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new and improved music video

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  • 1. Music Videos
    By Tara Peak 
  • 2. Introduction
    To look at the representation and the reference to voyeurism. For example, the treatment of women and/or the way that they are looked at- such as through a window or through screens within the music video.
    The references to films and/or TV texts. (we call this intertextual).
    Star image and the way they might develop their one star iconography that links each music video. This may happen over time, in which the audience would by then decode it easily. (possibly knowing what to expect)
    The demand within the record label or company to have close ups of the artist.
    Different genres and iconography that occurs within music videos, linking them within each genre. For example- Rock/heavy metal bands, normally consist of them playing live in the music video.
    The relationship between the music and the artists/ mis en scene/ props and general look of the music video. For example- heavy metal bands would not be in a field full of flowers, holding teddy bears. Yet sometimes the do contradict.
    The relationship between the lyrics of the song and the visuals.
  • 3. 1. Skinny Genes
    Lyrics and visuals
    The first this I can see is the use of animation. It is almost like each scene transition rips into another. This links with the song-’ taking of those skinny jeans’. The motion of ripping of jeans is displayed when using those transitions.
    Also the song implies feelings of deep understanding for the lover in question. Therefore, the animation periods indicate this also.
    She also uses a clothing line to take unpin clothing showing the literal as well as the metaphorical.
    The audience could decode with text two ways- either by looking at the literal meaning or/and looking at the metaphorical response.
    There is also the sense of fun within the artist- Eliza Doolittle- retaliating to the fun side of the song. For example, she is suggesting she does not mind if her boyfriend is annoying towards her.
    The lighting is very bright- coming from studio lights all over the room- creating a powerful sense of joy in the song. (if you read between the lyrics and look at the visuals you can see that she is promoting herself to be a happy- go lucky person, who looks at the ‘joys’ in life)
    Music and visuals
    This is a physical and highly stylized presentation of the artist, due to her relationship towards the camera and most importantly the audience. What I mean by this is, within the chorus of the song she dances towards the camera, thus engaging with the audience- rather than a narrative.
    This is another point to be made- there is not a narrative to this music video. If there is not a story to tell, what is the message that this text is encoding? The answer is within the metaphoric symbols she uses. For example, the animation which resembles fragile paper which can be ripped apart and/or away. This can tell the audience that she is promoting her strong and independent- look- as most of the transitions show her ripping it. Also, this song is about her intimate love for her boyfriend, which is shown through the contrast of the tumbling cards and the chorus of the song- in which she dances to, using comical gestures for the word ‘fight’. The comparisons, again, promote that sense of happiness within the singer. (if you look at her other videos, she is also portraying that happy look and relaxed way of life)
  • 4. Continued
    As you can see on the two top right pictures the paper affect shows a lot about the representation and ideologies of a middle class women. (This is proved by her dress- she is wearing jeans and sings about how she loves sex with her man). This is done by the use of and animation. (using a green screen).
    Women look at other women in the way of comparing or looking through a reflective surface. What is interesting about this video , is that the ideologies of the middle class women are being pushed t the audience. ( The ideals being, her dress code and the assumption she is working in a middle paid job and she is a London girl, so she conforms to what a ‘typical’ girl would do within that culture). This drives her star power even more creating a good life- and saying, ‘it is not perfect, but I am happy with it’.
  • 5. Continued....
    Style and Iconography
    I would think that this music video would come under the genre of pop, as it doesn’t differ from most pop songs. It would be placed in the class of Lily Allen- due to the music it self and the way it was sung. (the iconography and star construction of Lily Allen has lead me to compare this artist to her, thus showing Lily Allen style. )
    As it is in the pop genre there are some common conventions that appear such as the use of close ups, yet there are some differences which do over weigh it. The animation/ stop motion and transitions make it seem retro. (the close ups are to reveal all her emotion and happiness, thus engaging with the audience.)
    The use of bold colours such as blue, pink, creamy white and yellow, are in the background so they don’t take over the whole screen. This is what the audience expects if they were to see a retro video made today.
    The audience would also be able to see this within the clothing and mis en scene within the music video.
    The artist herself, seems to have some empowerment over this video. The fact she dances freely and stares directly into the camera, shows she has confidence within her own style, thus the audience wanting to aspire to be her.
