Thursday, 24 November 2011

BH- More movement..

The Nine Inch Nails website has been updated(15/11/11) To include more information on the soundtrack to the Girl with The Dragon Tattoo- including album art and and record label, including Renzors own Null Corporation in America and Mute records internationally.

BH- Sample footage+ Editing

For the sample footage we've filmed the opening sequences of the song, with notes from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by David Fincher as key inspiration when editing. One pretty big challenge was filming enough footage to fill out the 30 seconds and keep the angles fresh and unique from one another and create something that's worth re-watching. So far that's the only real big issue to arise from filming the sample footage.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

BH- Gary Numan- Metal

Gary Numan's original version of Metal was first released in 1979 as part of his first album 'Pleasure Principal' (first released under his name anyway...) The song is said to be very popular live and Numan has performed with 
Nine Inch Nails to sing both 'Metal' and 'Cars' live during the last ever Nine Inch Nails Wave Goodbye Tour

In 1998 (two years before the Nine Inch Nails Cover) Gary Numan released a re-worked version of his song 'Metal' with a very very different style to the original, much darker and almost in fit with the Nine Inch Nails version.

We can see a great example of user generated content there, someone adding images of Gary Numan singing, making their own video for the song.

Group- Treatment

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Friday, 11 November 2011

BH- Codes and Conventions

The Industrial genre is very full of lo-fi music videos, intentionally low quality. For example Ministry- Stigmata, Nine Inch Nails- March of the Pigs or Carbaret Voltaire- Sensoria.
Another frequent idea seems to the distortion and this fits with the lo-quaity feel of the video its often intentionally looking worn down or with frames appearing to be broken and damaged. This gives way to the whole 'underground' feel/image of most industrial bands. Often the videos have inserted frames/ or something flashing up on screen.
So what 'type' of video (under Goodwins theory) do industrial music videos generally follow? 
Well more often than not they seem to be high in concept and again high in performance (something shared with the Rock genre) there aren't really all too many narrative videos- maybe some aspect of it but never really all too many entirely narrative videos.

BH- NiN & relationship to the Industrial Genre

Nine Inch Nails have never explicitly stated that they are members of the industrial genre.
For example Pretty Hate Machine (1989) was much more of a synth pop album with elements of Industrial mixed in- although he admits to 'Down in it" being heavily inspired by Skinny Puppy- Dig It. Skinny Puppy being a Canadian Industrial group noted for their abstract and shocking music. Pretty Hate Machine being closer to Cabaret Voltaire's style of Industrial, much more computer generated beats and loops, using samples but not straying too much into Rock.
The Industrial influences of Ministry come across far more in the next release 'Broken', which was an overall much heavier album which clearly draws on from ministry's heavier vision of the industrial genre, with songs such as 'Happiness In Slavery' and 'Wish'. The next Release, 1994's, The Downward Spiral draws into the industrial genre heavily, the computer generated music fused with the instruments it's far more of a 'typical' Industrial record dealing with the traditional Industrial themes of the break down of society and what that'd cause0 a theme strong throughout every song on the album. This is where many say that Nine Inch Nails really came into the genre and it inspired much of the Industrial music available now.
The Fragile was in many ways much more of an album that's in many ways quieter than prior releases, also much longer and in almost a contrast with the Downward spiral, its a much more personal based album.
With_teeth is a much more mainstream Rock album, its very punchy in line with a more modern approach to industrial music and the industrial design. It's interesting to note that around this time Skinny Puppy launched back into action.  
Year Zero is where the real politics of NiN comes out, highly critical of the Bush administration of America (as many musicians where). It details a near future society where the American government was too powerful and merged with the church- it accompanied a ARG (alternate reality game).

Thursday, 10 November 2011

BH- A brief History of the Genre/Artist in Genre

Industrial began as early as the late 70's as a new wave of experimentation, with the advance of technology it became easier for the use of electronic sounds. The coining of the phrase 'Industrial' came from the founding of 'Industrial Records' by early industrial band Throbbing Gristle with the phrase 'Industrial music for Industrial people'.
Cabaret Voltaire 
Of course the genre can draw its roots from Punk, Electronic and generally very Experimental music. With this we can gather that Industrial draws from a wide range of genres coming together. Cabaret Voltaire feature heavily in the early industrial scene, creating loops, physically cutting up the tapes. 
With the 70's drawing to a close, came the rapid expansion of the industrial scene into other countries it began with more and more artists picking up on this new sound- more electronic, more making music out of sound almost- with the use of samples.  With the event of the 80's the whole genre became more and more focus on the 'computer' sound of the effects and we began to see more and more offshoots appear as the genre gained a wider appeal however it did, for the most part still remain underground. We saw heavily controversial arise to attack what they saw as a very over commercial scene- Skinny Puppy releasing music videos intended to shock and cause controversy- hence sealing them as an underground band. Ministry also cropped up around this time as another offshoot of industrial (Industrial Metal) featuring very controversial lyrics often political- indicating another hallmark of the industrial genre- difficult lyrics tackling everything from personal issues to highly political issues.  

