Those were the pictures we managed to take. The shoot hasn’t gone to plan, the idea of the mug-shot wasn’t exactly feasible as I didn’t have the equipment to pull it off in a professional looking way, so the idea on my behalf is to now use the typeface, to hopefully to suggest the ‘mug-shot’ idea and subtly reference action/sci-fi movies and their villainous/bud guy convention of plot. As for the full band picture and the individual shots I feel they worked really well, and we decided that it would be easier in editing if we took the pictures and them edited them black and white to create the dark/monochrome feel of earlier digipaks of the genre and conform with a lot of contemporary and older band shoots that were published in black and white shown earlier in the rough drafts for the album advert and digipak blog. As I thought it was too troublesome to bring in the instruments for just a lunch time session in the photography studio, we didn’t use them. So I will see what could possibly work from our photographs to portray the ‘nightmare’ themes on the back cover when I’m actually creating it, I hope that there’s something there I can use. Personally I’m hoping to use the font and typeface to create that contrast seen in the influences for my digipak front cover in editing. We then asked Laura to convert the pictures to Black and White on Photoshop and all decided we wanted to use the idea of the dark almost monochrome grey palette for our digipak as it fitted with our research and genre conventions as well as suiting our intended star image of the older rock/metal star image merging with a more contemporary one.
For the front cover I have definitely decided I want the early rock/metal digipak designs to feature within mine, which includes a title which stands out in colour to the rest of the digipak design but I would like it in a contemporary typeface to suggest intertextuality with bands like Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses, Pantera, but to also give it a contemporary feel with the typeface and link the design to that of Suicide Silence, Slipknot and Bullet for my Valentine, for example. On the reverse to this however, I would want a reference to the action movie genre as well as the individual media attention for all members, as each of them have a mug shot-type profile, above their heads almost like the ‘wanted’ would be in a classical ‘wanted’ poster each holding a mug-shot piece of card with the height chart back ground. This idea of the ‘bad guy mug-shot’ seen in action movies conveys the band to fit with the ‘dark’ , ’outcast’ , ’misfit’ convention of the genre, ( as shown below in research as influence bands shown as biker’s and convicts) as well as sticking to the original idea of individualizing the band members publicity and references other genres of media products that may attract and endear the target audience to the band more.
To bring the band image back more to the classic rock/metal original style planned for Carrion I want an image of something unique to one of the band members for the inlay and back cover to highlight the individuality of the band members, drawing them publicity too, but to also highlight certain aspects of the rock/metal genre. A piece of clothing up close on one of the boys, maybe an insignia ring for the inlay as shown and a picture of one of the band members and their instrument for the back. This links to classical rock/metal genre because a lot of the time, hair, instruments, bandannas, leather jackets, piercings, tattoos and studs were iconic to the genre and were made iconic due to their repetition in the genre early on. I want to conform to this idea of ‘iconic’ items within the rock/metal genre on the inlay. For the back cover, I wasn’t too sure what image I wanted exactly, but I knew what star image I wanted it to portray, I wanted it to have yet another different individual on the back that either related to the ‘nightmare’ quality of the promotional package, as that hasn’t featured yet in the digipak, or a band member photographed with an instrument to convey the closeness of the band and its creation of the music, which has featured as well in the video but not in the digipak. Either design that met these standards would be just as good, it just depends what is most economical on the day of the shoot because sometimes bringing in equipment like a bass guitar, or microphone can be troublesome, and there’s no way a full drum kit would be set up for our shoot as it just isn’t realistic in the time and space we have in the photography studio.
As for the album advert, I knew for a start I wanted to challenge the convention that the advert had the same picture on it as the front cover, yet I didn’t want to completely deviate from this as I wanted both ancillary products to be easily matched together. So, to come up with something satisfactory that also fitted with Carrion’s star image I decided to have all band members strike an individual pose, hopefully they’ll be able to work with the directions ‘arrogance and pride’ seen in the individual shots of band members I have posted below. Then my idea was to position them above or on both sides of the picture that was used in order to create something more visually interesting and diverse, as well as promoting further and in different ways Carrion’s star image of equality and individuality. These are my rough drafts:
Here is some of my research on band members individual posing:
These include members from the inspirational bands such as Falling In Reverse, Avenged Sevenfold and The Used.
Before I did any sort of design for my digipak and advert aspects of my promotional package, I had to look into examples of the rock/metal genre. Looking at older more 1980’s style rock/punk bands through to more contemporary rock music I decided that based on the star image our band have I thought this research would be best.
