Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Ash Fry

For those that give a monkey heres the lyrics for HEY NEGRITA - COLD

please dont try and sing along!

Jump right in a bitter taste
i just cant spit you out
ive been poisoned to the gum
for so long

this train dont stop for crying
and the beast is moving on
i been howling round the gates
until hes gone

with the smell of desperation
keeps the flies right off your shoes
addictions just a hook that reels em in

cos your way to cold
for me to lean on
and im way to bummed?
to let you in

yeah your way to cold
for me to lean on
and im way to tired
to satisfy your mind

so long babe
id like to say
its better now were through
but the fever in my veins
keeps burning on

your tears just feed the angels
that your smile could never free
ive been locked inside the dream
for so long

im dying to remember
im drinking to forget
the night is all that keeps me holding on

cos your way to cold
for me to lean on
and im way to bummed?
to let you in

yeah your way to cold
for me to lean on
and im way to tired
to satisfy your mind

(alright gimmi some love)

place your bets
pull up your shades
take a long hard look around
the ghosts that kept you here
theve moved along

and now your full of spit and anger
so your fighting back the tears
but the walls that hold em in
are falling down

and the girls in new york city
they dont do nothing any more
silence just as heavy
as your dreams

cos your way to cold
for me to lean on
and im way to bummed?
to let you in

yeah your way to cold
for me to lean on
and im way to tired
to satisfy your mind

(last chance)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

TUTOR REPLY to Nick pretender comparison

Can you provide a link to the video you are comparing...in fact just embed it straight into this blog.

Why animate the band just playing? Well for one it is now cheaper to do so than to hire a sound stage, film crew, lighting technicians etc etc.

The reason a music video is usually told via animation, is because you can stretch the boundaries, than you would with live action. For example, Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, an animated film about an intergaltic band using the duo’s music. That’s probably why the Hey Negrita vid was animated, to easily show the carnage and comedy inflicted upon the zombies?

Bold statement there Nick. I can tell you that I have not seen it, but it may well be a contributing factor for why Hey Negrita chose animation. Considering the huge number of zombie films in live action outweighing those made in animation, is it clear cut why animation was chosen as a medium? What does animation allow in this instance which live action would not? What are the down sides of using animation, especially from the client perspective?

When comparing the two, it would have boon good for the comparisons to be less literal and focus on what those differences might mean and the impact on the audience.
There is plenty written about animation, its use and audience perception. Propoganda(educational) films are good place to start.
Since this was an animated film, was there anything about the film which made it particularly suitable to this medium?


Are there any examples where the film does give the origins of the zombies? What are the similarities between 28 days and return of the living dead with regards to their providing a back story? Do they explain anything or just gloss over the improbable enough to get things rolling?

You claim the audience becomes more interative in a short form works if we are left to our own conclusions. What is this based on? What studies have been done to conclude this? How does this differ to long form works? What makes us less engaged compared to short form? Is there a point where short form becomes long form and this audience interaction becomes less likely?

I like your suggestions for providing back story. The chemicals is a classic format for explaining the situation. This plays on peoples ignorance of chemistry...maybe there are chemicals that can do this. I suspect the audience are going to be less inclined to accept that music would have this affect. There is a lot of research of literature on how music affects people so it might be good to have a look into that area further and armed with that knowledge, how successful this genre was with the music we were given. This will further allow you to come up with a more suitable proposal for your version of the music video...in theory.
On a slightly similar subject, there are a few popular science books by people like Michael Shermer which focus on the subject of why people believe the stuff they do. This might offer up some suggestions for how to best sell a narrative. What is it people need for a story to survive?

The setting is surely only superficially different from Romero? The premise is the same at the core. A small cluster of people trapped with no obvious escape route. The classic zombie films of the past had other limiting factors such as budget and resources.
Would the zombie genre work without this elements of being trapped?

You claim that zombie films typically have an antagonist whose ultimately responsible for the failure to survive. How does this claim fit in with Negrita? Does it fit, if not, how does this affect the story?

