Tuesday, 29 November 2011

KM - Industrial Metal Genre (draft)

The genre "Industrial metal" originated in the 70's, after the record label "Industrial Records" was created by the group "Throbbing Gristle", with the slogan "Industrial music, for industrial people". In general, the style is harsh and challenging. Allmusic defines industrial as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music". Some of the most famous Industrial rock/metal artists include; White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry, all of which had platinum selling albums in the 1990's. Typical instruments used in Industrial Metal music are; Synthesizers, Drum machines, Electric guitar, Bass, Loops and samples, and keyboard. The genre often features disturbing lyrics and themes, which is something that is shown frequently in Nine Inch Nails's videos, often directed by the vocalist, Trent Reznor, such as "The Downward Spiral", this interesting article lists Nine Inch Nails's top 5 most disturbing videos.

Monday, 28 November 2011

KM - "Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds" Deconstruction

Artist: Nine Inch Nails
Song Title: The Hand That Feeds
Genre: Industrial Metal
Director(s): Trent Reznor and Rob Sheridan
Year: 2005
Primary Audience: Male 15-24

"The Hand That Feeds" is a song by the American industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails, released as the lead single for the album With Teeth (2005). It is the highest charting song by Nine Inch Nails on all charts except for U.S. Modern Rock Tracks, where it stayed at number one for five weeks, because the single that followed, "Only", stayed at number one for two more weeks (non-consecutively), and the Billboard Hot 100, where "The Day The World Went Away" peaked at #17. It is, to date, Nine Inch Nails' only single to hit the top 10 of the UK Singles chart and the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it peaked at #2 for two weeks. Source - Wikipedia

The video kicks off with a very out of focus shot of a synthesizer, and this out of focus effect continues throughout the video, and the fact that the video starts off with a shot of a synthesizer signifies the genre (industrial metal) as this is a common feature of IM songs. The shot then pans to all the band members individually, most of the shots used are medium/ medium close ups, and no full band shot are used, this gives narrative enigma as to where the band are actually performing. At 0:32 a shot is used that signifies CCTV footage, which is an idea that our group has also decided to implement.

One of the main features of the video is the use of the "pan and scan" technique, a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown within the proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

KM - HBK Productions Facebook Page

I have just finished setting up a facebook page for our productions company "HBK Productions", as we felt having a twitter and facebook page, as well as the previously created separate blog, would help keep people up to date with what is happening with the music video creation, see the facebook page here.

KM - Video Original Idea

After receiving feedback from our re-pitch on our idea for the music video, we have re-thought a few aspects of what we're going to include, and as a quick outline: Our video is centered around one protagonist, who is living in a dystopian like world, and has been brainwashed by technology, the video goes through the character (who we decided would be a teenage male) trying to break free from the hold that is over him: this is going to be shown through various scenes, such as him smashing a laptop after being shown staring at the screen. We also have decided to use (as mentioned before) a slow zoom shot of a corridor, which we are going to cut to as the video progresses, eventually having the door at the end of the corridor open at the end of the video to signify the protagonist's freedom.

Group - Podcast 2

 Podcast Number 2 by HPK

HK: Inspiration. G.W.T.D.T

This is the trailer for the film Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher. 2011
The hyper fast edited video trailer keeps you on the edge of your seats for the entire time and makes you not want to even blink at all otherwise you'll miss something.
The music fits perfectly with the editing, the clips cut to the exact beat and the combination of the cuts and the beat gets the adrenaline pumping through your body as you watch it.

0:55 to 1:29 is very similar to what we intend to do with the corridor scene, zooming to the end of the corridor, but cutting to different shots to make sure that we have a good variation of shots to make sure that the video follows conventions of music video and also making sure that the video is exiting.

Group- Treatment

Untitled 1

Monday, 21 November 2011

KM - Social Networking

Our group has decided to create separate pages (as well as a separate blog) on social networking sites such as facebook and twitter for our production company - HBK Productions, as this is a good way to advertise the creation of our music video and a way people can keep up to date with what we're doing, the twitter feed can also be embedded into all our blogs, which is another reason we decided to register on the site.

We will post links soon for both the twitter and facebook for pages, but for now you can follow our HBK Productions blog that I created by clicking here.

KM - HBK Productions Blog

I (Kyle) have created a separate blog for our company "HBK Productions". On this blog we will be posting updates about the creation of the video for Nine Inch Nails - Metal, so follow HBK Productions to track the progress of our music video!

