Monday, 21 January 2013

Adaptation: Idea Development 21/1/13

Restricting the Project (For the Greater Good)

At last thursdays tutorial, Alan and I discussed the ways in which I could develop and produce my music video. The most significant point that was reached was that in order to make the video both visually appealing and economical in terms of workload, I will need to restrict the video in a creative way.
Restriction makes it sound as if it is a negative thing, although if it works, it should be quite the opposite. The restriction will hopefully force the outcome in a more interesting and unique direction, stopping me from drifting into familiar territory. The restriction could be anything, really. As Alan suggested, it could be something as small as fixing a camera at a singular angle, such as side on to the action, or something more drastically noticeable, such as a total style restriction. 
After the tutorial, I began to think of all the different ways I could creatively restrict the video.

Developing a Suitable Aesthetic

When thinking about restrictions, Alan and I discussed the various visual motifs and stylistic choices available to me, such as taking a graphic design approach, using album covers or title sequences from classic films as influence. The graphic design approach led to the idea of incorporating advertisements into the video, as well as advertising and consumerism as a concept. 
This appears to fit well for a number of reasons. Firstly, the concept of advertising and consumerism relates quite closely to the themes of the restrictions in living and illusions of choice that were already present in the overall concept for the video. Secondly, advertising and marketing played quite a big part on the lifestyles of the average 1960's individual (just look at Mad Men), and the commercial art at the time was deliberately striking, with rich colours and strong text. I've already began to look at the work of artists such as Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker, and the semi-realism and bold colour schemes can be applied to both 3D and 2D elements in the video.

Arriving At a Logical Idea

After arriving at the above ideas, it got to that point where I actually had to make something from it. 
I approached Phil with an idea I had developed and we discussed how I could make an interesting music video from what I had in mind.
Still retaining the marionette ideas from before, I came up with the idea of following this character through his daily routine, with the video intermittently pausing when he interacted with objects and products throughout the day. The camera would freeze as the shot transformed into an advertisement for the product or activity that was occurring, with bold text appearing to resemble printed magazine advertisements. Phil suggested that whilst it was an interesting concept, after seeing that happen three or four times, the audience would get the trick and it would lose its appeal fairly quickly. We discussed what it was that makes a music video different to an animation that loosely relates to, but is ultimately detached from, the music. We concluded that is was their use of montage editing, with hours of footage being filmed and then harvested in the editing suite afterwards. The video could cut between these shots of advertising in reality and various other scenes, such as rhythmic stylised shots of conveyor belts, moving to the beat of the music, for example. Although I will not be filming the footage live action, I can emulate the editing techniques to a degree, setting up my scenes as I normally would, then adding a series of cameras from various angles and playblasting from each view. I can then cut these playblasts together in Premiere Pro as Pre-Viz footage and once I have achieved the style I am going for, render only the cameras used and drop the rendered footage into place. Simples!
To keep the video dynamic and interesting, Phil suggested developing several scenarios that can be animated, rendered and intertwined between each other in the video, having multiple 'narratives' running simultaneously.
As for the tone, my initial ideas were pretty stale in terms of the emotion I intended to conjure up in the viewer. My more recent ideas of consumerism appeared to come off rather sinister, so the video may transition from a neutral, cheery tone to a more controlling and seedy one, with the character becoming a puppet of consumerism over the period of the video, as opposed to simply being a puppet to begin with. 

Whilst this all still very convoluted and messy at this stage, I feel as though I am making progress and it appears to be taking shape, little by little. 

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