    Demand from record company.
    The use of the camera is very interesting. The camera does stay static most of the time- panning left and right on the odd occasion when she is dancing or tracking her as she walks down the hall. This is to help focus the attention to her and what she is saying.
    Also retro shots are normally shot at a slightly higher angle- encoding the information that it is a retro style.
    When looking at the video, on YouTube, I could see people’s comments indicate their understanding of the song. (some differ from others a little but most say generally the same thing).
    A good example of a record label asking for close ups is for Lady gaga and her music videos. In ‘Poker face’ she has countless close ups and mid shots, focusing on her image and persona. Eliza Doolittle does this on a different level because it is not just about chorography, but it is also the words of the song. (This is shown by the lack of chorography, within the video)
    It is more on a metaphoric level.
  • 6. Continued.....
    Star image
    How did she create her star image? And does she keep this consistent throughout her videos?
    Yes she does. If we looked at her other song- pack it up, you would be able to see her retro style shown by her clothing/ style of music and overall look of her music videos. (which are her main selling points to convey in front of a young audience).
    Her artistic power, gives her control over what she wears and how the audience will see this. For example, will they wear the same things that she is wearing? Would it affect what shops they go to? For example, would some one listening to a gothic rock song go into a pop culture, clubbing store? (though there would be some exceptions, there are so many of the same people, yet the media loves the generalise us, which then drives the star power and it’s influences).
    The music vehicle is the one the drives the stlye and sends it flooding towards us. This helps the audience when decoding a media text, such as a music video. In this case, she is promoting her happy-go-lucky nature and relaxed view about life- people want to aspire to this. (mis en scene- bold colours and metaphoric natures- show this).
    Representation and voyeurism
    Within this video, she is seen as the independent artist- engaging with her eyes on the camera. Another way of talking about it would be to say that it is the camera that is flowing her about and watching her. She is clearly wanting this to happen, however, because she wants to engage the audience to her song.
    There isn’t anybody else watching her within the video but there are points that show a men’s point of view when looking at women. It starts of with the camera work. It sometimes follows down to her curves and the thigh area- like in many other ‘pop’ videos in that genre. In this case, when then look at her from the perspective of a heterosexual man.
    However, through the nature of the song, it wouldn’t surprise me because she is engaging with the camera and clearly likes it. Possibly showing that this she is talking to her lover also- who can also be the audience.
  • 7. In Comparison to...
    A heavy metal genre.....
    For example, if we look at Amaranth by Night wish, at the beginning the music is calm which depicts the overall scene at that time. This reminds me of classical music and how they tell stories and paint a picture though the music. However this all changes when the drums/ guitar etc... come into play. The pace of the cuts become faster and show images of an fallen angel with blood and other gothic images. Again, this relates to the music and represents the epic style of the heavy metal genre.  
    I can see how they also act around their instruments. For example if we look at the guitarist in the video, we can see that he dances with it- for example head banging. The hair plays a huge part because it shows his hard rock image. I have noticed that this look when playing the guitar is very popular. If you see the advert for guitar hero, they don't play the guitar softly. (though the advert is showing the representation of women a bit differently)
    I am comparing it to the heavy metal genre because they representation of women is very different to the pop genre. For example the narrative is different because ‘Amaranth’ has religious intertextual references while the ‘Skinny Genes’ holds the narrative at a metaphoric level. (The lyrics to integrate with the visuals sometimes as shown in visuals and music section).The Thing I am comparing is the way women are exposed within heavy metal. In this case the lead singer is a women, surround by mean acting viciously with their instruments- head banging.
    The photograph above shows to representation of women within the rock genre- having intertextual references to ‘risky business’ . She meant to look sexy which is totally different to the artist in Amaranth because she looks more independent, yet keeping some feminine ideals about her.
  • 8. Continued.......
    As you can see from this example, above the representation differs from certain key concepts:
    Lighting- this makes the overall tones on her face to look paler, while her eyes and eye brows look dark and threatening. She is apart of the band and therefore is apart of the theme, which this saying that they are music gods and are powerful.
    Movement- her star presents is equal to or better then the rest of the band. If you can see the photo of her hand in a claw shape manner, pointing- this is showing her powerful presents. This is because she is looking the way she wants to and it doesn’t matter to the rest of the band. They are all controlling the girl on the bridge and producing great narrative- almost in a operatic manner.
