DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

The Beatles and The Birth of The Music Video

Today’s instant pop phenomenon world makes it difficult to comprehend just how incredibly popular The Beatles really were.

But no musical act of any kind has ever been bigger, had such a lasting and far-reaching impact – and nobody has since generated the incredible excitement that The Beatles did during 1964, when they exploded onto the American scene. The group’s stranglehold on American musical tastes was powerful and immediate; at one point during 1964, the band charted four of the Top Ten singles being played on the radio. The Beatles were everywhere.


Innovative director Richard Lester brought “The Fab Four” to the big screen in 1964.

Music and Film
The Beatles were not only omnipresent in every form of media of the day, but they were also re-inventing every form of media – like no other artist before them. It was inevitable that The Beatles would star in a feature film. The band’s first movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was the group’s best. It was also a ground-breaking mixture of music and film and what many consider to be one of the inspirations for modern music videos. A Hard Day’s Night remains a cinematic treasure – not only because it was an inside look at early Beatlemania, but it brought music and pop star images together in an entirely unique way. This was all presented as a superb comedy loaded with fresh cinematic ideas all courtesy of director, Richard Lester.


The Beatles were huge celebrities when filming began. The crowd chasing The Beatles at the railway station at the beginning is made up of real fans actually chasing the Fab Four. The scene was recently recreated for the opening of The Beatles Rock Band videogame.


Paul McCartney greets a fan during the filming of Hard Day’s Night.

A Hard Day’s Night took the film world by surprise. No one had any idea it would be that good. Critics were stunned, and reviews almost completely positive. Critic Roger Ebert noted the film’s long-standing influence. “Today when we watch TV,” he wrote, “And see quick cutting, hand-held cameras, interviews conducted on the run with moving targets, quickly intercut snatches of dialogue, music under documentary action and all the other trademarks of the modern style, we are looking at the children of A Hard Day’s Night.” Suffice it to say that anyone interested in learning how to make music videos really must see this film.

Director Richard Lester is one “old school” director who would have probably felt right at home in today’s fast-paced cinema. His work on A Hard Day’s Night suggests he would have loved the flexibility and freedom that Final Cut Pro X offers. Many of today’s most respected filmmakers, such as the Coen brothers (True Grit) and Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather), have spent time learning how to use Final Cut Pro. Apple’s Final Cut software is both flexible and easy to use.

The Beatles have always been at the cutting edge of media, if they were still making films and videos today they’d be most likely making music videos and producing them using state-of the-art editing software like Final Cut.

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posted by DMA Jordan in Digital Music Production,News Blog and have No Comments

Computer Training: A Great Learning Experience at Digital Media Academy

Written by Tyler Winick of the John Lennon Bus

The Digital Media Academy (DMA) is a nationally-recognized organization offering hands-on learning experiences in a broad range of digital media technologies. DMA offers summer camps for kids and teens and “Pro-Series” courses for adult-learners. Founded in 2002 by a group from Stanford University, DMA is best known for its premier summer programs hosted at 18 prestigious destination campuses, such as Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of Chicago – just to name a few. In addition to its summer programs, DMA provides on-site training to schools and companies and offers workshops throughout the year at its training facility in Campbell, CA.

I had a great learning experience with DMA!

I had the pleasure of taking some DMA courses last winter and can honestly say that it was an amazing and valuable experience. I learned so much so quickly and was able to immediately apply my knowledge in the classroom and in the field with the John Lennon Bus. For more information you can visit digitalmediaacademy.org

dma-team-big

john lennon educational tour bus

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have Comments (2)

Digital Photography Lesson : Tips from DMA Pros with Aperture

Written by Jeff Sobel of the John Lennon Bus

In my last post I talked about the saturation and vibrancy adjustments in Aperture 2.  I mentioned that these powerful tools are great when you want to adjust the color in the entire image but not a good solution for selectively adjusting color in only parts of the image.  Aperture provides an often overlooked tool which is fantastic for making these types of selective adjustments.  It’s the Dodge and Burn plugin and it can be found in the Images>Edit With> menu as seen in the screen grab below:

aperture_dodge_and_burn_menu_thumb

Though Dodge and Burn is included with Aperture 2 it is actually a plugin so when you select it in the menu your image opens up in a new window.  It’s much like sending the image to an external editor except that it’s more tightly integrated with Aperture.  The name Dodge and Burn comes from the darkroom technique of using a card to dodge (lighten) or burn (darken) select areas of a photo print while it is in the chemical bath to manipulate the exposure of the photograph.  The Dodge and Burn plugin in Aperture 2 allows you to do the same thing with your mouse, no noxious chemicals required.  The great thing about the D&B plugin is that it not only allows you to adjust light/dark but a half-dozen other effects as well, including saturation (see screen grab below).
dodge_and_burn_menu_2

 

By playing with this tool you’ll quickly learn how to manipulate the color saturation in certain areas of your image while leaving other areas in their natural state (or manipulating those areas in a different way).  Here are some examples (all images can be clicked to embiggen).

