Synopsis: The idea for my project is a music video for a friend, it is based on the three-act way of script writing. Where each scene has an action at the end that leads onto more drama within the next scene. I will be using a track called Vortex which happens to be split into three parts, the story will follow a young man getting out of a taxi and arriving outside a club and meeting his girlfriend or date. Upon entering the club he has an altercation with a bouncer gets a bit gobby but gets let in goes up to someone who clearly doesn’t like him, (we are lead to believe they have a past) buys some drugs and heads to the bar, we see wide-angle shots of the barman at the bar so without realizing the audience is familiarized with his face, the barman also talks to him and says what the sample used in the track says. He then takes a pill and that is when the first music change happens and thus the end of the act. We then see our protagonist in slow motion from an unflattering angle with a fish eye lens, walking through the club sweating loads knocking people over and annoying people generally he sees the guy he bought the drugs from he knocks into him and the guy knocks him out. We then see him laying on the floor from an over head shot as he begins to seizure the music and digetic sounds of a heartbeat intensify until we fade to black (end act.) He awakes in a garage tied to a chair with a man in a mask again quoting the sample used from the song, with a big clown in the corner blowing up balloons his girlfriend is on the floor with a rope tied to her screaming with mascara all over her face, there is a man slapping him in the face, lots of macro shots of things going on he breaks free from the chair and is instantly thrown back into the real world where the bouncer is giving him cpr the other guy is slapping his face while his mrs is screaming in exactly the same position she was in the garage, we realize the guy is O.D. ing.My role in this will be director editor and possibly camera op, I will be working closely with my friend who made the track so I can represent him in the best way possible, I will also be asking for help organizing the club night which I shouldbe able to get a venue for quite soon. With regards to the research piece it will be looking at slow motion video and lighting, I want to make the scenes in the club as vulgarly beautiful as possible I will be looking into Dannie Boyle and such people for work like trainspotting and human traffic etc…the majority of sources I will look at will be focusing on lighting and camera work I will also be looking into club culture and drug problems among teens. I will be working on the preproduction of this as soon as I have met with my “client” I intend to get everything done as quickly as possible but well organized so I can get everything that I need. The only real worry I have with this is my own ability with regards to the technical side of this I will counteract this by enlisting someone who is a little ,more proficient than me with a camera multiple people will make this easier.
DIY Snorricam tutorial videos for club scene http://filmmakeriq.com/2011/04/22-diy-dslr-camera-rigs/
So using a few of these designs I worked alongside my partners dad who happens to be a carpenter to make a version of a Snorricam out of MDF wood and bolts to make a jointed chest mount with a bolt from a tripod mount, weighted against a back board held together with luggage straps. It took about a week and cost about £15-20 there there were a few things that had to be changed like the lengths of the arms, but the shot was framed and the angle picked for exactly what I wanted so the work is done exactly to that but with added stages to move within a groove. I can’t claim credit for it all as I was the “ideas” guy so really glad that this is now working. This is a video of it in action when it was still just the front mounted on a wooden board. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXXeTST1h4o and a few shots of the rig itself …
The Club Scene shooting (7/5/2014) this is being shot next Wednesday and is currently being organised by myself josh and jake, a list of stuff needed for it is glitter balloons smoke machine spray bottles (for sweaty folk) empty bottles balloons food and Kanye sunglasses The shoot is going to be at 20:15 and I anticipate about 40 people being involved this is the biggest thing I have done so far so am expecting a lot to go wrong, hopefully the more I put into the pre-production the easier it will be, part of my influence for this can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV7SA0BCUPw consider it a similar thing but with a dash of heroin chic, I will be working with my younger brother mike as our main character, lucy a friend who will be playing his girlfriend, bailey who will be playing the doorman and a casting call has been put out for the barman. I have story boarded and noted out like a million things I am yet to buy blue gels I want a specific look it’s just the only problem with buying online is that you have no idea how it is going to look, I want a very light blue almost silvery light but perhaps this can be touched up in post.The rig is raring to go I just need to resize it to fit someone smaller than me and away we go but I am yet to arrange a name for that so I will get back to you there. So the weekend before the shoot has gone on and I have been working on some storyboards for the shoot on Wednesday but not too much as it happens I got massively ill before I had to do things (not like that’s a cliche’!) I have met with Jake Bench so we can talk through a shooting script and a storyboard but mainly down to just doodling at the moment, I approached Jake as I had worked with him on other films and he’s a bit of a whizz with lighting so made sense.