    Mis en scene- what is around her? It is clear to see that she is wearing the same colour pallet as the rest of the band showing some form or security as well as telling the audience she is just as powerful as them.
    Holy references- 'baptised'
    The lyrics guide the story happening above.
     'Alone without himself'- this cuts to the story which helps show the contrast between them. For example the band look like rock gods and powerful and the two boy look like they are powerless to fate.
    Compared to the look of Eliza Doolittle in Skinny jeans, she is seen as very power and her presents is heard. She still keeps her feminine looks however, but retains that ‘God power status’ with the rest of the men.
  • 9. Continued....
  • 10. Owl city- Fire flies
    Lyrics and visuals
    There are not any certain elements that draw the lyrics with the visuals. It is similar, if more so, to the metaphorical response shown, in the last video- Skinny Genes. The start of the music comes in gently representing the smooth sound which is yet to come- almost like a teaser. The audience would respond to this ideal a lot more when the word ‘magic’- shown as a button to be switched on- appears and works well, in time with the beat.
    The Jungian Physiological Model, looks at the examination of dreams in images and the relationship between the struggles of the artist public and private selves. This means, that the conscious mind can show feeling, ideas and emotion, which could link to this song. Could this be his dream sequence and what does it tell us about him? His feelings are clear using the camera angles and quick transitions edits.
    The symbolic meaning, shows that there is not a key narrative running through this video, therefore the audience has to really on the band/music/artistic drive to understand and determine if they like the song. (and to know what it is about- for example- the key elements of this song are dreamy and imaginative, possible like an active imagination or daydreamer wishing they could stay like this forever) (possibly showing the undertones of the over song).
    There is one relationship between the words and the music- when the lyrics are spelled out on the toy. This among many things, is showing the audience the key elements about the meaning behind the song.
    Music and visuals
    I love the representation of innocents- again a dream like situation, showing emotion, linking partly to the Jungian Model- within this video, shown by the use of props/ mis en scene such as the toys and the room, shown to be a young boys room. The representation of the young boys room is shown by the colour blue- normally seen as a boys colour rather than pink, and the type of toys such as dinosaurs, train sets and robots.
    When the artist presses the magic button, the toys go or stop moving. This is showing the audience through metaphoric ways, that this song is magical and dreamy. (again the mix between with key words/ song and visuals show what type of genre it is in.)
    I also love how, it is the artist play the music. Relating to the visuals to shows that he is apart of that key feeling through out the song. So when an audience member feels they can connect, they can do it through him. (For example- ‘I feel that way, sometimes, too’)
    The editing is cut quite fast to hit ever other beat, revealing the more visuals, thus the ever growing understanding about the key feeling of the song. The lighting also hits every other beat. And, with both combined it shows that innocents. (possibly a child's point of view).
  • 11. Continued
    Style and Iconography
    The genre is a mix between electronica and emo- pop. In comparison to the last video, the style is and undertone of the song is serious enough, for the artist not look engage with the camera. The way he is positioned within the video is very interesting. Rather than engaging in front of the camera, the artist hides behind hair to the right side of the full set. Occasionally there are close ups, yet they don’t engage his full face, in full frontal view. Again this suggests the natural of the song. (being quite serious about how he feels, which in turn could and make the audience reflect about themselves)
    This is quite conventional for the certain style- emo. (Personally, I have never heard of emo-pop). But the style is the conventional face hidden/dark clothing/ dark undertones and a range of songs that are about raw emotion and feels- normally quite sinister. It also can tie into dreams and the innocents within them. He wants to dream and stay asleep, showing his raw emotion- linking with the Jungian Model.
    The star construction (ie: where he is positioned towards the camera/style/ way of playing the key board) is very geared towards showing the audience he is engaged in the emotion rather than the camera and/or being watched.
    Demand on the record company
    A little bit more background on the artist Adam young: He was a sufferer of insomnia, would found diversions at night, down in his basement. It was then, where is created his music, which he placed on a social networking site for everyone to see and respond.
    I understand now the context and the reasons behind the song- which adds emphasis on the ideal that he engages with his feelings.
    He was singed up by Universal republic.
