Music Video Product Analyses

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  • 1. Music Video Product Analyses By Drew Middleton
  • 2. Music Video 1: ‘Scouting for Girls – This Aint a Love Song’
    • Mise-en-scene Terminology/Evidence
    • - Airport Setting/Properties/Decor; planes, seats, runways, lobby, passengers, escalator, checkout, flight time board, fire extinguisher, notice boards, lifts, fire exit sign, suitcase
    • - Band Set; microphone, keyboard/piano, drum kit, drumsticks, electric guitar.
    • - Lighting; low key (little fill light, shown by shadows) in nearly every scene.
    • - Facial Expressions/Emotions; frustration and anger (ginger passenger at desk), anxious and worry and vulnerable (man being shouted at, at the desk), happy and ecstatic and jubilant (passengers meeting and greeting), sad (bald man), depressed (bride) serious and passionate (band signer).
    • - Costumes; Lead signer of band (casual, black), angry ginger man (suit, watch for time, un-buttoned shirt, loose tie), black man (glasses, shiny Lycra hoodie, white t-shirt, necklace, beanie hat, watch, ring), bride (white bridal dress, hair bow, pearl/bead necklace, purse).
    • Mise-en-scene Analysis/Meaning
    • - Airport setting represents everyday ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes’, with the low key lighting expressing negative emotions such as sadness and depression (leaving) through facial expressions.
    • - The properties of the band, for example, they are pictured with keyboards and drum kit, present their musical worth and talent.
    • - Costumes (e.g. the bride) show typical situations which relate to emotions. In this case, being stood up at a wedding. Casual clothing promotes the realism of the video.
    Airport Setting; plane, runway Band set e.g. drum kit Low key lighting (shadows) Depressed Facial Expression (Bride) Happy Facial Expressions (Couple) Costume (hoodie, glasses etc.)
  • 3. Music Video 1: ‘Scouting for Girls – This Aint a Love Song’
    • Camera Work Terminology/Evidence
    • - Distance; medium close ups/close ups (on singers face, on passengers to emphasis emotions), extreme close ups (hand on portable barrier, hand on microphone, some shots of hands playing the keyboard/drums), two shots (show relationships between passengers - ‘love’), establishing shot (depressed bride sitting on chairs in airport lobby), over the shoulder shot (meeting and greeting passengers)
    • - Angle; high angle (girl walking up stairs, man playing keyboard), low angle (man walking down stairs), slight canted angle (man and little girl on airport chairs)
    • - Movement; handheld camera (generally when passengers are meeting each other), tilt (black man on chair – bottom to top), tracking shots (couple looking at each other whilst walking, links with eye line match), shallow focus/restricted depth of field (generally focused on passengers in the narrative, with the environment and background out of focus), focus pulls (women walking away/leaving man)
    • Camera Work Analysis/Meaning
    • - Medium close ups/close ups are shown to express the emotions of the passengers shown; relates to the context and narrative of the video.
    • - High angles and low angles emphasis characters coming together and intertwining their lives. The use of camera angles may also represent emotions yet again, for example, man feels down as he is walking down from high angle.
    • - Focus pulls keep audience focused on passengers, and their facial expressions, which present their emotions
    Establishing shot (bride) Medium Close Up (Staff) Low Angle (Singer) High Angle (Passenger) Two Shot (Friends) Shallow Focus (Bald Man)
  • 4. Music Video 1: ‘Scouting for Girls – This Aint a Love Song’
    • Editing Terminology/Evidence
    • - Pace; longer shots (3-5 seconds) tend to occur during shots of singer walking towards camera and important characters in the parallel narrative. Generally, shots cover roughly 1-2 seconds – usually progressing in succession.
    • - Transitions; jump cuts (most frequent transition throughout), eye line match (sophisticatedly dressed couple), shot/reverse shot (between passengers who keep eye contact with each other), elliptical editing (occurs in most scenes - as shots transition between various characters, the narrative is unclear)
    • - Synchronising; singer crosses between core music shots and the interlinking story narrative (‘love song’). The narrative revolves around people leaving each other, in almost all cases, couples/relationships dividing or family members separating.
    • Editing Analyses/Meaning
    • - Typical pace of shots (1-2 seconds) is common in most music videos; allows the audience to gain complete satisfaction as there are many shots/a narrative to follow.
    • - Longer pace shots (3-5 seconds) allow specific characters to be focused on and paid attention to, for example, the lead singer of the band spends more time on screen.