Our story starts with Rob a young man pulling up in a typical chavvy car (yes i called my car chavvy) talking on his phone
Rob: Why not just come out for a bit man it’s the weekend?
well it’s the weekend somewhere still,
i’ve got some blue clarky, nose-bosh and quack handles
Rob: Well they’re legal highs so I’m guessing they’re alright other wise they wouldn’t be legal genius!
ahhhh go on… *grunts* whatever then…is Lucy still coming out?
sister or not mate she’s fair game
CIAOW (shouts and hangs up quickly)
Rob looks down to the glove compartment grabs out bags of different drugs, over the top we will be using bright blue glitter to highlight how dangerous and unknown cosmetic drugs use is. He exits the car, the second that he opens the car door we are outside the driver door, the music starts and the camera moves in 4/4 with the music bar by bar, just showing the relationship of the audio to visual before we see him walk towards us (which will use jump-cut, as this fits the theme and speeds things up) and then off camera.
Next we see a side-profile crawling from a car, we follow Rob walking along the street on his way to go out, this shot will be shot three times once with him just walking like a bolshy young man, one of him walking as if he’s slightly aware of the music so almost in rythmn and one of him full-blown dancing. The reason for this being the edit if the shot is long enough then I will be able to jump between the three these symbolise his nervous excitement about the night ahead, we then have a rig shot from behind he passes a tramp with a can of beer asleep and drinks it, we see him come into shot at close-up range, we zoom out he spins on the spot and throws the can behind him highlighting how much he doesn’t really care he walks towards us and we are behind him with the club in front of us.
**some story board missing**
The Club (EXT.)
outside the club we see Rob start to act shiftily this is because he has no money and is relying solely on selling his “legal-highs” to go out, the bouncer clocks him and they lock eyes. he starts to act more nervously as he does he moves around the corner to where some people are coming down the road to enter the club. Rob manages to sell one of his bags and has the money we then see a young girl wandering along this is Lucy, the sister of the guy on the phone they meet do a line, and then enter the club, Rob blows a kiss at the bouncer in a mischievous fashion and enters the club.
(The music outside the club will have a Lo frequency cut filter on so the music sounds as if it actually in the club, there will some digetic noise of people talking and Rob sorting out the drugs, but this will be inaudible and muffled.)
**again some story board missing**
The Club (INT.)
we enter the club and this is the beginning of act 2 the club, we see Rob and Lucy arm in arm ready for a night-out as the music slows down there is a slider shot of them entering slowed down to 90% as the music does as well, they part ways she heads to the dancefloor he heads to the bar.
we follow Rob along the bar on a dolly all the way to the end to order a drink, when he gets there he is finding it hard to concentrate and can’t figure out if the barman is talking to him (the barman says the sample from the break in the song)
“is elctrical power reaching out to specific vortexs in the earth’s crust and is it causing U.F.O. activity”
Rob looks confused and heads to the dance floor, the music breaks down to passed half speed at this point and so does the footage, it will be shot on the AF100 and slowed down in camera and will be your typical run-of-the-mill club scene with lots of light and people with their hands in the air and so on,
as the song begins to change we move to the Snorricam shot
Rob leaves the toilet after what was maybe a line maybe a pee who knows he exits and we follow him through the dancefloor he sees a girl with a drink and steals it and downs it, then dances a bit and bumps into people, he sees someone wearing glasses and steals them and carries on, now rob has found lucy again and they are dancing together. The shot of them dancing together is to represent the way that they feel singled out and like they are the only people that exist for this effect to be apparent a vignette will be applied in post and the shot will be spot-lit. Rob carries on dancing and we see him start to flail he hits the ground and we go to an over head shot on the dancefloor and hear rob’s heart in time with the music starting to fade-out (incidentally so do the visuals ((clever huh)) )
now we have the breakdown of the song and into act 3 we have a few flash scenes of Rob being bundled out of the club and we hear a car boot open, close people talking inaudibly then the motor.
