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Concept Albums

A concept album (also know as a rock opera) is, by dictionary definition ‘a rock album featuring a cycle of songs expressing a particular theme or idea’. The idea that you can create 14 to 15 on average songs around  certain theme can then be developed into another from of media using the songs and album concepts, such as movies (Mama Mia), a series of music related music videos (Fall Out Boy’s save rock and roll: the young blood chronicles) or even comic books (My Chemical Romance’s danger days: the true lives of the fabulous killjoys)

I am drawn to concept albums for this project in particular because it means that when i shoot and edit the music video that i produce i can go in any direction i want with it as long as i link it to the theme of the video. some examples of concept albums include:

21st century breakdownThe idea behind Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown revolves around two main characters, as green days concept albums mostly do, these characters are Christian and Gloria who are seen on the album cover. The album is set in Detroit Michigan and is split into three sections: Heroes and cons, charlatans and saint and horseshoes and handgrenedes. It follows Christian and Gloria in they’re struggle in the U.A following George Bush’s presidency, Billie Joe Armstrong has related this to his own feeling so abandonment and vengeance which can especially be seen in songs such as ‘Before the Lsabotomy’ , ‘Christian’s Inferno’ and ‘Peacemaker’.

dream-walkAngels and Airwave’s ‘The Dream Walker’ is about a character called Poet Anderson who discovers his guardian angel and destiny in the dream world, which is an alternative universe created by mankind’s shared unconscious thoughts. It was made into a short animated film which was directed by band member and ex guitarist and vocalist for Blink – 182.

 

 

save rocka nd rollSave Rock and Roll by Fall Out Boy was presented in the from of 11 music videos each one is a section to a whole story, which creates ‘The Young Blood Chronicles’. The videos include Elton john as God, Tommy Lee Jones as the Devil and Courtney Love as an Anarchist character.  Inspired by Daft Punk’s ‘Interstella5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar  5ystem’. This album was the result of  4 yer hiatus that the band took after struggling to connect to their old music and as a result of having become disconcordant with the music industry.  the idea behind the music videos is essentially the four members being tested and they all die in the end they end up in heaven with elton john who’s God and they ‘save rock and roll’ by killing all the bad people while the song save rock and roll plays.

 

R-2560146-1290454886danger days was the 4th studio album of My Chemical Romance,the setting for this album is a 2019 apocalyptic dystopian wasteland. the basic premise is that there is a corporation called Better Living Industries or BLInd as its reverend to on the food cans, which is a corporation that runs Battery city which is the main city left, and everything is devoid of colour and its all dull and you cant be individual. the band pose as the Fabulous killjoys who are a band of rebels or something long those lines and they are very colourful and they essentially rebel against BLInd. in the Two music videos produced for that album the first one is ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na)’ which shows a montage of them doing stuff, it’s quite cheesy, sort of like an 80’s sci-fi sort of thing, the second is ‘Sing’ which is slightly more dark and serious, the band going to the headquarters of BLInd and essentially all getting killed. The whole album revolves around this concept and they even developed a comic series of the story line. the songs on the album much like fall out boys save rock and roll all line up to make this story.

I would like to play with the idea of making my project a concept album idea or a rock opera because its a lot more fun to be able to come up with a bit of a story to put in with my video and the production side of all of this stuff.

Props

A juke box that would be the video source of the song, which is the pivotal point in the video, i can borrow i smaller that regular size one from my mate Beth and just sit it on top of my marshall amp because it will look cool, also I may get paid for advertising.

(beths juke box and my amp)

An old fashioned microphone and old looking and a guitar, possibly not a real guitar as the main actress is going to whack someone with it and i doubt i could find anyone to let me use their and i’m not using my own because I care for it more than I care for my brother, so a realistic prop would most likely be the way forward. The main props that will be used but need to be tested first are a few confetti cannons, coloured smoke bombs (i need to check the legalities of that) a water contraption and a way that i can make paint explode (again i need to check if its legal). This may be a problem as if I find a place to film this the owner of the building may not approve of me wanting to make a mess in the name of A level media, and unlike Hannah, a bribe of a free eta may not suffice.

