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.

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.

Final additions

While compiling the filming with the music, adding the blackout sections and a the effects to add at certain scenes.

I thought to myself about how I was going to present Gloriana on YouTube in comparison when I do the DVD, I believe that it is a good idea to have all four songs as a single music video/film, for Youtube as everyone will enjoy it as if it was like watching it in the Cinema.

The DVD will have both the full version and as well as the music videos desperately.

In order maybe to make the full version to work, I though of making intermission scenes, which in a real theatre, they would have intermissions as breaks for the audiences, making as if the performers are getting themselves ready the stage for the next song.

They are designed as a bit of fun, providing breaks from the seriousness of the music for both the audience and the viewers.

Intermission Scene 1:

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Figure 1. Intermission scene 1:  Showing The Caretaker acting and speaking like a support presenter or ‘MC’ for William Byrd. While having his mates, ‘The Y’olde Beatles’ performing.

 

Much like a supporting act to a main event, having a medieval band would of helped keep the audience (and the viewers!) entertained while the stage was being set up. Though other inspiration I have found, a medieval band which we could make as if they a medieval versions of the Beatles as a bit of fun.

I had made a short bit of music to last for the 20 to 30 seconds for what ‘The Y’olde Beatles would be playing.

The music I made is meant to be traditional medieval music (Through listening to William Byrd’s and other contemporary music of the time) as best as I can, comprising of a Acoustic guitar part (to represent a Lute) and a Violin (similar to the instrument shown). Also used a very low pitch piccolo sounds to replicate a Crumhorn, and a Church organ as use a traditional musical glue.

The music is in the Mixolydian mode of C to add a more medieval flavour, playing mostly bare (fifths or fourths) chords, with counter melodies though the short tune.

The bloke bending backwards would be athletic dancer to add to the act (no street dancing!).

 

Intermission scene 2:

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Figure 2. Intermission scene 2: A man dressed up as a soldier with a sword smacking a costumed creature suit containing to people acting like a minstrel centaur.

After the 2nd song, audience may fancy a laugh, so an act like this would have provided entertainment to looking for Slap stick comedic fun.

 

Intermission scene 3:

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Figure 3. Intermission scene 3: A game is presented to the audience, called who can withstand the smell the longest, consisting of farting Bull and a audience member, armed with a shield and sword with blunt edge with a cup around to place a lid over the bulls rear!

With all theatre and especially pantomimes, not much would top the previous acts without audience participation involved. Even the caretaker can’t stomach the fumes, which he decides to end the game quickly  to make way for the fourth and final song to begin.

 

 

Recording stage information learned and documented

From the beginning, it has always been the intention to record performers for Gloriana.

Collaboration other artists before Gloriana has been a mostly aggravating and uncomfortable endeavor, as they were mostly forced upon.  I believe in Gloriana although it did have it’s set backs, this project is the most successful to date in terms of collaboration. Not only each performer that was offered the choice were free to accept or reject, when they did accept, they generally did honour the promise, only motivated to help me by either being interested in the theme and concept of the project, expanding their own portfolio or both.

I have been fortunate that I did not have to pay for their time, which made the project very cost effective (only having to focus on transport to the university or to the performer’s preferred location, but primarily on paper for the visuals).

Each performer when accepted to be on board is issued with the following:

  • Notational Score of their parts, a T.A.B alternative for musicians, and a lyrics word document for singers/voice actors and actresses.
  • MP3 recordings of the songs applicable in full, a solo recording of the part, and backing track for the would-be recorded part

Although special requests had been put forward by performers, which I had adhered to ensure they do their part with ease and efficiency, some examples include:

  • Providing cleaner guitar tracks for Geoff Mock as he was struggling to decipher the main VST guitar part sound I had used.
  • For Sally Llewellyn, I shockingly, by her request sang the parts I wanted her to sing.

It is always important as the collaborators to make the job easier for each other, it is certainly not wise to upset someone who has offered to help you and for free, and take a keen interest in the project.

I have over the many weeks during this stage done research into all the performers in learning how to record the performers effectively, documenting my thoughts and how the day of recording went and what I ended up using.:

Another Word document was created to keep track of the number of roles I have to do to record, what are the requirements, who have offered, and who is confirmed to have delivered: