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Conclusive review and Epilogue of Gloriana

Conclusive review

 

What did I achieve in the making of Gloriana?

  • The lowest points I had ever faced in my life during the making of Gloriana, has made me a more stronger, creative and confident person.
  • I have developed a network of talented and reliable people, who I am fortunate to call friends and I feel I am more social then I ever did before in making new friends.
  • I may not have found my favourite genres or type of music I like to write in, but that is a good thing, I feel I like all genres and styles as I see the individual uniqueness that can be utilised to deliver the right immersive atmosphere I feel the history/story used can be told accurately and creatively.
  • I have learned that I can write music faster with the aid of researching the topic, and inspired from personnel events increase my drive to new heights.
  • I have learned how to create music videos. Also how to make storyboards, and Adobe premiere and After effects.
  • I now have gained knowledge on how to make DVDs in a professional manner.
  • I am a better studio engineer then I was before, utilising my equipment newly obtained or had before to meet the demands for recording an array of instruments and voices.
  • I believe I might I found an answer to my future career where I can be part of the music industry out of university and hopefully make a decent living from it.

 

What could I do to improve Gloriana if I could change anything?

 

At the time of making Gloriana especially the very beginning, what I had undertaken did certainly provided me a 1st of many experiances and achievements that I had discovered, which I did not previously obtained.  Although thanks to the battle I had with Cancer, I had time to look think a lot about Gloriana, I really in truth, probably had the same amount of time work on the project as I would now, I started to work of the 4th year’s Creative Ventures project. A year and 4 months. Before saying anything to improve Gloriana, I am really happy how it turn out in the end.

In the ideal world, I guess it would have been nice to achieve what I originally sort to achieve, 10 songs to cover the whole of Elizabeth’s reign. Although this would have taken double or even triple the time I had with my knowledge and experience at the time.

I think would be worth noting for the next Animated Music Production I make, I would do the following to improve my methods since making Gloriana:

  • Make a wider stage (to make it wide screen for filming standards) with better control and more intricacies of the characters.
  • Maybe invest in a film camera myself, so I have the freedom of filming when I like and learn how to use the camera better.
  • Make the storyboards earlier after the making of the songs.
  • Make more contacts earlier to be onboard so that I can ensure more is done earlier.
  • I think it would be worth to Monetise the project.
  • Improve my laptop to allow portable recording sessions to work far more easier.

 

Epilogue

 

With the feedback so far, although it has not been an enormous response, it is not a worry, as the few who have and will soon respond to me are important to me, the content of feedback I have got so far, has been great, warm and amazed on what as been achieved against all odds.

I had to address one of the performers from the creative decision made due to lack of materials to use but also to share and use the efforts on the other performer who have given their time too.

I guess I will never please everyone which I am sure I will counter as I progress my career, but if it is important for it to be right to you before it is right with other people. Something I hope I can handle, but I like to think I have obtained a thick skin from the many other experiences I have, and my understandings will counter and ignore these incidents in the future.

I went with my father to the Swansea waterfront museum, my dad was telling them about Gloriana, and they were talking about it as a great idea and something I could do with them to cover Wales’ industial revolution and for example the Copper works that made Swansea the place it is today. This may work greatly in my favour as an avenue that I could make money from with it. Although from first impressions it may not the most exciting topic in history to me, but perhaps by researching into it, I would be intrigued by learning about it, and It might lead me onto working on other historical topics I can cover.

The mark and the feedback will be the ultimate verdict that will address me the full success of Gloriana, but the regardless of the marks and feedback, I know I am happy with what I had created. I know that I have gain a great deal, something that cannot be taken away.

Something that I will always remember and think back, with positive thoughts, always.

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The Gloriana DVDs

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Figure 1: Gloriana DVD front view

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Figure 2: Gloriana DVD Side view
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Figure 3: Gloriana DVD back view
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Figure 4. Gloriana DVD inside view
 

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Figure 5. Libretto sheet that is included inside the Gloriana DVD
Why I had made them?

I wanted to create DVDs not only that it will promote Gloriana in another professional, and something to learn too, but because there are some people I intend to show to and/or who have collaborated on the project who might not have access to YouTube.

 

How did I had made them?

When creating the Video files,  the DVDs I thought would need a DVD menu selecting screen.  Which is what every professional  DVD had, so originally I was looking to use Adobe’s DVD menu building software Encore to achieve this. However, Adobe Encore was not updated into the CC packages as the demand for DVD’s are no longer as high it is was 20 or 12 years ago.

So through a bit of research, I came across ‘DeeVeeDee’, which did do what I wanted, but it was not very user friendly at all, while search on one of my parents computers hearing about a DVD burning software, which was good but did not provide me the menu selector building feature I was looking for.

In the end, on my own computer I had ‘Windows DVD maker’, initially it was not accepting MP4s, which was annoying, later learning that the encoder for this to function was missing, instead, I used Adobe media encoder to copy and convert both the Gloriana full version and the four individual music videos.

Testing before hand with the Gloriana Teaser, which I already had different formats to try out. What proved successful was the Windows media audio/videos (WMVs) which not only was compatible, it seem to not render the music videos adequately.

Once loaded into the software, I designed a custom background picture with Photoshop, and using the camera and cinema template theme, as the  primary loading screen style (limitation to this was I had to choose preset loading screens). It was nice despite I did not have a lot of choice.

The burning process of the 1st disc was very slow, it did not help that I was sort my blog out while it was burning with the internet open.

However after the burning of the first disc, the next 25 were significantly faster to burn.

The covers were designed by my parents using combination of elements from Gloriana’s artwork, and behind the scenes pictures.

Using a picture of myself on the front cover would make people know that I had created it, unfortunately I was hoping to use pictures of the performers and the other collaboratees, which understandably I did not think about this at the time when working and with them. So I decided instead to show pictures of the behind the scenes of the stage production and the filming.