    I have explained before, that some record labels want close ups which highlights their persona. I believe they did this with the style in which it is shot. (for example- close ups of toys and manly side profiles of the in singer himself).
  • 12. Continued
    Star Power
    This artist has a lot of star power. The construction includes his style/photography/music and the general way he thinks of himself and how we can decode that. What is he portraying? He is a young man portraying himself to be just that- making the younger audience want t become like him, if they feel the same way or can relate to his music in the same way.
    What is he and the record label trying to convey? He is talking about daydreaming and dreaming and how he would wish to stay in a dream, rather then seeing the cold harsh reality everyday- which for him was because he could not sleep. This can be shown using the conventions. If we looked at one of his photographs you can clearly say that he is not engaging towards any one or thing, and seems to be in a daydream. (ie: he doesn’t seem to notice anything around him)
    We are watching him play a song, in the video. It maybe live but the point to be made here, is the moving toys and animated objects that come alive when he plays- thus showing him taking the audience out of reality.
    In terms of representation- I find it is the room that shows this about young boys. (maybe some girls who burst out of the ‘girl conventions’). The room has certain toys, picked out to show the audience that it is a boys room.
    Why are they represented this way? It is to show innocence and playfulness that most young boys have when they are younger. The editing, such as the fast past cuts and camera work such as extreme close ups/closes ups helps in conveying this to the audience. What do you think about, if you were asked to play a young boy? Fast movements, playful nature and pure innocents. Even though, this is aimed at a slightly older audience, (both genders), the artist is trying the relate to that innocent side- that so many people try to do.
  • 13. In comparison to...
    In comparison to the use of objects and star power, in The warriors dance.
    Come with me to the dance floor,You and me cause that’s what it’s forShow me now what is itYou got to be doingAnd the music in the house… is so soothing 
    The point was the vocals start is when the first match box steps on the ground hard causing a beat which in turn creates the other two match boxes. This promotes the fact that the band comes alive with the music the produce- and they can create life with their music. The music is catchy and the consumer wants to get up and dance- this is what this promotes.
    The lyrics relate to the dance floor which again relates to the consumer who enters nightclubs/bars.
    This Pushes their star power forwards and confronts the audience directly, in comparison to the hidden away artists- wanting to connect with the understanding of the song and people around him.
    The camera also goes in and out of focus in relation to the beat which is very affective. It looks like loud speakers. This, again, relates back to nightclubs. The vibrations are coming from the match boxes which shows power and adds attitude to their iconic image.
    The close ups I like is the one when the three match boxes are sitting on the glasses. This shows empowerment in the band- the is completely different to the fixed camera work used in Fire Flies. They are looking down from the glasses at the other match boxes. This shows that they are in control of their music and they control the nightclubs- when they play their music. This is very much like a commercial would be which a lot of close ups. This is to focus of the bands face and in this case to personify them as a band.  
    Intertextual references- the nightclubs.
  • 14. Continued
  • 15. Her Morning Elegance / Oren Lavie
    Visuals and lyrics
    This music video is a mixture between narrative and metaphoric ideas, that go with the song and its tempo. For example, when the lyrics state- 'she fights for her life', visually the audience sees a dramatic change in the use of colour and texture, within the bed sheets. The colours represent the overall change in mood- it is dark and the key lyrics, 'she fights for her life' show this.
    When these keywords finish the mood changes again back to the colours white (showing innocents) and the tempo of the words being said slow down.
    The visuals have a dramatic rise and fall from the chorus to the verses. In the next verse she is running and the uses tempo speeds up representing to the audience the ideal of her 'fighting for her life'. What I notice about this is that it isn't a sinister response- more the age of innocents.
    I also feel that it is the narrative she is carrying that is being moved via the lyrics and music. (something I am going to look at next). The mis en scene is very pure- even those darker colours have some purity, maybe it is the clean cut look the sheets and pillows have. It is the mis en scene, here, that is used metaphysical.
    Visual and music
    The dramatic rise and fall doesn't end with the key words of the song. The key moments such as the women falling into the covers are also linked to the song. The tempo doesn't really speed up, but the combined lyrics and visuals make it appear that way.
