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Rbmusicvideoanalysis Rbmusicvideoanalysis Presentation Transcript

  • R&B Music Video Analysis
  • After choosing our track for the music video, Love Song by Ameerah, I decided to do some analysis of current music videos. This will enable me to be aware of the general conventions of a music video, which i can later apply and challenge when making my own. Additionally, by looking at R&B videos in particular as this is the genre of my song, I will be able to familiarise myself with what is expected and commonly shown. The following sides show a few of the music videos I analysised, in total 4, along with their common convections with I have highlighted through capturing the specific moments in the video and an ending summary of traits in the R&B genre.
  • Goodwins Theory Goodwins theory of music video analysis falls under these six points: 1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (e.g. stage performance , dance routine for boy/girl band). 2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). 3. There is a relationship between music and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). 4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style). 5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. 6. There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc). With these point is in mind I analysied the following music videos:
  • Videos that I analysised in depth As mentioned before, after watching numerous music videos, here are the main videos that I decided to focus on in terms of finding out the general conventions of an R&B video. I have chosen these four as they sound most similar to our song (the tempo and narrative) I will be creating the video for: <<<Alicia Keys- No one I chose this song as my first analysis as the song talks about the artist having strong feelings for someone and not letting anyone get in the way. This relates to our song, which mentions ‘your the air I breathe and I can’t live without you’. This video is performance based Mariah Carey- We Belong Together>>> This second music video narrative is about a broken relationship, however the artist id declaring her love for her ex partner. similiar to our song ‘even though we fuss and fight, i swear i’ll never leave you’. This video is both performance and narratively based
  • Videos that I analysised in depth As mentioned before, after watching numerous music videos, here are the main videos that I decided to focus on in terms of finding out the general conventions of an R&B video. I have chosen these four as they sound most similar to our song (the tempo and narrative) I will be creating the video for: <<<Alicia Keys- No one I chose this song as my first analysis as the song talks about the artist having strong feelings for someone and not letting anyone get in the way. This relates to our song, which mentions ‘your the air I breathe and I can’t live without you’. This video is performance based Mariah Carey- We Belong Together>>> This second music video narrative is about a broken relationship, however the artist id declaring her love for her ex partner. similiar to our song ‘even though we fuss and fight, i swear i’ll never leave you’. This video is both performance and narratively based
  • Videos that I analysised in depth As mentioned before, after watching numerous music videos, here are the main videos that I decided to focus on in terms of finding out the general conventions of an R&B video. I have chosen these four as they sound most similar to our song (the tempo and narrative) I will be creating the video for: <<<Alicia Keys- No one I chose this song as my first analysis as the song talks about the artist having strong feelings for someone and not letting anyone get in the way. This relates to our song, which mentions ‘your the air I breathe and I can’t live without you’. This video is performance based Mariah Carey- We Belong Together>>> This second music video narrative is about a broken relationship, however the artist id declaring her love for her ex partner. similiar to our song ‘even though we fuss and fight, i swear i’ll never leave you’. This video is both performance and narratively based
  • <<<Beyonce- Halo The lyrics of this song deals with a woman who has had problems with her previous relationships, and she explains that she has trouble trusting men. However, we meets a someone who has changed her views on love and trust. This video is narrative based and dance routine based Usher ft Alicia Key-My Boo>>> Like our song, this track deals with a relationship that may be long distance, and despite being famous, the two people in the narrative do not let that get in the way of their love. This video is narrative based
