Section 1: Context and Review
I’ve acquired invaluable skills during the first 11 Units of my diploma, including self-sufficiency and independence. Working on live lounges (U.5 & 6) and performances, I have honed my craft on-stage and off, making me an effective, independent worker, writer, producer and artist. It has provided time to consider my future, in terms of my career (Progression Opportunities U.11) and how I present myself as a solo artist. My greatest milestone during year 1 was the Final Performance at The Star Inn, where I first performed my own music in a live setting, with my cello and self-produced backing tracks, and a proper lighting and sound setup. It was my chance to show who BRUCH was and to begin receiving feedback on my music. From here I would be able to develop into a fully-rounded artist in my own right. My study on Social Media in the music industry (U.9&10) helped me fully recognise my demographic and how to target them effectively.
These experiences influenced my decision in this project, because I truly know now where I want to be, which FMP pathway will most benefit my career, and help me develop my BRUCH presence. Therefore, I chose ‘Music To Moving Picture’, and will create visuals for an original track.
Section 2: Project Concept, Aims & Objectives
I aim to create a professional music video for my original song, Before Our Time. In Pre-Production, I considered the lyric meanings and music, and will nurture these ideas to fruition so the video perfectly accompanies the song, in style, atmosphere and direction.
After receiving constructive feedback from my focus group on the demo I featured in my Pre-Production, I will take steps to improve and enhance the final recording. I will record lead vocals and drums with producer, Bradley Livesley before mixing. The track will be mastered by T Charlton. I will create the video mostly myself. However, I’ll get advice from my mother (graphic designer) who has helped with previous BRUCH career projects. I can also receive advice/feedback from tutors/students, as needed. Costumes will be minimal due to funding, but maximum effect will be achieved due to make up, hair, artistic presentation, lighting and effects. Videoing will likely take place at home, as we own a backdrop and videography equipment.
By producing this video, I aim to develop video direction, production, and editing skills, as well as collaboration skills, working with a producer in a professional studio to record drums/vocals, which is currently unfamiliar, as I’m self-produced from home.
My work will engage my audience by giving them a taster of some new visuals for one of the songs on my upcoming EP this summer, and will create more intrigue and mystery around the release, hopefully resulting in more shares by my fans, and more engagement with the music across streaming platforms. I also hope that the eye-catching video will draw new followers in to watch and listen to the video, who will then subscribe, follow or like my content and, in turn build up my fanbase.
Section 3: Proposed Research and Bibliography (Harvard Format)
I will use varied resources:
Graphic design/art books – my mother is a graphic designer/photographer/artist, so we have many books to assist in choosing colour schemes, styling, and makeup, and perhaps even lighting.
I will analyse music videos (e.g. Aurora, Sigrid, Kate Bush, Björk), to see how they put videos together, create an overall product, and perhaps find inspiration to possibly incorporate into my own footage.
I will identify my target audience by referring to my follower statistics on social media, and music platforms such as Spotify (giving me information such as age range, gender, and who else they follow or listen to). This will help me to understand who I am directing my music video towards. I will consider my genre and how to compliment/enhance the audio-visual experience, with the atmosphere of the track – I don’t believe it’s appropriate to change my vision to cater to the mainstream community. The concept will be true to me as an artist.
Possible research sources are linked below as an appendices/bibliography section:
Websites like Wikipedia can be unreliable (because of open authoring), so I plan to use the Wikipedia bibliography section to find original sources. Interviews are firsthand and are more reliable. Other YouTube videos such as the one on Mic Placements can be considered unreliable due to each person’s differing opinion of how drums should sound, therefore altering the way drums are recorded for each artist. For this reason, I will also take advice from the producer recording vocals/drums on my track.
Books can be considered to occasionally be unreliable sources as they state the author’s opinion. But as historical references, I trust these (listed in the appendices) will provide solid facts. Any opinions stated will be taken into account, and compared with my own thoughts.
I will interview Adam Pain (producer of music videos for Skunk Anansie, etc.), due to his knowledge of music videos. I feel he would give valuable advice. I will also get practical advice from Clare Nordbruch (Ingenious Design UK) on how to record and edit, due to her professional experience. I will also interview Clare Nordbruch (Ingenious Design UK) and Jamie Allan iMagician (creator of promotional videos) for advice on creation/editing/visual effects and problem-solving due to their professional experience. I will also speak to Clare Nordbruch about her prior professional experience in professional theatre with make-up and costume design, and how to achieve the highest visual effects on a minimal budget.
I will speak to recording engineers about the microphones used/placement of, and why they provide better sound for vocal tone or drum sections. This will help my understanding of the recording process and equipment purpose. Expert advice will add to my own personal experience and track knowledge. Speaking to these people will provide important primary source information aiding development of the music video, and my future career.
