenience, but we can hopefully continue on with the remaining four of us; a certain member being available wasn't absolutely integral to the pitch and everything should go to plan as it would've done if Mitch could've helped Sublime Transcendence out anyway. Concerning the band's appearance in the digipak, we are shooting photos within the week which were scheduled to be done even before Mitch announced he couldn't make it so we'll get on without him.

CO - More digipak updates - FRONT

Similar to the feedback for the magazine article in the post before, I have taken the criticisms and points made by both our media teacher and also various other groups in the class. Many of the comments were design orientated, such as fonts needing to be changed, colour schemes and more. Here are the latest edition of the front of the digipak.

CO - Magazine Ads: Second Edition

Over the last few days, I have been working on editing the magazine article after the initial feedback. That feedback generally went along the lines of;

  • More features and aspects - the magazine advert needed additional information on it such as tour dates of the featured band.
  • Tickets details, such as where you can buy them from
  • Merch details, same as ticket aspects; where you can buy it.
  • More variation in the font and general style of the advert.
I have taken this feedback into account and I have edited the design, subtly, but in such a way that you can see the changes. Click here to see the maximised image.  

SB - Uploading and editing our test footage

We have just uploaded our test footage and we're now starting to dabble in editing and have found some problems and what we need to rectify such as the band playing too fast or slow, things in the background like coats and bags as well as the occasional passer by. We've also found some gems of shots and framing behind bushes and behind trees.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

CO/RM - Final location scouting

After school today, Richard and I visited the area we're shooting at on Saturday. We took some pictures to give potential feedback providers.

Monday, 16 January 2012

CO - Magazine Ad Finalised

This weekend I started work on the magazine article which is required for the course, accompanying the digipak. I used one of the blogs from last year, Beth Cooper's, and also a magazine ad I found in popular underground metal music magazine, Metal Hammer. For applications, I used PhotoShop primarily, and also the iPhone app Instagram, to edit one of the CD's on the front cover. I included information such as the band's releases, contact info and social networking options, how it is available for download and more. Below are some screenshots from when I was working on the magazine advert.

Creating the layers...

...and editing the images.

The filesize of the final image is 15.3MB which is extremely large for a .jpg file, so the picture on this  blog is not as big as possible. Click here to see the image maximised.

Friday, 13 January 2012

CO - Feedback on digpak designs so far

Our teacher and some of our classmates have given Sublime Transcendence some feedback regarding the initial digipak ideas, and while everyone agreed that the general stellar/cosmic/celestial idea was a nice touch and a nice theme to go with. However, a few disagreed with the stag's head design on the front, arguing that because the skull was a Flash drawing, it looked too cartoonish and novelty to be considered normal for the genre. Here is another similar design but with a different take on the skull; I took a photo of a dog's skull and doctored and edited it to sit the theme of the cover.

RM - Mag Ads: Galows - "Grey Britain" and "The Vulture (Part II)"

Artist: Gallows
Album: Grey Britain
Magazine Found In: Kerrang!

Album Magazine Advert
The majority of the page is the album artwork which features a Union Jack with a shield and a white rose overlaying the flag. The artists name (Gallows) and the album title (Grey Britain) also feature on the page, above the shield. At the bottom of the advert there is a list of UK tour dates. The advert also contains information including the release date of the album, which in this case is the 4th May 2009. There are also several website addresses including Relentless' to obtain exclusive studio footage, as well as the album's own website everythingisfallingapart.com

Quarter page advert for
the band's single
"The Vulture (Part II)
Earlier in the same magazine, same issue, there is another advert for the same band however this time it is for one of the albums singles "The Vulture (Act II)", it is also a quarter page advert unlike the one found later in the magazine for the album. Again the same text is used for the band's name and the single. The advert includes information about where the track can be downloaded this also includes a strip at the bottom of the advert for the full album.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

SB - Filming

This month we're trying to organise some filming on the 22nd. We will be going up on the moor and filming the narrative first just because then we can look back on it and see what we need to do for the performance such as make up and gore. We are struggling to get the cast and crew in on the same date, but we think we can organise some dates in early february to help catch up.

CO - Digipak Update

Below are some designs I've done on PhotoSh00p 4.0 for our digipak, following a few different themes and ideas, mostly nature and space related. I did the drafts on a small scale so the canvas would be easier to work with, so the designs below will not be exactly on the digipak as they are depicted here, apart from the last one.

