Frank Ocean’s new song – Biking

A couple of days ago Frank Ocean released his new song “Biking,” featuring Jay-Z and Tyler the creator. After listening to this song a few times I have came to the conclusion that I could use this for my music video idea. I feel that it has a lot of potential and I have already got a few ideas for different shots and a story for the music video. Mainly consisting of someone riding a bike with different shots of striking images, similar to the Nikes music video, being interlaced. So far this is the song I have the most ideas for out of all my short films ideas and song I would like to use for the music video.

I really like this song not just for its lyrics about biking and how I can apply this very easily to a music video. But also how the song changes mood, tone and pace when it goes over to Jay-Z and Tyler, the creator verses. I feel I can create something cool for the music video visually when it changes verses.

I have decided I will either use this song or the song Chanel if I were to make a Frank Ocean music video. This will mean I can be more focused on two songs rather than listening to a whole album. I will have to make storyboards for each song and try to make decision on which song to use.

Harvard referencing:

Frank Ocean, Biking, 11/04/17, Blonded

Frank Ocean, Chanel,, Mar 10 17, Blonded



Guest speaker from the film industry

Today we had a guest speaker come in from out of college to talk to us about the industry and also about cameras. His name was Gabs and has his own production company where he makes short film, adverts and music videos.

He started by showing us some of his adverts and telling us how he got the job offer and how he went about filming and setting up the for the shot. Saying about how he would assign people to certain jobs for each different shot and also how he would get a brief from the company or organization which he would have to apply to. This is good because of the fact that he have already got practice of this from our projects we have been given from our teacher.

When he was talking about cameras there was a number of topics he covered, one of these were lens. Saying there are two different types of lens, prime and zooms lens. Zoom lens being able to zoom in and out while the prime being fixed at a certain position. The prime lens are each different with each being more zoomed in or less. The zoom covers all of these, however at a lesser quality and also being cheaper.

The next thing he talked about was the f stop. This affected the lighting of a shot. The scale of the f stop could from 1.4 to 22. 1.4 being really open and letting a lot of light in the shot while having it at 22 makes very narrow and having it at very dark and not letting a lot of light in. It also changes the depth of field of the shot. With the higher the number on the f stop makes it have a much longer depth of field while lower has a much shallower depth of field.

The shutter speed is another thing that we learned from the speaker.  Saying that normally the shutter speed should be twice the number that your frame rate is at. For at 25 the shutter speed should be at 1/50. When the number getting bigger the shutter speed gets slower. This is due to the fact that the shutter speed is time for the shutter to closes every second. For example 1/50 means it closes 50 times in one sec.

The iso is also numbered based, meaning higher the number the more light the camera has in the shot, this also means the picture is more gainer. When you have the number lower you have the shot being less exposed to the light and while also getting a much better picture quality.

Semiotic analysis of a poster: American History X

Semiotic analysis of a poster: American History X

By Seb Griffin-Keane

American History X is directed by Tony Kaye and was released in 1998, starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. The poster is a black and white photograph of Edward Norton standing bare-chested with his hand across his body.

One of the Semiotic signs in this poster would be the Swastika. The denotation would be Nazism, whereas the connotation would be racism, discrimination and white supremacy. This shows that the film is going to be a challenging film dealing with the subject of racism and confronting real world issues such as ‘white supremacy’. The composition also shows that he is very passionate about his beliefs by having the Swastika close to his heart. The composition also shows that he is swearing allegiance to ‘white supremacy’ – similar to the way in which Americans swear allegiance to the flag.

There is also another denotation of that he is bare-chested; it can be implied from this that the film poster is designed to illustrate that he is open with his beliefs as well as being very confident with them. These two denotations are used to target adults due to the mature themes that are presented and how they are shown. The use of the colour is very important due to the whole poster being in black and white apart from the surnames of the two actors and the ‘X’ in ‘American history X,’ which is shown in red. The black and white is striking and bold, this corresponds with the fact that the film is bold in its approach to the issues of ‘white supremacy’ and isn’t afraid of confronting these challenging issues. The red also contrasts with the black and white so that we can see the actors’ names more clearly. This helps the film because fans of the two actors will be more likely to see it because they recognise the two names. It is also interesting because this is the first time Edward Norton has portrayed himself in this manner in an acting role, i.e. shaved head, tattooed etc. This contrast with his other roles immediately grabs the viewer’s attention.

The character that Edward Norton is also looking straight at you. This shows that the character is intimidating and demands attention. This corresponds with the bare chested connotation of not being afraid of showing his views. The focus of the poster is all on Edward Norton’s character. This tells the audience that the film is going to be his story and will depict his journey in the film.  The simplicity of the poster, in some ways, leads you to believe this is purely a film about Nazism, when in fact it is a complex multi-layered film about redemption. Interestingly there is no tag line for the poster only the title and the actors’ names, this intrigues people to want to see the film and know what it is about.