    • - Eye line matches create the relationship between passengers. As the song revolves around a ‘love song’, the eye line matches produce necessary, emotional connections which may represent the audience watching.
    • - Synchronising shots deal with emotions, allowing the audience to passively interact with characters; feeling sympathy, sharing feelings
    Jump Cuts and Shot/Reverse Shot
  • 5. Music Video 1: ‘Scouting for Girls – This Aint a Love Song’
    • Audience Theory
    • - Hartley and Fiske; rural music (‘Indie Rock’), British-specific audience yet has the potential for global appeal.
    • - Burton; socially grouped audience, young age (teens-thirties), both genders, followers of ‘Indie Rock’ and ‘Pop’ music.
    • - Dyer; expresses a community solution, representing ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes’ to loved ones.
    • - Maslow; focused on love and belonging.
    • Representation
    • - Gender; both genders present both positive and negative emotions – males (happy, angry, anxious) and female (jubilant, depressed) emotions which are common in everyday life. No gender appears more dominant throughout, as power shifts between situations.
    • - Age; young people appear to be vulnerable (girl waiting for mother, young man being shouted to at the desk)
    Genre Indie Rock genre, with influences of Popular (Pop) music. Narrative - Todorov; the music video begins with very little equilibrium - apart from sophisticated couple smiling/happy together. Most of the narrative then is situated around a switching periods of disequilibrium (heartbreaks, break ups, leaving, sadness, negative emotions e.g. anger, stress, worry, sadness) and new equilibrium (meetings, hugging, kissing, comfortable touching between individuals, positive emotions e.g. happy, love, jubilant, warm relief) - Propp; not much can be mentioned about Propp’s theory in this music video, as all 7 proposed characters are not clearly defined. Institution - Label; ‘Epic Records’ (owned by ‘Sony Music Entertainment’) - Recorded; ‘Heliocentric Studios’
  • 6. Music Video 2: ‘Jason Mraz – I’m Yours’
    • Mise-en-scene Terminology/Evidence
    • - Vegetation settings/properties; flowers (sunflowers), long grass, bushes, trees (e.g. palm trees), fields.
    • - Water based settings/properties; lake (with waterfall and vegetation), sea (with cliffs, beach, waves), beach (pebbles, sand, surfboards, boat).
    • - Other Settings; skate park (ramps, rails, skateboards etc.), vehicles (airplane, car/truck, bus/coach)
    • - Lighting; naturalistic lighting in outside shots (e.g. when singer is in the back of the pick up truck, on the boat, at the lake), low key (little fill light) in many shots, recognised by shadows seen on the singer’s face.
    • - Facial Expressions; happy, ecstatic, jubilance, enjoyment, freedom etc. – positive emotions and expressions are dominant/continuous throughout the music video.
    • - Costumes; Lead signer (extremely casual clothing – bright multi-coloured t-shirts, sunglasses, straw hat, shorts, sandals, back pack, top off occasionally), gathering/’friends’ (swimwear e.g. bikinis, swimming trunks, also casual clothing such as multi printed/coloured clothing)
    • Mise-en-scene Analysis/Meaning
    • - Vegetative, natural settings; such as water e.g. lakes and plants e.g. forests (elements) emphasis the luxury and importance of life.
    • - The various vehicle properties shown create a journey situation; the singer travelling from A to B (a day-to-day activity for the audience as well)
    • - The lighting represents the context of the scene, for example, naturalistic lighting is used outdoors (creating a vibrant, fresh atmosphere)
    • - Costumes (casual) and facial expressions (happy) conjoin to represent a free world; no restrictions on emotions, events and actions as everyone is part of a community.
    Vegetative settings; lakes, waterfalls, trees, plains etc. Low key lighting Happy facial expression Casual clothing; sunglasses, bright t-shirts, shorts etc.
  • 7. Music Video 2: ‘Jason Mraz – I’m Yours’
    • Camera Work Terminology/Evidence
    • - Distance; establishing shots (scenery and settings e.g. fields, roads and highways, beach, mountains, lakes and rivers and waterfalls), medium close ups/medium shots (especially on singer, but not always i.e. on other characters), three shot (three women jumping into pool in succession), long shots (beach, groups of people), extreme close ups (running finger alongside fish tank, on singer’s eyes/nose/mouth in opening shots)
    • - Angle; low angles (singer in back of truck, singer making signs with hands/expressing body language, at the top of the ramp in the skate park. High angles (girl in bikini jumping off cliff into lake/pool)
    • - Movement; pan (walking outside house), tilt (out of grass, onto skate park), aerial shot (of waterfall and lake), handheld camera (occasionally, for example, partying on the beach), zoom (onto signs e.g. ‘speed limit 35’).
