‘ California Gurls,’ by Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg was produced by Dr Luke, Max Martin and Benny Blanco. The record was directed by Matthew Cullen and was inspired by the work of Will Cotton who was also artistic director. Originally the single was intended to be sent to mainstream and rhythmic airplay on 25th May 2010.
However after being published online, the single was sent to radio on the 7th May 2010, as well as on Katy Perry’s own website. The song made it to number one on the Billboard 100 and remained for six weeks. This gave Perry her US number one single and Snoop Dogg his third. The song reached number one in over 10 countries including, United States, UK, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand. ‘California Gurls’ was particularly aimed at a younger audience, including both girls and boys.
Those more likely to listen to and download the song would include those who were interested in the pop genre, such as my main production of ‘Missing you’ by The Saturday’s. The same audience would be interested in Romantic Comedy films such as, ‘The Ugly Truth.’
It is obvious that the genre Pop is portrayed through different music conventions. In ‘California Gurls,’ there is an obvious relationship between the lyrics and the visuals. Shown in the screen shot to the left, is the singer Katy Perry climbing a candy stick. She is surrounded by Chocolate ice cream, clouds and an icing imitation of ‘Hollywood.’
This portrays a sense of surrealism as the idea of a ‘candy made’ world would be thought of as a dream. The screen shot is followed from the lyrics, ‘You’ll be falling in love.’ This clearly connects the lyrics with the visuals in a way that reassures the audience that everyone would love to live in such an illusory world.
Quick editing has been included in this video to create an interesting effect. It is obvious that the record companies have demanded different angles of Katy Perry including a vast amount of close ups. Close ups, are a huge success in a pop video due to the popularity of the artist. The audience edge to see the singer close up, this can result into imitated styles and facial expressions attracting more and more audience numbers. The record company aim to attract a larger audience number with the close ups that could include, pretty, icon shots as well as sexy which would therefore attract both genres.
Camera work shows shots of Katy Perry ranging from long establishing shots to close ups. As an attractive singer the importance of shots showing her legs and more feminine parts have been included to attract the male audience whereas focus on props such as shoes and lipstick and the outfit have been aimed at the female gender.
‘ A screen shot to attract males’ ‘A screen shot to attract females’
There is an obvious narrative structure within the video, with a title of ‘California Gurls’ but an opening shot of a board game. The idea of ‘Candyfornia’ is produced. It is obvious that the main idea behind the video is to do with candy, rather than incorporating a beach theme. Perry acts as a piece in the board game, set out to free the women of the land.
Taken from the inspiration of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory,’ ‘California Gurls’ seeks to create a strange narrative story. Throughout this music video, a strong narrative structure is shown; there are quick shots which show the main singer in different locations. The video has been edited, so that we are aware of the background story of the song. Katy Perry makes quick costume changes which describe the length of her mission in this ‘board game.’
In the music video, Katy Perry’s outlook is portrayed as very girlie and innocent like. Examples of these are shown from the images above. Katy Perry’s constant change in outfits, keeps the video interesting. One of her costumes is a brownie outfit and she has her hair in bunches, this is one of Katy Perry’s more childish look attracted young teenagers whereas the outfit of her on the beach in shorts and a bikini top is aimed at the older teenage age group, this is also obvious by the cupcakes edited on to Katy’s bikini top. The locations used in this music video portray surrealism, with sweets taller than the singer and edible houses, the audience is aware of the editing effects used and how the inspiration from surreal stories are combined in.
Throughout the video, a strong lighting is used. Whether the shots include Snoop Dogg or Katy Perry, high lighting is always shown. I believe lighting is used during this video to show happiness and brightness. If dark shadows were to be used this would turn the video into a horror like scene which would not combine correctly with the lyrics and music in the song. Low key lighting would more likely to be used during a sad song, such as ‘The end of the road,’ by Boys to men. Katy Perry’s actions are also very dramatic in ‘California Gurls,’ again, this adds to the surrealist thought of delight and happiness. An example of Perry’s dramatic actions is when the gummy bear swears at her. Her reaction is over the top and although interesting can come across as very fake.
‘ California Gurls’ reviews have got better since the video has been released. When the video reached number one, comments such as, ‘This video is so good, definitely Katy Perry’s best. I love the different styles and clichés she portrays.’ Show how well the audience has adapted to the idea of ‘Candyfornia.’
Another comment stated, how the effects were as vibrant and extraordinary as any dream like world should be. Again this is positive to the publicity of both the video and Katy Perry. Overall the critical reception was generally very good. By publishing the video online this proved the video editing and overall idea was good. Results of this included attracted a larger audience, for example not just those watching from television.
Furthermore, the genre of Pop is portrayed predominantly well throughout Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls.’ As it soared to number one in over 10 different countries, it not only attracted the teenage audience that it was aimed at, but different age groups such as adults as well. I believe the video has been considered considerably well allowing the relationships with the lyrics and visuals to adapt correctly into a dream like world. Although when first listening, the audience would believe the song is about California, as the video adapts we are aware Perry has changed the narrative structure and done well to keep it running throughout. This video was very successful allowing the song and video to be pushed to the top of the pops.