Monday, 16 July 2012

Music in the Online Age

Future of the Left's previous album leaked. Falco's response... (contains naughty words, ummmmm).

The story considered by The Guardian... (doesn't contain naughty words, but is 'The Grauniad' so possibly riddled with typos (hypocrite and using an unfair 1980s stereotype) and woolly to the point of inaction).

Not only a chance to satiate my fanboy tendancies, but also really relevant and useful to think about for  Section 2 of the A2 exam. Ahhhh, happy.

Video is interesting to consider in terms of collaboration and how the online age will have facilitated the construction thereof.

There are no bolod statements in my paradiddle...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Green Screen is Coming...

...and you'll probably want to have a play, I mean, experiment with the techniques. So, in the spirit of that I present you with a few things for you to try come September if Mr N doesn't mind...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Medias in the Online Age

Stumbleupon is useful to have a look at ready for when you start looking at Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 after September to see how peer-sourcing works.

Most of my blog hits which aren't you guys are coming from Stumbleupon now, all the virus sites and sites in bot nets are dropping out of the top ten.

Other useful links:

Newspapers in the online age - the future of newspapers in the online age, video, audio files, transcript of lecture by Clay Shirky one of your key theoritsts for Section 2 of the A2 exam.

Audience feedback in the online age - Clay Shirky article on how comments are used, abused, and can make or break web-based platforms.

Online threats to the music industry - is it?

Just a heads up, not a homework task, just some things worth having a look at.

Remember, for the Section 2 question:
  • light touch on the past (you must, must, must know about the past but not to the extent that you spend half your hour writing about the Caxton printing press or Lithography - 1980 onwards is where the really interesting stuff happens for us);
  • really detailed and sustained on the present; and
  • have an interesting anfd thoughtful theoretical position on the future of the impact of the online age on a range of media platforms.
Ta da.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Jacob's Embed Codes

Below are your embed codes, Jacob.

Managed to do it without the iframe nonsense, just used the old embed code. Copy and paste the below into the insert video from website box on Ppt.

Kanye West - 

<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


<object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

Busted 3000

<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


<object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

Arrangements for Sports Day

If you are interested in being part of the team filming sports day here are the requirements:

  • Bring your camera.
  • Bring some work to be getting on with in down time.

We need to film and take photos throughout the day of as many different events as possible, from as many different angles as possible. I have a timetable of events and will send you off to various locations to get footage. We want as much high quality footage as possible.

We will be based in the Mac room.

I will need two people in the Mac room at all times (starting from 10am on a rota basis if you like) taking the footage as it is filmed, copying it all across to the Mac and selecting the best footage we have into a bin ready for editing.

This will be edited together into a montage as the day progresses to some music (below, chosen by PE - we don't have to use the whole length of either track) into a short film ready for an event Wednesday evening. I will, of course, also weigh in on the editing so nobody has to feel they have to stay extra long or do stuff to it on Tuesday if their efforts are best directed elsewhere. But on Monday we need to be a well-oiled team.

If you're interested in taking part (something extra for UCAS!) please come along to room 55 around 8:30 - 8:40 for a briefing.
Should be a fun day.

You'll get ID badges.


Tracks for PE

Monday, 9 July 2012


Will be a series of 1-2-1 interviews with each candidate to assess thee current state of each blog.

You will be able to use the time to catch up on missing posts / crack on with posts due over the summer / do some independent audience research with your camera / extension tasks / using feedback to improve existing posts.

Completion of tasks rate: 44%

Should be 100%.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hip Hop Conventions...

...homework was due in today. I've seen evidence of 4.

Thanks to those who are on top of the work.

Not really leaving me much space to go here are you, the rest of you?

Almost as if you're daring me.

I'll warn you now, it has been equated to being savaged by a Yorkshire Terrier - way more distressing than you thought and also quite embarrassing as something so seemingly harmless and tiny has just ruined your trousers and left you cowering in the corner.

When I wake up tomorrow I shall expect to see 10 as-close-as-the-agreed-extensions-allow completed blogs or for you to have seen me during the day to explain the delays and arrange an extension. If I'm not in 55 I'll be in the English Office. If you can't find me, ask one of the department.