I feel it would also be a valuable addition to my research to, if I decide I would like to film some of the video outside or in another location, go to the location ahead of filming and take into consideration anything that could disrupt the video, or the image, any objects in the background or views of open roads, etc, and create a risk assessment for this space. This will then aid me when planning for the shoot.
I will study footage of my own live performances and earlier music videos for best angles, effective movement/facial expression ideas, as well as transitions and effects.
Section 4: Problem Solving
Loss of/underestimation of time:
I perform weekly, rehearse with my band, and am also preparing my debut EP for release this summer, which means there will be considerable time constraints. However, I’m confident that by sticking to my production schedule (see attached document), I can complete everything to the highest standard.
In the recording studios, this will reduce accidents/injuries from any equipment, heavy objects or electrical appliances in the studio. By doing this, I will expand my knowledge of recording spaces and the associated risks. I also aim to create a risk assessment for the filming space, to rule out any injuries from stands falling, glass being smashed (lenses, light bulbs, etc), and to create a safe environment so there are no interruptions during the process.
I have access to two dimmable studio lamps. The batteries can run out quickly and they do not provide a wide flood of light. So, we will take spare, charged batteries so as not to disturb the filming process, and plan to use the lighting to full effect. If the lamps fail to light the scene, we could use natural light. Alternatively, we can use domestic lamps, and then edit the colour and brightness of the scenes in post-production.
Other usual issues might occur, e.g. camera running out of power (solved by replacing the batteries), backdrop falling (ensure it is securely fixed before beginning the filming session), and loss/filling to capacity of SD card storage (solved by emptying the card or using a different one for the rest of filming – I’ll bring my Mac to enable this). Other unexpected problems, such as a lens cracking, costume malfunction, etc, can be sorted but will obviously take more time. We will take as many precautions as possible to make sure everything is secured, protected, and handled carefully, and that we have backups for as many scenarios as possible. I will allow for possible re-shooting time in my Action Plan.
We will carry spare DSLR cameras in case of main camera breakdown.
Problems with editing and visual effects – contact one of my video expert contacts for advice.
Section 5: Planning & Production
Section 6: Practical Skills
My project will be an equal split of practical work and editing, mixing, and planning. There will be a lot of preparation to make the video as good as possible, including material acquisition (e.g. backdrops, smoke machine, costumes, makeup, lighting, cameras, props, accompanying objects). It will be useful to use research resources, (music videos and track visuals), as inspiration on conveying meaning and emotion through images.
To execute completion of the track and music video, I will need to apply current technical skills (production, mixing, home recording, composing, styling, designing), plus new skills (e.g. editing, direction, collaboration, videography). A balanced combination will allow me to expand my skill set and develop ideas into an excellent final product. I will be moving outside of my comfort zone in terms of working with a studio engineer to record drums and vocals, and this will improve my collaboration skills greatly for the future.
Section 7: Evaluation and Reflection
I will write regularly in my FMP Development Diary, documenting the project’s progress, including rehearsal diaries, recording session and production session analysis, and anything that affects or changes my outlook/thoughts. Doing so will help me reflect, adjust and improve in real time, rather than after completion.
I will evaluate my studio performance/professionalism and how any recording sessions fared against my aims and plans. I will document my progress: producing the track, comparing the results throughout to my initial visions before execution.
It will be useful to have feedback on both my track as it is mixed (from professional and fanbase), and my video footage to allow me to develop and balance the track to the best final result. I will use the same focus groups throughout, for continuity. This, in turn, will enable the video to be as good as it can be. This will be ongoing throughout the project, starting from the feedback I received from my focus group during Pre-Production, and ending with critique on the final music video and track. I also believe it will be very insightful to create a survey for people’s opinions on the end result of the video, which I can then reference in my evaluation.
Section 8: Presentation
I will present my work in several formats. I will write regular development diary entries with videos/memos of studio sessions. I will upload working mixes of Before Our Time to my FMP website for feedback to determine the best final recording.
I will record my project through photos, whether these be of rehearsals, studio sessions, mixing, mastering, and especially of any artwork ideas for the final product. I will also display on my website my risk assessments, and any survey results I gather in my research. For feedback from my focus group, I have created a separate page where this will be presented, and this page will be linked to wherever necessary.
Presenting work on my website will allow me to receive feedback from peers, friends, and tutors throughout the project, which will help me progress by acting on the critique, and to learn a new skill by creating and updating the website myself, including learning a small amount of code.
Finally, I will present the completed product on my official YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/bruchmusic, with an accompanying description, and links to my other music.
Presentation: Pod cast
I prepared a podcast of my intentions and ideas for the Music Video, and received positive feedback.
Click here to read the responses.