  • No one - Alicia Keys : directed by Justin Francis 2007 1 The music video commences with the close up of what we later find out to be a gear. This is the first motif in this video, as throughout extreme close ups of this image appear. Fades link these shots, and continue throughout the whole song, creating a delicate feel which fits the beat of the song and the lyric. This is also being used by the directors to sell the artist soft persona. The subtle fades also make it feel as though you are blinking as and thinking about the music as Alicia Keys sings centre framed directly to the camera via a medium close up: typical of an R&B music video 2 The audience is initially introduced to the artist, who is sitting in the middle of a 5 bare room with sophisicated deco, including big windows which allows loads of light 1 to flow onto the artist. This is quite typical of this genre as it focuses the viewers attention on the singer as r&b is very much focused on the artist, explaining the simple and minimal use of mise en scene and scenery. Simultaneously it helps create an angelic image of Alicia Keys who is known as being quite admirable 3 There are many medium close ups in the song as we focus once again on the artist and what she is singing, while long shots in between is used to show her figure, a selling point for many female r&b artists, as it is typical of them to appear sexy. There 6 is minimal make-up, which is quite soft in order to continue the soothing theme of the song 2 4 This establishing shot reveals to the audience that the video is based around the idea of Alicia Keys being on difference sets, a concept of this video as although she is in four different sceneries her love is still the same towards the person she is singing about 5 Close- ups of the artist, which her lips almost in centre screen and her eyes looking straight at the camera makes the viewer feel like the artist is singing directly at them. This encourages of relationship to be built up directly between the artist and 7 3 the viewer, which is important in promoting the artist as it will cause them buy into the artists material as they get more familiar with her 6 This sets mise en scene has instruments, another recurring theme which is quite often associated with this highly musically sophisicated artist , in the background that are included in the song creating a band feel, even though it is just her in the room- highlighting she is a solo artist. Her costume has changed to be quite tight, and short revealing her figure 7 A close up of her playing the keyboard emphasises what the Alicia Keys is known 8 for 4 8 The second motif during the song appears here first- a watch
  • 10 As the camera pans across the room, pass a silhouette of people dancing, we are directed to Alicia Keys who is against a wall. A group of dances in a music video of this genre is very typical as it helps to sell the song as it shows people enjoying the music, which unconsciously makes the listener enjoy the song since they the watching people having fun. The camera keeps switching between the two sets, which the pace of the edits and the duration of the shots (mostly quick at chorus to build up pace since audience already know what is said, to 9 longer duration shots for the verses to they can 13 concentration on what is going on)all at the same rate as the beat of the song 11 Again soft light is shining directly on the artist to make her stand out even in a crowded dark room. Low key lighting is used throughout to create a chiaroscuro effect, accentuating Alicia Keys in the frame. This is just one example of a high angle shot, which is commonly used throughout as she sings which could perhaps suggest that the song is greater than her. This also gives the audience as little power over the female artist, as if looking over her, creating a supportive attitude 14 10 towards her 12 The motif recurs 13 The final set in designed to be outside on a quite street. To match the lyrics we can see that it is raining. The idea of the piano follows 14 A birds eyes shot later brings us back to the scene with a group of people dancing Alicia Keys who is centre, and dancing. The camera zoom in on the crowd, making the 15 audience feel they are viewing something that is perhaps 11 private, making them feel priviliged, as if they have been invited in, therefore promoting the artist as being embracing to her fans 15 There are medium shots of her body throughout the video as she dances. This is a common convection is r&b videos as the artists are also known for the ways they present themselves and body image is very important when trying to sell the artist. During these shots the artist is quite flowly in her movement, emphasising her artist image of being gentle 12 16 16 To end, the camera zooms out to reveal the sets are contained in this gear shape, the recurring image, which could be of a clock
