Friday, 20 July 2012

"Sheena Is A T-shirt Salesman" Recreation Analysis

After many, many unsuccessful attempts at adding in the frame-stutter effects from the official video I've decided to give it a miss and stick with the regular full-speed video I posted previously.

For the sake of comparing the recreation to the official video, I've been able to use the fantastically useful Picture-in-Picture setting in iMovie to overlay the official video over the top of our recreation.

We can use this to look at what does and doesn't work in the recreation. Am going to start off with the obvious stuff -

- Location: we used the most conveniently accessible room in the school for filming this kind of thing (one of the music rooms, with thanks to the music department for letting us do this!) - it just happens that this room doesn't look much like the one in the official video, with blue walls rather than beige, a different window arrangement and carpet instead of the wooden floor. It's also significantly smaller, which impacts the next point.

- Cinematography: The video is just one take so I didn't have to worry about getting multiple angles of the action, however the room being smaller meant that a bit of creativity was needed in regards to camera position to make sure everyone was in the shot - meaning our recreation shows the action from a slightly different angle than the original.

- Direction: Also impacted by the size of the room - in the original clip they had significantly more space to move around in than we did. This is especially apparent in the parts throughout where a band member walks between the drum kit and the point at the front where the current attention focus is standing - due to the lack of space available this was impossible in our version, meaning they had to play along the back of the room somewhere at these points. Lip-syncing was pretty spot-on - Mr S. has the lyrics to the entire FotL discography permanently engraved in his brain somewhere, and we ran through the most distinct parts of Mr E. and Ms M. briefly before filming. Mr N. appears to have put his own distinct touch into the drumming, which was very much appreciated (though spinning around that much for the duration of the five takes can't have been healthy...). The band's movements in the original original clip look improvised, so I don't think it's a big deal that ours stray from it here and there.

- Costume: We filmed this after a school day and were all still wearing what we'd been wearing in school time. In the original video the band were dressed casually, so ours is noticeably different. The biggest difference is the fact that me and Sarah are clearly not dressed in blue full-body jumpsuits when we run in with the signs - said costume was not available, and not being able to see would have impacted on our ability to follow what was happening on the laptop. We thought that in a one-or-the-other situation, the general direction is more important than the mise-en-scene in regards to staying faithful to the original clip.

...and now for the other stuff -

- Editing: I tried to recreate the frame skip, I really did. I tried multiple different techniques of doing this - out of those I remember, the Strobe (if I recall correctly) filter in FCP was too consistent with frame drops to be faithful to the original (which had them all over the place), cutting around the strobe track to reveal the raw track in parts only worked in theory as it is way too fiddly to get right (and it sticks out like a sore thumb when not right), and laying stills over the individual part looked way too time consuming to justify the effort. The speed looks about right though; this was achieved by filming at half-speed, then adjusting to 200% in FCP.

- Props: We are using different instruments to what the band are using in the original - this is because we didn't have exact copies available, and instruments are expensive. All of the ones we used do, however, serve the same purpose thus making our video just as believable as the original. The only major differences I see are that Ms M. was using Mr S.'s awesome 5-string which I am totally not jealous of in any way *sigh* which is visually quite different to the P-bass(?) Julia is using in the original, and that the Pearl logo is visible on the drum kit in ours. Also, as mentioned previously, the signs in the video were hand-written by myself, because I'm too cheap to get proper recreations printed professionally.


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