The finished 1st draft of the cover,
with the title of the EP added. 
The proposed back of the CD case,
when it comes to the final one this draft
won't be changed much at all.

The final design for the front of the digipak, similar to
the inital drafts in the previous post.

The digipak credits. We've had some audience
feedback for this and it was generally favourable
apart from the text being somewhat hard to read in places.

The lyrics booklet. 

Here is a screenshot of how I've been making the designs, by using both Adobe PhotoShop 4.0 and 10.1 to create the canvases, effects and finished editions. 

In this part, I am designing and editing vector traces and patterns
for the digipak back, as well as patterns used elsewhere on the designs.

Lastly, this is an example of how the final digipak front came together, by
importing parts from other canvases and editing different bits and pieces with
the tools PhotoShop provides, such as shadow effects and tints.

Monday, 9 January 2012

CO - Digipak Designs So Far

The original vector trace of the
 skull, drawn by me.

Yesterday, we all got together and discussed various designs for our digipak. I used Adobe Flash Pro CS3 and Photoshop Elements 4.0 on an iMac with a Windows operating system to start the initial design; we decided that it might go on the front cover, OR behind the main CD tray within the case. We conducted some research into the idea of skulls/other similar imagery as a convention of metalcore digipaks before we started, and Sam decided that the skull of a stag would be a good idea, set against a celestial background.
The ALMOST-finished design.

Once I'd drawn the skull shape, I opened Photoshop and found a suitable space photograph, then imported the drawing and superimposed it on the background. After toying around with a few shadow effects, we collectively settled on a transparent/ghostly effect as it added to the creepy/supernatural feel on the art more. The design for this part is almost done, I just need to add some text.

Friday, 6 January 2012

CO/RM Sublime Transcendence Twitter Account

You can now follow Sublime Transcendence on Twitter!
To follow either search "SublimeTranscendence" or click the following link: http://twitter.com/#!/STranscendence

This page will contain the latest updates on our coursework task and feedback

RM - CD Magazine Adverts

Magazine adverts a placed in media related products, normally music magazines including Q and Kerrang. These adverts gain awareness of a new album, single, digipak, special edition disc, or several tour dates, etc. 

Common Code and Conventions

  • Artists Name
  • Album Cover
  • Web Address of artist, record labels and ticket retailer
  • Twitter, Facebook and Youtube pages
  • Tour dates (if any)
  • Record Labels
  • Availability (Where can the CD be bought/Exclusives)
  • Font Variation, framing and colour
  • Theme of the artist - fits with the lyrics and albums
  • Information about the album (usually says "Including" followed by the singles released from the album)
  • QR Codes
  • Thumbnails
  • Photo of the CD/Product/Merchandise
  • Format (CD, CD + DVD, CD + Vinyl or Digital)
  • Either release date, out now or pre-order

CO - Camera Angles and Technique


During our research we looked at a large number of videos of the genre so we could gain more knowledge of the conventions and codes of the style. Myself and Sam looked at one particular video, Before I Forget by cult American metal band SlipKnoT. It is the third single from their 2004 album Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses. It was listed as AOL's top metal song of the decade. "Before I Forget" borrows certain elements from a much older Slipknot song "Carve", which was recorded before their self titled album. The reason we researched the song was that the video has a lot of techniques and camera shots that we want to use in our video.

The video is famous because it is the first Slipknot video that shows glimpses of the member's faces, which is extremely critical because the band are famous for wearing masks on stage and in their music videos. The faces are shown in subtle ways, leaving a narrative enigma; there are shots of noses, eyes and mouths, as well as instruments and masks lying nearby. 
Instrument close-ups used intermittently.
The band's masks cast aside for the video, leaving a narrative
enigma as to who's who and what they look like.
The parts from this video that we feel have influenced us and made us want to replicate in our video is the close-up shots of the instruments and the narrative enigma left as the camera never entirely focuses on the band members themselves, although we will all by in group shots near the end of the video. We won't shoot the whole performance for the video in this way, but we will use a few shot types like this and distribute them evenly to each member.

