Unit 12: Final Major Project Task 6

Evaluation & Reflection

Week 1|19/04/2017

I came in to see the key people of the dance company to allow me to use their mini studio in their office.

I first started listening to the instruments individually to tweak the volume levels one by one via Aux Channels and changing the velocity to sound it soft not too hard.

One of the problems I faced today was the instrument wasn’t playing. I clicked the solo button for the synth track that the Logic Pro X software I was using didn’t have the instrument patch installed. So I have to use the other synth patch to carry on tweaking other tracks that needs to be adjusted. Even though when I selected the synth patch that sounded similar to the original, it was the only option I can use as other synth patches didn’t sound too well with the rest of the instruments when I was listening back.

Not only the synth patch was the only problem, I showed the four bar loop demonstration to the guy who is part of the dance company and he said that the track didn’t sound “energised” because some of the instruments like the 909 Kick drum was low, so I have to turn up the volume via Automation and Compression and copied the 909 Kick drum notes onto the 808 Kick drum track. Later, the guy liked it better than the previous.

Overall, I completed the tweaking on my track, all I have to do is to copy and paste the tweaked parts to replace the original parts in my own time before moving on to the first rehearsal next week.


Week 2|24/04/2017

I was going to start the first rehearsal by selecting six different dancers but because of the delay of tweaking my track took longer than expected, there was no guarantee it was going to happen today.

Instead, I spent nearly the whole evening tweaking the track with the helpful advice from the directors and the music producer from the music studio. I felt better when it was completed but at the same time, I  wish I could have started the rehearsal immediately rather than waiting until next week.


Week 3|01/05/2017

I was going to start the first rehearsal as planned last week but due to lack of dancers and everything’s not going so well, I have to hold a discussion with one of the directors of the dance company about the concerns of time wasting of getting everything sorted from their end as I can’t do everything at once.

However, the director told me that she discussed with five out of six about my project and they all seemed interested. I was surprised to hear that five out of six dancers are interested to take part but I need one more dancer to fill in the list before rehearsal will get started and then onto the filming phase. This depends how long and short it’s going to take if I get done as soon as possible before the deadline.

 


Week 4|08/05/2017

In this week’s first rehearsal, I found it very exciting and nerve racking at the same time. However, there was only four out of six dancers turned up for today which is not that bad and allowed us to work out their routines with my track. The dancers were really good and looked professional but there’s still work to do on the storyboard how to get them in position from beginning to end. It won’t like they dance from start to finish but to cue them in certain points in the track they can dance together and/or individually.

I really like working with the choreographer who was nice and friendly but a bit strict at the same time to the dancers not to me.

I gave the dancers the release forms to take home to show their parent(s)/guardian(s) to sign it for them as they were all under 18 years. I didn’t explain it too much as they already know about my project because the director told them so I stopped myself from getting too excited and carried away.

To conclude this week’s evaluation, I will look at the videos that I transferred the files from the SD card to my USB to review it and plan out for next week’s planner to work out the structure of their routines and freestyles in the track.


Week 5|15/05/2017

In this week’s first shooting, I found it nerve racking with a mixture of excitement at the same time. In my first time experience of shooting a music video, it is hard work to make sure everything’s on point to get everything that I will need to take it away to edit the clips down.

However, as I was on crutches for longer than expected, I asked a friend of mine to assist me with the equipment to set it up and pack it up so it’ll be easy for me to not put pressure on my ankle while video shooting with the dancers. I asked my friend to turn on the lights whenever the dancers are ready, and if we’re taking a break, I tell him to turn it off so we cannot leave it on too long due to health and safety.

One of the problems I faced on the day of the video shooting was the change of the venue that was meant to be in the sports hall that has the biggest capacity for the dancers and the equipment to move around. I only found out on the day and it was not available until 12pm which the dancers cannot wait due to their prior dance practice booking. I asked the manager of the youth centre that manage the bookings of the rooms who said that the only options to film the dance is either in the dance studio or the multi-purpose room that has a lesser space for the dancers and the equipment. So I decided to use the dance studio as a back-up option in order to film it by today otherwise it will waste their rehearsing time and my time of getting the video shoot done and over by not rushing.

The second problem I faced while filming the dancers is that I was going to put the camera behind the mirror and to film the dancers in front, but I couldn’t get everyone in the shot due to lack of space so I have to put the camera at each tight angle corner shots from left and right to film it each shot as I can. It was harder than to film from the angle where the lighters were positioned than I thought.

Another problem before filming, none of the dancers have yet returned their release forms I gave them since last week and one of the dancers haven’t turned up today due to school exam’s preparation. Not only that is a problem, I was surprised that there was three additional dancers who were only came for rehearsals of their important upcoming competitions wanted to be in the video but I haven’t got my folder with me as I thought it was meant to be only four dancers like last week. Due to lack of time to talk it over, I went ahead of filming without complaining about it.

After the filming was wrapped up for today, because I knew it would be hard to chase all the dancers to get the release forms and I didn’t want to push it too much, what I can do for a solution is to ask the director of the dance company to get their names and to call their parent(s)/ legal guardian(s) to sign the release form for the dancers after I printed off from the computer to give it to the director so I can wait for the release forms to be returned before uploading the video onto YouTube without any consequences.

Originally I was going to use the microphone to record the sounds for the opening part, I didn’t use it in the end, as there wasn’t enough time to record it when the dancers were rehearsing for their important show in a few weeks. I will try record the quiet environment sound in my own time where there will be less noise. Also I was going to use the railing ramps for the movement of the camera from left to right while pushing gently. Due to myself on crutches, there wasn’t enough to do that, as time will consume more if I use the railing ramps. Instead, I have to use the tripod to pan the camera left to right.