To fit with the conventions of the genre, I need to understand it fully, especially if I want to challenge any of these through my designs. To do this I took part in extensive research starting from the earliest days of punk/rock/metal by viewing digipak’s and album adverts from Guns N Roses, Pantera, Metallica and Black Sabbath. From my research I have found that the colour palette of the designs isn’t usually complex using mostly stark colours that contrast or stand out when placed together. The use of negative space is also frequently used to indicate a certain power and weight that the band logo or the band name has. It’s also a convention throughout all my research that I’ve found that the digipak front-cover is used at the album advert as well, making it easily recognisable. This is understandable; however I feel that if the same typeface and style of photograph taken is used, the band would be just as recognisable, this could be a convention I choose to challenge when making my own album advert. I also found from bands in this era, that none of them had photographs of band members on the digipak front cover, and as I continued to research I found it quite rare to see a whole band shot on the front cover. Again another interesting convention I would like to challenge through Carrion’s star image, as it was clear a lot of contemporary metal/rock artists who aren’t ‘A-List’ famous tend to stick to graphic art to appeal to their target audience. I wanted to change it so the whole emphasis of the digipak front cover is the band, a subversion of this convention in a way that caters to Carrion’s band identity. When discussing band history in one of the previous blogs the band stated that much like ‘Falling In Reverse’ the lead singer came from another already some-what famous band who split up. We gave the reason that the lead singer had become too fixated on attention, causing the band to hit creative differences. This meant that this new album was about the band as a shared project between all band members, not just the lead. When changing our narrative we found a way to link this star image into the video by being forced to remove the drummer, we decided to have him forced out by the group, which leads to the visit of the ‘Nightmare’ girls and their wrath on the rest of the band for revenge. The concept of the shared attention led me to break a convention of the genre, which lies with a focus of media attention on the lead singer. This was taken account of in my rough designs, which include a band shot and shots of each individual members to share the media attention between them all. This break in convention can be seen in the ‘American Tragedy’ digi-download sold on iTunes with the deluxe copy where each band member and their mask are featured individually as they employed a new singer, after encountering creative differences with their old one.
American Tragedy Digipak deluxe edtion:
After this research I looked more into 90’s rock/metal music, at some of KoRn, System of a Down and bands of the like and found that this was pretty much the same as the conventions of the genre I discovered in my earlier research, showing that it hadn’t changed that much over the ten years, other than the graphics and digital effects on pictures had increased in quality making the pictures more appealing and attractive. This pointed to a good use of media technology in order to create a promotional package that complied with audience expectations of this type of media product.
When I came onto researching more contemporary bands, and inspiration bands for Carrion’s star image, like Rise to Remain, Suicide Silence, Enter Shikari, Avenged Sevenfold, and The Used, they were similar in the fact that it was mainly graphic art used throughout the digipak design, which made me want to challenge this more. The graphics had gotten more intricate and complex compared to the 80’s and 90’s digipak and album advert design, but there weren’t many different ones. When I deliberately searched for bands with the whole band on the front I could only find Slipknot from ‘All Hope is Gone’ , ‘Born Villian’ by Marilyn Manson and ‘Feel the Steel’ by Steel Panther that features any kind of photography of the band. However, it did prove to me that people had challenged this convention before, and were successful. Again the colour palette for most of the digipak’s and adverts I have found from both the 90’s were monochrome or use colours that don’t quite fit comfortably and contrast, or in the very least hold a dark colour scheme with effects that darken the hue of the picture. This again I feel is a convention of the genre as the music is meant to be seen as ‘dark’. Although, I noticed that this changes with my more contemporary research and the colour palette varies slightly with the use of purples, oranges and reds. When considering the group’s initial star image it was probably best to look at more of the 80’s/90’s promotional style as Carrion are trying to bring back the rock/metal image of that era with a contemporary twist, taking contemporary and 80’s/90’s style and combining them to create their own star image. It would probably be easier to use a contemporary style, with mise-en-scene to attract an audience to the band, yet format the band in a way that suggests a link to the earlier bands like Guns N Roses. Mainly when the band is seen together in these pictures featured below.
Band Shoots & Photography:
Including bands like System of a Down, Rise Against, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Metallica and Bullet For My Valentine.
In shoots of the bands, even some more contemporary, they are all positioned together in a line, so using intertextuality to link back to these early metal/rock years, I would want the band to be stood similar in some part of my digipak and album advert.
