Sunday, April 18, 2021

Self Critical Reflection Text

Local to Broward Country, Florida, Saving Herald's song "Breathe" became the definition and forefront to create a music video bundled with artwork and media focal points. They are a group that expresses a joyous, grungy, and authentic styling to their alternative rock music branding. This bundle of four composes a vintage team with the energy of drums, guitar, and talented vocals. Our team powered through the challenges to make content when hopes with the band fell short. 

Saving Herald has expressed themselves as a country-traveling trademark of sorts, the group that sticks together through it all. They have opened for other larger bands throughout Florida and California, such as the band The Eiffels in Los Angeles. Their events have been captured on live cameras, and afterward, published on social media. Never before have they produced a full-length music video. Our tailored video is the original foundation for their faces on the internet and introduced a top-notch quality product with their name on the listing. They take influences from historical notes such as blink-182, Led Zeppelin, and Rex Orange County. A music video in their liking was essential to make sure we kept with the trends and representative preferences for how they would like to be perceived, and Gianna and I worked diligently to respect that, however long it was going to take.

Creating the artwork was our first step in examining the techniques in which rock bands present themselves. The emo outfits, costumes, unique sets of warehouses, and dirty alleyways; all gave grunge of pains, traumas, and personal expressions that we discovered during our research. The yelling, ripping your lungs into the air during the solos! All of it was the rebel saying, "I'll do it just 'cause I can." Our artwork was then chosen to be a man smoking a cigarette to represent hardships and relationship clashes as he was partially submerged in water. This made references to the lyrical segments in the song too. When conceptualizing the music video, we originally wanted to blend styles, cut between the band's music performance with a short story. However, due to the limited time and resources, issues of COVID, length of the song, location, and making sense of the lyrics, we decided to focus solely on the band's presentation and performance. It hit closer to home for the song, and I had already learned my lesson during last year's classes - I often spread my ideas too thin and too broad. Mrs. Stoklosa would advise me to keep it down to one idea and execute that diligently. The advice was taken! We discovered a rundown, foreign, abandoned home near our city that fit the rock theme perfectly, so we set up shop in the living room with multiple camera angles to create a dynamic cut. We took advantage of the scenery and used most rooms as sets for the solo segments, such as essential guitar moments or drum cues. This worked fantastically, as now we had four shots of the group together and takes from each member’s solo, all composed into nine tracks to edit however we liked. The set's mise en scene perfectly expressed the "vibes" we all thought nailed the bull's eye. The rundown building and broken everything around made the perfect grunge/adventure attitude.  

These themes of rebellious independence and hard-core fun were the main goal to fit the genre of music. Because the young adult and teenage group in first world countries is usually the primary target demographic for this music style, we wanted to connect to these people through popular means of communication. Twitter. We gave the account the appropriate banner, taken from the true Facebook account they own. One struggle was communicating with the band efficiently. Despite having a direct group chat with them on Whatsapp, warranting a response was almost impossible most of the time. We wanted to do so much more with their branding, but they had other things to care about—a disappointing challenge, but not a destroyer. We had to create our own Twitter and could not depend on them to migrate content to their original pages. The Twitter page was used to spread the song's release on a multitude of music platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music. Later, it was used to publish an embedded player for the music video once it was on Youtube and for the vinyl artwork created and printed. Youtube has features in which you can tag and categorize your uploads to match as best it can with certain themes people click on, and it takes advantage of Youtube's user experience algorithms. 

Looking into other music videos of similar music groups was essential when we began outlining concepts for the Saving Herald video. Linkin Park's Numb video couldn't be a better frame of reference. There's a brief story following a girl's life of isolation and self-reflection combed in with scenes of the band's performance of the song. They shot their performance within a garage/man-cave/church scene to deliver the goth and dark themes in the video. Nice flavors of layering and shallow-depth of field also contribute lots to the shot sequence. The story seems to also create a connection between the lead performer and the girl character, and she visits the now-empty band room at the end of the video. Context about relationships emphasized in the lyrical parts such as "Can't you see that you're smothering me, Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control?" also have importance. Once we saw how the bands were set up after looking at other videos from groups such as These Days by Wallows taught us how to orient the instruments on set. 

When we had Mrs. Stoklosa review our draft for the final cut, she recommended we, rather than include a cinematic style opening for the credits and title, we implement a traditional MTV minimalist graphic in the bottom corner for the beginning moments. We also noticed this in other band videos and made the correction to best match the characteristic of the genre and the music industry's rock category. The video was a challenge to set up and execute and is by far the largest group I've had to work within my experiences.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Components of the Project

Hello viewer!

Gianna Ubiera, and I, Dean Milan, are pleased to present the finale of our Music Promotion package, which was Option 1 of 4 for our AICE Media Studies A level Portfolio project. Here contains all the components of the music video, social media page, and other content we created for this project.

Saving Herald is a local rock band composed of students from our own high school, Cypress Bay High, and we had the opportunity to work together to create this music video. Their styling of a new age of indie rock and alternative music gave us an open door for ideas. We went the extra mile to see what we could do, and it came out with a bang. We hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading. 

This marks the end of my high school adventures. 

Goodbye, Dean Milan signing off. 