Group critical of the Vox pop – feedback from three people

I will now be discussing the feedback given from showing my Vox Pop to the rest of the class.

The first person who gave me feedback was Jack who said that I had a good use of shots when interviewing people and used the rule of thirds correctly. Another good thing he identified was how I phrased the questions by having the people being interviewed to repeat the question and not having a black title card pop up before the answers and also not having me say the questions in the interview. For areas of development he mentioned that I don’t need to improve on anything. This shows that I was heading in the right direction and I should do this again next time I make a project like this, and also take into account that my shots and lighting is good even though I thought they needed some improvement.

The second person who gave me feedback on my work for the Vox Pop was Joseph Devlin. One of the good identified by Joe from my Vox Pop was that you can tell what question they are answering without having to have a title card or me saying the question. This re-enfocres the idea that I was being creative and did have a correct idea to show the question. For areas of development he mentioned that I should use rule of thirds in every shot. I agree this point because I was disappointed that I didn’t frame the shot properly with Tammy. Another area of development is that I should use more interesting music instead of my Cool Hand Luke, I disagree with this point due to the fact that I like how the music ties in with my questions that I asked the people I interviewed, with it being one of my favourite films. One thing that he take influence is to have longer questions in his Vox Pop, this shows that I was right with having the people go back and explain their answer rather than just having one word answers.

The third and final person to give me feedback on my work was Lee. The first thing he identified was my intro to the Vox Pop, saying that it was a good way to start the short film and he enjoyed it. This shows that I should use the technique more enough when making these types of projects, showing that I was heading in the right direction with my idea. He mention that he should use this in his next project. The next thing he liked in my project was that of my questions and the quality of them, this shows that I was right to with the more light hearted questions with that of film rather than the more “controversial,” topic of politics and religion. Another thing that he liked was how I had them say the one word answer and then follow up with a longer answer. This shows that I had the right idea with how got them to answer the question and how edited the short film. This means that I should listen to my instinct and not be swayed by others. However one negative thing he pointed out was that I had some of them too central, this mainly Tammy’s shot which rushed and as I mentioned before I should improve on.

Overall I feel that I had quite a positive response which means that I am progressing in this course and heading on course to later pass and get a high mark on my FMP. I will also save these reflections so I can look back on them.

Evaluation – Vox Pop

I have made my final cut for the Vox Pop and have exported it and uploaded to the VLE. This blog post will be me evaluating my finished product and assessing what I should do next time to make sure that I can improve my short films in the future. I will also be evaluating what I did well so I can make sure to do that again in the future.

This is the link to my finished Vox Pop.

I feel that the titles and the intro to my Vox Pop are professionally done. This is because of the fact that it plays a bit of the unused footage so the clap can happen in start the titles. I feel that this is a creative way to start the title sequence and to begin the short film rather than just having the title appear on the screen and the film start. I feel that this was a good way to use my initiative to make the start of Vox Pop more interesting and to stand out from the rest. This is why looking back on my Vox Pop I feel that this is good part and I will make sure to use again in the future.

The editing and the order that I have shown my interviews I feel is very important due to the fact that I have them say the answer and then have them explain and come back to it later to explain it. I feel that this is good because of the fact that at first it short and quick cut however it moves on to them explaining their point more and having longer cuts. This I feel adds variety to the Vox Pop with the edits. However the only problem is that some people may not remember what the person said and doesn’t get the context of them explaining it. Next time I will make sure to do it in one take so I won’t have to separate it out or have them repeat the film/person in their explanation so the audience still knows what they are on about. This means that next time I don’t have to take out my “why,” in the middle of the footage.

I am pleased that I got them to repeat the question. This is due to the fact that I feel that adding title cards is cheap and lazy, so I wanted a more creative way to tell the audience what question I was asking and not to have me say the question or have a title card pop up, due to the fact that I wanted a more creative way to show the question. For ellis’s interview I decided to scrap it, due to the fact that the audio was to echoey and that it the footage wasn’t to the highest quality with the room being dark and also the film grainy. I felt that keeping it in would only worsen the finished product. Next time I would make sure to use a better camera while also making sure that I can get the sound equipment for all the interviews. This means that they would all be done to the same quality and none of the footage would have to be cut out.