This was going into our extension, but we only needed today. What we did as a group was to add a grainy/noise type effect to the footage to create a noticeable intertextual link with old horror movies like Frankenstein and Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. This noise effect was added to the whole video to give it all intertextuality but it worsens and skips when the girls transform to make it poignant to the audience that this is the part where the girls turn in to similar monsters featured in these early black and white movies. Again this is mirrored by the colour effect, hue and sharpness of the image in their transition as we made it monochrome green, with varying different pale greens (almost black and white to create stronger intertextuality with the connotations of the colour green) to enhance the importance of this half of the video. When we watched it through though, Me and Laura (who had time off for this afternoon to finish the editing) decided it still didn’t appear to convey the right amount of pandemonium at the end, and edited and cut sections out to give it a skippy, jumpy effect as if time itself, like when you remember a dream and your memory is skipping in places, which further portrayed the ‘Nightmare’ish aspect we were trying to show and mirrored the old movie reels used in silent films.
This session we finally managed to finish the rough cut of the draft, Louise and Rhian had tried in a previous session to edit it the way we envisaged it as a group, however, it didn’t quite look right. We had difficulties with fitting the narrative ending we planned in with the footage we had. The flash of the girls at the end wasn’t shot properly and with the poor communication of people in our last shoot, we had to get the narrative shots done in a rush, this lead to a bad shot of the girls at the end. We tried to speed it up in order for it to flash up as it doesn’t have to be on screen that long. The only bit we could cut and make it look good was too short, so no matter what speed we had the flash up, it didn’t work because the audience couldn’t establish it was them. We took this out and had to use it as a cliff-hanger ending as the boys just waking up and the audience never find out that what they’re scared about, insinuating that the girls are there, but never showing them. It vaguely relates to the style of ending that we wanted as the ending is inconclusive and leaves the audience questioning the narrative about whether it happened or was simply a ‘Nightmare’. After this we had to decide what colour effects we wanted on the live performance, and how to fix the issue with white balance we had on filming. We realised when we first copied the footage over that we hadn’t fixed the white balance of the camera in a few of the introductory shots so we had to even this out in all the narrative shots so it looked acceptable and didn’t create issues with continuity. To do this we added a whiter, paler colour effect on the colour wheel and evened the image out before adding this same effect to all the ‘real’ events of the narrative, like the fight at the start and the waking up at the end to intensify the idea of a ‘Nightmare’ and give the video a sort of conclusion to leave the audience satisfied. We then added a green colour effect to the live performance to conform with the conventions of the genre and give the live performance an alternative nightmare world feel, yet the idea of keeping the locations separate distinguishes both worlds to create the gap and space between them in the product. The colour green we chose because it holds connotations of sickness, illness, death and of course grime/grunge basement locations which is associated with the genre of the music. After this we decided to call it a day and leave the effects to intensify the ‘Nightmare’ part of the video until next week.
We came back to the footage again with clear heads today ready to try and make it work. We didn’t necessarily like it because it has turned out nothing like the way we imagined it to look, but we knew we had to make it work. We continued to slot live performance and narrative together, speeding up the timing of a couple of shots to make it more effective, like the flash shot of the girls at the end for instance and the slowing down of the lead singer as his lip syncing with the microphone doesn’t quite work in time. By the time we had finished this task it was the end of the lesson and we’d gotten a good two thirds of the video finished, not necessarily in chronological order. We are up to the transformation of the girls in the narrative, this is the last part we have to fit shots together in. Once we have finished this rough draft of the video, we’re screening it for feedback to our teacher and a select few pupils that meet our target audience. We felt by the time we left the session that we were at least glad that the rough first draft would be finished by the end of next lesson.
Today was our first attempt at cutting the video to the song and the live performance. It was messy. It took a lot of hard work just to get the introduction cut properly, and we had to change our initial idea. The narrative sequence we had planned for the 30 second song intro, was too long for the introduction so the shots had to be cut much shorter, but fitted together in a way that still made complete sense. We realised we still had to do this with the rest of the footage because the shots were far too long to fit with our genre of music. Our choice of music was also six minutes long, and we decided that due to this discovery we weren’t going to be able to use the footage we had planned in the way we had planned it. After consulting we decided that the first step was to cut the music down to a manageable size with regards to the footage we had. We took out most the instrumental, which meant we could no longer use the guitar solo sequence the way we wanted to, but some of the shots were definitely usable within the video as just close up’s of the guitar and the guitarists hands, which is a convention in our genre of music video. By the time we’d done all this it was a few minutes before the end of the lesson so we decided to leave it there and come back to it in tomorrow’s media session and pick it back up.