Codes And Conventions Of a Music Video By Ellen Whight
What is a music video?A music video is short film integrating a song and imagery together for promotional,advertisement and artistic purposes. In todays society music videos are used to promote anartist by their music, look, and even advertising their own products or someone else’s. A musicvideo is also used to promote an artists new upcoming song not just by hearing the song butvisually to. Music videos have been around since the 1980’s. There are many styles used to filma music video using techniques such as animation, live action filming, documentaries and nonnarrative approaches such as abstract film, some music videos blend two techniques and stylestogether. Many music videos use and interpret images, scenes and techniques from their songlyrics making sure the song goes with the video that’s being filmed where as other music videostake a more thematic approach. Some music videos may not have an concept i.e. A music videoshowing the new upcoming song being performed live.
Type Of PerformancesThere are three main types of performances:•Commercial Exhibitionist - An artist sells their image to be the newest upcoming artist, stealingthe spot light from other artists. Through a music video they sell their image, voice, face,lifestyle and records. By using this type of performance the commercial exhibitionist wantssuccess.•Television Bard – An artist or band tell a story through images on the screen instead of innerpersonal images. This type of performance shows images to create a story about life and death.The television bard usually only contemplates her, his or their own greatness and unfulfilledwishes.•Electronic Shaman – The shaman can sometimes be hidden in the music video, only hers, his ortheir voices and rhythm can only be heard, anchors the visual. The electronic shaman promisesthat there is a hidden meaning in everything i.e. He, she or they promise we live in a magical,mythical reality. This is the least used type of performance.
Music Video StylesA music video can be categorized depending on it’s style and how it has been filmed. Thesestyles are:•Standard Clip – A music video that contains more or less then three visual traditions: a filmedsinger is blended in with inserted images and the presentation is artistically influenced by theexperimental film tradition.•Performance Clip - If a video contains mostly filmed performance then is a performance clip.The performance can take place anywhere.•Narrative Clip – If a music video is mostly appropriately understood as a short silent movie to amusical background then it is a narrative clip. A narrative clip contains a visual story that is easyto follow. A pure narrative clip contains no lip-synchronised singing.•Art Clip – If a music video contains no perceptible visual narrative and contains no lip –synchronised singing then is a pure art clip.
Camera StylesA music video contains a lot of different camera styles and techniques depending on the style ofthe music video such as:• Close up shots especially in a performance music video.• Extreme close up shots of the artist/band, their instruments, face and lips.• Crane shots which hovering over stage images.• Low angle shots.• Pans and tilts moving around, moving to different performances.• Tracking.
MusicThe music is one of the main features of a music video, if their was no music the music videowould be a silent movie. The music makes the video, the video is either based around the musicand it’s lyrics or nothing to do with it at all. A music video can include images which are boundtogether to go with the beat/rhythm and other musical features. The musical elements can helpshape the moving image, movements such as footsteps, tapping, walking or dance are oftensynchronised with the beat of the song, showing the people in the music video to be in synchwith the music which we can only hear, it sometimes looks as if they can hear it to.
Editing And SoundEditing and sound are a major thing when it comes to filming and making the finished product.Editing involved things such as jump cutting, putting scene sequences together, cross cuttingetc. Normally footage is edited to the match the music, it is also edited so that the lip syncinglooks right and fits with the music. Editing can also include split screens/CGI, including diegeticsound and changing the levels of sound. Voice overs can be edited in and other noises which gowith narrative of the music video.
Mis En SceneMis en scene of a music video can depend on the genre of the music, lyrics and the type ofmusic video that is being filmed. Mis en scene can include, clothing (certain outfits for differentpeople, artist, band) , make up, themes, props, performance equipment, artist merchandise,locations (concert halls, venues, streets houses etc) and facial expressions.
LyricsThe lyrics can help create a narrative for the music video, yet sometimes the music video hasnothing to do with the lyrics. In most music videos a new meaning is added to the lyrics throughmetaphorical language. Lyrics can be illustrated by visual images, scenes etc. For example if thelyrics mention a couple splitting up you will see a couple arguing and splitting up on the screen.
ImageryBy using different colours within a music video they can interpret different moods of the song,video or the mood of the person being filmed. Using different images or moving images canhelp create an atmosphere for the audience watching the video. By manipulating colour, motivesetting, story footage, clothing etc the director can create ideas which are repeated and variedin the music video.
Analysis Of A Music Video Nicki Minaj – Va Va Voom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U72hzeBLOw&feature=relmfu
Nicki Minaj – Va Va VoomAs the music video starts there is a fantasy theme , some fairy tales are explored through outthe video. Diegetic sound starts off with the sound of falling water and birds tweeting, thenfades in to the opening of the song. Unicorns ride in, a fantasy creature of beauty, then thefeaturing artist, Nicki Minaj enters in a white, princess looking dress with a man who is dressedlike a huntsmen both of the costumes create a fantasy theme through the first sequence of thevideo.
Nicki Minaj’s costume s give off a fantasy feel asshe is dressed in sparkly princess dressesdepending on what character she’s playingwithin the music video, here she has an unusualcostume on, it looks like a unicorn still a fantasycreature keeping with the theme of the video.Mis-en-scene ties in with the fantasy theme,with the little cottage in the middle of theforest. The lighting in this scene is quite brightand has a yellowy tinge making it look old.This shot shows Nicki Minaj in danger, goingwith the fairytale theme of a damsel in distress.
This scene reminds me of Snow White when she is in a deep sleep in the middle of the woods in a class case/coffin waiting for her prince charming to come and save her, this goes with the lyrics of the song as this is what the song is about.A close shot of Nicki Minaj in the glasscase/coffin, wearing a formal dress which iswhite showing good, chastity etc. This shot shows her prince charming has come to her rescue, the man is young and handsome and fits the typical prince charming look. His costume is old fashioned and fits with the fantasy theme.
This shot makes Nicki Minaj look evil as she is wearing a black costume luring the price to her. This also looks like the evil queen from Snow White looking into the mirror.Again a fantasy shot with the dark backgroundand Nicki Minaj standing out from it bywearing a white dress. Nicki Minaj wearing a odd costume yet white again showing good with bright red hair all standing out from the dark background, she is also wearing a mask to cover up her identity. There is also a harsh lighting on her lighting up her from the background.