Blog

Progress update: 23/07/2017

What has been done?:

  1. Posted general recommendation posts on Facebook on the following Facebook groups:

Any Success?:

  1. In South Wales Musicians wanted/available group on Facebook, I came across, Krystal Mills, A Singer (sounds like Adele in both singing and Spoken word from her YouTube videos) who works cruise ship shows. Who despite no sight reading experiences, but interested in taking part, based a Cardiff.

 

 

2. I had a near immediate response from my post in Creative Collaborations UWTSD Swansea group page. A lady called Shelly Hopkins who is a Photography art student, and a Singer songwriter, She also a Voice imitator from acquiring acting experiences. She is very keen to get involved.

Both ladies are useful for the role of Elizabeth.

3. Terry Thomas (Electric and Acoustic Guitarist for Gloriana) has stepped forward to help me find SATB Choirs, giving me three contacts:

  • Cadno Music Cymru limited – a music retailer shop and team of music teachers, based in Llanelli.
  • Piet Zorn –  A Teacher at Llanelli music school and Choir Confidante (direct association specifically unknown at this moment)
  • Andy Pike –  A Pianist, Organist and Freelance musician. From Terry telling me he is a connected man.

What has been learn’t?:

  1. I am rapidly coming close to a stage where I will have to say to certain called-on performers that the roles I would need them in are filled with another person/group. I will therefore, have to think of a way of telling them nicely and a way that I can still use them for the future!
  2. By looking hard enough, you can find people out there to support you project!
  3. Spoken to Steve Bingham (Violin 1 + 2 and Viola part for Gloriana) he will be sing a acoustic violin, and I will have parts done until early August

 

What is the plan for the coming week?:

  1. Get the narration and dialogue parts for songs 2 and 3 done with Gary
  2. Buy the microphones needed or use the studios in Uni, to do the temporary spoken word vocal parts
  3. Mobilises the animation section.
  4. Do some research log page of the performers involved of how I will or would have recorded them.

Progress update 17/07/2017

What has been done?:

– Recruited new members to perform for Gloriana:

  1. Terry Thomas on both Electric and Acoustic Guitar
  2. Tristan Daniels on Bass
  3. Steve Bingham on Violins 1 + 2, and Viola

Created a Feedback form to give to all collaborators, to provide evidence of my professionalism.

Got now, all of the instrumentalists I must prioritise with (9 roles)

What has been learn’t?:

  1. If you don’t ask around, you might be surprised what support you can get.
  2. How to inform, inspire and supply potential and existing collaborators.
  3. Being persistent helps ensure what you want done.

 

What is the plan for the following week?:

  1. Speak with a friend of mine (Lesley Prosser) who is a Concert acclaimed pianist, and performs with Choirs, which might be beneficial for me to gain 4 soloists atleast from a SATB chior – which could also fill other vocal roles.
  2. Pursue finding vocalists to get hold off.
  3. ‘Mobilize’ the animations department – build the stage and props first
  4.   Get hold of the updated narration and dialogues from Gary, and look buy decent microphones to record test narration and dialogues.

Progress update 09/07/2017

What has been done?:

  1. Had my major project tutor visited me to examine my scores and discuss the extent that is expected of the performers I need to record.
  2. Improved my blog to make it more user friendly and professional with Roderick Davies (Website designer) support.

 

What has been learn’t?:

  1. That as a necessity, I would only need as the minimum of both to make Gloriana great enough in terms of quality in marking my major project, but also for professional standards, being to record All vocalist performers, the bagpipes, Guitars, Bass guitar, drums and at least Violinist (to play Violins 1 and 2, and also the Viola part) and the rest can remain as Virtual Instruments sounds (VSTs).
  2. This therefore makes my task much easier knowing what is expect of me at the end of the finished product.
  3.  I also learn’t that it is normal that not only performances on shows are mixed with performers and VSTs, but also when televised, a separate audio mix is tweaked with the audio manipulation ‘correcting’ software like Melodyne, regardless if the act performing create mistakes.
  4. I can still pursue having more instrumentalists to record, but I will prioritise with the hard to replicate performers

What is the plan for next week?:

  1. Check with Gary the Narration and Dialogue for To marry or not to marry (track 2) and Cousin under the Axe (track 3).
  2. Speak with Rob Owen, to discuss about the project.

Progress Update 02/07/2017

What has been done?:

  1. Spoken to Simon
  2. Added a Stage graphic plan to blog
  3. A Case study of films based on Elizabeth to blog
  4. Inspiration account for the animation stages so far added to the blog
  5. Proposed plan for the recording stage and list drawn up
  6. Arranged a meeting with Pete Williams (Music Theory lecturer, and Major project Tutor)
  7. Got some support in getting on how to use WordPress – Roderick Davies (Website designer)

What has been Learn’t?:

  1. I might have to prioritise with recording the ‘hard to replicate’ performers and remain using VST instruments for certain instruments.
  2. Extent of effort involved in making a big budget film when studying the Elizabeth films.
  3. Learn’t that my Blog so far is very informative and good, but got plenty to update with!

What is the plan for follow week?:

  1. Get Roderick to help me make a calendar selection interface for the Weekly progress updates
  2. Do a list of known contacts and confirmed performers before I see Pete on Friday

Case Study of existing films: Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

 

 

Through initial research, I came to learn of existing ‘sequel’ film  to the film Elizabeth (1998) which is about Elizabeth’s later years as Queen:

 

And the first film Elizabeth (1998):

With in mind the two Film, The visual representations of all that is involved in this version of the story telling of Elizabeth during her reign with the events, people and objects of significance involved in her life is very Striking, reading through the accounts of IMDb, The sheer expanse of effort, time and money is highly commendably. With a big budget ($30 million for Elizabeth ((1998)) and $55 million for Elizabeth: the Golden age 2007))), teams and sub teams of people, 9 years between the two film, however the deadlines for each of the two films are unknown.

Gloriana, as an animated, musical Production. Will focus on story telling the such historical epic through emphasis of Music and sound, with the visuals (animations) as a simple ‘vehicle’ to support the music and make the leitmotifs work. Also historically unlike the film, will be four songs to represent the major points in Elizabeth’s reign due to enormous scale if I was to follow the same scale as the film in comparison to the given time and number of people available!

From a research of historical perspective, the film captures the huge complexity of Elizabeth’s reign, thanks to the time, budget and workforce behind the scenes, Perhaps due having a number of people specialising each of the many aspects that went into this film. It is unknown to me extent of research that went into informing the directer (Shekhar Kapur) and his team, however, compare to the process I am going through with Gloriana’s research, the method of reading, generalised (overall accounts), reliable sources first then specialized (specific), reliable sources and log a bibliography, into like a Dissertation or research report, must have been done and used to allow the team to justify any creative decisions made whether for pure accuracy to what actually happened, or ways to bend the truth for either to make the story more sense, due to limitations, or simply because it is high in debate and therefore free to interpret the story or something or someone as you wish for creative purposes.

The music in film from learning about the behind the scenes part of the music for the film, there was a collaboration of two composers, Craig Armstrong (http://craigarmstrong.com/) and A.R. Rahman (http://www.arrahman.com/), both highly acclaimed composers with different musical styles and a wealth of experience to there names, The type of music they created together for the two films was more western classical in style, using influences from contemporary composers at the time such as William Byrd, incorporating orchestras, bells, and Latin choirs, with support of synthesised percussion and some Indian influences. The score is very rich, and dramatic, blending seamlessly with the visuals.

The Sound (foley and background sounds) world in vibrant, and sound as if the sound depart captured the sound of actual cannon and pistol fire, and with many of  the sounds might have been very accurate replications.

In comparison to my musical Gloriana, as director to my own musical, I am not restricted in my creative decisions to another person as I work for myself. The musical Pallete I will person is stylistically more radical to the films, using heavy metal instruments and ska influences for me give the story more emotional representation of the atmosphere at hand, which are found in ‘To marry or not to marry’, and ‘Bull versus Lioness’, I do take more similar styles to the films with regards to ‘Ascension Complete’ and ‘Cousin under the Axe’. However, reasons to be being that I intend to makes different moods and musical genres, and do to what is available to me in terms of musicians available. Also I will be using Dialogue to support what is going on at times were there needs to be a explanation, with Narration and leitmotifs/themes will be key to glue Gloriana together.