Monday, 14 November 2011

KM - The history of music video (draft)

Music video started out as what were called "illustrated songs" where images were projected on screen as the song plays, to simulate a live performance, the first illustrated song was released in 1894. Musical short films started to be introduced in 1926, and in the mid 1940s Louis Jordan started to make short films for his songs, the films were essentially the ancestors of modern day music videos. The Scoption, a visual jukebox, was invented in France in the late 1950s, with short films being produced by many Franch music artists. Another earlty performance clip was The Animals's 1964 hit "House of The Rising Sun" which was filmed in a studio, on a specifically built set and included group lip-syncing. The first music video to be shown on MTV was "Video Killed The Radio Star" in 1981, which introduced music videos into the mainstream.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

HK: Location Scouting. Corridor

Corridor settings can provide a very great location and where better than a school?

I have 2 corridors in school in mind that would be fit for a corridor zoom scene:
The first I have in mind is a corridor in the new building of school on P floor or M floor, these are both very long floors with class rooms and lockers to the side would make for an epic zoom shot with black gaps in-between like the zoom from the trailer of girl in the dragon tattoo.
With the camera gradually zooming in to the end of the track in time with the music.
And the second on E floor, a similar but smaller and thinner corridor.
An example of a famous corridor scene would be The Shining.

HK: Key Influences On Vid Idea

An influence for which I would like to take inspiration for parts of my music video is a strange one, its a video game I remember playing on the PS2 years back: Mark Ecko's Getting Up.
The game is set in a strict, corrupt government controlled city.Where the population are watched and controlled by armed guards and under constant scrutiny by the law and freedom of expression is suppressed by an Orwellian city government.
The environment its set in is very similar to George Orwell's 1984 where it is similar, the population are oppressed by the government and watched 24 hours a day by 'Big Brother'

I would like to include elements of a dystopian world into our coursework, how teenagers are addicted and somewhat brainwashed by computers, technology and the media.. 

An uprising to this oppression is where the Getting Up influence comes from, amongst the government rule a group of graffiti writers start a movement through doing graffiti and starting a revolution to beating the system.
This is what we want for our video, someone breaking the digitisation and Americanisation of today's society.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

BH- Key Influences

Obviously the prior music videos done by the band where taken into account during the initial concept stages of the idea. So in this post I'm going to run through all the key influences on our music video idea and in what way they affect our vision. 
So lets start with multimedia influences- video games!

Amnesia: Dark Descent 
The dark stylings of the game led to a very horror led atmosphere- not something we can replicate exactly, but 
something we can take ideas from- like the very dark lighting, the moody style, although I think it would create a nice contrast to have this new technology and then this very old and gothic style location

[add more]

And moving swiftly on to- films, obviously films like the Machinist (2004) a film heavily inspired by Nine Inch Nails about a factory worker who goes insane/ becomes mentally unhinged. The name of the protagonist (Trevor Reznik) deviates from Trent Reznor. It's a very dark film with a very weird plot told in a very unusual manner. The narrative is very hard to work out initially.
Fight Club (1999)
Directed by David Fincher, a frequent NiN collaborator- someone who has become widely acclaimed. But let's home down on Fight Club, a book inspired by The Downward spiral by Nine Inch Nails: 
"I listened to The Downward Spiral...constantly while I was writing Fight Club"
 says author Chuck Palahnuik.

It's another dark film with some non-linear stylings about an unnamed office worker who meets Tyler Durden and subsequently Changes his life. It features a twist in the way that the unnamed office worker IS Tyler Durden, something that lends itself to repeat viewings as little hints are left throughout the film as to the true nature of Tyler Durden. The themes of the film are very anti-consumerist, something I think we would like to touch upon during the music video/ imply with our focus on technology. 

The blue tint is throughout the video
Of course there are other music videos that have influenced ours, past NiN videos like 'We're in this Together now, Closer, Perfect Drug', we're in this together now is a B&W video, something we want to emulate for our video, maybe a slightly more lo-fi version.
Closer is essentially a bizzare world semi-victorianesq using old film reels from the early 20th centary, it's a very concept focused video and very odd to actually see without the music.
Then there's the Perfect Drug by the same director, heavily inspired by the art of Edward Gorey, which is very abstract- something that the director Mark Romanek struggled to emulate, but it comes off very well in my opinion. The tint is something that would be very easy to emulate something similar using the Final Cut software in post-production IF we decide to use some colour shots, maybe whilst the protagonist is staring at the computer screen.   

BH- More advances on our idea

We've had another talk and started to draw up some basic storyboards, using fractal zooms to kick the video off. Intercut with the face of the protagonist lit up by a computer staring into it. We have also thought more about the lighting conditions with winter coming up we think that it would be useful to film in some low light conditions to help with the dark feeling. 
We have also considered the contrast between the modern tech and the more dated look of Ilkley & parts of Bradford. 
This would be useful to create that sense of contrast an handy for repeat viewings.

To help repeat viewings we're thinking of a more non linear narrative approach, we've also decided to destroy a laptop in slow-mo with a baseball bat at some point, maybe as a final ending, or the baseball bat smashing it- then the protagonist buying a new one, would be useful for a more open-ended video. considering the dark feel to the video we think that it'd be useful to add/ implicate violence, but maybe not onscreen. We've also toyed with the idea of some more concept focused sequences maybe in a room to indicate the mind, showing the room getting totally smashed- but obviously this has some difficulty doing.

