Welcome to my A2 Media Studies Blog. The brief is: to produce a music video, a digipak cover, and magazine advert for the digipak. Throughout the course we will be learning about conventions (general and genre specific) used for each of these products.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

RM - Looking Into Metalcore Music Videos Summary

Whilst doing research into the Metalcore genre I decided to look at several music videos and deconstruct them. This allow me to pick up on the common conventionss The videos I looked at and deconstructed were (Click on the title above each video to view the deconstruction):

Bullet For My Valentine - Your Betrayal

- Performance and Concept music video
- Band members introduced to audience one by one, edited to fit in with the track
- The majority of the focus is on the, in particular the lead vocalist, lip-syncing occurs
- Majority of the shots used in the performance are two shots or group shots
- Concept features two women performing one of the deadly sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride) anchored towards the end of the music video as these words appear on screen with the action
- Text is in red signifies blood

Motionless In White - Ghost In The Mirror

- Performance based music video
- Several locations have been used throughout the music video
- Religious aspect with the stain glass in one of the locations signifying a church
- Majority of the focus is on the lead vocalist
- Variety of shots used
- Group shots are used a lot, showing the entire band perform
- Shots have been quickly edited and to the beat
- Lip-syncing occurs

- Contains both performance and narrative aspects
- The performance aspect is in an unusual style of a flick-book format
- Focus in the performance aspect is on the lead vocalist
- Limited shot variation in the performance
- Narrative aspect includes different locations
- Narrative aspect features Propp's theory of a hero trying to obtain a prize
- The prize is in a wedding dress - reference to church and religious aspect
- In the narrative aspect there is a wide variation of shots
- Special effects are also used throughout the narrative - this bridging the gaps between the locations

Parkway Drive - Sleepwalker

- Concept music video with a small element of performance
- Special effects are used throughout the music video as the entire video is in black and white with the exception of red signifying blood.
- Fish-eye lenses are also used during the video
- Throughout the music video the majority of the shots are point of view, this leaves the video with a limited variation in shots
- Several jump cuts are used
- Fast paced editing is also used and matches the track

- Entirely performance based
- Includes special effects throughout the music video e.g. blue tint, multi-layering, garbage matte and chroma key
- The majority of the focus is on the lead vocalist
- The band hardly appear on screen as a whole and not many two shots are included as well
- Editing has been done to the beat

RM - Motionless In White - Ghost In The Mirror Deconstruction

Artist: Motionless In White
Song: Ghost In The Mirror
Genre: Metalcore

Audience: 15 - 24
Year Released: 2009

Motionless In White's "Ghost In The Mirror" is a performance based music video. Several different locations have been used in the music video. There is a, medium sized, room where most of the performance aspect is taken place. In this room there are three windows behind the band which look like stain-glass which can be found in a church signifying religion. The other location used is a corridor scene. Whilst the band are in the medium sized room focus is upon the two vocalists (lead and backing) compared to the rest of the band, but in their own time they do receive focus. However the lead vocalist gets more attention compared to the backing vocalist, these being common conventions in music videos. For in the corridor scene whomever is in there is receiving the focus as there is only one person in there at a time, normally it’s the lead guitarist and vocalist.

Unlike other videos I've looked at (in particular Messugah's Rational Gaze) this video contains a greater variation of shots which includes the band, master shot, and appears to be a key convention in the video. There is also a large amount of shots used in this video to create a high shot variety as well as a fast editing. Both of these, high variation of shots and quick editing, being common conventions in music videos.

Some shots have been shortened down to less than a second and repeated, creating a shot-to-shot. This appears to the human eye that multi-layering might be in use but in fact it isn't. This is best shown at 1:45 to 1:46. The two shots used can be found below, these are also in order from left to right.

RM - Parkway Drive - Sleepwalker Deconstruction

Artist: Parkway Drive
Song: Sleepwalker
Genre: Metalcore
Audience: 15 - 24
Year Released: 2010

Parkway Drive’s “Sleepwalker” is a concept video with elements of performance. However the only performance element in the video is the shots of the vocalist screaming. During this sequence insects are flying out of his mouth. The majority of the video is in black and white with a small section of red colouring in some shots to signify blood and death. As well as this the intro to the music video is in colour until the instruments start. This can be done by using programs including as Final Cut by using tools like chroma key and colour correct. As well as this other special effects have been used including fish-eye which is used whilst the protagonist is opening the door just before the song begins.

