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Video killed-the-radio-star-an-introduction-to-music-video

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Mr Ford's Introductory Booklet. AS to A2 OCR Media Studies transition work

Mr Ford's Introductory Booklet. AS to A2 OCR Media Studies transition work


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  • 1. VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR AN INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC VIDEO A2 INDUCTION 2014
  • 2. 1 FOR YOUR A2 COURSEWORK YOU WILL PRODUCE:  A MEDIA PORTFOLIO, COMPROMISING A MAIN AND TWO ANCILLARY TEXTS 60 MARKS  RESEARCH AND PLANNING 20 MARKS  EVALUATION 20 MARKS MAIN TASK A PROMOTION PACKAGE FOR THE RELEASE OF AN ALBUM, TO INCLUDE: A MUSIC PROMO VIDEO – 40 MARKS PLUS:  A DIGIPAK CONSISTING OF AT LEAST SIX PANELS (CD PACKAGE) 10 MARKS  A MAGAZINE ADVERT FOR THE DIGIPAK (CD PACKAGE) 10 MARKS YOU WILL THEN BE REQUIRED TO ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS IN YOUR 2015 EXAM ON YOUR COURSEWORK. QUESTION 1A (25 MARKS) WILL FOCUS ON YOUR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FROM AS TO A2. YOU HAVE ALREADY BEGUN PREPARATION FOR THIS DURING YOUR A2 INDUCTION LESSONS QUESTION 1B (25 MARKS) WILL ASK YOU TO ANALYSE ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS IN RELATION TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING KEY CONCEPTS  NARRATIVE  AUDIENCE  GENRE  REPRESENTATION  MEDIA LANGUAGE
  • 3. 2 THE PURPOSE OF A MUSIC VIDEO A music video is a short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music/song. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a [marketing] device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. Although the origins of music videos go back much further, they came into their own in the 1980s, when MTV based their format around the medium, and later with the launch of VH1. The term "music video" first came into popular usage in the early 1980s. Prior to that time, these works were described by various terms including "filmed insert", "promotional (promo) film", "promotional (promo) clip" or "film clip" (Wikipedia) TASK 1 1.WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MAJOR ELEMENTS OF AN ALBUM MARKETING CAMPAIGN (THE DIFFERENT WAYS IN WHICH A BAND/ARTISTS IDENTITY IS MEDIATED TO AN AUDIENCE)? 2.WHERE HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED THESE ELEMENTS IN YOUR DAILY LIFE? 3.WHAT FACTORS MAKE YOU ‘LIKE’ A BAND AND THEREFORE DOWNLOAD THEIR MUSIC, BUY THEIR ALBUMS OR ATTEND THEIR CONCERTS? HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH BAND IS ‘COOL’ AND WHICH IS NOT? WHAT MAKES THE MUSIC VIDEO UNIQUE? THE MUSIC VIDEO IS DESIGNED FOR MULTIPLE VIEWINGS; IT HAS TO BE INSTANTLY MEMORABLE YET INTERESTING ENOUGH TO WARRANT WATCHING AGAIN AND AGAIN. UNLIKE THE FILM TRAILER IT IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE VIEWED ON A LARGE SCREEN NOR IS ITS AUDIENCE CAPTIVE. 1.WHERE AND WHEN DO YOU WATCH MUSIC VIDEOS?
  • 4. 3 TASK 2 IN THE SPACE BELOW LIST AS MANY FEATURES/CONVENTIONS OF MUSIC VIDEOS THAT YOU CAN THINK OF.