With the late 80's we have the rise of Nine Inch Nails who, although Trent Reznor has never claimed to be an Industrial artist, it was Pretty Hate Machine the first commercial release from Nine inch Nails that broke into the mainstream with great success. However that has been described as more SynthPop rather than a fully Industrial record. It's around the early 90's that we began to see the evolution of the Industrial genre into yet another iteration led by Nine Inch Nails who.....


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

BH- Costume/Casting

Well this is a subject that we've barely touched upon in full detail in our discussions about the video although we have decided upon using a teenage protagonist this means that we can have another connection with our audience. Because of how 'weird' we have planned our video to be, we would use the protagonist to really give our audience a way into the video.
We haven't really decided upon who else would appear in the video although /I think we do plan on including some basic performance shots but really keeping it to a minimum. 
Of course there are still issues to discuss such as should the singer also be the protagonist (something frequently done across all genres in the music video format) and should the band appear in the video, and if so then in what manner? 
Maybe something closer to 'The perfect Drug' where the other three band members appear as gentlemen dressing in top hats playing violins or later standing on the hill with canes in hand looking into the distance. but then the band have never really appearing in other videos (other than March if the pigs) all that clearly (cameo from Richard Patrick and Robin Fink in Down in It) so we are still debating as to wether we stick to the established Nine Inch Nails 'convention' of the focus just being on the singer.

A brief history of the Music Video

Let's go way back, to the 1920's when moving photography was at its birth- around the 1920's we had black and white films and they hadn't quite figured out how to make full voice tracks yet and so almost every film at the time had a music track to it- hence you could say, marking the birth of the music video. This means that music videos are almost 100 years old. The first promotional videos began to appear in the 70's as a means of getting the band more screen time and of course the  song itself. With these new and revolutionary videos we began to see dedicated channels appear (i.e MTV) or dedicated shows like Top of the Pops.

As the format of the music video has expanded; so have the means of distribution- at first with the video cassette- an idea used in the 90's often released as part of a collection of promotional materials from the band. And with more and more channels becoming avalible to the viewer we began to see channels dedicated to a specific genre.

Following the advent of the 2000's and the rise of faster internet speeds we could now have video sharing at good quality over the internet, something that has become more apparent since 2005 with the launch of youtube, which hosts millions upon millions of the music videos- giving the bands a much wider audience and quite frankly the viewer can choose what they want with video playlist. Another thing this has given rise to is the whole aspect of User Generated Content allowing the user to download the video (maybe not entirely legally) and make their own edit of it- or creating a new video using whatever footage they want to from games to live footage of the band. This allows the music to be heard by people who maybe wouldn't normally listen to the genre. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

BH- let's talk 'infinite' zoom

Here's a nice effect that I thought would be useful for our music video as something more untested and 'out there'  in terms of cinematic technique here's a video from the film that inspired me to do the effect (Limitless, 2010)

So let's first talk about why I think this effect would be good? Well instead of the conventional zoom down a corridor we can instead use this effect, its fairly unique and far out. 
So how do we do it? Well by taking a series of photographs we can give the same effect of course it's  going to be very difficult to achieve and look smooth so we're not totally final on how this effect will manifest in our video or if it will even make it in at all, but it's certainly something we, as a group, are interested in trying. 

BH- Recent Nine Inch Nails Activity

Well Nine Inch nails have released their first song in a good 3 years, but there's a catch. Released with Q magazine, it's a cover of U2's Zoo station already a fairly industrial track- but somehow it comes out less industrial and less dark...instead sounding much closer to How To Destroy Angels. It's, in my opinion, not quite Nine Inch Nails and it maybe wasn't the best idea to release it under the NiN category but then again NiN do have a fairly large fan base...
But anyway here is is for your listening pleasure: 

BH- How To Destroy Angels

How To Destroy Angels
How To Destroy Angels is Trent's other musical outpost, formed with this wife and Atticus Ross focusing on a very post industrial sound- certainly more subdued that Nine Inch Nails (aside from Ghosts) Reznor and Atticus are responsible mainly for the programming of the band where as Reznors wife does vocals  which at times can sound closer to just talking. 
Their first album was released in the summer of 2010 for the grand sum of- free, as a digital download. The full 6 track EP is available at a move which is becoming all the more common in the music industry, with artists making more money from live performances now than they do from actual music sales. 
So what's next for How To Destroy Angels now Trent Reznor has promised more NiN? Well actually HTDA already have another album being mastered (something that's been delayed by Reznor and Atticus' film work) so that should be out within 6 months...

