McFly ft. Taio Cruz – Shine a Light According to the text ‘Music Video and the Politics of Representation’ by Diane Railton and Paul Watson, there are 4 types of music video; Pseudo-Documentary, Art, Narrative and Staged Performance. McFly’s ‘Shine a Light’ video is a hybrid of 3 types; Staged Performance, Pseudo-Documentary and Narrative. The representation of these female dancers in this video is different to the representations they would perhaps get in a hip hop video. The females in this video are being used purely for entertainment purposes, to get a bit more going on in the video, whereas usually in hip hop videos females are predominantly used as sexual objects. Andrew Goodwin quotes that there is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals. This part of the video fulfils this theory because the lyrics are ‘shine a light on her’, and the visuals are very dark, so it is a contradiction between the two.
Live performances are very common in McFly videos. I think it is because they want to be known as a band that will always be willing to play their songs live, unlike some other artists who don’t feel comfortable and prefer to perform using lip syncing and to give the fans some reassurance that whenever they see McFly live, they will be getting the band as they are, and not as an audio track. Also the genre of the music McFly make is along the lines of rock, in which live performances in videos are very common. Taio Cruz is well known for being more an ‘RnB’ artist, so the representation of him in this video is different to the representation of McFly because of the divide in music genres. Cruz in this shot is surrounded by females, and seems to be ‘dressed to impress’ with the black suit and sun glasses, possibly to give him some sort of ego for being a ladies man and a man in charge.
An over the shoulder shot is used here to perhaps provide a narrative for the lyrics ‘Where can I find her’ because the shot shows a girl in front of a computer watching the band, but they don’t know where she is. This is also a representation of the Narrative aspects of the music video because it is telling a story through the shot and combines with the lyrics. This is the establishing shot of the video, it shows the band standing around in the performance area, with no fans around which contrasts with towards the end of the video, where in the same performance area fans have appeared.
Pseudo-Documentary shot. When McFly decided to make this video, they gave fans a chance to take part in a ‘treasure hunt’, where they were given clues all over London to find the band. Some of the footage taken from the treasure hunt has been used in the video, which can be seen in these shots. I think that these shots have been included in the video so that the band can portray the close relationship they have with their fans.
Maroon 5 – Harder To Breathe This video by Maroon 5 fits into the staged performance category of music video (according to the theories of Diane Railton and Paul Watson). The video mainly focuses on the bands performance which has been specifically set up for the video. This is the videos establishing shot. This immediately gives an indication that the video will mainly be focused on the band, because of the defining focus on one instrument, which is played by a band member. The colours in this shot play a big part in portraying the mood of the video. The colours are very dark and subdued giving the impression that there is a quite a dark tone. This works brilliantly with the music track because it is a dark song. Andrew Goodwin identified a characteristic for there being a relationship between the music and the visuals. The video compliments this characteristic by illustrating dark lyrics with dark visuals such as the lighting and colour schemes. This shot is an extreme close up of the microphone being used by the lead vocalist . This signifies that the video perhaps focuses solely on the band. This helps the band develop their star iconography, and gives the impression that they focus on nothing but the music they make.
There are lots of close up shots of members of the band in this video. This could be because there is a demand on the part of the record company for lots of close ups of the main artist/vocalist. (Andrew Goodwin) There are not just close ups of Adam Levine (main vocalist), there are also shots of the other band members, however this video does keep to Andrew Goodwin's characteristic and includes a lot more close up shots of the main vocalist than any other band member.
In this shot the lighting has changed from earlier on in the video, this is around the last quarter of the song so it could be because perhaps the tempo of the song has changed from being quite dark and slow to a bit more upbeat. This shot shows Adam Levine in an intimate dark room, which symbolises the song ‘Harder to breathe’ because it looks as if it is quite difficult for Adam Levine to breathe because of the lack of room and light.
Young Money – Bed Rock This video is a collaboration of all the artists who are signed to the record company, ‘Young Money’. It fits mainly into the Narrative category of music video . This is the establishing shot, which sets the tone as a sort of fantasy world, for example the huge white mansion , driveway and the fact that it says ‘Young Money World’. This could be that the label wants to develop a star iconography for all of the artists (Andrew Goodwin) This shot is a reference to voyeurism. (Andrew Goodwin) It is both in the terms of looking and the treatment of women. It’s a CCTV effect, with a young woman being filmed in a bedroom and kitchen.
All of these shots in the video, I think help portray the whole big reputation of the wealth of rappers. The big fancy house, big garden, swimming pool is all part of the persona rappers such as those signed to the ‘Young Money’ record label carry. These shots also help fulfil the idea of a fantasy world because of the colours used on the buildings. Pure pristine white which represents purity and angels – Heaven. This shot however contradicts the representation of the purity of the colour white because Lil Wayne (rapper) has a group of half naked women on top of him instead of just one and also the colour red is known to be the colour of sexual desire.
This shot displays the typical ‘rapper’ stereotype. Gold chains, bangles, nice watches, hats and tattoos. Also the women in the background fulfils the stereotype because rappers are renown for their nice cars, big jewellery and numerous amounts of women. This shot could possibly give off the view that to them, money is never ending and they have everything they need in ‘Young Money World’, they can use it for fun like in the video where they are playing with it on a snooker table. The dressing gown that is being worn by Drake in this shot symbolises wealth and authority, makes him look as if he is the ‘man of the house’. The dressing gown worn also mirrors one worn in a James Bond film, so there is an intertextual reference to a film. (Andrew Goodwin)
The portrayal of women in this music videos mirrors that of many other Rap videos. Women are mainly used as sex symbols because they are a signature feature, like in this video where there is a big group of females compared to the small group of males. The sexualisation of women is also portrayed very well in this shot, as the male is taking pictures of the female for his personal sexual enjoyment. However the visual sexual portrayal of women has a relationship with the lyrics because the shots amplify the lyrics. For example ‘I can make your bedrock’ – implying sexual activity.