  • 5. 4 Analysing Music Videos : 1. Genre Categories: Illustration – either a straightforward performance video or a simple narrative video (or mixture of the two) that illustrates the meaning of the lyrics and visualizes the music in a straightforward way. It could be called music video ‘denotation’. A good example of a classic mixed narrative/performance video is Pulp’s ‘Babies’. Amplification – the conventions demonstrated by the music video ‘auteur’ or creative director. S/he may use both performance and narrative, however, rather than simply illustrate the lyrics or sounds this director will ‘amplify’ both with creative interpretation, unusual ideas and surrealistic approaches. There is still a direct link to the song, whether it be the beat, sound or ‘connotative’ link to part of the lyrics or song title. See Spike Jones’ video for Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ or Michel Gondry’s video for Kylie Minogue’s ‘Come Into My Life’. Disjuncture – also created by ‘auteur’ directors these videos are completely abstract and have no obvious link to the music, lyrics, song title or artist. In this sense they are a point of ‘disjuncture’ from the song. See Spike Jones’ video for Daft Punk’s ‘Da Funk’ or any Radiohead video. 2. The Narrative Video Codes and the Performance Video Codes: Narrative Video: Narratives are rarely complex for two reasons: 1. They need to market or advertise the band/artist and song so must feature ‘repeatability’ In other words the narrative code must be ‘loose’ or simply ‘suggestive’ rather than ‘realistic’ or ‘detailed’. This is because music video audiences need to be able to watch videos repeatedly and a tight realist narrative would prove too boring after the first couple
  • 6. 5 of viewings. Musical Synaesthesia only requires the musical or lyrical ‘mood’ to latch onto to develop a narrative concept. 2. Musical Synaesthesia – the two elements of the song which determine the visual subject matter or overall concept a) Roland Barthes theory of “the grain of voice” whereby the vocal sounds can be understood as music in themselves eg Michael Jackson’s ‘yelp’ or Fantasia’s ‘yeh, yeh, yeh..” or the tone of voice of the words which are the song title themselves e.g Bjork’s ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ b) The dominant musical arrangement that dictates the overall mood. This could be a key guitar sound(the bassline in ‘Sabotage’ The Beastie Boys) or a particular beat (‘Weapon of Choice’ Fatboy Slim) Once the director has identified what he/she thinks is the key vocal or musical element then this may be used to tap into the audience’s sense of shared cultural history or intertextuality e.g. The steel guitar=the American Deep South and desert plains A r’n’b beat or bass line=an urban environment A group of choral voices=a place of religious significance e.g.: church or graveside etc. Performance Video: 1. Conventions of the band performance: a degree of authenticity of the performance is sought by the band and the director so we find lip-sync close-up, mimed playing of instruments, repetition of chorus shots to enhance ‘repeatability’, unusual camera shots and angles e.g. the micro camera shots attached to the neck of a guitar, sweeping crane shots to film audience reaction to the band playing etc (see number 4) 2. Conventions of solo artist performance: many of the above plus choreographed dance routines to enhance ‘repeatability’, a first person mode of address directly
  • 7. 6 engaging the viewer through the camera which involves many close up shots of eyes rolling and gesturing (see how these conventions have been adopted by ‘Pop Idol’ contestants in a bid to appear professional and authentic)and if the video is a hybrid form cutting between performance and narrative then the solo artist or band lead singer often becomes part of the narrative story, acting as narrator and participant at the same time (see Jarvis Cocker in Pulp’s video for ‘Babies’) 3. Star Image – only 1 in 10 artists promoted by a major record company will actually make that company any substantial profit. This is why certain select profit making stars are manufactured, manipulated and marketed by the record label’s ‘artist and repertoire’ (A&R) division so aggressively. The star image of individuals such as Michael Jackson and Madonna through their videos is a vital component of this process. This is why we can identify the ‘meta-narrative’ of stars through their videos whereby the record label manipulates and changes the artist’s image with each new video release to increase sales, consolidate target audiences and broaden appeal to new fan bases. The best case studies are ‘Madonna’ and ‘Michael Jackson’. Trace their image manipulation through videos over the past 30 years. 3. Audio-Visual Technical Codes Needed for Analyzing a Music Video: Speed is the Essence: Camera Shots: jumping directly between long shots, close ups and extreme close ups. Primarily the close up on the singer’s face is the main generic convention for music videos. Also the extreme close up on the lips for lip synching. Camera Movement: whip pans, fast dolly track shots and fast overhead crane shots to follow the running, walking or dancing of performers. Also fast vertical tilts and horizontal pans. Editing: various terms: jump cutting, MTV style editing or montage editing. Creating the visually de-centred experience of ‘jumping’ from location to person to instrument without any normal narrative continuity. Instead it is often the beat or the rhythm of the track which provides the organising principle for editing movement. The editing moves so fast it creates the need for viewing ‘repeatedly’. There are exceptions though. Some ‘continuity editing’ used such as atmospheric ‘dissolve shots’ such as in Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compare to You’
  • 8. 7 Post-production digital effects: see ‘i-movie’ for ‘split screens’ (see Michel Gondry’s video for Kylie Minogue’s ‘Come Into My World’ for split screens seamlessly ‘bled’ into each other) ‘colourisation’ ‘slow motion’ etc These are now conventional for music videos. Please look out for other innovative effects. Lighting: Expressive lighting a key feature of music videos. Extreme artificial light to create the ‘bleaching’ effect on pop stars faces (making them seem ageless). Also the use of switching from colour to black & white or sepia to indicate a shift from chorus to verse. Also lighting effects such as strobes or flashing needs to be identified. This obviously links into the use of CGI in dance music videos to enhance the atmosphere. Mise-en-scene: look for the overall artistic concept in a video. Is there a theme such as the historical period e.g. the sixties (Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’ with its intertextual link to the Austin Powers film) or the seventies (The Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ video which parodies the ‘Starsky & Hutch’ 70s TV Cop genre...also an intertextual link). Does the video’s mise en scene follow the need for authenticity in performance videos by using the concert hall or rehearsal studio setting. Or is there an intentional ‘parodic’ setting to exaggerate star image as in many rap and r&b videos with a focus on glamorous icons such as exotic locations, beautiful cocktail bars and stunning beachside houses with infinity pools (see Rick Ross ‘Here I Am’).