Any missing posts will then be chased in a more formal manner.

Your one minute extract analysis is due on Thursday too remember. For those of you who still haven't done theirs and have not had the courtesy to speak to me, that'll be interesting.

For the two who have had technical extensions and the one who has had an organisation extension I'll be prepared to be generous since this task was reliant on the first task not having run into troubled waters. That leaves 4 or 5 of you in need of a dramatic and sudden upturn in completion.

1x empty blog
1x no blog set up
1x might as well be empty blog
1x missing all main posts
4x missing one minute extracts not covered by the above (of which 3 are arranged extensions).

10 in the class, 8 on the list of which 5 are not expected delays.

50% behind without permission.

Not very impressive.

Marketing and Audience

Monday, 2 July 2012


Support Materials

You will be able to find copies of Hip Hop related powerpoints (some complete, some works in progress) here...once I can find a working ethernet cable as the wireless is only working sporadically:

O:\Media\Media A2\Hip Hop Conventions Exemplar and WIPs

And an Excel sheet called 'Homework Tracking' with homework tasks, dates set and due dates can be found here:

O:\Media\Media A2

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Album Artwork

Light-hearted relief in a bit of passive agressivism on my part (angry at delayed posts, oh here's something funny, angry at missing posts, oh look a kitten)  but this is about album artwork so worth sharing.

A couple are rude. There are breasts. And the authenticity of a couple is debatable. Though some definitely are genuine.

Bad album covers

I like 'All My Friends Are Dead' but mainly because it reminds me of my old Medulla Nocte t-shirt for the song 'All Our Friends Are Dead' which featured a picture of a dead body having its face being eaten by a crow and which is intentionally worn on inappropriate occasions. There's four of us who have decided whoever dies last gets cremated in it. Fun.

More bad album covers on The Guardian. Some duplication.

Media in the Online Age


YouTube begins making the own TV shows...very interstking for your A2 exam, question 2..

BBC'' 'CLICK' (video)
BBC 'CLICK' (article)

Abd further ones for you, all on the same topic...

Link One
Link Two


The closure of Word magazine


Clay Shirky

Friday, 29 June 2012

Franz Kafka - Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis by Franz kafka. Cool short story. Not sure why he reds it so slowly to make it last over 2 hours - probably something to do with the need to fit in the captions in multiple languages. Well worth reading if you get a chance, or just playing in the background as you do some media work.


All deadlines still apply, even if you missed the lesson unless you come to me and discuss the need for an extended deadline. 'But I wasn't in the lesson, how am I supposed to know the homework?' Because it is on my blog and has been since each piece was set. And you should be on here regularly checking back on the work and using it as a resource to do independent study.
If you want a recap on everything that is due in then use the label 'Homework' (linked there for your convenience).

Those of you who are up to speed or have arranged the extensions with me, you can stop reading (45% of posts - not counting those a-least-fortnightly independent posts I want - a minority). If you're behind in terms of homework or attendance I suggest you read on very carefully. (though I suspect that if you've read this post then the first comment probably applies to you... /sigh)

You may very well pick up from the tone of the following that I am getting concerned about the manner in which some of you have approached the start of the A2 course. Because I am. Because it is your marks that I can see slipping away from you if this is not nipped in the bud immediately.

You all have the mark schemes - both hard copy and on here. You know what you've got to do..


What is particularly galling is that even though you know your AS blogs are currently being moderated and know that at AS the moderator is the Chief Examiner who may very well be using this blog as a means of getting to your work that the notion that you are on public display here and there is clear evidence of your commitment to the course for the whole world to see doesn't seem to have still equated for some of you with your potential final mark.

See, it isn't a case of me being able to (or even willing to) fudge things. I will give you the mark I think you deserve. And it will be accurate. Yes, I want you to do as well as possible. I'm not going to just award marks to make ourselves look good. Imagine if someone who has worked much harder than you doesn't get their uni place because I've given you higher marks than you deserve? Now imagine it is you who misses out on a uni place because of some ridiculous marking? Your job is to make me give you as many marks as possible. To do this, the work needs to be completed on time.