During the video the majority of shots are coming from the protagonist’s point of view, this is anchored throughout the video in particular whilst looking at one of his body parts, e.g. legs or hands, or when he is looking at a mirror, which shows the protagonist’s appearance to the audience. Another way this is anchored as whilst the protagonist is walking the camera shakes from side to side, this has probably done by using a steady cam. There are several jump cuts and fast paced editing, this being a common convention in this genre – which is similar to Messugah’s “Rational Gaze”.

Throughout the video weird phenomena are occurring these include objects, such as a watch, turning into insect, a person’s heart has been re-place by what appears to be a timer counting down which explodes and buildings coming alive. This added to the fact that the video is in black and white, excluding the red blood, adds to the effect of this video and making to more scary.  

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

All - Behind The Scenes Vid Update (Vodcast)

During the time between Sunburnt in December recording a demo of their song "Like A Match To An Arsonist" to now (29th December) we have struggled to export the behind the scenes footage. There have been several reasons for were: whilst exporting the first time, somehow, the video had five minutes of complete darkness added on to the end, and towards the end of the month had several days off due to Jubilee Day and a training day. As well as the need to film and edit sample footage.

However the situation with the five minutes of complete darkness has now been resolved by simple re-exporting the footage.

Here is the behind the scenes footage of the Sunburnt In December recording "Like A Match To An Arsonist":

Here is the mastered track, this was completed on Sunday, 27 November 2011:

RM - Killswitch Engage - My Curse Deconstruction

Artist: Killswitch Engage
Song: My Curse
Genre: Metalcore
Audience: 15 - 24
Year Released: 2006

Killswitch Engage’s “My Curse” is a hybrid music video. This music video contains both performance and narrative. The performance aspect is featured in a flick-book format with the pages being scrolled through and that being the only way the band members move. The narrative aspect is featured in a number ways and locations. One way is how the performance aspect is done the other is through two different locations, one being the countryside the other being a library room.

As mentioned previously the performance aspect is only featured through books which are being quickly flicked through, during this sequences this is only way the band members move. The common convention of focusing on the lead vocalist is used throughout these sequences but there is also times were the focus is on the other band members. However due to the process used for the performance element it has had an effect on the shot variation. For example there are only two shots used to see the vocalist front on and side on, with the remaining band members only having front on shots. These shots are repeated throughout the video.

The narrative aspect of the music video features Propp’s theory of a hero trying to obtain his prize, whom is in a wedding dress. Thus signifies that the two are due to get married. During this sequence two different locations are used one in a library, the other in the countryside with only a bookcase to join them. Throughout the music video there is also a wide shot variety, which the shots changing every couple of seconds. To add to this special effects are used to bridge the gap between each part of the narrative, a prime example of this is when the focus changes from the male protagonist to the female prize there is, in the majority of cases, a fade in and out transition. This is also used sometimes to link the narrative into the performance. The narrative aspect is also a binary opposite of the performance because the performance is just filmed in black and white whereas the narrative is in colour.

RM - Meshuggah - Rational Gaze Deconstruction

Artist: Meshuggah
Song: Rational Gaze
Genre: Metalcore
Year Released: 2002

Meshuggah’s “Rational Gaze” is completely performance based and includes special effects through the entire music video.

Throughout the music video the band are performing in a warehouse, with the majority of focus on the lead vocalist however the focus does change throughout the video to include the other band members. What is unusually about this music video is that the band hardly appears on screen at the same time, there is a very small amount of two and group shots therefore meaning that the majority of shots just include either one person or instrument.

Throughout the entire video there are a number of special effects used. The majority of these effects are used for the entire video. There are several examples of these which include: the entire video has got a blue tint or shade, probably done whilst editing using colour correct. Another two examples are multi-layering and blurring, again both would of have been created using an editing program such as Final Cut. Another tool used in this process was the garbage matte and chroma key this allows the background, usually a green screen, to be edited out and allows the background the editor and director wants. This has been used most often whilst focusing on the vocalist. There are several other examples of special effects used are the speeding up of shots and a dark blue circular ring have been added whilst band members are either jumping, running and falling backward, a reference to the Matrix.

Monday, 28 November 2011

SB - Miss May I Research

Miss May I
Miss May I are an american metalcore band from Troy, Ohio they formed in 2006 and signed to the notorious metalcore recored label Rise Records in 2008. They released the first album Apologies Are For The Weak through the label. Original members are Levi Benton, Justin Aufdemkampe, BJ Stead, Ryan Neff (who left in late 2007 to join Cincinnati band, Rose Funeral and was then replaced by Josh Gillespie), and Jerod Boyd. their first release was a 5-track EP titled Vows for a Massacre and followed it up with a demo in 2008, which was self-released. The band released the next album Monument in 2010.


