Evaluation Question 1In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products ?
Conventions of Musical Theatre Music• A strong storyline to allow interpretive dance or acting.• Emotive, through the drama and the lyrics.• Literal lyrics.• Not conventionally with a music video, the songs are normally performed live, I have tried something different here.• Open to interpretation in accordance with the directors of the shows and the live singers which would have to perform them.• Would normally utilise stage lighting to enhance tonal shifts in the music (blue light for sadness etc) so we use darkness in sadness, film some by torchlight, and daylight presents happiness.
This is the opening frame of the video, which features the protagonist throwing stones serenely into the ocean. It creates an Ambiguity to the story which builds tension, as would have been done in live productions of the song. We purposefully do not get a close up of the character’s face just yet, as if the memory is slowly unfolding before us.The lyrics of the song feature “I can smileat the old days” and in true musicaltheatre fashion, we have taken the wordsliterally to influence the action of thevideo. This would normally be done liveon stage to firmly establish story orpurpose behind the song, and here wetwist its purpose to begin the reflectionbetween “the old days” and the current“midnight.”
I particularly like this shot for its use of daylight, making the character’s image light up and seem more beautiful and happy. The long, flowing dress is conventional of the class of this particular musical theatre song, performed by the elegant Elaine Paige. The casualness of the shot makes the happiness seem effortless, and the profile view of her face holds some power in it.According to musical theatre, tonal shifts in thesong are emphasised by the dramatic changesin the characters performance (as half of thegenre’s conventions are dependent on theperformance aspect.) I have used this here byadjusting the body language of my protagonist.Here, she seems deep in thought, relaxed andcomposed, although now her face is completelyturned, blocking the audience from herthoughts and therefore beginning the song’stransition into depression. The slight change incostume – a leather jacket over the long,flowing dress and long, untamed hair – presentsthe protagonist’s changing attitude, she issubtly becoming tougher and more unruly.
The introduction of the lamppost which the song continually references is another example of taking the lyrics literally. According the conventions of other musical theatre presentations, this aids set changes and creates ideas for choreography around these new props. A sense of place is established here as the character returns to this lamppost from here onwards. Another convention of musical theatre we used here was to change the lighting to work with the mood of the song at this moment. We have gone from using daylight to relying on a torch and the light pollution from behind the character, so that the shot darkens with the tone of the song, and the darkness which is protruding from the character is materialised.As musical theatre music is so reliant on acting and emotion, it was necessary to injectframes whereby the actress shows nothing but emotion, and here I have done sothrough the eyes. Going from a soft to harsh focus, the eyes penetrate the frame to tella story of there own, and the effect is almost haunting.
Probably the most well known convention of musical theatre music is the ‘glamour’ of showbusiness behind it all, which is shown here in the long, flowing hair, the dark lipstick and the up-market costume. The beauty of the past never fully reveals itself, as the character is too far into her depression, and so we only see half a face. We are deprived of the emotive eyes that we had a few frames before, as if this beautiful memory is becoming numb and superficial. In a live performance (as musical theatre song’s conventionally are) the eyes are the most important part of a characters performance, and so deprivation of them can have an almost uncomfortable, unnatural effect, despite the warm smiles of the character in this shot.Set changes are another key part of a song like this,and so here we have changed the set to a placewhich is far from the beautiful lakes which we haveseen previously. Not only does this make ‘the girl inthe flowing, beautiful dress’ stand out more, butit’s also a phisical representation of her falling fromhigher places.
Wider frames were used to break up the intense, up-close shots of the character, and here we also gain a sense of place. The character is quite clearly very isolated and lonely; the harshness of the black fences and artificial lighting from behind are a far cry from the sunlight and foliage that we saw before. We are no longer following the lyrics literally, but are exploring their openness to interpretation. Most musical theatre song’s experience this elucidation, as they were designed to be performed in different ways, by different people, in accordance to different directors.Finally in this last frame we can see the imageof a my protagonist staring back at thecamera through the mirror, which herepresents inflective perspective on life. This isused at the end of the video to enhance thefact that she’s singing about her pastmemories and conforms with the usualmusical theatre of a strong storyline. It is – asin keeping with the genre - the charactersrealisation.