Narrative and music videos 2013

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Catch up and revision session for narrative in music videos

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Narrative and music videos 2013

  1. 1. Critical Perspectives in Media Narrative
  2. 2. Learning Intentions  To recap basic narrative conventions within a music video  To understand narrative theory  To apply the theory to a professional music video
  3. 3. Narrative & the Song (lyrics) THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SONG CONTENT AND NARRATIVE CONTENT Illustration The narrative in the video very closely echoes the lyrical content of the song Amplification The narrative whilst inspired by the song adds a narrative element to complement the themes / subject matter of the song Disjuncture The narrative seems to hold very little relationship to the song and quite arbitrary (random)
  4. 4. Narrative / Performance Performance Videos • Exclusively performance • The performance in these video will be given special treatment: • Performing in an unusual place • Stunning visual effects • Comic performance • Spectacle performance Combination Videos • These videos will be a mixture of performance and narrative and can include: • The performance and narrative completely separate • The star / band observes the action as an invisible narrator • The performer has an active role in the narrative Narrative Videos • Have little of no performance. (Quite unusual given music videos nature as advert for the band.) • May often tell a socially important story (giving a voice to the voiceless) • May use a complex narrative structure/ range • May use inter-textual references from films or other stories.
  5. 5. NARRATIVE CONVENTIONS  When thinking about the relationship between narrative and performance in the music video, also consider how far the following are conventionally true:  Narrative is subordinate to performance.  Songs rarely tell complete narratives.  Music videos resist classic realistic narratives (stories with a beginning, middle and end and a full cast of characters).  Music videos narratives tend to reflect a ‘sense of a story’ and are more thematic in their approach  The audience consume music videos in a looser, more casual way.  Music videos need to have repeatability built into them.  Most important is the authenticity of the performance.
  6. 6. Describe the narrative shape of the video Structure
  7. 7. The Three Act Structure Act 1 Act 2 Act 3
  8. 8. The Three Act Structure Act 1 (Exposition) •Introduce the main character, sets up conflicts which is the story of the film. •At the end is the catalytic moment where the equilibrium is disrupted
  9. 9. The Three Act Structure Act 2 (Disequilibrium or Climax) Explored the consequences of the catalytic moment. The protagonist recognises the disruption and tries to repair the diegesis .
  10. 10. The Three Act Structure Act 3 (Denouement) With one final revelation or moment of crisis / conflict the story is resolved (a new equilibrium created) and the audience is told the outcomes. The themes should be evident in the denouement
  11. 11. Describe your narrative and how much is shown in the video. (Todorov) Equilibrium/ Exposition Disruption Disequilibrium/ Climax Revelation Equilibrium/ Denouement Narrative Organisation Time
  12. 12. “All stories must have a beginning, middle and an end, just not necessarily in that order” Quentin Tarantino on Pulp Fiction
  13. 13. Non-Linear Narratives •Anachronic •Split Screen •Forking Path •Episodic
  14. 14. Driving the Narrative Conflict and oppositions
  15. 15. Binary Opposition (Levi-Strauss) Typical Narrative Oppositions... Protagonist Antagonist Future Past Civilisation Savagery The Police Criminals Age Youth Equality Injustice Love Appearances Searching Finding Betrayal Redemption Entrapment Freedom Loss Discovery
  16. 16. Conflict & Themes  As the audience watch the story and witness the conflicts and the denouement the themes can emerge.
  17. 17. Audience Positioning
  18. 18. Whose story is it?  Who are we being encouraged to empathise with?  How is that character represented to us?  What character codes are being used?
  19. 19. Band / Singer in the Narrative  What is the relationship between the band or artist and the narrative? Are they:  Separate from the narrative?  A player within the narrative?  Are key lyrics put into the mouths‟ of the characters?  Is the band watching the action like an invisible narrator?  What impact does this have on our reading of the text /star?
  20. 20. What‟s the Narrative Range? Restricted / Unrestricted
  21. 21. Restricted Narrative Range  Doesn‟t reveal all the narrative information to the audience  Such as in thrillers  Events in the narrative which are (initially) unexplained are called „enigma codes‟  Which will be explained later in the narrative  In thrillers this is called the twist  This opens the text to multiple readings, which is pleasurable for the audience and useful for the repeatability of the music video
  22. 22. Nickleback - Someday
  23. 23. Unrestricted Narrative Range  Gives the audience privileged position in terms of the narrative  Such as in soaps  The audience‟s pre knowledge of important facts leads to a heightened emotional response and greater anticipation in terms of the revelation of that information to ignorant characters.
  24. 24. Ed Sheeran – The A Team
  25. 25. In your blog... Your Task
  26. 26. Narrative Analysis  How is the narrative structured?  Where on the narrative arc is it taking place?  Is it linear of non-linear? Why?  What conflicts drive the narrative?  How do the conflicts reveal the themes?  How are the audience positioned?  Whose story is it?  What is the intended relationship between the performance and narrative in the video?  What is the narrative range in the video?  What is the narrative pleasure of the text?  Why would an audience watch it again?

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