Apologies Are For The Weak


Miss May I - Relentless Chaos from Thunder Down Country on Vimeo.

RM - Bullet For My Valentine - Your Betrayal Deconstruction

Artists: Bullet For My Valentine
Song: Your Betrayal
Genre: Heavy Metal/Metalcore
Director: P. R. Brown
Audience: 15 - 24
Year Released: 2010

Bullet For My Valentine's "Your Betrayal" is a hybrid genre featuring performance and concept theories. The performance aspect features the band playing in a warehouse which fire in front of them. Behind them are several screens of two different girls both committing the seven deadly sins which are: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.

At the beginning of the music video each band member appears on screen, this is done in time with the music so each member appears on screen when they start to play their instrument. This is also down later in the video when the vocalist starts to sing and backing vocalist shouts. The majority of the video focuses on the band performing, probably lip-syncing. During these periods where the focus is on the band the lead vocalist (Matt Tuck) is receiving the majority of the focus from the audience. Both of these are common conventions for music videos. During these performance sequences there is a variety of shots which the majority of feature two or more of the band members, this is sometimes done when the focus is on the vocalist. These shots are called two and group shots. As well as this there is a range of panning shots used with the band being front on.

As previously mention the concept aspect of the music video is features two females committing one of the seven deadly sins. As well as just appearing in on their own and in full screen they also appear behind the band on screens. However when two females do appear on their own it is taking the focus of the lead vocalist and rest of the band to show one of the sins they are committing. To anchor which sin the two females are committing towards the end of the music video a single word appears in red, to signify death and hell. These words in red lettering are Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. These are pictured below and are in order of appearance from left to right.




Sunday, 27 November 2011

CO - Final decision on track

Today (Sunday, 27 November 2011), Sunburnt In December (excluding Sam and Conor) went back to the recording studio so we could finish mastering the track we were doing for our video; we initially were going to do Breaking Point by Parkway Drive if we could not get the track completed in time. However, this is obviously not the case any more as we totally completed work on Like A Match To An Arsonist earlier meaning we no longer have to worry about not finishing on time and ending up with a plan b.

RM - Research into The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada are an American metalcore band. Formed in 2005 the band's orginal line up and current line up consists of: James Baney (Keyboards), Jeremy DePoyster (Rhythm Guitar), Mike Hranica (Lead Vocals), Chris Rubey (Lead Guitar), Andy Trick (Bass) and Daniel Williams (Drums). To date the band have released four studio albums. These four albums are entitled: Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord, Plagues, With Roots Above and Branches Below, and Dead Throne.

Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord

Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord was the debut album by the band Devil Wears Prada. Released in 2006 it includes re-recorded versions of all the tracks of their demo, Patterns of a Horizon. The album has eleven songs on . The only single from the album was "Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over". The entire album length is 40 minutes.

Original cover
Re-released cover
Plagues was the band's second studio album, released in 2007. The album was re-released in 2008 which includes bonus content. This bonus content includes an alternative cover, booklet art, and a DVD which features footage from Ultimatour and Warped Tour (both in 2008). The DVD also contains music videos for both singles. The two singles released from the album were "Hey John, What's Your Name Again?" and "HTML Rulez D00d".

These are the music videos which accompany the singles.

Hey John, What's Your Name Again?

HTML Rulez D00d

 With Roots Above and Branches Below

With Roots Above and Branches Below was the band's third album, released in 2009. It is considered their breakthrough album after selling 31,000 in its first week in America alone. It also recived high praise by many critics. The album had two singles on it which were "Danger: Wildman" and "Assistant to the Regional Manager". There were eleven tracks on the album, thus giving a total length of 40mins.

These are the music videos which accompany the singles:

Danger: Wildman

Assistant to the Regional Manager

Dead Throne

Dead Throne is the band's latest album, released in 2011, the album sold 32,000 copies in the first week, again in America alone. The album features an absence of clean vocal passages on certain songs, the first time since Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord - the band's debut album. The album has one single "Born To Lose" and and upcoming single called "R.I.T". The album features thirteen songs with the album having a length of 41 minutes.

The videos for each single follows:

Born To Lose

CO - Camera angles and techniques


During our research we looked at a large number of videos of the genre so we could gain more knowledge of the conventions and codes of the style. Myself and Sam looked at one particular video, Before I Forget by cult American metal band SlipKnoT. It is the third single from their 2004 album Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses. It was listed as AOL's top metal song of the decade. "Before I Forget" borrows certain elements from a much older Slipknot song "Carve", which was recorded before their self titled album. The reason we researched the song was that the video has a lot of techniques and camera shots that we want to use in our video.