 Music Video (including behind the scenes clips)

Official Social Media Page for Saving Herald (contains minor task of digipak, per release) 

Other links

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Some fixes and clean ups!

Even though the video airs on Friday, the Saving Herald group definitely wanted to see a copy of the latest edit, to see how their performance would show to the public. There were actually quite a few corrections, but more actually, alterations that some of them wanted done. Did they still like the video? Of course, and I made the most of their requests and the video ended up being a more complete and whole timeline. Everyone wins! We were able to include more diversity in shots and key moments from the guitar, drum, and vocal solos.

I took the new final version, reuploaded to YouTube, set the same schedule time, then deleted the first version. So we're still all set for later this week! Here's a look at the upload page, all ready to go.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The final edit + Twitter Updates

 So much has been happening the last few days, but I have great news! We came to the conclusion that adding extra cinematography to our video wouldn't make sense for this style of song, so after taking Stoklosa's advice, and analyzing our own edit further, we decided to keep it as it. We then took the footage we already had and heavily cleaned it up. The primary goal was to keep the footage flowing and moving nicely so that clips wouldn't drag on for too long, to create a fully engaging video. 

We were happy with what we created, and scheduled it to go public on YouTube this Friday at 3pm! We also scheduled many posts for the Twitter account leading up to the video's release later this week.

I signed onto the Twitter account and organized 4 postings for this week.

  • Tuesday (today) - Behind the scenes clip #1, notice of video release time
  • Wednesday - Behind the scenes clip #2
  • Thursday - 10 second teaser of the edit, announcement that the video releases the next day
  • Friday - Embedded link for the final full YouTube video at 3pm, and the vinyl pictures will post a little earlier at 2pm

Scheduled posts!

The twitter is scheduled, the posts are done, the video is up, last goal is to complete our CR review and get some feedback on that. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The best advice we can get

Our AICE teacher, Mrs. Stoklosa, announced today that we would be gifted an additional six days before deadlines for this project. That takes it from the 12th to the 18th. Gianna and I came to the conclusion that this was due to the fact that an unfortunately high amount of students were not only behind on editing and finalizing their projects, but filming in the first place. We heard this information during breakout room discussions were we had little group talks, highlighting how everyone's projects were going along so far. By default, we were expected to film during last week, spring break. Not many people were prepared to take that initiative however and hadn't started shooting. 


We spoke to her earlier this week discussing critiques of our first video draft and what alterations we should make. She complimented our work for being high-quality and impressive. But besides that, she made plenty of notable points throughout the video. Here are some of my bullets.

  • The opening wide two shot of the guitarist and bassist was ugly.
  • More frequent cuts and fun edits needed to be done.
  • More footage included of the band's solo performances, such as guitar and drums.
  • Toss the end credits and keep it only as copyright info.
  • Alter the opening credits to look less cinematic, and more like a traditional MTV style list of the band, song, director, and publishing group.
  • The edit was dynamic and fun,  first shot made it boring.
  • More diversity and use of content.
There's this phenomena called the Dunning-Kruger effect. The people who understand a field more are less likely to see themselves at their true value or intellect, and the more ignorant and flamboyant people, when it comes to their understanding of a topic field, know very little. They're the kids who think they ace a test, yet perform the worst. The opposite is also true, the kids who know the industry or topic under-credit themselves. 

Where are we on that scale? Somewhere, at any given time we have different magnitudes of this issue. To combat this, and to encourage growth and application of my education, I look for criticism from teachers when I can. What me and Gianna had created was great, but theres always room for better! 

I definitely learned a good lesson here. Gianna and I decided that due to the theme of the song, the pacing, length, and editing we have going on already, it is unwise to add additional cinematography to cut into the current timeline. It just doesn't pan out the way we want to, and would feel incredibly awkward.

Tomorrow we'll make some more posts and finalize the edit! We're taking this opportunity to really polish it out and get some feedback, and let the video evolve. I added some saturation to make it look less washed out too.

Night, Dean. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Friday, March 26, 2021

Chaos Control (Editing) + Story Rethinking

 We have around a dozen layers of content to work with. Two shots for each full take of the song, both were successful. Footage of Kenzie on her drums, Madisyn singing, Nic and Maxx together, and more of just Nic on his solo. It was a great amount of video to make a compelling and interesting performance cut of the Saving Herald group. This has definitely been the largest scale project I've had the opportunity of working on, and the amount of footage is insane!

Given that the song is only four minutes, and after hyper analyzing the song for the last three consecutive days, I've come to the conclusion that while we don't have the sufficient duration to blend in a fully flushed short story like I did with Jay Moon, it'll mean some super eye-candy cinematography to throw into the middle parts of the video. 

I determined that the appropriate time segments were 1:03-1:20, 1:35-1:40, and 1:56-2:10.

Here's a rough draft of the video so far! I've made further edits to the video since this upload. I've saturated the footage more which provided a more pleasant and organic look, and I also altered the opening and closing credit sequences to make more sense. I'm super excited for what shots we'll come up with, and I'm hoping to use some creative techniques in the pool water (iPhone with water bag) to make something spicy.

Gianna's opening a twitter account and has begun to post teasers and announcements for the production! I'll link it in a new blog post once I get my hands on it, as it's still being worked on.