What is the significance of your observations that zombies through the decades have gotten quicker? What production benefit is there for slow moving zombies which might have contributed to that being a choice for zombie flicks in the 70's?
Compare this to other films which play with the fear reaction of the audience. Is it merely a creative decision to have zombies feel like a slow moving unstoppable force? Like 'The Blob'. How do they get round the relatively slow speed of the spiders in 'arachnaphobia'? If zombies are slow and stupid, how are they scary?

Right track.

TUTOR REPLY to Dan/Carrie/Nina

That is fine that feel explanation is needed, but I need to see that you have tried to unravel why that is the case. What films have you looked at which supports your claim? Any texts read which brought you to this conclusion?
If your claims can be supported by comparing to other works, are the works which contradict your claim? If so, why are they less valid?
Also, with regards your comments about a faster pace being required, how would this have affected the limitations of creating video to support the audio? Are there any examples of strong contrast in pace of visuals to audio and what is the effect?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Hey Negrita vs. The Pretender

I am comparing the first Hey Negrita zombie video to the Foo Fighter’s Pretender (2007), the reason being that both videos start with an introduction to the band members, and begins ordinarily enough, but change via the middle and the end.

In the Hey Negrita vid, it appears that the band are doing a gig on a boat to an audience we can’t fully see, because they are in the shadows! These shadowy figures then reveal themselves to be zombies! This is good because we don’t really expect this. Watching this as one of the public, you would originally assume it would be a rather uninteresting animated music video in terms of storytelling. Instead, maybe expecting it to be another production showing the band taken from various shots and different timings to keep us enthralled in the group’s performance!

Of course, that does happen in live action, but there would be no need for this in an animated video! Why waste time and resources on animating a band who just stand there and play their instruments?

The reason a music video is usually told via animation, is because you can stretch the boundaries, than you would with live action. For example, Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003), an animated film about an intergalatic band using the duo’s music. That’s probably why the Hey Negrita vid was animated, to easily show the carnage and comedy inflicted upon the zombies?


The Pretender is live action, and it begins with what appears to be band practice, within a giant white room. Opposite the band is a shadowy area; while behind them is a big red wall. The video cuts quickly as the tempo increases, about every two seconds.


After about a minute and 20 seconds, a man in full riot gear steps out of the shadows. He stares at the band, but does nothing. After another minute, more riot personnel turn up, all standing watching the band, but nothing wayward happens. Another minute passes, and the riot squad lower visors and prepare for battle! After about 30 seconds, they charge towards the band that appears oblivious to their predicament. They are hugely outnumbered!

Dave Grohl (lead singer) screams into the mic, and the red wall shatters behind him, spilling forth waves of crimson liquid, washing away the Riot squad!!!

Though very different, both videos carry the same formula, a band playing, but there is something that opposes them, hiding within the shadows!!! Both videos have a good use of anticipation.

Also, depending on the tempo of the song, there is usually a certain amount of shots to accommodate the videos. The Pretender was 4minutes and 30 seconds long, and used about 220 shots, while the Negrita vid was 3minutes and 10 seconds, yet used just under a hundred shots.



DAILYMOTION. Foo Fighters - The Pretender (Video Premiere). [online]. Available at:


[Accessed 19 October 2009].

GOOGLE, 2009. Daft Punk - Interstella 5555. [online]. Available at:


[Accessed 19 October 2009].

FOO FIGHTERS, 2007. The Pretender. The Pretender. CD. Roswell/RCA

Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, 2003. Film. Directed by Kazuhisa TAKENOUCHI. JAPAN/FRANCE: Toei Animation

Zombie Narrative!!!

Sometimes I believe you need to give a hint to the origins of zombies, though in George A. Romero’s Living Dead series, he doesn’t give the exact details of why people are becoming zombified! Via the use of television broadcasts, there are the assumptions that the epidemic is caused either by radiation from a space probe, or the reason that there is no more room in hell, thus the dead will walk the earth!!!