I took some photos at a friend’s wedding last year.  They were married in Golden Gate Park and the grass and trees were a vibrant green.  I found that even though I had a fairly shallow depth of field that threw the background out of focus the vibrant color of the plants was distracting the eye from the important parts of the image (the bride and groom!).  
mukh_1_thumb wedding photo edit

I wanted to reduce the saturation of the plants and people behind my subjects to separate the bride and groom from the background.  However, I couldn’t simply reduce the saturation in the whole image because I certainly didn’t want to take away from the bride’s amazing gown.  So I turned to the Dodge and Burn plugin.  Using the Desaturate setting I ‘painted’ desaturation onto the background.  It took a little time but I loved the results:
wedding photo edit 2

By applying the same effect to all the photos a consistent look can be achieved which can really tie an album together (much like a good rug ties the room together).  Here are a few more examples of using the Dodge and Burn plugin to desaturate the background while leaving the subjects vibrant:

Before: 
Wedding Photo Before being Edited
After:
 After Editing the Photograph

Now here’s one final example that has a similar look but was produced using a slightly different method.  Instead of using the D&B plugin to desaturate the background in this photograph I first reduced the color by adjusting the saturation and vibrancy sliders in Aperture:
Before Editing Photo in Apeture

Then I sent the image to the Dodge and Burn plugin and using the Saturate setting I added color back into the photograph by carefully painting the bride’s dress and the flower lei each is wearing.
After Editing the Photo in Apeture

Spend some time with the Dodge and Burn plugin and I think you’ll find it can do some interesting things to your photographs.  These are the same techniques you will learn in this summer’s Digital Photography and Photoshop courses at Digital Media Academy.

Or, you can learn Photoshop with DMA on a Final Cut Pro and Photoshop Cruise this summer! Learn more about DMA on the Sea!

dma on the sea : final cut pro and photoshop cruise

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Make a Music Video at Film Camp this Summer! John Lennon Bus

Written by Brian Rothschild of the John Lennon Bus 

Experience the ultimate music video summer camp.  Bring your imagination, and leave with the skills you need to create professional music and video projects with ease, from start to finish. The Lennon Bus has teamed up with the Digital Media Academy to provide a new course based on the techniques taught daily on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. Using the latest audio, video and music gear, you’ll work with a diverse group of talented students and professionals to edit and create original music and videos. Make beats, write a song, record audio, shoot video, edit like the pros and author your own DVD. No experience needed; this course is for anyone interested in learning the basics of music and video creation.

Making a Music Video

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Get Creative with a Music Video! Learn How at This Film Camp

Make a creative music video that will make you famous!

Come take film courses this summer at DMA! Be sure you are learning from the best! DMA has also teamed up with The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to offer a Music Video Production course! You will learn the skills you need to make the perfect music video. As I always say… the only limit is your creativity! Here are a few famous music videos to get your creativity flowing….

….Ever heard of Ok Go?

How can anyone forget this famous music video from the band Ok Go – “Here We Go Again”? This music video went viral and took the internet by storm. The band didn’t include the normal drums, guitar and bass you’d expect. Instead, the rock band turned in their instruments for treadmills. With over 45,321,935 views on YouTube, you know this music video made this band famous.  httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI

….The White Stripes get creative in their music videos!

The White Stripes always seem to stretch the creative boundaries in their music videos. This is such a creative example of combining technical filming and editing skills with a truly original idea. The video becomes more complex and interesting with each beat! httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLESpHrtvxs
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Here is another amazing White Stripes music video made with Legos! This is crazy creative. How much time do you think this could possibly take? Find out this summer!  httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRDi67G0Siw

 

Get a Certification from DMA: Game Design, Maya, Film, Web Design

http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org

 

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have Comment (1)

Make a Music Video at Film Camp this Summer!

Want to learn how to make amazing music videos?

Come to DMA Film Camp this summer! Learn how to shoot film on HD cameras, record and edit audio samples, mix the video and audio together, and produce a complete music video!

The band Coldplay continues to come out with innovative and very creative music videos. Almost everyone can remember the music video created for their song “The Scientist” in 2003. This movie was very interesting since the entire movie appeared to be shot in reverse. The music video won three MTV music awards for the video’s reverse narrative effect. 

One of Coldplay’s newest music singles is “Life in Technicolor ii”. This is such an entertaining and fun music video. This is just another example of what you can do with your film skills and some good creativity. Get inspired, and we’ll see you at DMA Film Camp this summer!

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Here is Coldplay’s award-winning music video from 2003, ”The Scientist”    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmjPrdTNxQ0

View all DMA Teen Summer Camps and Film Camps

Music Video Production Course with The John Lennon Bus

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have Comment (1)