Thursday, 16 December 2010


     So I set out at the beginning to make a music video and a poster for the artist; unfortunately I have had to change my idea due to various problems: my own recording at the start not being ready, actors not being able to film and weather conditions over the past three weeks have made it hard to do things, both in and out of college. After changing my idea from my own music to someone else's, I had the idea for Alvin Youngblood Hart's song, 'Joe Friday' but found this to be a story type of song in which the video would have to follow exactly the lyrics of the song or the video would not make sense. I also did not have any ideas for social or economical factors for the video to this song; which I why I chose Shane MacGowan's acoustic cover of 'Dirty Old Town' originally recorded by Ewan MacColl. This I thought had great potential for a music video with both social and economical factors to work with. The song is about, as the name suggests, a dirty old town. Originally written in manchester this song has been widely covered by irish folk bands, most notably: The Pogues and The Dubliners. I thought it would be a good idea to cover the Northern Ireland troubles and IRA war against british soldiers in Ireland. Unfortunately I couldn't film my ideas so I had to resort to cutting scenes from an original film and video footage of troubles in Ireland and the IRA.
     My poster idea, I didn't have problems with it but I decided to do an album cover instead. I thought I would get an image that would represent a dirty old town and I had the perfect Idea. I photographed an art piece I did for a GCSE art project which involves: old/used cigarettes, bottle caps, broken bottles and used needles. I thought this would work well with the video seeing as I had cut together scenes from the film Trainspotting.

     I am not overly pleased with the final work that I have created because, I thought that I had started off well but got to lazy in the end; not being able to finish things I had started and not committing to previous ideas. If I could do things differently I would definitely plan more from the start. I had made a time management plan and a timeline of work flow but through changing ideas I had to 'scrap' this. For my next project I will definitely plan all my work down to the last detail, try and get everything done on time and ofcourse but in effort all the way through and not just for certain parts.

     In this project I have learnt many things from different lessons and lecturers: I have learnt to set up microphones and record instruments for musical aspects of media. I have learnt photography, how to use pin-hole cameras, how to reverse images, how to use many photographic techniques on pictures - I already know how to use photoshop quite well. Most importantly I have learnt how to use the camera; learning how to manual and auto focus shots to get a professional feel to my work and how to use different shots and shot techniques to my advantage - to get my point as a director across. I have also learnt how to use Final Cut Pro, a video editing software for Mac OS X. This is useful because it captures all the footage off the camera and I can edit it together to my own standards.
Overall I have learnt how to work individually on a project, rather than just social loafing in groups as I normally do, I have found out that being a director is more than simply telling the cast and crew what to do but the director is in charge of everything. This being: budgets, actors, locations, storyboards, imagery and everything that a film involves.

     I am pleased with the result though, despite my work ethic being messy sometimes and my organisational skills being pretty poor.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


     So, for my music video - here's how everything goes down.

The song starts and the viewer is met with an image of a burning building juxtaposed with soft acoustic guitar so already the audience knows that it will be, not that emotional but also not the happiest of songs. When the vocals kick in with 'I met my love',  a scene from Trainspotting with Tommy and Lizzy together; followed by scenes of soldiers walking through the streets of Ireland carrying guns. Then chop ins and outs of the chase scene from the beginning of Trainspotting with more soldiers in Ireland. This then builds upto the chorus 'dirty old town, dirty old town' in which scenes of heroin use will be shown. This kind of rhythm will continue throughout the song (not the same scenes obviously) culminating in the final chorus in which more drug scenes will be shown and finally the end scene to Trainspotting where the protagonist walks into the distance.

I wasn't worried at all using such an iconic film to cut and de-glamorize for a music video, quite the opposite. I thought that being cliché in itself would be ironic choosing between such cult films as: A Clockwork Orange, Trainspotting, Requiem For A Dream and Get Carter (1971 version ofcourse).


Unfortunate Direction

     I had planned to film for my video for about three weeks but, due to bad timing and weather I was unable to. With less than a week left until the project dead-line and no chance to film again I have had to resort to cutting existing films and/or youtube videos to make my music video. Although I would have liked to use my own material for the final product, I can't, but I had originally planned to use existing footage from youtube to cut together with it:

I was planning on cutting scenes from this video (footage of IRA) combined with my own material to have an end product kind of like The Cranberries' music video for "Zombie"
As shown here:

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Inspiration from Pictures and History

I have found some pictures on the internet about the troubles in Northern Ireland, I think they will help me for my poster and music video because the band and MacGowan have strong Irish influences. The song, entitled 'Dirty Old Town' is about an industrial town and a man losing his love, so already you know that an industrial town will be quite poor. These images will reflect the songs lyrics and what I want to do with my music video.

Dead body on the street

Drug dealer tied to a post, humiliated with feathers

I.R.A propoganda

Sinn Féin propoganda

destoryed house in the street
 I got inspiration from these pictures and have decided to use some IRA video footage I found out youtube in my video; as well as my own captured video.

Mind Map for Shane MacGowan's 'Dirty Old town'

This is a mind map of my ideas based around the song, 'Dirty Old Town' by Shane MacGowan and also, my music video idea and poster idea. It also has on the left side; a Things To Do List of all the things I have to do this week/ next week.

the image quality is pretty bad but I have the original paper copy.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

New song

     I have decided to chose a new song, instead of 'Joe Friday', I thought that to be quite a hard song to follow because the lyrics follow a storyline and a video which didn't follow it wouldn't really go. I have chosen 'Dirty Old Town' acoustic cover by Shane Macgowan.usic video to it; so I chose this for my music video. Originally written by Ewan MacColl and made famous by The Dubliners. This song has been covered by 30+ artists and I listened to a few. I think that The Pogues version, especially Shane MacGowan's acoustic cover was the best.
     Here is the link to the song - Dirty Old Town acoustic

     And here is the original cover - Dirty Old Town - The Pogues

I think the acoustic is much better because it is just Macgowan and two guitars, opposed to The Pogues with these accompanied by: drums, violin, banjo, mandolin and tin whistle. The acoustic version (I think) has much more exuberance to it.

I will post more soon.

Band Logos

     For my poster design, i've decided to look at other artists logos and fonts to get inspiration and see how they market and brand themselves.
I looked at a few logos from different genres of music to get ideas about what my artist logo would be. Considering he is a Blues artist there could be many options to go with: dirty south feel, old/broken guitars (jack white), Tennessee whiskey.. people sitting on the porch on hot summer nights playing dueling banjos. New york/Chicago style blues, inner city, poverty, living on the street - under bridges. He could even have a trademark of always wearing a three piece suit with a bowler hat.
     The first logo I looked at was Parkway Drive's logo off their most recent album (horizons).

 Left. This logo has a calligraphy style font with, what looks like gothic and western style influences. If I say this logo without knowing the band, I would assume they were an old swing band or pop group. The name itself 'Parkway Drive' is an unusual name a death metal/screamo band. The name came from the lead singer not wanting to be like all the other metal artists with names like "blood on the hands with wings". The band themselves are not what you would call metal-looking either; they are all pretty good surfers from the east coast of Australia. Other metal bands are generalised by having long greasy hair and dark clothes, Parkway wear flip flops to their gigs, tshirts and shorts - they all have 'surfer hair'. The lead singer could have become a professional bodyboarder, and guitarist a professional surfer but they chose music instead. The reason I chose this logo is because, well they are my favourite band.. and because its a bit like the Rogue Status font and I like them. They are very eye-catching therefore I will be experimenting on photoshop with fonts like these.
     The next logo I chose was The Doors because this is an iconic logo from the 60s and 70s, its also iconic for West American, especially California, culture.
Firstly, it is eye catching. You can't really make it out from far away but when you look closer you see 'The doors' in two different fonts. The 'The' part is very late 60's and early 70's psychedelic font - exuberantly wavy, getting thick at the bottom and thinner on the top and it already gives you the idea that with this font, the band will be a psychedelic band into long solos and layers of instrumentals. The 'doors' part is.. its hard to explain, a mix of a few fonts. Firstly it gives of an Alien vibe, not from this planet.. weird language looks like code? Its also like a stencil font, that you would see graffitied on a freight train or something. Also I think that its kind of like early movie posters, like a 1930's film. This font is very 'straight' very within the box, within the guidelines; lots of straight lines, everything very neat and in place. I like this logo, which is why I chose it - its eye catching, I think I will maybe experiment with this or a similar font but, maybe also combine it with another font to make it a completely new look.
     The Next logo I chose, I am not really a fan of the band but, it was in my head so I searched it and it turns out their logo is pretty iconic amongst cult followers of their music. The band is Opeth.

This logo, straight off you can tell that they are not a pop-group from California. Extremely influenced by gothic writing, maybe even some Elvish or rune language. This logo looks like it is used to catch your eye (it did = why I chose it), it is bold with a big emphasis on the O. Although its cool-looking, with the gothic font, it may be misleading, the O looks more like a G, or a weird F and I. So I won't be using anything like this on my poster/album cover.
The next image I have chosen is the Misfits logo. I chose this because without the text you would already know what band it is. This image has become a 'cult' image amongst not only fans but other people aswell, average working class people to celebrities. The font is dark, eroded and accentuates the band's dark, gothic and grungy style. Its also in capitols, its bold to catch the readers eye and maybe to say 'we're the best' perhaps. 
     The skull is like a 2D stencil, as if an art student has done it - its not perfect, there are teeth missing and it only just resembles a skull. Skulls are well known for advertising metal, goth and rock bands and this is no different. The whole logo reflects the bands look, dark, facepaint/eye-liner, lots of leather, studs and chains. As an image it is well done to market the band and it is a well known logo. The text isn't that well known with the band, as in.. if you saw another people of text in the same font you wouldn't think 'misfits'. It is like the font of an old horror film, its jagged, out of place almost but still all together works well.
     The last logo I have chosen is BLACK FLAG. This, much like the previous images is a cult image used on tshirts and other merchandise. Black Flag were considered to be the first punk rock band in the late 70's. The iconic four black rectangles are synonymous with the band and punk music in general. Even though it is so simplistic, music experts say its 'the perfect logo', I don't see it, its just a few black rectangles but even I know the band, recognising the logo from when I was younger. The font is standard. Bold, capitol and black, standing out on a white background. I've had ideas for things like this - simple fonts and simple logos, I will post a sheet of logo ideas in the next week.
     So all in all I found out that, much like photography, you can create a masterpiece by accident. Or you can spend years trying to perfect a bands image and not quite getting there. I will try though.