The video is famous because it is the first Slipknot video that shows glimpses of the member's faces, which is extremely critical because the band are famous for wearing masks on stage and in their music videos. The faces are shown in subtle ways, leaving a narrative enigma; there are shots of noses, eyes and mouths, as well as instruments and masks lying nearby.

Instrument close-ups used intermittently.
The band's masks cast aside for the video, leaving a narrative
enigma as to who's who and what they look like.
The parts from this video that we feel have influenced us and made us want to replicate in our video is the close-up shots of the instruments and the narrative enigma left as the camera never entirely focuses on the band members themselves, although we will all by in group shots near the end of the video. We won't shoot the whole performance for the video in this way, but we will use a few shot types like this and distribute them evenly to each member.

RM - Bring Me The Horizon Research

Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me The Horizon are a British metalcore band. The band formed in 2004, the group consists Oliver Sykes (Lead Vocalist), Lee Malia (Lead Guitarist), Curtis Ward (rhythm guitarist), Matt Kean (bassist) and Matt Nicholls (Drummer). However Ward left the group in 2009 and was replaced by Jona Weinhofen. The band are currently signed to three different record labels Visible Noise Records (UK), Epitaph Records (USA) and Shock Records (Australia). Bring Me The Horizon have currently released three studio albums: Count Your Blessings (2006), Suicide Season (2008) and There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. (2010).

Count Your Blessings was the band's debut album released in 2006 in the UK, however it was released a year later in America. Only two songs were released as singles from this album, these were called: Pray for Plagues and For Stevie Wonder's Eyes Only (Braille). The artwork for the album is pictured on the left.

Pray for Plagues

For Stevie Wonder's Eyes Only (Braille)

Suicide Season was the band's second album released in 2008. This album shows a music change from their previous album Count Your Blessings. This album was also the last album to feature Curtis Ward. A year after the original album release the band re-released the same album however remixes of the songs. This album was called Suicide Season: Cut Up! From this album four singles were released including: The Comedown, Chelsea Smile, Diamonds Aren't Forever and The Sadness Will Never End. The artwork for this album is pictured on the right.

The Comedown

Chelsea Smile

Diamonds Aren't Forever

The Sadness Will Never End.

There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret. was their latest album released in 2010. The album had five singles released from it, including: It Never Ends, Anthem, Blessed with a Curse, Visions and Alligator Blood. The artwork for this album is pictured on the left.

It Never Ends

AnthemBlessed with a Curse


Alligator Blood

RM - Research into Killswitch Engage

Killswich Engage are an American metalcore band. The band was formed after the disbandment of Overcast and Aftershock in 1999. The band's current line up consists of Howard Jones (vocals),  Mike D'Antonio (bass),  Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz (guitars), and Justin Foley (drums). At the time of this post the band have released five studio albums and on DVD. The band's five studio albums are: Killswitch Engage (2000), Alive or Just Breathing (2002), The End of Heartache (2004), As Daylight Dies (2006) and Killswitch Engage (2009). The band's one and only DVD released is titled (Set This) World Ablaze. The band are currently on Roadrunner Record's record label however their debut self-titled debut album was released on Ferret Music.

Killswitch Engage

Original Cover
Re-released cover (2005)
The band's debut album was self-titled was released in July 2000. The album had nine songs on accumulating to 36mins. In 2005 the album was re-released with a new cover as well as having four extra songs on which were part of a 1999 demo. These four extra songs made the album 44 mins long.
Alive or Just Breathing

Alive or Just Breathing was the band's second album released in May 2002. This album was the last to feature Leach as the vocalist, who left the band due to family issues and depression. As well as this it is also the last album to feature Dutkiewicz  on drums, after the production he switched onto guitar.This album is known for being one of the first albums to bring albums that has made mainstream into what it is today. According to Music Radar the album is listed as the 33rd greatest heavy metal album and also featured in IGN's list of 25 Greatest Metal Albums. The album consists of twelve songs lasting a total of 46 minutes. To add to this album there is meant to be a hidden thirteenth track which lasts nearly three minutes. In 2005 the album was re-released with a bonus disc with eight tracks.

