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Video research presentation

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  • 1. A music video is a short piece of film made by an artist/band to accompany a song. Today, music videos are used primarily as a promotional tool to increase record sales, thanks to the introduction of programmes broadcasting videos such as “Top of the Pops” in the 1970s and music channels such as MTV in the 1980s, when the term ‘music video’ came into popular usage. Music videos
  • 2. Musical short films began making appearances in the 1920s, featuring bands, vocalists and dancers. Early 1930s cartoons featured popular musicians performing their hit songs on-camera in live-action segments during the cartoons. It wasn’t until the late 60s and early 70s that “promotional clips”, “song films” or “filmed inserts” as they were then called, grew in popularity. The Kinks and The Who made one of the first promo clips for a song involving a plot as opposed to just performance or lip synching, which was unheard of at the time. This led to the music video becoming more than just a promotional tool. Music videos
  • 3. In December 1992, MTV began acknowledging directors alongside the song and artist titles, reflecting the fact that music videos had now become something of an art form. Directors such as Michel Gondry, who has directed videos for the likes of Kylie Minogue and The Rolling Stones, got their start around this time. They brought a unique style and vision to the music videos they directed. Directors
  • 4. Samuel Bayer is a popular director of alternative rock videos, and is responsible for the creation of the legendary “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video by Nirvana. He also directed a series of videos for Green Day’s rock opera album American Idiot, where each video linked together like a film, artistically portraying the continuing themes and storyline throughout each video, one of which is shown below. “ Jesus of Suburbia” – Green Day Directors
  • 5. Camera More shots of the vocalist than any other band member. Many performance shots. Some mid-shots, with close-ups during significant sections such as guitar solos. The band is often shot from below their eye level to create the feeling of power and importance for them. Sometimes the camera will shake in time with a particularly heavy riff. This is a widely used technique creating the feeling that the riff is so heavy it is causing an earthquake. Editing Fast cutting. Cutting on action. Often synchronous editing with the beat of the song, or the changing mood. Conventions
  • 6. Mise-en-scene It is likely to be dark or dimly lit. The band dressed in dark clothing/typical metal fashions. Dark settings or backgrounds which the band perform against; outdoor settings are also common (e.g. in some woods). Sometimes there will be some visual reference to the album in the video, for instance Machine Head’s video for “Halo”, they show the album artwork on several occasions. Narrative Any narrative centred around death or dark themes, usually presenting the band positively and sometimes with the vocalist as the main character or hero. However, in “Everytime I Die”, the vocalist is murdered at the end. It is not uncommon for there to be no narrative at all. Conventions
  • 7. I researched a number of bands’ music videos using the internet, and the site www.metalvideo.com. Each video is from a different genre of metal. The bands I chose were Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom and Carcass. I tried to get some variety in my research, so I chose one video that was purely performance based, one that integrated performance and narrative and another that was unconventional for a metal video. Click to see the video for “My Apocalypse” – Arch Enemy Click to see the video for “Everytime I Die” – Children of Bodom Click to see the video for “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” - Carcass http://www.metalvideo.com/ Metal music videos
  • 8. Arch Enemy – “My Apocalypse” [2005] (performance only) The band dress entirely in black, as most, if not all, metal bands and fans do. This shot also places the bassist in a conventional pose, headbanging The band adopt many positions of power, in this case the singer uses open arm gestures to appear strong and assertive. As there are no shots from a high or low angle, the band use gestures as opposed to camera angles to assert themselves The guitarist’s red hair contrasts and stands out against the pure black background. His long hair presents him as a conventional metalhead to the audience Metal music videos
  • 9. The video as a whole is darkly lit, with strobe lighting used to accent certain areas and create a sinister mood. The clenched fists symbolise strength The singer is always at the front of the shots involving the whole band, showing her importance. Again, her open stance conveys power and strength Close up shots of instruments are often used during solos, as they are seen as a very significant part of metal music Arch Enemy – “My Apocalypse” [2005] (performance only) Metal music videos
  • 10. Children of Bodom – “Everytime I Die” [2001] (performance & narrative) The performance shots follow many conventions of metal videos; dark lighting, fast cuts and a variety of camera angles, close ups and long shots. The lead vocalist/guitarist adopts a powerful stance in this shot to assert his importance This low angle shot emphasises the guitarist’s status and puts him in a position of power, as though the audience is looking up at him. The blue corresponds with the colour of the album cover Band members are not always in the centre of the shot at all times. In this shot the guitar’s fretboard is in the centre, showing the actual music’s importance as well as the musician’s Metal music videos
  • 11. This shot is set in daylight, which is unusual. The slight low angle on this shot and the scythe make him appear dangerous. The character of the reaper invites certain storylines such as those connoting death and danger, which are evident in this video The setting of the deserted woods has many connotations of danger. The singer is wearing conventional black clothes, and the chains with which he is tied look threatening. Conventionally it would be expected of the singer to be the hero in his own video, but in this case he is murdered at the end The blindfold shows the singer’s vulnerability in this situation, while the blood is a theme often associated with metal music, also depicting his pain. His long hair and tattoo help to show he is a follower of metal Children of Bodom – “Everytime I Die” [2001] (performance & narrative) Metal music videos
  • 12. Carcass – “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” [1991] (unconventional) Many of the colours used do not reflect the conventions of metal music, but the use of fast cuts and performance shots do. The colours and effects reflect the song title’s reference to drug use Special effects are used to dissolve one shot into another. Aside from the colour, the bassist playing and vocalist are not unconventional shots to be used The closeness of this shot signifies the musician’s importance while the effects add to the disorientating feel of the video intended to correspond with the song’s meaning Metal music videos
  • 13. This is one of the few conventional shots, representing a typical “metalhead” with long hair, a recognisable image to the audience, however a white background is uncommon This shot shows dark themed images which tie in with the nature of the song and the music, as does the angry facial expression The black background and the guitarist’s powerful, confident stance are conventional, but the caped figure adds mystery and connotations of fear Carcass – “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” [1991] (unconventional) Metal music videos