    The props on the side of the bed also add to the dream. What do you do when you go to bed/get up in the morning? The coffee/book/shoes/slippers all show a good sense of life within narrative. She went to bed and is dreaming. Do dreams happen in the morning? It maybe be good light to shoot in, but it has been said that people do dream before they wake up. (levels of your sub con sous). However this could be foreseen as a daydream. I have picked this up by the use of natural light/props and stop motion. (something which drew my into this piece in the first place).
  • 16. Continued...
    Style and Iconography
    This is acoustic, possibly indie style music, therefore the music video shows this. The main artist appears only for a short time, but is a link between her and the dream that she is in. (for example- they appear to be riding a bike, she tilts her head back and he puts in back in place. This shows the audience that he is in control, but gently).
    The use of the high angle shot and few close ups (of the women) truly help, emphasis the pictorial sense of the music video. What I mean by this is, it is a story that needs to be told through pictures. (My understanding of stop motion, is that you take 24-25 pictures per a second). Therefore, there is no need to complicate a simple concept- the audience will up this up from the start, due to the quirky use of stop motion).
    The artist is the gentlemen in this music video, shown by his dress- by wearing the shirt and trousers. The fact that the colours are dark, emphasis his 'being' within the video. He is highly contrasted to the back ground showing his star power.
    The button of his shirt is undone- which makes me think that he is relaxed into his music- and this connects to the audience.
    Demand of record company
    This is how one of the music videos was made. I was amazed at the attention to detail and the countless hours it took for them to take all 2096 photographs. This piece of work was done using a still photographer, rather than a camera man. This is more of an artistic approach to creating a music video and I love it.
    I also love how the photos have been used to advertise the song and music video further. For example, the have been sent all over the world in a form of a exhibition and now people can by a photo from one of the 2096.
    So, here, one media text has turned into another one.
    The fact that it has been shown in many other forms than due music video, shows that people have been seeing this music video in many ways other than just on screen.
  • 17. Continued
    Style and camera shots
    As you can see by the last photo at the bottom left, he is wearing darker clothing. This is to stand out making the shot look more contrasting and interesting. As the audience, I could decode the message that he is the important one that could change her life- and her way of loving that we have seen so far. The shot it self, is very stylistic and reminds me of ying and yang. This look peaceful and elegant showing the flow and overall understand to the song.
  • 18. In comparison to......
    To Bayonce and her music video- Halo
    The camera work and editing...
    The camera work was made to look natural. The fast cut montage ( the rendering of images impossible to grasp in the first viewing to promote more viewing) is soft and much gentler than the other two- where the pace is much faster to create more of an epic mood. The mood here is much softer and happier.
    The is conventional for this singer as she is a solo female artist with a broad audience appeal. She offers different kinds of moods within her music thus giving different pleasures to the audience.
    The colourisation here is very cold (consists of whites and blues) this is to insure the iconic image- which is soft and gentle. (this highlights her strong women image)
    There are light lines (blue light lines) that appear though out the video. This is to highlight the Halo theme within the video. Again this promote the video and makes it more viewable over and over again.
    There are also a lot of close ups which i quite conventional for music videos. This is because it is like a commercial for the singer/band. They are selling themselves and the close ups are there to show the star face.
    This is different to the composition of Her morning elegants. She is shown as a lonely middle class women, who lives the same life day by day until she meets this man- the artist.
    Halo, offers lots of mood and this is reflected in the use of light and darks. This is similar to This Morning Elegants because they also use the lights and darks to show contrast which can highlight the song.
  • 19. Continued.....
  • 20. Last things to add
    Marxism- Alienation- This is a term used to describe how we are starting to become strangers to humanity. For example, using our mobile phones to talk to the person next to us. This is an extreme case of course yet, it does happen today. People more often talk online rather than face to face. Dating sites are also becoming more widely accepted.
    This links to music videos because they can push forward ideals/ways of living/ fashion, which naturally would happen through natural means, such as being in groups of other people and communicating ideas face to face. Music videos, don’t just promote the artist but also promote the ideologies that could possibly influence us in many ways. After all, the media texts do categories us humans into different sections and deciding what we watch.
    Why do we conform this way? Is it easy? Or is there no choice anymore?
    I believe that it is the convince of being spoon fed which can partly make up who we are. (nature or nurture?). I want to challenge this- maybe in a responsive way, by making my music video an example of alienation of humanity.