Through his films, none of these theories are proven but are merely theoretical, so really he doesn’t show the beginnings of the zombie plague, while films such as 28 Days Later (2002) and Return of the Living Dead (1985) do in those aspects. Maybe, because these are more modern than Romero’s series, we as an audience need proven evidence of why people are becoming infected?

Music videos and shorts have even less screen time than films, so it seems a waste of time to create a back-story, when you can leave the audience jumping to their own conclusions…it makes us become more interactive with the piece.

What if the boat the film is set on, is transporting a chemical weapon, which leaks and contaminates the crew, or one of the passengers is already infected before boarding? How about the group’s music is what transforms normal peeps into zombies? A few examples of what I’ve devised, but this could go on. Each person has a different mindset, so they can create their own back-stories.

The Negrita videos work well individually as stories, but also work well together as a trilogy, and from these we can see the story is a small part of a bigger picture…worldwide contamination maybe?


The setting for the video is different from usual zombie flicks, because it is set upon a boat…a mode of transport, different to Romero’s settings - a farmhouse, a mall, a military base and a city enforced by martial law. In his series, the world’s population is struggling to survive in this new world order, but how did the infection cross the seas? Negrita portrays this via the boat reaching land, and the zombies advancing towards the populated town!

Talking of endings, a proper zombie flick is not one unless it has a ‘bad’ ending! It has to tell the story of a protagonist struggling for survival through whatever means necessary, only for them to reach an obstacle at the end, which prevents this from happening! For example, being shot in the head by mercenaries (Night of the Living Dead, 1968) or running out of fuel for your helicopter (Dawn of the Dead, 1978). Day of the Dead (1985) ruined this formula by first giving us a ‘bad’ ending where the protagonist died brutally, only to wake from her nightmare on a beach!!!

In the first two Negrita vids, they end with uncertainty. Do they kill their infected friend, or does he kill them? In the third vid, you discover that all the band members have become zombies, so it wraps it up nicely, but the first two videos make you wonder about the outcome.

The usual formula of a good zombie film is about Average Joes each with their own flaws fighting for survival. They are people we can easily relate to, rather than politicians, military personnel, etc, etc. Usually in the group there is always an antagonist, who only cares about themself, and will oppose the group’s decisions. This person will eventually bring catastrophe upon their colleagues, via their own stupidity and is usually the guy who would be the first to suggest killing their infected ‘friend.’ Satisfyingly for the audience, the antagonist will usually meet a gruesome demise!

Romero’s series is different to the Negrita vids, because though Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead continue the story of Night of the Living Dead, they are about different characters, while Negrita uses the same characters. Negrita is a proper trilogy.

If the Negrita videos are supposed to represent decades of cinematography from the 70’s to 90’s, then I believe this is achieved. The first film is made with a grainy quality and the zombies are dumb and slow, but by the last film, the quality is higher, and the zombies are more menacing and quicker than their earlier counterparts!


28 Days Later, 2002. Film. Directed by Danny BOYLE. UK: Fox Searchlight Pictures

DAILYMOTION. Hey Negrita:Zombie Long form. [online]. Available at:


[Accessed 19 October 2009].

Dawn of the Dead, 1978. Film. Directed by George A. ROMERO. USA: United Film Distribution Company

Day of the Dead, 1985. Film. Directed by George A. ROMERO. USA: United Film Distribution Company

Night of the Living Dead, 1968. Film. Directed by George A. ROMERO. USA: The Walter Reade Organization

Return of the Living Dead, 1985. Film. Directed by Dan O'BANNON. USA: Orion Pictures Corporation

Don’t know if I’m the right track? - Nick

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Back to Video 1

In response to your questions regarding the set up of why its nessasary to establish the Zombie's origin, we feel that in the first video it's unclear at first that zombies are even involved. It took each of us quite a few times watching through to realise that a zombie pulled the plug. An action which is supposedly the first plot point. Should it then not be made entirely clear as it is an integral part of the narrative.

We agree that perhaps it is not nesessary to establish the initial reason for an outbreak but it is however seemingly important to show the plague spreading or atleast show that there are zombie like creatures in the room with the band.