  • We Belong Together- Mariah Carey: directed by Brett Ratmer 2005 1 Audiences are introduced by a pan and long shot to a big house in what looks to be a well kept area. This is typical of the r&b genre, as people are normally portrayed as having big houses/cars, therefore being successful, another example is... 2 At first the audience is not sure of who the artist is, as we only see her feet, and the silk around her drop as she walks. The room is light, with no mise en scene except for curtains. This type of location 1 5 is typical for a r&b promotion video 3 The director then introduces us the who the artist os as she lie on a bed, with just covers covering her body. White is perhaps used to represent purity or innocence despite the fact that she is naked 4 Similarly to the Alicia Keys video, close ups are used throughout as the singer sings straight at camera, making a connection to the 2 viewer 6 5 The next room appears grand, continuing on with the theme, and there is minimal decoration- a fireplace, plants and neutral colours 6 The camera zooms into Mariah Carey who is sitting by her mirror (a common action) as she sings, and does her make- up. This is typical of how women are represented in r&b videos, spending time on their appearance. The mirror in particular could be used as it shows the artist reflecting on the lyrics, and as the artist herself 3 focuses on actual reflection, the audience is also obligied to do so 7 and pay attention to her appearance. 7 Close ups of her lips are used often throughout, which is centre screened 8 The artist again sings, in a bare room, shown by a close up of her face, putting all attention on her. Make- up is quite subtle and 4 8 typically, wind blows her hair making her appear delicate. This creates the stereotypical view of a female artist as being feminine
  • 9 We see a full shot of the artist sitting, in centre screen. This is done to show her body, in particular her legs and her pink silk long cut dress. This highlights her femininity, in particular her attractiveness, a common theme that the lyrics of and r&b song talks about 10 Like in many videos i have analysised, the artist in showering as they are singing. This could be done to show they are trying to 9 13 wash something, such as memories, or makes them appear pure 11 The make that the artist is singing about is introduced to us subtly through short clips of him walking (done with both long/ close ups) 12 As the narrative goes on, the audience later get to see that the singer is actually getting married, however she is still singing the song. Observely, most of the narrative is developed during the verses, while the perform is during the chorus. This could be done 10 14 to 13 Many close ups of the artists body is shown, however the top of the head is typically cut of instead of it being including in the frame 14 A flashback, shown in black and white, then justifies to the audience who the artist is singing about, as a rose is captured in the shot, symbolising love 15 A long shot of the artists body is occasionally used to show their figure. Again the room is bare and light, and she is dressed in 15 11 white so we focus on her 16 The song ends with tracking shots, following the artist and her lover as they run away from the scene of her wedding to another man Throughout fades, are used to link the quite long duration shots and are edited to the beat of the music, apart from the chorus with is quite. A dissolve is also used to create a faint transition 12 16
  • Halo- Beyonce: directed by Philip Adelman, 2009 1 2 3 4 1 The first shot fades in from black with a close up of the artists face. A bright light shines in from the window, a motif throughout, making her appear angelic and relates to the title of the song. Both the fade and spot light on the artist seem to be typical in a female r&b artist videos 2 A high angle shot of the artists partner in soon straight away in this song, as he sleeps 3 A recurring shot that is used often in this video is off Beyonce standing in front of her partner, as the light shines on her face, while their is a shadow on his. 4 Extreme close ups of them holding hands, and many similar shots throughout show them being intimate 5 A bare room is used with plenty of light coming in is where the artist later dances; minimism recurring 6 High angle shots of Beyonce dancing below shows her partner watching from above. 7 Another moment in shown of her being close to him as she plays with his hands 8 Like in the other videos I analyised, the artist’s lips are in centre frame as she sings. Most shots are linked by the motif, a flash of bright light to fade us the next shot 5 6 7 8
  • 9 10 11 12 9 , 13 &14 Throughout, more scenerios of them doing stuff together are shown, to represent their love as being quite strong, as they appear dependent an each other 10 Again, the shot is of them standing close together with her face lit up by the light, and his in silhouette 11 A point of view shot shows them lying down next to each other 12 There are often medium shots of the artists body as she dances 15 As the video is ending the artist is seen under water in a tight white dress. Typically in r&b, scenes are sometimes done under water as people swim as it is maybe seen as a graceful activity 16 Finally close ups are used as the two get closer together with light flooding in form the background Through the duration the camera appears to be shaky when it is filming the two standing together. This hand held camera makes it feel like you are actually there amongst them 16 13 14 15
