Thursday, 10 January 2013

Adaptation: Initial Thoughts and Visual Research

Adaptation: Initial Thoughts and Research
With those hectic last few months out of the way, it's time to move on to what I imagine is going to be just as hectic (and considerably more terrifying). Whilst the idea of almost complete freedom is a little daunting and pretty overwhelming, I can't help but buzz with excitement.
Over the Christmas period, I spent any time I wasn't working bouncing thoughts of potential topics for Adaptation around my head. The general idea I found myself drifting back to was that of creating a music video.
I absolutely love music videos, and I admire the way in which, when desired, the director can tell as compelling a story you would find in a feature length film, in three minutes. I would go so far as to say I enjoy music videos more so than feature length films (I put that down to my short attention span, but I digress…).
Music videos can take all their influence from the song they are visualising, being incredibly literally about the tonality and lyrics, or they can be completely unrelated, acting as a set of compelling images to accompany the track, without bearing much of a connection. The majority of these examples are live action, but the principles within them translate over to CG too.

Period Evolution of Music Videos
The general style and production values of music videos has evolved considerably over time. 
 Sixties- Zou Bisou Bisou- Gillian Hills
Music videos in the sixties were extensions of musicals being shown in the cinemas at the time.

Seventies- Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
As the music got bolder, as did the videos, with Bohemian Rhapsody being one of the first 'official' music videos to be produced as a means of promoting the music.

Eighties- Total Eclipse of the Heart- Bonnie Tyler
Videos in the eighties displayed high production values and excessive glamour, assisted with the inception of MTV.

Nineties- Coffee and TV- Blur
Music videos become less of a means of promotion, but more of a means of experimentation. Directors such as Michel Gondry and Chris Cunningham made their mark in this period, using the format to really push what it meant to make a music video, regardless of promoting the music it visualised.

Noughties- Hear It Goes Again- OK Go
Music videos now have reverted back to being sources of promotion with the advent of the viral marketing, being used as a means of creating buzz online. Its both enhanced and stunted the creativity found in music videos, with many videos being created not out of the desire to create something fantastic, but the desperation to get online views and exposure.

(I've linked to the following videos, as opposed to embedding them, as it should put less of a strain on the loading time of the page.)

Visual Style Examples
These are a few examples of the ways in which music videos have been created, other than live action.
Full 3D- Nine Inch Nails- Only
Graphical 3D- Remind Me- Royksopp

Context Examples
These are a few examples of the types of music video you can expect to find, each of them interesting and creative for different reasons.
Low Budget- Fell in Love with a Girl- White Stripes

In order to derive a jumping off point for my video, I've began to read interviews with various music video directors, as well as listening to commentary tracks for several videos. I aim to discover how established directors go about creating their videos, looking at their creative process and hopefully applying it to my own project.


  1. Sounds very interesting. There are a lot of videos out there now all having there take on how to do it so going to be interesting to see how you make this your own. Do not just look at director interviews, there are some nice ones with the bands as well as they make them etc avenged seven fold did a few. its interesting how they do it bit by bit and how they feel about the videos.

    But yes looking forward to the music you chose for this as well :)

  2. Awesome idea :) music videos have a sort of law onto themselves. like 'Aha - Take on me' its never explained why everything goes sketched... but everyone knows that music video! what sort of direction did you wanna go down (narrative/surreal/even like those jazz pieces phil showed us)? and would you aim to have the finished animation as your hand-in?
    some other videos to look at are linkin park... all of them are quite cool but 'breaking the habbit' is all hand drawn anime. And Offspring - Hit That uses cg in a live action world... i have loads from the grunge/rock scene but that will do for now :)