We realise that shock and suprise are important aspects of any horror genre but if your aim was to create this by leaving it unclear at first that there are zombies involved then surely a slightly faster paced introduction would be appropriate. Perhaps with a cut to a zombie behind a band member that we would not have realised before?

-Dan, Carrie, Nina

Monday, 19 October 2009

More foods for your thoughts - Tutor Response

Some nice points coming through but I think you are being a bit slack with the referencing.
If someone else wants to investigate the merit of your claims you ought to specify the time code within the films being referenced.
Did you manage to track down any texts of a psychological nature which might provide theories for how the 'boo effect' might work and how it might be applied? or is this purely down to your observations? if so, what other story telling devices are being employed to deliver the punch? how is the scene set?
The film could start with showing the zombies rising, it could also start in many other ways. what is the justification for needing to see the zombies before the reveal? is it obvious that the band are playing to zombie before the reveal after the power goes out? if not, does that matter? isnt the purpose of of the reveal to present the audience with a surprise, given the context of this film being a music video, are audience expectations only that the band will perform the song on stage?
Could your altenative be delivered in the proposed 20 seconds? can you list examples of where this has been done? it doesnt have to be the same genre?

in return of the living dead they go to great length to explain where the zombies came from. i agree that it is not explained in the trilogy you are looking at, but why is this important? considering the films explaining the zombie origins is a minority(which you havnt evidenced) does this explanation prevent the film from working? what is it about other zombie films which allows the story to work despite this lack of explanation?
Can you provide examples of other 80s splatter horror which you are drawing your comparisons?
You mention evil dead, but what specifically is it that your are refering to as a similarity?
You state that all the band are equally infected in film 2, but is that true?
again, more general referencing to 'films of the period' but no mention of specifics or why they are relevent. might be nice to see what films you are referencing for this conclusion.

With film three you mention the obligatory sexploitation but was this something associated with modern day zombie films? was this used in earlier films? which films support this claim, but importantly, which films challenge this claim?

do zombie films have to end on a bad note? why? any examples?

return of the living dead is cyclic. but how does night of the dead end? dawn? day? planet terror?

but it might be cool to investigate some films on the fringe of what might be considered zombie. what is it that at the core of zombie film genre?

do films about virus count? if not why? what about end of days type films? what about invasion of the body snatchers?

at what point does a zombie film stop being a zombie film and become something else?

Analysis No.02 Response to Adam Comisky

Response to Video 01

Continuing with the discussion on atmosphere in the first film we all realise the motivation for the screen being unclear / harder to see is to allow the audience to contentrate harder. When something shocking happens the impact is twice as strong. We noticed this technique in lots of films, mainly recent ones such as '28 Days Later' where the camera shows glimpses of movement drawing the auidence's attention to try find the source.
The same can be found in Planet Terror where a scene with very little light, set in the dark on the side of a road, the audience pays closer attention to try and see what's going on so when a car light glares and a zombie jumps in and snatches a victim the shock is greater.

Taking into consideration of the 3 minute time restriction the film could of started by showing the zombies rising, then cut to the band members. The reason could simply be the band member's music waking them up? or just one up which in turn infects the other crew members (sailors). This could be shown in 10-20 seconds?
In other zombie films, majority of the time it starts with a small number of infected that bite, spreading the zombie plague e.g. Dawn of the Dead, Return of the living dead, Shaun of the dead, Planet Terror etc.
We've found there is often no explanaition as to why the original carriers have the zombie plague, it merely spreads from them by contamtination of some kind, be it bite, fumes, mixing of bodily fluids etc. So it may not be necassary to establish the initial cause of outbreak on the ship.

As for mentioning the 2nd video i did'nt state it clearly hence the confusion. Mearly linking the change of character/action through the videos.