Myself, your form tutors and, if the deadlines slip any further, your parents are going to be all over you for the next few weeks as I am concerned that things have slipped from the very first deadline for a lot of you in terms of deadlines being met / collaborative learning / organisation.

To reiterate an earlier post, if you're falling behind already you will HAVE to get back on track as soon as possible as otherwise you are psychologically and habitually setting yourself up to consistently deliver me work at level 2.

If you're stuck, I'm online most evenings if you can't find me during the day and will be on pretty much daily over the summer so if you need a hand - POST SO! I will help.

I am not a mind reader but I am reasonable. But if I don't KNOW you need a extension or some help, just not doing it is not going to get a positive response from me. Telling me, finding me, showing me you're on it will always get you a positive response. Break these habits. Realise that you're at A2 now. Think how much better you want to do at A2. Think what you need to do that.

The bar is being raised.

I can only show you how to clear it. Getting over it is up to you.

If it gets to it we can start micromanaging it and making you post the blogging equivalents of phone calls home to let me know you're okay and say that by x-o'clock every y-day you have to post a comment on z-post confirming you've at least logged in to your blog. But I don't want to treat you like children, because this is meant to be getting you ready for uni. Your professors aren't going to be doing this. They'll set a deadline, you don't hit it, you'll be getting a 3rd most places. Certainly what my department's policy was when I was a philosophy seminar leader. Didn't meet the deadline and didn't even ask for one? There's your deserve more...why ever do you think that?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Barthes and Adorno

For part of Thursday's lesson we looked at (or will have looked at) the 'grain of the voice' (and Adorno) and considered gesture, pulsion and grain.

Essay on Barthes' Musical Semiology

Adorno's Music Theory and the Social Implications Thereof

Above are essays on the both Barthes and Adorno. Ben, since you're a keen Lacanian, my initial (and underwhelming) research suggests that pulsion may be Lacanian in origin. Have a dig around and see if it is...

Further useful resources:

Homeworks (all 3 of 'em) 


Choose AT LEAST three music videos from your proposed / preferred genre and produce a detailed analysis of how they fit in to Goodwin. You can do this as one big piece or three individual pieces - your choice. Remember NOT AN ESSAY. DUE 17TH JULY

You MUST consider all the ideas I suggested for the conventions of hip hop post and, in addition, consider the following areas:
  • include a Barthesian analysis using AT LEAST ONE the terms GESTURE, PULSION and GRAIN;
  • inlcude Adorno's term 'PSEUDO-INDIVIDUALISATION''; and
  • EXTENSION: using the data you generated from your audience research consider which video would appeal to the majority of your audience the most and why.


Due as blog post by the end of the JULY (yes, 31st, even after school has finished). Choose a song of your choice from your proposed/preferred genre and as an individual create a storyboard for a unique music video, edited to the song. Don't forget to  include a new band name, track name, album title and record company name at the start of your video. LOADS OF YOU FORGOT FOR YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT. Make it really like a music video, even if you have to draw it - make sure it fits the genre conventions or intentionally subverts them. It must be clear to a viewer what happens in your video. Use Goodwin and your knowledge of the conventions of music videos to create something really effective.

(There were some really good videos of people who had done their storyboards on post-it notes and filmed that and edited it to the track but the YouTube account they were on is the one that got closed for copyright claims despite it having been a brillaint educational tool. You don't have to do it on post-its, just an idea if you're looking for something a bit different).


This must be accompanied by an analysis (and this time I will allow a full on essay if you want but don't just resort to this as a default option. Only do it if you feel you have a sufficiently academic writing style to produce an excellent essay. Technical terminology will, as always, make me happy. Especially if it is used accurately) using the same stems as for the task above. In addition to these, above, you must also cover:
  • how this piece is more successful than your first storyboard in terms of creating a convincing music video;
  • what part you feel is most successful and why;
  • what part is least successful and why; and
  • what you have learnt about music videos in preparation for planning your coursework piece.
EXTENSION - you could also show this one to an audience and get feedback on what they think is successful and what needs to be changed and why.