  • My Boo- Usher Ft Alicia Keys: directed by Chris Robinson, 2004 1 The music video starts in a dark room with light coming from a lamp 2 The first artist, Usher is introduced to us almost immediately, with a pan shot, as lies on the sofa singing 3 The second artist is then shown an screen via a high angle, lying on a bed. The mise en scene consists of a chandelier, two lamps and neutral elegant decoration. 1 4 & 5 The camera then match cuts to clips of Alicia Keys, panning her body and up to her face at a level shot. This makes the audience feel that they are getting closer to the artist and actually scanning her body resembling the way they would if the artist was in front of them, while her costume, a red silk dress could be used as a symbol of love or seduction (which relates to the song). 6 As the artist sings in while looking in a mirror, this could be used to highlight the fact that her lyrics are a reflection on her love life and the picture on the mirror further stresses this as it shoes a moment of the two together 2 7&8 The camera continues to switch between the two and their are numerous close ups of Alicia Keys lips- a feature that many R&B music videos focus on. The male artist in the video is many in shadow, compared to the female which is normally in light. This could be a representation that females are the main subject in videos 3 4 5 6 7 8
  • 9 10 11 12 9 The prop of a rose in this shot symbolises love and is of a setting in which two people should be. This shot then switched to a shot by a match cut of a piece of fruit in Ushers house, showing that they are alike even though they are apart 10 Again, the artists reflection is focused on to show they are doing just this, reflecting on the situation 11 These next two examples are of instances where the female is made to look ‘sexy’ to appeal to the male audience. Using a long shot to show off her body and clips of her playing with her hair illustrate the perception of women 12 Later on in the video, as the two are going to meet each other the camera does a match cut between the two walking 13 down the road, compared the masculinity of the mans walk with the femininity of the woman’s revealed legs. It also shows then doing something at the same time 13 & 14 A low angle shot of Usher as he is taking off his hood to show this face, makes him appear quite dominant ,a usual preseption of the male r&b artist. This could also be quite pleasurable to the audience as they are directly under him and almost looking up to this inspirational artist- another selling point the director is using 15 The ending of this video is of the two singer together, in center screen as they embrace each other. This is the first time they are together in the video and shows them as being one Shots in this video are connected by match cuts, to the artist who is currently taking the lead in singing, and the pace of the 14 cutting matches the beat of the song 15
  • Summary After studying these music promos i can now conclude the general conventions that most videos seem to have in common: .The genre characteristic of an R&B video is to typically have the have a narrative that in complementary to the lyrics of the song, illustrating it. It always has some sort of performance clips of the artist (mostly by themselves in the form of close ups) singing to the camera and selling themself as an individual (particually female artists). This is also almost always some sort of dance routine in an r&b video and music is all about expression and dancing is highly associated with this genre. Intertextuality is often used in the lyrics of r&b music via the lyric and occasionally the narrative the video ( Beyonce and Jay-Z Bonnie and Clyde) . The use of the effect, a fade, is used a lot in an R&B video to present a smooth change from each shot. This fits with the genre, as r&b stands for rhythm and blues, blues being a relaxed type of music . The R&B lifestyle is presented as being glamourous, as expensive props are placed in the mise en scene . The pace of the cutting matches the beat of the music . There is normally minimal mise en scene, sometimes a bare room with just the artist singing so that all attention is focused on them- R&B music is about the artist and their relationship with the audience . Low key lighting and shadow is used effectively when conveying certain meanings . There are sometimes subtle matches of the words with the action seen in screen, in addition to more complex meanings portrayed by motifs for instance . The duration of shots seem to be long in the verses so attention is payed to the lyrics, while faster cutting is at choruses when the audience is more familiar with the repetition of the words . The females body is often used to appeal to the male audience, while the male appearing dominate for the female . The artist and their lover is often together at the end of the video, creating a happy end of the narrative