In this scene Rob awakes to realise (possibly) that he has been kidnapped by the barman who then relays another sample from the song to him in whilst in a dark room with a swinging lightbulb. A close up of Robs eyes and they open, we are automatically launched into the scene with the music hitting around 174 bPM lots of cut away shots of things that are going on to keep with the pace of the video, Rob is being tortured by the barman with a torch whilst the bouncer is behind them and lucy is on the floor crying.
all of these things will be shot with a macro lens and edited quickly to the beat. Rob hits the floor in his chair and suddenly he is outside
The Layout from above
The Club (ext.)
suddenly we are outside the club and Rob is on the floor, the bouncer is giving him CPR and the barman is shining a torch into his eyes while they try to revive him we realise that it has all been part of his subconscious and Rob has o.d.’d. The last shot will have all 4 characters in shot disappearing and reappearing as the music changes and Rob’s sense of reality is fading, we leave him either he dies or he lives the audience decides.
Influences and reasoning
my reasons for making this project are a few, the main one is legal highs and their availability to young kids being they are untested cosmetic drugs.
there are literally hundreds of untested drugs flying around the world at the moment, some are psyco-active and some are stimulants so given that you also add into the equation uppers and downers at the same time it really is impossible to know the exact number of how many legal highs are actually on the market in our country let alone the world. Having a younger sibling that is slightly wild has made me realise how bad this is, also along with watching some friends really lose their grip then ending up incarcerated I figured I would try and use and way to find something to make a point of it to a younger audience. I think that the use of Channel 4 type “This is England 88” camera technique mixed with the look of hollyoaks or misfits or whichever you prefer. (not saying they all look the same, but there is a certain “feel” to each whether it’s in the camera work or grading etc… they are all carefully crafted pieces of poo and glitter. So I bought a load of glitter and balloons, and shot the club stuff which was intending to look something like this…
it did end up looking pretty “Channel 4” if I’m honest was very pleased with the dolly shots was well worth the extra hassle of getting all set up but the footage that came out was amazing, there were only 20 people there but we managed to make it look rather pretty/busy
so with that in mind we came up with a pretty cohesive look and feel to the night club scene of the video it’s currently un graded but it will look pretty special. I had bought glitter which I intended to use with the balloons and people while they were dancing, but due to lack of time as the balloons had to be weighted down with fishing wire, I cracked on with it anyway. Now as a joke and also not wanting to have spent money on something so trivial and not use it, I will make a concoction of unrealistic drugs for the beginning of the video. Giving them funny names as a homage to Chris Morris’ Brass Eye
as I sit writing this the Telegraph have published this in the last hour
it claims there are 350 known legal highs being sold in the U.K. and Europe and online at 651 different outlets, but in the u.k. the mortality rate from over-dose is 17% more than the rest of Europe whether or not you put that down to our binging culture, a failure to truly explain to kids about things because of red-tape, or general ignorance and readily available vices sold on e-bay the fact is it is a huge problem and children need to be protected from making bad-decisions at a young age, if you believe in theoretical “gateway” drugs then these are definitely them with all moral coding exempt by the web some faceless company making you get off yours on some kind of chemical compound made up of who knows what and for that matter where it came from it’s all a grey-washed area.
“Legal highs are particularly difficult to control as manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, website-hosting and payment-processing services can all be based in different countries.” the EMCDDA
“Most overdoses occur among individuals who have consumed multiple substances, and attributing causality is often problematic,”
even their fake weed is killer
Drug use remains one of the major causes of mortality among young people in Europe, the report said, with around 6,100 overdose deaths reported in Europe in 2012, down from 6,500 in 2011.
the edit is going well I have bought a plug-in called “Twitch” which looks like it should be fun to use for the garage scene the motivation for the general theme of the garage scene even though it is in no way similar is the song “Breathe” by the Progidy
The general feel is uneasy and I wanted to try and replicate it as this part of the story is all in the guys mind, whether or not this will easily be defined is up to the edit. Obviously I know what has gone on but need to make it very apparent to the viewer so they aren’t just left to think about it themselves.