  • 9. 8 TASK 3 TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS FEATURES OBSERVATIONS EXAMPLES GENRE CHARACTERISTICS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LYRICS AND VISUALS? RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MUSIC AND VISUALS? ARE THERE CLOSE- UPS OF THE ARTIST AND STAR IMAGE MOTIFS? IS THERE REFERENCE TO THE NOTION OF LOOKING? ARE THERE INTERTEXTUAL REFERENCES? IS THE VIDEO CATEGORY ILLUSTRATION, DISJUNCTURE OR AMPLIFICATION? HOW MUCH OF EACH? NAME OF TRACK: ARTIST: Year:
  • 10. 9 TASK 3 TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS FEATURES OBSERVATIONS EXAMPLES GENRE CHARACTERISTICS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LYRICS AND VISUALS? RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MUSIC AND VISUALS? ARE THERE CLOSE- UPS OF THE ARTIST AND STAR IMAGE MOTIFS? IS THERE REFERENCE TO THE NOTION OF LOOKING? ARE THERE INTERTEXTUAL REFERENCES? IS THE VIDEO CATEGORY ILLUSTRATION, DISJUNCTURE OR AMPLIFICATION? HOW MUCH OF EACH? NAME OF TRACK: ARTIST: Year:
  • 11. 10 TASK 3 TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS FEATURES OBSERVATIONS EXAMPLES GENRE CHARACTERISTICS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LYRICS AND VISUALS? RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MUSIC AND VISUALS? ARE THERE CLOSE- UPS OF THE ARTIST AND STAR IMAGE MOTIFS? IS THERE REFERENCE TO THE NOTION OF LOOKING? ARE THERE INTERTEXTUAL REFERENCES? IS THE VIDEO CATEGORY ILLUSTRATION, DISJUNCTURE OR AMPLIFICATION? HOW MUCH OF EACH? NAME OF TRACK: ARTIST: Year:
  • 12. 11 TASK 4 – ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS BELOW – THIS IS EXACTLY THE SORT OF THING YOU’LL NEED TO DO WHEN EVALUATING YOUR OWN COURSEWORK. 1. Why did you choose the text you are analysing? 2. In what context did you encounter it? 3. What influence do you think this context might have had on your interpretation of the text? 4. Which conventions of the genre do you recognize in the text? 5. To what extent does this text stretch the conventions of its genre? 6. Where and why does the text depart from the conventions of the genre? 7. What sort of audience did you feel that the video was aimed at (and how typical was this of the genre/style of music)? 8. What sort of person does it assume you are? 9. What assumptions seem to be made about your class, age, gender and ethnicity? 10. What interests does it assume you have? 11. What relevance does the text actually have for you? 12. What knowledge does it take for granted? 13. To what extent do you resemble the 'ideal reader' that the video seeks to position you as? 14. Are there any notable shifts in the video's style (and if so, what do they involve)? 15. What responses does the video seem to expect from you? 16. How open to negotiation is your response (are you invited, instructed or coerced to respond in particular ways)? 17. Is there any penalty for not responding in the expected ways? 18. To what extent do you find yourself 'reading against the grain' of the text and the genre? 19. How typical do you think this video is of Music Videos?