Breakdown Video 02 - 80s/90s Era

Its really apparent that a comdey / over the top element influenced this video. For example with the character that gushes projectile blood from his mouth, mimicking the movement of a harmonica player which alludes to 80's "Splatter Horror". Another is the chasing montage where the band are constantly running in different directions in a way that's reminiscent of Scooby Doo. There is also a bit more of action film genre elements in this video, such as the end seen with the harpoon. We believe the video drew influences from films like "Evil Dead" where gore and ridiculous situations occur frequently throughout. We need only mention the chainsaw arm replacement.
We feel the video just consists of chasing scenes where the band members are all eventually infected. So plot wise not much happens? This could be a reflection of the period, zombie films were attempted by all, plots were minimal and gore was the monumental factor. This era defined zombie films as 'Custard Pie slap-stick gore'.

Breakdown Video 03 - 00s Era

Low camera angles and awkward cuts alluding to more recent films. Movement is more jerky and sharp and the action is a lot faster paced. Zombies sprint just as fast or in some cases faster than the poor victims they're after. This refelects most of the modern zombie films e.g. 28 weeks later. Obligatory sexploitation, the victim of the last film is a woman. However, despite serving this role she is less exposed than those that served this purpose in zombie films passed. She is the modern version much like female characters in films such as Shaun of the Dead.
In the end everyone is infected and the plague of zombies moves on towards "Town", a more populated area where it is implied more will join the legions of the undead. This is the typical apocolyptic end which features in most zombie films, the growing infection which has no silver lining, no way out and could therefore be coming to a town near you. This type of ending makes the audience more involved in the film and leaves the next possible events in the story to the audiences imagination. We believe the ending for this video fufills the zombie genre's criteria.

- Carrie, Dan and Nina

Sunday, 18 October 2009

TUTOR: Response to Nina Brewin

i think for now im going to skip by the aesthetic observations and focus on your comments on the narrative.
that said, what impact on the atmosphere does making the audience look harder at the screen create? i suspect i know what your initial gut response to this question might be, but look at other films and see if there is text supporting that theory.
there are plenty of videos on youtube which are designed to 'boo' you, and they nearly all have grainy low fi footage of not much going on forcing you to concentrate.
the knocking the plug out of the wall event is rightly identified as the first plot point...this upsets their world and changes the status quo. but you need to look beyond direct comparisons to just a single zombie film. how does this plot point differ from plot points from films of other genres? if at all?
how might the narrative have gone if we needed to establish the 'how' the zombies came to be? try to be midful of the 3 minute film restrictions when considering this. how do other zombie films set this situation up?
and then you drift off into video 2. was this intentional or did you get confused?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Hey Negrita Video 1 Analysis - Nina Brewin

From the initial few seconds of the video we have the settings established and everything seems fine as the band members continue to play~ With the worn , old film look filtered over the top i get the impression this is meant to be set during the earlier Zombie films, but the same technique is used over the other videos making it harder to define the era of each film? Perhaps it was used to to help set the atmosphere giving the audience the sense of the film being decrepit, old and dirty. Maybe even mysterious since the shadows are very heavy, this is reminiscent of Zombie films throughout, making the audience look harder at the screen to define whats happening.

We then see one of the characters knock the plug out of the wall causing the lights to go out thats when all chaos is let lose. This is another recurring factor in Zombie films, a character will somehow start or be the key to the rising of Zombies, like in Return of the Living dead where Frank is the direct cause for releasing them. Now knocking a plug out of a wall isn't directly a cause for the zombies so it might of been nice to give a reason for why the zombies were there in the first place?
The Zombies go by their traditional stereotype of being slow and unintelligent~ The Zombie's do and don't keep to the rule of,

'The only way to stop a zombie is a well placed head shot. (Hammer, ice-pick, gun, axe, etc.)'

When we first see the singer beat them up, yes some are still alive and crawling while others just disappear and are assumed dead? Or perhaps it could be made clearer?
But then a character later retifies by attempting to kill his bitten friend with an axe?
Again an influence to Return of the Living Dead is apparent as one of the character's is bitten causing concern for the other band members.
I find this video does fill in the requirements for an 80s zombie era film, i guess it could of been more dramatised with the reason for the Zombie's existence or have a hoard of Zombies attacking instead of4/5?

Sunday, 11 October 2009