over the winter holidays last year I realised that I was entitled to up to £450 worth of books and materials, so I decided to take full advantage of this and went out and bought some books
these books were rather interesting I think by far the best was “The Art of Digital Film-making” by Mike Figgis the dude who invented the fig-rig not the greatest piece of equipment (i found personally) but the whole book is very good it reads almost as if you were having a conversation with someone which is essentially what the book tries to emulate, however I also bought some screen writing books etc and the more I read into them the more I realised that I believe writing is something you can’t teach, or more to the point creative writing (that actually involves being creative) is the same as art or music if your tone-deaf there is no getting over that, it is built in and ingrained from your brain’s development. This being said I found myself wanting to write at the same time don’t get me wrong I just wondered what would be the outcome if I actually limited myself to a confine or structure, I realised that the 3 act structure that everyone was ranting about is said literature is a very simple way to write and therefore may be better suited to music videos with a story-line. For any one who is reading this and doesn’t know what the 3 act structure is it basically is the theory that film needs 3 acts to be a whole and that every end of every act requires an action that leads through into the next act, basically
So in order to obtain the glitchy effect that I wanted I went ahead and bought a program called twitch, but being as my Mac isn’t entirely great neither is my graphics card I had a lot of trouble getting everything to run, also the fact that my only real experience with After Effects has been with the Title Sequence Project that we had done really proved troublesome I didn’t want to let that stop me, I bought the copy of it used it in college and at home and for some reason my projects wouldn’t render after an entire evening of searching CreativeCow.net and other website yahoo answers etc, I sent quite an abrupt e-mail to video copilot and received an answer within 5 mins turns out I was using an old copy of Twitch I dont know why this is the downloadable one on their site but that was put right and all was ok!
so bearing this in mind I went back to the drawing board and managed to find a program called Data-Glitch 2.0 this is less “twitchy” more giving an imitated break in visual feed, the two options are subtractive colours or primary colours, I decided to use RGB as it fitted with the colour scheme of the video so far, this program can also be used in Premier. This didn’t work in the end as I didn’t have the AE key so was unable to get rid of the water-mark here is my attempt
ok so I ended up messing up hugely on the night of the last shoot I had intended to go from the shoot straight home went out via BANGBANG on North Hill wasn’t a smart move, I ended up having the camera stolen from me and lost the plot. I was literally stood by the bar talking to Alex (Plasmator-the guy who made the song) someone lifted it straight up from next to me, which is ridiculous and lucky at the same time as I had my own Canon-600d and Macbook Pro in my bag, realising what had happened I asked to see the CCTV and was told I would have to wait until the morning, not being a great believer in people in general I decided to get blind drunk (real smart yup?) I was initially thinking that I would have to replace a 7D and 2 samjang lenses worth about 2 grand. Not wanting to think about this and having had problems with alcohol and substance abuse for the last 10 years I “relapsed” for about 3/4 days and made my home-life quite difficult for everyone around me, this wasn’t ideal as I had been sober since September and had joined the college to try and regain some sort of composure to my headspace and the way things were, in the time that I was being a drama queen and a huge drunk one at that someone handed in the camera to the college I am yet to find out who did I think it was a photography student. The plan is when I go back to find out and give them a reward because they vaguely instilled some kind of faith in humanity in me again, so the camera was back and the only thing that was missing was a charger ok not a problem 30-40 quid I went onto WEX Photographic and bought one for 10 pounds more than the recomended AMAZON site, (as Amazon don’t pay their taxes and are generally a bunch of sh*ts) yeah I know moralistic eh? got the camera back got the charger back now to get the last piece of footage I need the dialogue……but, the day that I lost the camera was my first offence with the ERC and it took a week to get the charger, when the charger arrived I took it into the college (after having spent the day a few days before getting my extenuating circumstances) and they decided that from the day I handed it back I had a week ban, so this in mind I was put a week back. I did try various people that I had worked with to try and book out the equipment so that we could get this in the bag but people had gone home or were busy trying to tie up their own loose ends I would have to wait until the video could be finished and just wanted shot of it!
It has taken nearly a month as all my actors work, which is good for them and such but I am stuck trying to tie things together and it’s nearly impossible. I am glad that this has happened in some ways as I now know unless I choose a particularly “bummy” person I will be working with actors from Casting Call!