I have included a Gloriana dialogue, lyrics and narration sheet inside so people with the DVDs will know what has been said/sung.

 

Ideas after Gloriana for the Future

First thing that would be important to do is to get reviews of it done and to see what the general public think of it.

After that, I will be thinking of doing a another animated musical production. What I would like to be doing is one that has 6 songs instead of 4, more radical musical genres, and a different period/theme of history.

It is important, first and foremost is to research into what I want it to be about, and the rest will come into place once a theme/period and story is picked.

Timelapse footage of the filming process

With my Tec Bean action camera, I have done three timelapse footage of my parents and I in the filming process, here are the links to each one.

 

Timelapse video 1 (Early filming trial):- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iGp3pvFyVE

 

Timelapse video 2 (part of the filming of Ascension complete):- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i4SNyZTICk

 

Timelapse video 3 (Part of  the filming of Bull versus Lioness):-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHWci2QrLvE

The sounds made and used in Gloriana

Sounds before the Intermissions:

After making the Photoshop renditions of the Storyboards for Gloriana, I felt I need to get or create sounds as it is an area of my Project I did not have at the time, as it is another aspect of my course that I felt I needed to show to the lecturers that I can create sound effects.

With best of the opportunities I was given, and the equipment and time at my disposal. I did my best to make my own sounds rather then use existing sound library.

I did make or recorded the majority of the sounds that were used, such as:

  1. Cannon and pistol fire – They were created using the Llandeilo’s Fireworks during Guy fawkes night on Friday 5th November 2017, using my Olympus LS-12 field recorder placed next to goals as I was playing football at the time. The bigger firework bangs worked as Cannon fire, blending a Low Octave effect enhancer, with EQ.

Pistol fire using the fireworks, but finding a softer firework sound, combing with an old Toy flintlock pistol my Dad had when he visited Disneyland Floriada many years ago, with EQ effects to shape the sound further.

Both sounds were researched using Youtube videos of the actual sounds.:

Pistol fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlQitWqjPWA

Cannon fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5caj4F4PI_s

2. Door opening creak – With my Field recorder, I recording my utility room door which has a really does creaks. I had to use Adobe Audition to remove the back noises present.

3. Wooden ship creaking with wind. This effect was creating with myself with my field recorder walking on the corridor next to the top of the stairs, walking slowly while my left hand was sliding on the banister. I blended it with wind sounds with the wind guard off.

4.Weeping Maids – This was made using ‘The Voices’ choir with my field recorder, I had two recordings to use, one with some (6-7) of the members and the full choir acting on the other.

 

The sounds that I burrowed from where from Royalty free (unless for commercial purposes)  BBC Sound effects and Digieffects Library, were the fire sounds.

Although I did get advice from Adam Laveaux (ex lecturer and professional Sound designer and Foley artist), he advised me that making fire sounds is risky as It could damage the microphone and  put myself in harm. He suggested I used sound libraries, although it was on the cards to record my own fire sounds. I thought with the time I had left, and also the quality of the sound effects library I had, I was better off using those sound effects, and credit what was used from where accordingly.

 

Intermission scene sounds:

Through Introducing the Intermission scenes I needed mostly sounds to add and some music to create for the first intermission scene as there is a medieval band present.

The Sound I burrowed and used were:

  • Crowds Laughing of two types – Constant ambiences, short burst.
  • Crowd cheering, then into clapping
  • Man laughing
  • Women laughing
  • Two types of farts – Short and long
  • half booing, half laughing theatre audience

The Sounds used are not my own as at this stage  (from the aforementioned libraries), I had 1-2 weeks left, so time was an issue as I had to make sure I work on rendering and packaging the DVDs very soon. I was thinking of getting my own versions of these sounds but I was running out of time, and the opportunities that would have granted me most of the sounds never came or the quality would not have been adequate enough to use.

I had created the music for Intermission scene 1 from my Korg PA3X keyboard.

Recording the my Dad (Paul Langston) as the caretaker was done with a Aston Spirit mic, along with a Aston Halo reflecting filter, and a SE electronics Pop filter.

Progress update 06/05/2018

Tasks done:

  1. Sounds have been assimilated into project.
  2. Intermission Scenes have been created
  3. Gloriana – Full version and the four tracks individually have been successfully rendered and copied into a recognised format for Windows DVD Maker
  4. The DVD covers have been finalised
  5. Currently in the writing of this progress update 20 DVD’s have been burned so far (21 currently being burned)

What has been learn’t?

  1. Depending on the song, I had found that not every sound was needed, as the music was either very thick (such as Bull versus Lioness) and/or the music could convey what was happening more easily (more information on to this will be discussed in the sounds post.
  2. The Intermissions work well, complimenting the main content with simple humour. Serving as breaks for the audience and the viewer.
  3. The individual music videos took a very long to render. Ascension complete taking an hour and 30 minutes roughly, and Bull versus Lioness taking 2 hours and 4 minutes. Ironically, the full length version took 35 minutes. The reason I believe for this was the individuals songs would have all the effects, the numerous video track space taken up as well as the audio tracks taken up for sound.
  4. Windows DVD Maker is free and seems to certainly do the job, although it is very basic compare to Adobe Encore, it is great, apart from that it does not recognise MP4 files. Instead I had copied and converted the files using Adobe Media Encoder to Windows Media Audio/Video files (.WMVs)

What is left to do?

  1. Hand in Gloriana (both as a DVD and a YouTube link, also a link to the blog.
  2. Connect every collaboratees in an email to thank them, inform them of the DVDs, and maybe let them know the future of Gloriana.
  3. Make more DVDs for interested people, if I need to make more.
  4. What on the results of Gloriana and announce them.