Based on the intial audience feedback you have received, decide on your coursework groups (6 groups max and, this time, no more than 2 to a group - it'll make it easier for you to get loads of marks using the way we're going to make you work come September, that's why) and decide which genre you are going to make a music video for. Then as INDIVIDUALS, choose between 2 - 5 tracks each and share them with your audience and get them to give you feedback on what songs they prefer and why (and, if they want, make suggestions about what they think should happen in a video for the song).

You must have BEGUN to gather this data by 3RD JULY, Again, no need to be posting about it, just so long as you are generating the data and have the research underway.

One way you can do it (in addition to any other ways, and one I srongly recommend) is to use the blogspot poll gadget and add a poll to your blog asking people to give you feedback on your porposed tracks. Post explaining how to do this is here. You should ALSO, therefore, be going on to EACH OTHERS' BLOGS and completing the poll for each class member.




1. Use your knowledge of Adorno and Goodwin create your own Adornoan theory of music VIDEO. Give it a (sensible) name, make it clear it is inspired by Adorno and Goodwin and make it clear that it is a recontextualisation of Adorno's theory (taking something relating to products 80 years in the past to make it relevant for today). Post to your blog a detailed outline of your theory, supporting each point you make with reference to at least one music video. USE A RANGE OF VIDEOS TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR PREMISES AND MAKE YOUR THEORY CONVINCING.


2. Use your knowledge of Barthes and Goodwin create your own theory of the PHENO-VIDEO. Make it clear it is a combination of Barthes and Goodwin (and, if you're feeling kind, a short credit to me in the final slide acknowledging the inital idea came from your erstwhile Media teacher would be loverly - have conducted extensive research and can't find ANYTHING using the term PHENO-VIDEO so I think it is completely original, but then a couple of years ago one of my class thought she'd invented the 'female gaze' and I had to, sadly, let her know it already existed, so am prepared for some clever clogs to show me it is a theory that has been round for donkey's years). Post to your blog a detailed explanation of your theory. You may wish to give some real world examples of music videos you consider to be 'pheno-videos'.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A New Literacy

Impact of the web on audiences - useful for thinking about web2.0, web 3.0 and web 4.0 for the A2 exam.

For those of you thinking about getting some background reading under your belts ready for the exam, have a look at the above link. We haven't started thinking about this yet at all, I'm just making sure that those of you minded to can do some initial reading on things which may be useful for the exam.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Comments incoming...

...but very, very slowly. It has so far taken me 33 to minutes to post a comment on Jenay's blog. Virign did say to expect rubbishness for the next two weeks and to try and be patient but, man, as much as I love you all and enjoy looking at your blogs, 30 minutes a comment will see me sat here til midnight to just post one comment on each of your blogs!

If I don't post tonight there may be a delay in for a couple of days in getting comments up for you as the next few days  are looking like they'll be 12 hours solid on-site. Will get round all the blogs as soon as I physically have time and a vaguely working internet.

For those of you who have missed the deadline and not seen me about it, that'll be useful.

Due today were (1) the minute extracts (unless I'd cleared you for an extension due to technical issues / Year 7 trying to take the camera to you in form time but deciding you were called Ernie and in room 33 so you ended up cameraless for a couple of weeks etc) and (2) the animatics and storyboards.

Not too impressed at the level of failure to meet the first deadlines, for which you had over 30 days to complete. I'll use the deadlines for the next two pieces to decide how strong the home:school contact needs to be.

Real shame that the first posts for some of you will only give me evidence of level 2 time management.

Welcome to A2. Need to step up. 

Or you will fall behind very quickly.

Links between album artwork and video

One of the things you MUST ensure happens is that you create a direct link between the digipak and the music video. This doesn't, as we will see, have to be obvious (there will be some direct intertextual references, of course, but depending on your genre you may be operating in a state of 'differance' or subtle sign:signification using your active audience's intelligence to make the links). 


Front cover

Back cover

CD design

Music video 1

Music video 2


Front cover

Back cover

Inside front cover

CD design

Music Video 1

Music Video 2

Music Video 3

Monday, 25 June 2012

Your FIRST one minute extract


As a blog post (not an essay remember - keep it lively, inventive, original, and laden with technical terminology and expressed as formally as possible please!) DUE 5TH JULY you now need to take your first attempt at a one minute extract and evaluate how successful it was, consider what you have learnt and identify elements of this process which you might try to include / definitely won't be including in your coursework.