Locations

The place I had in mind when I thought all of this out was a grungy oldish looking warehouse type area, with big open plan space but a lot of junk lying around as well, such as a few guitars and a drum kit for the performance element. I want it to be well lit so I can play around with the lighting with artificial stage lights and spotlights as well as making it dark for parts so it looks dramatic. either that or an old looking stage area that has clearly been abandoned.

Unfortunalty, I live on an island which has more cows than an abundance of unused buildings, so, I will probably have to compromise to a vaguely large shed. I have emailed all 12 parishes and a few other companies to ask if they have ay space to film, still waiting to hear from them, I will probably also have to check if they are willing to let me throw paint, confetti and people around in their building. Im trying to stay optimistic.

Actors

Actors:

The main character in my music video will be a lone female figure, though being clearly tough and can handle herself she’s a bit goofy and clumsy. I had many people in mind when it came to casting this character, but after talking to my friend Hannah about the dancing aspect i have in mind, she graciously volunteered to be in my video after a subtle bribe of a free tea.

(hannah)

There are a few other roles in my video, the roles of the ‘crazies’, these will be the characters that are just gonna run and flap around until smacked down, I want them to be visibly different to my main character so they will be wearing a small amount of makeup and depending on how cheap I decide to be with my budget possibly coloured contacts.  I don’t want too many of these crazies so I will have to work out a way to make sure they’re placed well throughout the video and so they don’t get boring. This shouldn’t be hard to cast because all my friends are nutters anyway.

(my lunatic friends)

 

Conventions

 

The genre I’m looking at is arguably the best genre of music out there, Rock has been around since the early 40’s as Rock ‘n’ Roll, and since then has blossomed into multiple sub genres that are still better than all the other stuff out there.

Starting with mis en scene, rock music videos usually have a band featuring 4 male members, for example, papa roach.

papa roach

they predominalty wear black in their music videos and photo shoots. As you can tell the frontman Jaccob Shadixx is wearing a makeup prudoct dubbed ‘guyliner’ and frankly not enough men wear it.

download

There tend to be a lot of emotions and expressions in rock music videos, with opften reflect the angst on the lyrics, for example, in my chemcial romance’s video ‘the ghost of you’ the lead singer Gerard Way should have won an oscar for the performance given in that particular video.

 

the videos can range from having little narritive and just being performnce adn lots of shots of the audience, such as sum 41’s fat lip

or My chemical romance’s cover of desolation row

to the other end of the spectrum in the sense that the videos have full feature narratives, where there is a detailed story going on in the video not necessarily related to the song. for example the all american rejects song ‘Gives you hell’

or Panic! at the Disco’s ‘Ballad of Mona Lisa’

The characters or actors in rock music videos tend to be of the male species and always seem to have a very rebellious nature, usually wearing all black with guyliner that i mentioned earlier, as well as having the typical bad boy attitude which is usually reflected in the lyrics, usually either; rebelling against a dodgy society in where they cannot express themselves, needing to ‘get out of this town’, or rebelling against an oppressing party, e.g. parents or school.

symbolism is also a huge part that makes up some of the iconic rock videos, using icon symbols such as the rock and roll hand sign or the anarchy symbol in videos is widely used as a unifying ‘us against them’ ideology which is commonly used in rock songs and videos, so i want to put some references to pop culture or icons in my production.

 

Best Fake Smile – James Bay

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This video is also one of my favourites because of James Bay. Despite this he is not the only reason i would like to use this video as inspiration for my own.

the idea that the child is playing along to the song even though he’s pretty much holding a bat and banging on pots and pans is somehting gave me an idea for my video, although in my production i want my actor to be holdng an actual guitar but it will be clearly broken, probably missing strings as such.

I had a few glimpses of elements i wanted to include, such as a confetti cannon, pulling the lever for rain sort of thing, massive dramatic fan, and all of them are in this video.  I really want to include the idea of the confetti cannon being shot off from below the waist area like a shot gun, as well  as the fan blowing it around. The idea for the pulling of the rope and then the watering can emptying down on the actress was also something i would like to take from this video (even though i thought of it first) but i more of the image of shrek two when puss in boots and donkey sing living la vida loca.

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stuff i wanna steal:

  • confetti cannon
  • playing an ‘instrament’ that isnt playing
  • water falling by pulling rope
  • big fan and pillow contents