The End of Heartache

Special Edition cover
Original cover
The third album from Killswitch Engage, released in 2004. There were three singles to be released from this album "Rose Of Sharyn", "The End Of Heartache" and "A Bid Farewell". However the song "When Darkness Falls" appears on "Freddy vs. Jason" (2003) and "The End of Heartache" appears on the film soundtrack to Resident Evil: Apocalypse, this song also appears on the Guitar Hero: Van Halen game. It was also nominated for "Best Metal Performance" in the 47th Grammy Awards. "Breathe Life" is also used as a sample for Bullet for My Valentine's song ""My Fist, Your Mouth, Her Scars", this appears on the "All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)" single. The album consisted of twelve songs lasting for 43 minutes. Although in 2005 a special edition of the album was released adding an additional six tracks.

Rose Of Sharyn

The End Of Heartache

A Bid Farewell

As Daylight Dies

Original cover
Special Edition cover
As Daylight Dies is the fourth album by the band, released in 2006, it is one of the band's highest selling albums to date with 500,000 copies sold in the US alone! The fist single to be released from this album was "My Curse" which appeared as a playable song on Guitar Hero III as well as a downloadable song on Rock Band (1 and 2). The band released a further three singles from this album entitled: "The Arms of Sorrow", "Holy Driver" and "This is Absolution". In 2007 a special edition of the album was released including four B-sides this included "Holy Driver" which was released as the third single. The album originally had eleven songs on it before the special edition which increased the number of tracks to fifteen. As well as this a special edition DVD was released with the first three single's music videos and the making of videos for "My Curse" and "The Arms Of Sorrow"

My Curse

The Arms of Sorrow

Holy Driver

This is Absolution

Killswitch Engage

Original cover
Special Edition cover
Killswitch Engage is the band's fifth studio album as well as being the band's second self-titled album. The album was originally released in 2009, with four singles being released from it. These singles are: "Reckoning", "Starting Over", "Take Me Away" and "Save Me". The original album had eleven tracks on with the total length being 38 minutes. However a special edition was also released on the same day with an extra four songs, three of them being live. As well as this a special edition dvd was released consisting of The Making of Documentary and exclusive band interviews.

Starting Over

Save Me

Official Website

RM - "The Big Three" Record Labels

In the music industry there was the term "The Big Four". This was used for the four giant record labels in the music industry. These four companies were Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group. However in early November, 2011, Universal Music Group bought EMI's record music division for £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion). As well as this Sony bought EMI's publishing division for £1.3 billion. Therefore this means "The Big Four" are now called "The Big Three".

EMI's record division includes artists including The Beatles, Coldplay and Tinie Tempah. Therefore showing it is understandable why both Warner Music and Universal wanted to own the division, with Universal outbidding Warner Music by $500 million.

Universal Music is the largest record company in the world. The company owns several record labels including Interscope Records, The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group, Universal Republic Records and A&M/Octone.

The company has some influential artists, that have changed the genre they are/were situated in, as well as some of the biggest chart toppers in the last few decades on their label, this includes: ABBA,
Guns N’ Roses, The Jackson Five, Elton John, KISS, Nirvana, The Police, Queen, Frank Sinatra, The Who and many many more. As well as Universal Music Group in partnership with Abu Dhabi Media Company created a company called Vevo. Veco accounts can be found on Youtube for world famous artists.


Sony Music Entertainment is the second largest record company. The company owns several record labels including: Columbia Records, Epic Records, RCA Records and Syco Music*. Artists on Sony Music Entertainment includes: AC/DC, Adam and the Ants, Bullet For My Valentine, Foo Fighters and Slayer.

*Syco is jointly owned by Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, focusing on music, television and film content. Cowell uses these aspects of media to look for artists. The programs that are used for this are The X-Factor, The X-Factor USA, Britain's Got Talent and American's Got Talent. The artists that win these shows win a contract. These contracts are also tied into another record company, which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The record companies mentioned in the above paragraph are usually part of the contract deals.


Warner Music Group is the last remaining member of "The Big Three" and was the third in "The Big Four". The comapany founded in 1958, as Warner Bros. Records. To date the company has several distribution labels: Atlantic Records Group, Rhino Entertainment and Warner Bros. Records Group.

As well as these distributors Warner Music Group has several subsidiaries. On these subsidiaries come a range of acts specialising in different genre. Artists on Warner Music Group includes: Paramore (who are owned by Fueled by Ramen which is on distributed by Atlantic Records Group) and Muse (who are owned by Warner Bros. Records).
File:Fueled by Ramen logotipo.png
Fueled By Ramen is
distributed by
Atlantic Records Group

Guardian - Universal Music's £1.2bn acquisition marks end of the road for EMI, Universal and Sony reach deal to buy EMI for £2.5bn, Universal Music to buy EMI's recorded music division for £1.2bn 
Wikipedia - The Big Four, Universal Music Group, Sony Music EntertainmentWarner Music Group,