So last night was Live @ the square, an entirely student run live music event at the students union. I volunteered to help in the filming of the event and organise the equipment for this part of the event. My responsibilities were to assist in the overall planning of the filming (camera angles, set-up, etc) and to organise the movement of the equipment to and from the event. I also was the crane operator on the night due to the fact that I was the only person involved in the filming who had been trained to use it properly. The set-up of all the equipment went well and we decided on each of the camera angles and position for each static camera fairly quickly but then hit a small problem, the memory packs that are used to record the footage on to them where not connecting correctly to the cameras meaning without tapes we had no way of actually recording the footage! After a quick rush around enough tapes were pulled together so that we were ready for filming. The actual filming went well with all the camera men knowing what they were doing and getting some good shots, unfortunately the lighting set-up for the event meant that the acts were often in very dark areas that did not get picked up well on the cameras.
Here is the edit of one of the songs from the night:
The actual experience was different to any kind of filming I had done before, I have filmed a music video before but nothing that involved live performances. It kept me on my toes and my mind working thinking of the best shot I could get. One problem with the crane was that it was very hard to see how the shots were coming out so therefore sometimes hard to frame and keep the shots in focus. As you can see from the video there was a few problems with the smoothness of the track meaning some of the shots were a little bumpy, this is something we should have smoothed out before (no pun intended). I enjoyed the experience quite a lot and its definetly something that I would do again given the chance, there would be a few things I would change though. I would take control of the lighting myself rather than leaving it to someone else so that I could be sure it would look good on camera. there was also some issues with recording the sound causing problems in the editing stages so this is something else I would make sure was sorted out myself rather than leaving to someone else.
After a lot of switching and changing ideas to do with our original script we have now decided to do an entirely new script. There are many ideas floating around some more formed than others and some more feasible than others. The idea is one that me and Dean actually wrote in a couple of hours after developing one of his earlier ideas. A download of the script is here.
The script is based around a typical interrogation scene with two investigators and one suspect, the whole piece is building up to the reveal of the suspect. It is relying on the preconceptions of the audience as to the identity of the suspect and how they expect them to look. As it is a short film however people will be expecting the unexpected so will be looking to guess the twist at the end which reveals the suspect as something unexpected, many people may guess a child or elderly person but I don’t think people will expect the puppet.
Puppets are widely regarded as cute innocent children’s toys. We are definitely trying to play on the cute factor in this piece so that after you laugh you you let out a little “awww” and if you don’t then you are heartless! I have looked at some other sketches that use police interrogation as a basis and have found some quite funny trends.
Both of these sketches play on the idea that the police are corrupt and will use underhand tactics to frame someone and get a fake confession out of them. In someway we could write this into our script by maybe have them offer him a deal or maybe stopping the tape to say something “off the books”. However we aren’t going for outright comedy, although the final reaction will hopefully be laughter, we won’t really be trying to make the audience laugh till the end.
“FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!”
This might sound like something an over excited secondary school kid will shout at their teacher when they ask them to spit out their chewing gum, but it is in fact the lyrics of 2009 Christmas number one, Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine.
Rage Against The Machine are an american rock band that formed in 1991 and since then have tried to change the world with their music though various protests and campaigns. They are famously anti-war, anti-most politics and anti-consumerism and have reflected this in their lyrics written by lead singer/rapper Zack de la Rocha who also believes that anger can be used to change what you want to change and what should be changed, “Anger is a Gift” is a famous lyric whispered in the song Freedom. They have taken part in many protests around the world and have even used them as the basis for their videos, sometimes setting them up so they can use them in their music video. A great example of this is shown in the video for Sleep Now in the Fire which actually managed to force the New York Stock Exchange to close for trading at 3:00.
This effectively shows what music can do when people really out their minds to it. They have caused many other disturbances that have meant that they have had to be pulled from TV shows or cut broadcasts short. On the morning of December 17th 2009 they played a slightly censored version of Killing in the Name on BBC Radio 5 live to support the Christmas number one campaign but managed to repeat “FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME” four times before it was pulled from the air.
Another way they have tried to force change is by using provocative images as album covers. The self-titled debut album featured Malcolm Browne’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burning himself to death in Saigon in 1963 in protest of the murder of Buddhists by the US-backed Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm’s regime.
What they show really well is that you can sing and dance all you like about a subject you feel strongly about but unless you actually do something it will never change, this is relevant to us and these projects we are doing because we can make pictures and films about these issues we want to change but unless we actually do something about it nothing will ever change. Don’t just film a protest take part in it, don’t take pictures of charity work, do it. That being said the documenting of these events is very important and one we, as media producers must take as a serious responsibility.
We have been given a documentary task with the subject of empathy:
“The capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient being.”
So to truly experience empathy for another person you must experience their life, we have been told to live as someone else does. This could mean with a disability or without something we take for granted such as, food, water, the ability to walk, see, hear or maybe even the luxuries we have such as a roof or technology. I have a few ideas for this project all of which I think would be very affective.
As a media student I consider my sight to be one of my most important senses, if not the most important. Without it I couldn’t look at photographs, film or art, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate any of the visual arts which are a huge part of my life. If I went one day without it maybe I might be able to have even the smallest understanding as to what the blind go through everyday.
My next idea is something that I think my generation has become reliant on, and is possibly deteriorating our human interaction. I think it would be really interesting to go a whole day without the use of my laptop. I’m not saying that there not useful but I do think we use them too much, me included. Almost 100% of my university work is done on a laptop or computer, I cannot think of a single day since I have owned one that I haven’t used it. It, like many other people my age would agree, is kind of my life. This kind of makes me sad. Although it is what I do all my work on, I’d also say it is the most distracting thing that keeps me from my work and helps me procrastinate for hours. A day without it would probably do me some good.
My third idea is one that I think would definitely be the hardest but the most interesting, to live an entire day as a busker. I can play the guitar and ukulele to a beginner to intermediate degree and know a fair few songs, I have a friend or two who would have no problem helping out with a little singing so it is definitely feasible but what if I only lived off what was given to me by the public? Especially at this time of year as well where it has been snowing and is freezing outside it must be horrible to be living under a roof without heating or hot water. The only way anyone could truly empathise with that situation is surely to put themselves through it.
As part of my campaign against the the fake world of the make-up industry I have created these two posters from original Maybelline adverts to subvert the message against the make-up industry.
In the first picture the message I have added says “Because you cant take Photoshop everywhere” suggesting that to look like the girl in the picture you would have to be photoshopped all the time, which you would because she doesn’t have a single line on her face, I don’t mean wrinkles I mean normal lines that every human being has!
The second image plays on the slogan “Maybe it Maybelline” by adding the message “Maybe its Photoshop”. The original slogan is “maybe she’s born with it, maybe its Maybelline” which to me, is in its self a ridiculous thing to say. It basically says you could be born with good looks but as your probably not there’s Maybelline to make you look nice which is an awful thing to tell young women. It follows the theme of a lot of make-up advertising by making women feel that their looks are inadequate and not beautiful so they better buy the product so people don’t think their ugly.
As you can see the changes I made are small but I think that the effect is good. They continue the theme of the idea that models only look good in make-up adverts because of Photoshop and therefore put on loads of make-up to try and imitate them. Just by looking at the two pictures above you can see they are massively edited to the point where the girls are not real people, simply plastic shells.
Overall I think both these images demonstrate clearly the message I have been trying to get across that women should’t aspire to be the models in these adverts as they aren’t real! They are simply over edited pictures and nothing more.