    • Camera Work Analysis/Meaning
    • - Establishing/long/aerial shots are presented to mould an unlimited area of space, of which the singer and his friends can roam, explore and enjoy; once again, relating to a sense of freedom
    • - Low angles (especially on the singer) allow the audience to view a spectrum of happiness; laid back personality, possibly portraying the lifestyle of a pop star
    • - Camera movements show the social aspect/appeal as the singer is constantly on the move.
    Long/Establishing Shot Extreme Close Up High angle (girl jumping) Low angle (apartment) Zoom In (onto ‘speed limit 35’ road sign)
  • 8. Music Video 2: ‘Jason Mraz – I’m Yours’
    • Editing Terminology/Evidence
    • - Pace; frequently, shots cover only roughly 1 second, with the maximum length on screen for any shot in the entire video being just 3 seconds.
    • - Transitions; jump cuts (most frequent transition throughout), shot/reverse shot (between signer’s feet and singer improvising body language – in low key light for a low angle), elliptical editing (occurs in most scenes – interlinking paths during the journey the singer takes)
    • - Synchronising; there is one clear narrative throughout the extract, following the singer on a journey of freedom to meet with friends, have a good time and be happy. Camera shots synchronise in order to present this element of free life, fulfilment and enjoyment.
    • Editing Analysis/Meaning
    • - The pace of shots keeps the audience excited, and presents a professional look (at distribution and production stages).
    • - The transitions also refer to the synchronising of shots; representing the happy narrative of the music video and spontaneous freedom of the singer.
    0.5/1 second pace shots (in succession)
  • 9. Music Video 2: ‘Jason Mraz – I’m Yours’
    • Genre – ‘Pop’, with ‘Rock’ and ‘Reggae’ influences
    • Narrative;
    • - Todorov; the music video has no disequilibrium – only equilibrium and new equilibrium - meetings, hugging, kissing, comfortable touching between individuals, laughing positive emotions e.g. happy, enjoyment, jubilance etc.)
    • - Propp; the only character that can be identified in this music video – according to Propp – is the hero, of which is the lead singer ‘Jason Mraz’.
    • Audience Theory;
    • - Hartley and Fiske; mostly rural music style, but some urban influence (‘Pop’), worldwide appeal, no restricted region/political allegiance/religion.
    • - Burton; socially grouped audience, all ages, genders, followers of ‘Pop’ and possible ‘Chart’ music.
    • - Dyer; expresses a community solution, representing meeting up with friends to party and have a good, enjoyable time
    • - Maslow; focused on self-actualisation and esteem
    • Representation;
    • - Gender; the male sex appears most frequently – mainly due to the singer being male and in almost every shot. The male singer is represented as being liked by everyone and the centre of attention (typical social person). Both genders are portrayed as being in close friendships/relationships, striving off each others laughter and happiness.
    • - Age; young people appear to be out-going and free; the representation goes against normal stereotypes, as teens and people in their twenties are usual held back by parents etc.
    • Institution;
    • - Label/Recorded; ‘Atlantic Records’ or ‘Atlantic Records Corporation’ (partnered with the Warner Music Group)
  • 10. Conclusion
    • - Mise-en-scene; it is unusual for a music video to be set in one specific location (there appears to be at least two or more settings), properties used usually relate to context, emotions are played around with by the producers/writers of the video (via facial expressions) and generally represent the song, or the song lyrics, costumes worn are a portrayal of the theme of the music video.
    • - Camera Work; all music videos are not restricted by camera distance – almost all music videos incorporate shots varying from extreme close ups (ECU) to wide/establishing shots, to aerial/dolly shots etc. Angles are used sometimes, but only when necessary or for specific effect. Movement is a common element of camera work used, whether it is handheld, steady cam, pan, tilt, tracking etc. it is nearly always used.
    • - Editing; on average, the length of shot in any music video is roughly 1-2 seconds long – however, this is not a requirement and longer shots are used. The most frequent transition are jump cuts, in quick succession with shots; elliptical editing is also frequently used. Synchronising of shot, although there is elliptical editing, is present as there is usually a narrative presented in music videos