BH- More advances on our idea

We've had another talk and started to draw up some basic storyboards, using fractal zooms to kick the video off. Intercut with the face of the protagonist lit up by a computer staring into it. We have also thought more about the lighting conditions with winter coming up we think that it would be useful to film in some low light conditions to help with the dark feeling. 
We have also considered the contrast between the modern tech and the more dated look of Ilkley & parts of Bradford. 
This would be useful to create that sense of contrast an handy for repeat viewings.

To help repeat viewings we're thinking of a more non linear narrative approach, we've also decided to destroy a laptop in slow-mo with a baseball bat at some point, maybe as a final ending, or the baseball bat smashing it- then the protagonist buying a new one, would be useful for a more open-ended video. considering the dark feel to the video we think that it'd be useful to add/ implicate violence, but maybe not onscreen. We've also toyed with the idea of some more concept focused sequences maybe in a room to indicate the mind, showing the room getting totally smashed- but obviously this has some difficulty doing.

BH- Key Influences

Obviously the prior music videos done by the band where taken into account during the initial concept stages of the idea. So in this post I'm going to run through all the key influences on our music video idea and in what way they affect our vision. 
So lets start with multimedia influences- video games!

Amnesia: Dark Descent 
The dark stylings of the game led to a very horror led atmosphere- not something we can replicate exactly, but 
something we can take ideas from- like the very dark lighting, the moody style, although I think it would create a nice contrast to have this new technology and then this very old and gothic style location

[add more]

And moving swiftly on to- films, obviously films like the Machinist (2004) a film heavily inspired by Nine Inch Nails about a factory worker who goes insane/ becomes mentally unhinged. The name of the protagonist (Trevor Reznik) deviates from Trent Reznor. It's a very dark film with a very weird plot told in a very unusual manner. The narrative is very hard to work out initially.
Fight Club (1999)
Directed by David Fincher, a frequent NiN collaborator- someone who has become widely acclaimed. But let's home down on Fight Club, a book inspired by The Downward spiral by Nine Inch Nails: 
"I listened to The Downward Spiral...constantly while I was writing Fight Club"
 says author Chuck Palahnuik.

It's another dark film with some non-linear stylings about an unnamed office worker who meets Tyler Durden and subsequently Changes his life. It features a twist in the way that the unnamed office worker IS Tyler Durden, something that lends itself to repeat viewings as little hints are left throughout the film as to the true nature of Tyler Durden. The themes of the film are very anti-consumerist, something I think we would like to touch upon during the music video/ imply with our focus on technology. 

The blue tint is throughout the video
Of course there are other music videos that have influenced ours, past NiN videos like 'We're in this Together now, Closer, Perfect Drug', we're in this together now is a B&W video, something we want to emulate for our video, maybe a slightly more lo-fi version.
Closer is essentially a bizzare world semi-victorianesq using old film reels from the early 20th centary, it's a very concept focused video and very odd to actually see without the music.
Then there's the Perfect Drug by the same director, heavily inspired by the art of Edward Gorey, which is very abstract- something that the director Mark Romanek struggled to emulate, but it comes off very well in my opinion. The tint is something that would be very easy to emulate something similar using the Final Cut software in post-production IF we decide to use some colour shots, maybe whilst the protagonist is staring at the computer screen.   

BH - Trent Reznor on Tunecore INDUSTRY

Recently Reznor posted on the subject of TuneCore- something which he says helped him put 'Ghosts' out to the public following the split from his record label. He mentions he's used them following 'Ghosts' with his How to Destroy Angels album and with his various film OST's. So what does this show overall? Digitalization has greatly helped the independent artists stay afloat and keep their independence and still get all their great music out to the user

I began using TuneCore six years ago with the release of Ghosts. They seemed like an interesting and efficient solution to get my music out everywhere and circumvent the existing machine in place at that time. The experience went very well - they actually did what they said they would in a straightforward, transparent, efficient and logical manner… I was sure they wouldn’t have a chance of surviving in the music business with that philosophy!
Years later, we’re both still standing. I’ve continued using TuneCore for all my releases since Ghosts including “The Social Network” and plan to use them for the upcoming “The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo” and the new full-length from How To Destroy Angels.
When they reached out to tell me about their new big idea - adding transparency and straightforwardness to the murky waters of publishing administration (which to me is a world as boring and convoluted as it sounds) I was very interested. If they could pull off what they did with distribution on the publishing administration side of things, this could be a pretty big deal - it could be another important tool that further empowers the musician / songwriter directly.
OK, I’m in. Check the link below for more information or check back in a few years and I’ll tell you how it went!
So what is TuneCore? 

Well it seems to be a service which allows independent artists to get their music into the various online stores, like itunes or Amazon mp3, without having to go through a major label. It also allows the artist to maintain 100% royalties and maintain fully copyright of the music they put out through TuneCore. What's interesting is that there seems to be a fee to pay for every single/ album/ ringtone that you put out through them, so it's not entirely profitless.