I was going to use the PC to start editing because my friend who allows me to stay longer hours thought it would be easier to get it done. However, due to my friend’s personal issues he got caught and already told me, I couldn’t use the room to start editing and I would have to do it within limited hours. So I decided to push it back until next week.

To conclude this week, I found filming a music video is a challenging and hard work to make everything perfect without time consuming. I only have one more week to additional filming to complete the storyboard I have in my mind how it will turn out.


Week 6|22/05/2017

It was originally meant to be with different people to film about their hobbies, but due to limited time that I could have more time and the set back of music production and waiting on the first rehearsal from the one of the directors of the dance company, I have to film the three dancers who participated last week as an alternative plan to film them freestyling their dance to my song and it worked out perfectly as normal.

I only had the camera and the tripod as it was I couldn’t access the rest of the equipment due to my friend who has the key to the storage cupboard wasn’t in until later in the late evening. So I went ahead to use the camera and the tripod to film the three dancers in their freestyle dance to my song. It went very well and they seemed to enjoy freestyling more than anything they imagined.

I was going to use the PC in the weekend to edit the clips and to complete it over half-term for a week, but due to my friend’s personal issues was on-going than expected, I couldn’t use the room again like last week. So my only options is to complete the editing over half term within the limited hours at the youth centre to cut down the clips and bounce it out and then I’ll upload to YouTube. Also over half term, I’ll try get the release forms from every dancers who participated to sign for themselves and I’ll allow the director of the dance company to give them my release forms and remind their parent(s)/ legal guardian(s) to sign it for them.

To conclude this week, I was less stressful than previously as it was a big learning curve to remember the plan and tackle some problems and solutions while experiencing the best and the worst parts of my final major project. I will finish the editing over the course of half term before the 6th June without any false starts and excuses.


Week 7|29/05/2017

The process of editing the clips into a music video was real hard, challenging work to sync the clips with the song to make sure it’s properly matched without giving a false impression of sloppiness.

One of problems while editing the music video was I had limited access time to use the room and the PC. So the solution I came up with was to manage time effectively without time wasting or feeling a bit rushed. I have to edit the music video in five days and over sixteen hours to concentrate hard on synchronising the clips with the track and filling in the titles at the beginning and at the end.

Plus I noticed that the clips I recorded two weeks ago were displayed as grey bleach colours on every clips except for the others which were recorded separately. So a friend of mine who looked at work and said that needs fixing so he showed me the colouring FX to fix the clips to be presented as colourful as possible. To speed it up, I have to copy and paste to every clips that needed the colouring FX to stand out perfect as it is.

To conclude this week, I have managed to compete the video and already had one out of seven release forms returned as I thought one of the directors of the dance company wasn’t in on one of the days in half term. Luckily, I spoke to one of the directors on the phone and said that all of the dancers had returned their release forms but I have to collect them from the other director who I have to contact on Thursday before I upload the video on YouTube.


Week 8|05/06/2017

I had a slight mix up of dates; I thought the performance was on a Tuesday, but in fact it was a Monday.

After I realised I got the wrong day by mistake, I immediately started thinking of a plan to be ready on time without putting myself under any unnecessary pressure or feeling rushed.

I went to my youth centre to collect my music video file from the computer I worked on to my USB stick to save it in a folder. So I’ll know where I can find when I get to the venue of the performance.

From the youth centre, I quickly went home to pick up my DJ MIDI controller and my laptop, I had to act as fast as I could to travel to the venue by public train.

When I got to the venue, I asked my tutor when do I present my project to everyone, he informed me that I already did the presentation before half term so there’s no second chance to do that again. So I thought of a backup plan to synchronise the video with my selected songs at the tempo of 122BPM, after my teacher suggested it to me, then I found out there’s no sound coming out from a staff’s laptop that was connected to the projector.

When it was my turn to play my music, I had the time to play my set no more than 23 minutes and I had to prompt my teacher to play the video so I could start the music in the beginning under a minute and continue to play my set while the video was on the loop.

After I finished my DJ set, I went around the pub to ask people what they thought of my set and my music video. They thought it was “good” and “outstanding”.  Overall, the feedback was very positive.

To conclude this week, it was a good experience that I learned lot from, despite my slip up with the dates, this hasn’t stopped me performing well and I realised I could work under pressure and short notice, I was also adaptable to the circumstances.


Overall Reflection

The project was successful and accomplished by making compromises over dates and time, the location for rehearsals, the filming and the use of hours of editing in a week before the showcasing my music video at an external event which was arranged by the college. It is full of energy, creativity and joy in the way I have collaborated with a very multi-diverse group of people of different ages and backgrounds, genders and beliefs/faiths.

I have to admit that before I started this project, I thought a doubt in my mind if it was going to be successful. The reason why I thought of it is because I felt it was overwhelming as bringing two types of music together is maybe too conflicting. However, not only my experimental music was a problem, I felt blending music and video would be challenging even more.

I did discussed the idea professionally at college and also to my personal contacts, they responded very well and felt it would be outstanding. It made me realised that this idea was definitely worth pursuing and would be a good experience of combining my experimental song and video imagery. This would give me the insight of a big steep learning curve of knowing the difference of making a film and a music video. While I already started the first step of experimenting genres, I would like to take it further to try create and experiment different genres from different backgrounds.

Even though there were problems in one of the weekly planners I encountered, I managed to turn things around with a solution. Though there were some that I couldn’t solve due to lack of time of the planner I needed to move on. However, I am really proud what I did is an excellent job for going back on Logic to re-tweak my song, getting in contact with the dance company, sorting the schedules of rehearsals and filming, editing and showcasing my video to the public at the performance venue while playing my DJ set at the same time with the video.

 

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