Overall I feel that the footage I took of the interviews was good, the ones I am using are all to the same quality with all of them having different angles and different framing with the each shot. However I feel that I messed the framing up with Tammy’s interview, this is due to the fact that she is in the middle of the frame and is looking to the opposite and not having the correct rule of thirds angle. This was because of the fact that it was becoming to the end of the day and it didn’t take the proper time to think about the shot. Next time I will make sure to be more focused on the situation and make sure that I am getting the correct shots that I need. I will also make sure that I more planned so that I can have more time to the film and also take more time setting up the video and sound equipment.


I feel that the audio recorded for this Vox Pop is all to high standard this is because of fact that I had people helping me with the equipment. This is also because we took extra care when recording are sound to make sure we were recording properly and to high enough standard. I feel that all the interviews were recorded well apart from Dan’s. This was because of the fact that we were using a indoor mic outside. This was due to the fact that we were mainly doing interviews inside and didn’t have to time to replace the mic with an outdoor one. Next time I will make sure we know all the locations of filming so we know on that day what equipment to. Furthermore I tried to fix the background noise issue with audition, however it was playing up and not letting me save my changes. This computer issue that I could fix and was out of my control.


The music I chose for the Vox Pop was the theme from the movie Cool Hand Luke.

The reason for me choosing this song is because of the fact that it is one of my favourite films and I feel that having it in my Vox Pop will relate to the question and also tell the audience what my favourite film without actually telling them visually. I feel that this a good way to convey the message and I will make sure to be using this piece a music again in my later short films and also to have the same meaning in my short films with the music. I also edited the music myself, this was because of the fact that towards the end of the song the music had too many instruments and becomes overbearing to the audience so they can not hear the answers. I fixed my having just the guitar on loop so that it is the only instrument, I then made it less noticeable with the use of fades. This makes it so it still sounds like the same song.

Overall I am very proud of Vox Pop and I feel that it can only be improved in couple of ways for example having audio fixed on Dan’s and having the framing of the rule of the thirds fixed on Tammy’s so she is looking in the right direction. However I pleased with the intro of the Vox Pop and also the framing of the other interviews, and how the music fits with the questions being asked and the rhythm of the editing.



The music for my Vox Pop

I have been looking for music to suit my vox pop. I have found two pieces that would both suit my short film vox pop.

The first song that is in the running for the music in my vox pop is the main theme for the film cool hand luke. I feel that this is a good song to chose due to the fact that it is purely instrumental and doesn’t have any words in it, also only having only a few instruments and quite barebones makes it so it isn’t overbearing. This means when it is playing it won’t distract the audience from hearing what the people’s answers are and the sound of the music won’t cover their answers so they are still able to hear the people’s answers.

I also feel that the tone is well suited to the vox pop and will go nicely with the footage I have shot. I feel that having this music will go well with the questions I am asking, because of the fact that the questions are about your favourite films and cool hand luke is one of my favourite films. I feel that having this music in the Vox Pop will communicate that well.

The second song I had in mind for the vox pop was the piece music from the film midnight in paris. I feel that this is a good song to place in my vox pop due to the fact that it is quite uplifting and has well fitting tone with the rest of the edit and footage. I also feel that having only instruments will mean again that the music won’t become overbearing and play louder over the answers from the people being interviewed.

I will now have to place these in my final edit when I am back in college so I can see which ones fits. I then only have to edit the credits meaning which I will be done and I can could then export the file. I may play both with songs in my film but have them fade in and out of each other, however this will make it quite confusing and will distract the audience’s attention.


Editing so far with the vox pop


I am almost done editing my final cut of the vox pop. I have now chosen to place Tammy’s interview in because the audio wasn’t even that bad and was better than I expected it to be. However I may cut out ellis’s interview due to the fact that I didn’t use sound equipment and the with room being dark doesn’t help either. This makes a big contrast between the interviews because of that one being such low quality. I have also chose how to start my vox pop, by having Luc’s (one of the people I interview) interview be extended so that I can have him clap and when he claps it immediately cuts to the title screen have and it cut to him answering the question. I feel this is effective way to start the interview.

I also cut out my me asking the questions in the vox pop. The reason for this is due to the fact that I just want the people’s opinion and not to have my question in the audio. I will also not have any title cards for the questions, I feel using the title cards is an easy way out of asking question. So I have had some of the people I interviewed repeat the question so that the audience knows what they are talking about in the vox pop. This means that it is only the interviewer talking and not anyone else. I also feel that this is a more creative way of asking the questions rather than just having some text pop up saying what the question is.

The last thing I will have to do is chose a song that fits with the vox pop. This is important because of the fact that it has to suit the vox pop and the rhythm of the cuts. However at the moment I am struggling with the right music. I will have to keep looking and add it in on the monday before the vox pop is due in. I also have to think how I will end my vox pop, I was thinking to have it the same way I started it by having someone continue talking while the credits are rolling but I was also thinking maybe not even having credits at all.