Your post should include consideration of the following areas using media terminology:

  • Cinematography;
  • Editing;
  • Sound;
  • Mise-en-scene;
  • Lighting;
  • Direction;
  • Organisation of location(s);
  • Organisation of cast;
  • Organisation of props;
  • What you found easy, based upon how you have developed as a Media student since AS;
  • What skills / areas in general you think you need to improve on,  based on your skills set developed at AS;
  • What elements of this video you are now considering including in your own music video (if any) and why;
  • What elements of this video do you think will not feature at all in your music video (if any) and why;
  • Overall, evaluate how successful your first attempt at a one minute extract is and why;
  • Overall, what are the five most important things you gained from this exercise.

(If you did this as a PowerPoint, for example, this would be 15 - 30 slides or as a Prezi at least 15 sections).


You now get to choose (completely free choice) a music video (if you have a preferred genre for your final coursework piece, or a likely genre, choose one that fits!) to recreate a one minute extract of it.


This time I want it as near perfect as possible. That means everything (within reason, no need for plastic surgery for example) must replicate as exactly as humanly possible the extract you are recreating. Everything. As close as possible. No fudging this time. The first attempt was a training exercise to get you thinking and using FCP quicker and identifying techniques you might want to use in your piece (every one had a specific genre element or interesting effect to it). This one is to be able to show a high level of technical competence.

You must produce and upload to your blog:
  1. The footage itself;
  2. Behind the scenes footage of you preparing the shoot; and
  3. A director's commentary (either text or recorded sound) of the final extract, using the stems provided for the analysis of the first minute extract. This time add an extra question - how is this minute extract better than your first minute extract and why?
Extract edited together first week back after the summer.


Useful examples of digipak ideas

What are the codes and conventions of a digipak?
  1. What are the features of a digipak?
  2. What information is included in a digipak? Where? Why?
  3. How is information is conveyed in a digipak?
  4. How is the artist presented? Why?
  5. Are there any intertextual links? Why?
  6. How is colour used effectively?
  7. How are written codes used effectively?
  8. How big are they?
  9. What materials are or could be used?
  10. What is the overall purpose of a digipak (other than to store a CD safely)?

Remember, I don't just share top band work with you. I will share a range of approaches and a range of levels of detail so you can identify what is succesful and why.

Examples of templates
Example of a blog post
Another example blog
Broken Records

Audience Engagement and Research Tool

You'll be wanting to use these as an extra way of generating data soon.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

And on the fourteenth day he rested, gt up early and posted some completely unrelated music videos

Chose one music video then used the 'recommended' list to generate the next step to randomly generate 5 music videos. To paraphrase a great man, 'Avenged Sevenfold? Why? Even my most bitter enemies I might stop wreaking my vengeance upon after having avenged myself, what, three times. Seven is overkill.'

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Day Thirteen - Earthtone 9


You know what you're looking for by now. Get those tick lists ready...


What image of the band is trying to be created.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Cory Doctorow on the impact on the net

Article can be found here.

Useful pre-course reading on the impact of the internet on consumer / audience behaviour and sets up questions about the impact on institutions and the implications for the future.

DAY TWELVE - Ben Folds




Look at think how these are like what you'd expect from alternative music videos and how they differ.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Music Video Editing

A really interesting take on the must dos and common pitfalls of music video construction.

Reading this will prove very informative.

So you probably should.

Once you have, post a comment below letting me know you;ve read it.

And here is another media dictionary.


For next Tuesday's lesson (26th June) you must each bring in at least TWO CD digipaks of two different artists.

If you don't own any digipaks, please see me.

DAY ELEVEN - A couple of g's, an I and and e...

Mid 90's indie for you. You can thank me later.

A song about anti-ginger prejudice.

From your own knowledge of music video and the ones I have posted thus far you may be establishing a pattern between which of Goodwin's expectations certain genres conform to, which they subvert and which they ignore / omit.

From this, is there something about the likely audience of the genre which precludes or limits the potential impact of some of Goodwin's expectations which leads directors and record labels to put greater weight on certain Goodwinian elements?