BH- How To Destroy Angels

How To Destroy Angels
How To Destroy Angels is Trent's other musical outpost, formed with this wife and Atticus Ross focusing on a very post industrial sound- certainly more subdued that Nine Inch Nails (aside from Ghosts) Reznor and Atticus are responsible mainly for the programming of the band where as Reznors wife does vocals  which at times can sound closer to just talking. 
Their first album was released in the summer of 2010 for the grand sum of- free, as a digital download. The full 6 track EP is available at http://howtodestroyangels.com/ a move which is becoming all the more common in the music industry, with artists making more money from live performances now than they do from actual music sales. 
So what's next for How To Destroy Angels now Trent Reznor has promised more NiN? Well actually HTDA already have another album being mastered (something that's been delayed by Reznor and Atticus' film work) so that should be out within 6 months...

BH- Recent Nine Inch Nails Activity

Well Nine Inch nails have released their first song in a good 3 years, but there's a catch. Released with Q magazine, it's a cover of U2's Zoo station already a fairly industrial track- but somehow it comes out less industrial and less dark...instead sounding much closer to How To Destroy Angels. It's, in my opinion, not quite Nine Inch Nails and it maybe wasn't the best idea to release it under the NiN category but then again NiN do have a fairly large fan base...
But anyway here is is for your listening pleasure: 

BH- let's talk 'infinite' zoom

Here's a nice effect that I thought would be useful for our music video as something more untested and 'out there'  in terms of cinematic technique here's a video from the film that inspired me to do the effect (Limitless, 2010)

So let's first talk about why I think this effect would be good? Well instead of the conventional zoom down a corridor we can instead use this effect, its fairly unique and far out. 
So how do we do it? Well by taking a series of photographs we can give the same effect of course it's  going to be very difficult to achieve and look smooth so we're not totally final on how this effect will manifest in our video or if it will even make it in at all, but it's certainly something we, as a group, are interested in trying. 

BH- Costume/Casting

Well this is a subject that we've barely touched upon in full detail in our discussions about the video although we have decided upon using a teenage protagonist this means that we can have another connection with our audience. Because of how 'weird' we have planned our video to be, we would use the protagonist to really give our audience a way into the video.
We haven't really decided upon who else would appear in the video although /I think we do plan on including some basic performance shots but really keeping it to a minimum. 
Of course there are still issues to discuss such as should the singer also be the protagonist (something frequently done across all genres in the music video format) and should the band appear in the video, and if so then in what manner? 
Maybe something closer to 'The perfect Drug' where the other three band members appear as gentlemen dressing in top hats playing violins or later standing on the hill with canes in hand looking into the distance. but then the band have never really appearing in other videos (other than March if the pigs) all that clearly (cameo from Richard Patrick and Robin Fink in Down in It) so we are still debating as to wether we stick to the established Nine Inch Nails 'convention' of the focus just being on the singer.

Monday, 7 November 2011

BH - Trent Reznor on Tunecore

Recently Reznor posted on the subject of TuneCore- something which he says helped him put 'Ghosts' out to the public following the split from his record label. He mentions he's used them following 'Ghosts' with his How to Destroy Angels album and with his various film OST's. So what does this show overall? Digitalization has greatly helped the independent artists stay afloat and keep their independence and still get all their great music out to the user

I began using TuneCore six years ago with the release of Ghosts. They seemed like an interesting and efficient solution to get my music out everywhere and circumvent the existing machine in place at that time. The experience went very well - they actually did what they said they would in a straightforward, transparent, efficient and logical manner… I was sure they wouldn’t have a chance of surviving in the music business with that philosophy!
Years later, we’re both still standing. I’ve continued using TuneCore for all my releases since Ghosts including “The Social Network” and plan to use them for the upcoming “The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo” and the new full-length from How To Destroy Angels.
When they reached out to tell me about their new big idea - adding transparency and straightforwardness to the murky waters of publishing administration (which to me is a world as boring and convoluted as it sounds) I was very interested. If they could pull off what they did with distribution on the publishing administration side of things, this could be a pretty big deal - it could be another important tool that further empowers the musician / songwriter directly.
OK, I’m in. Check the link below for more information or check back in a few years and I’ll tell you how it went!
So what is TuneCore? 

Well it seems to be a service which allows independent artists to get their music into the various online stores, like itunes or Amazon mp3, without having to go through a major label. It also allows the artist to maintain 100% royalties and maintain fully copyright of the music they put out through TuneCore. What's interesting is that there seems to be a fee to pay for every single/ album/ ringtone that you put out through them, so it's not entirely profitless.