RM - A2 Digipak Deconstruction

Student: Alex Burke
Working With: Jonathan Bailey
Artists: The Doors
Song: People are Strange


Basic/Proficient - Looked at a range of of different bands in the genre - The Doors "Greatest Hits", Tim Whalen Nonet "Magnus, Distoture "Reverve", Myth and The Killers "Greatest Hits". Although a basic description explaining what each cover looks like and a brief description what common conventions are found in each digipak. Pictures are provided to allow the viewer to see what digipaks the group have deconstructed.

Appropriate material to the set task:

Excellent - On the front cover the photograph used shows the front of the hotel used as well as the cast members used for the video. There is also a sticker anchoring that the digipak is a limited edition and a bonus music video which contains the group's music video is features as well as a Greatest Hits CD. These two aspects are both common convention amongst digipaks, however normally if it isn't a cover which features the band it is normally a art designed cover. On the back panel the digipak has a track listing and websites for The Doors and the band's record company (Electra), this also includes e-mail addresses. There is also a barcode and copyright information location towards the bottom of the digipak. Again these are all common conventions for digipaks. 

Editing so that the meaning is apparent to the viewer:

Proficient - The photographs which have been taken for the digipak depicts the front, an inside, and back of the location used for the music video, thus gives an insight into the music video as well as allowing the target audience to recognise it straight away if they have viewed the music video. The cast members from the production of the music video are included on the front cover which is located outside the hotel used.

Selected mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objectives and setting:

Excellent - The production the the digipak ties into the music video location as both are the same. Also an unusual, yet effective layout shows that the photographs taken have clearly been thought of before hand this is shown as the front of the digipak is the front of the hotel, inside it (the digipak), where the CD would be located, is the inside of the hotel looking upwards, and finally the back is the back of the hotel. For the inside the photograph used spans across the two panels however the middle section of the picture has been cut out to creating two sleeves this is to allow for the CD, the bonus DVD and extra material including the lyric sheet.

Used effects selectively and appropriately:

Excellent -  The text used has been influenced by one if the digipaks the group deconstructed, which was The Doors "Greatest Hits". The text used looks slightly like the one the group deconstructed, like is a common convention throughout a band's history to stick with the same name template as it is recognisable. There are also little/no effects used for this product however if used the effects wouldn't be appropriate for the set task.

In conclusion I would give this 7 marks out of ten. As the research is just a brief description of what the digipaks are and the common conventions are used.

Ancillary one Digipak
Vodcast ideas on Digipak
Digipak research

SB - Update On Our Digipak

At the moment we're designing our cover for the digipak and coming up with a theme relating to lyrical content as well as our bands image, looking at other band's themes from the same genre we can see that they share similar themes normally revolving around skulls, bones etc. The album cover we have so far has a stag's skull on it and we haven't decided on background yet but want to incorporate something that will look 'metal' as many other bands include this skeletal motif, As I Lay Dying, Motor-head, Avenged Sevenfold. The skull is used in metal covers because it symbolizes death which is a theme touched upon by many metal bands in their lyrics, as well as undeath.

Many metalcore bands use a digitally painted album cover. They normally fit the theme of the album for example TDWP's album WRAABB (left) the cover fits in with the lyrics of one of their songs Louder Than Thunder, the album's artwork was produced by Dan Seagrave who has produced many other band's covers such as Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Demon Hunter.
The Devil Wear's Prada's With Roots Above And Branches Below

RM - Digipak Deconstruction - Nirvana "Bleach"

Artist: Nirvana
Album Title: "Bleach''
Album Producer: Jack Endino

Record Company: Sub pop Records
Genre: Grunge
Year Released: 2009 (originally released in 1989)

Additional Information: 20th Anniversary Special Edition

The cover of the digipak is black and white with an image of the three band members playing their own instruments. The bands name is in grey block capital letters  about the picture with the same font and colour for the title. On the front cover there is also a sticker in the top left hand corner signifying the digipak is a 20th anniversary. In the digipak the CD features extra content including never before released complete performance from 9/2/90. As well as a 52 page booklet featuring many unseen photographs.

When the audience opens the front panel they see a black and grey photograph of a group shot of the band members. Further inside the digipak each of the inside panels have a continuous photograph of each band member one per panel (From left to right Kurt Cobain, Chad Channing and Krist Novoselic). The section also includes a 52-page booklet featuring many unseen photos and never-before-released complete live performance from 9/2/90.

The back panel features of white writing in the same style as the front panel with the black background and grey capital letters.