Gloriana’s foley and backgrounds sounds will be much less, and more replicated sounds due keeping costs down, and for creative learning development of a personal library of sounds of my own.

Visually, the live-action films are beautiful, the Actress and actors are very believe-able, landscapes sets are awe inspiring, The props are great and the fashion are certainly fabulous. All aspects appear to be picked carefully, which whatever time was taken to achieve the standards the films set out, it was certainly achieved.

Gloriana’s visuals, will be different as it is animated, due to the struggles of collaboration without financial support, a sort of ‘D.I.Y’ drawn and ‘photoshoped’ artwork created by my parents and I will created, and use stop motion animation styles to help out. Using story boards will guide the direction visual of the project too. The animation is meant not to be perfect, but provide a quirky element to the story especially if drawn like the style of stain glass windows.

Conclusion

Overall, from my perspective, the films existing to tell the story of Elizabeth’s reign make great guides to support the visual aspects of Gloriana.

As far as Audio is concerned, musically I may not achieve the same standards of professionalism fully for having fully performed parts to my songs. The films do make good references to check when making my own sounds to replicate important sounds.

The historically stories used are naturally up to the directer to how he or she interprets, much like as historians do to make a claim of something they believe has happened, so it is important really to justify such claims, well evidenced features of history like for example Elizabeth’s entourage, or something it is open for debate, like Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mary queen of Scots or William Byrd’s Origins.

This therefore, is matter of own research that leads directors or project managers to unique was of telling a story through any creative medium, whether due to limitations, creative and personal choices to simply the sources of information you have to base your work on.

Although Gloriana’s purpose is to entertain, but also to educate a balanced perspective.

It is worth noting that the films do appear to show a element of bias-ness, with regards to the way the Philip II is portrayed and his relationship to Elizabeth directly, due to the fact he appears to wanting to kill Elizabeth, and viewed as being evil, through with my research, I want to portray Philip to be forced to act to defeat Elizabeth, and the conflict to occur due to extrinsic events with both sides hand’s are forced.

Bibliography

Click ——-> Case Study background research for about Elizabeth Films of 1998 and 2007

 

 

 

 

Animation Inspiration

Over the course of the making of Gloriana so far, much support has been provided by many sources, for both Audio and Visuals.

Initially before much support from people of other disciplines in the School of Digital media in University. I recognised that for my own future career and a composer/musician, versatility is vital. The facilities in the university has been able to help me develop to be versatile.

As of which before working on Gloriana, I was aware of a pitfall to my own music, I have no visual elements, I believed by learning the tools and skills that are necessary enough, I can become self sufficient for my future out of University (as well as my last remaining years).

My parents (who were eager to help out -honest!-) and myself were discussing of making ‘D.I.Y’ Animations of our own basing it on the concepts of use of Victorian toy theatres as a visual ‘vehicle’ in selling my own music much to the professional standards as presented currently.

Also with the help of the research phase that was done early after the project commenced, Artwork of the various characters, events and objects of importance was taken into account to inform all aspects of the team in making Gloriana.

Click on the following link ——>   The History used in Gloriana

For Visuals, initially for support, I have Kylie Boon (Film Technician) shown me how to use Adobe Premier and Adobe Aftereffects, she had also provided me with inspiration I can study, which were:

 

 

 

Lately over the Christmas holidays, my dad (Paul Langston) and I have discovered another advert of inspiration to follow. The 2013 John Lewis Christmas advert:

 

 

In response to our inspiration, we believe we can do a similar approach to the design of the stage and props, using Photoshop. The animation would follow suit to similar style of stop motion animation, however, it will be treated like a performance of the props, recorded and tweaked using adobe premier, with the support of adobe Aftereffects when replicating special effects like fire, and cannon fire and impacts.