A Level Media Studies
G324: Advanced Portfolio
Who is Andrew Goodwin?
• Andrew Goodwin is currently a Professor is
Cultural Studies at the University of San
• He is the author of a well-known book on
Music Television and cultural theory
(Dancing in the Distraction Factory: Music
Television and Popular Culture) and he has
published numerous articles on media and
• His areas of interest include media
aesthetics, critical theory and popular music.
1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (e.g. stage
performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band)
2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either
illustrative, amplifying, contradicting)
3. There is a relationship between the music and visuals
4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of
close ups of the artists and the artist may develop motifs which
reoccur across their work (a visual style)
5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within
screens, telescopes etc and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the
6. There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv
programmes, other music videos etc)
Thought Beats – Seeing the sound in your
• First step is to look at the music itself. We must take into
account the structure of the song for e.g. Chorus/Verses .
• Secondly, the voice of the song. The artists voice is extremely
unique and can form identification or trademarks that work
well with the star image. Roland Barthes theory of the Grain
of voice can be related to this. He sees the singing voice as an
expressive instrument and therefore able to make
associations of its own.
• Thirdly, Goodwin also points out the artists mode of address.
Songs can be seen as stories and the artist the storyteller,
making the music video a two communication device, them
telling us a story and us listening.
Relation of Visuals to Song
There are three ways in which music
videos work to promote a song
Music videos can
use a set of
meaning of lyrics
& genre, this is
This is similar to
through the video
and drummed into
our visionThis is where the
meaning of the
song is completely
Narrative & Performance
Songs fail to give us the complete narrative!
• We only tend to get a gist of the meaning of the song and then
tend to make up our own idea of what is being told. Goodwin
explains that music videos should ignore common narrative. It is
important in their role of advertising.
• Music videos should include coherent repeatability. Narrative
and performance work hand in hand it makes it easier for the
audience to watch over and over without loosing interest.
• The artist acting as both narrator & participant helps to increase
the authenticity however the lip sync and other mimed actions
remains the heart of music videos. The audience need to believe
this is real.
• Create a Presentation that deconstructs a Music
Video (of your Choice) using Andrew Goodwin’s 6
• Use plenty of screen shots and annotations
• Include correct terminology!
• An example is available on Student Common (see
A GRADE EXAMPLE
Andrew Goodwin Music Video Theory
Andrew Goodwin’s theory applied to...
by Stacey Hall
Gold Digger- Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx
Andrew Goodwin’s theory how to analyse a music video
Goodwin Identified 6 key aspects the audience should look for when analysing music
video’s , they are;
1) A relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, with the visuals; illustrating,
amplifying or contradicting the lyrics.
2) A relationship between the music and the visuals, with the visuals; illustrating,
amplifying or contradicting the music.
3) Genre- related style and iconography present.
4) Star image, multiple close-up shots of the main artist or vocalist.
5) Voyeurism often plays a major part, especially in relation to females.
6) Intersexual references to other media texts maybe present.
With Andrew Goodwin’s theory I will apply it to music videos to see if he is correct, that
there are similar key features that are present in music videos.
Gold Digger- Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx
I am going to analyse Kanye
West’s music video for Gold
digger. It not necessarily a
music video I am inspired by
for my own production of a music video but I do like the dance
genre music and the simplistic look of the video. The Gold
Digger video I believe is a great example of Andrew
Goodwin’s theory about key features in a music video
which I will elaborate on.
1) A relationship between the lyrics and visuals
“From what I heard she got a baby by
“Get down girl, go 'head get down
(I gotta leave)”
“She got one of yo' kids, got you for 18
“WE WANT PRE-NUPT!, yeah”
“18 years, 18 years” “You don’t want a dude to smoke
but he can’t buy weed!
“But when you get on he leaves you for a white
Response to key feature 1
When analysing the video I noticed that the lyrics were illustrated
by the visuals which makes Gold Digger a Illustrative music video. I have
print screened many examples which I have found in the video which
illustrate the lyrics being sang. Most of the time the lyrics being sung
would appear in bold font writing which appears to be used for a certain
magazine title and the mise en scene is reflective of the lyrics, the best
example for this opinion is the line spoke; “You don’t want a dude to
smoke but he can’t buy weed!, smoke is present and the black is a strong
statement colour which contrasts with the usual bright colours used
within this video. This could be because the line is so negative the
director may of wanted to visually reflect this negative, depressing tone
by associating it with the colour black.
I say that Gold Digger is an Illustrative music video but I have also noticed an amplifying relationship to
the lyrics by the visuals such as the actors reacting to the lines sang.
These two print screen shots a great example of a reaction of the lyrics sang, the first is reacting to the line; “He got
the ambition baby look into his eyes.” The second is; “And on his 18th birthday he found out it wasn’t his” the actress
reacts by be smug and poking her tongue out to show the audience that she knew this the whole time but she played
the man for money which makes her a ‘Gold digger’ this is Illustrative of the meaning of the song.
A illustrative music video can be redundant but sometimes being too illustrative transforms a music video to
become entropic, I believe this is true when analysing Gold Digger. It is a simplistic but effective music video which
illustrates the lyrics, I think by doing this it connects with the audience as they can join in with the song and learn the
lyrics quicker which makes both the song and video successful as it is catchy and remember able.
The song lasts for 3:41 which is quite a long time so at times the music video become boring and repetitive as there is
no clear narrative structure, I would say that this video is reflective of Claude Levi- Strauss’s theory of binary
opposites as it seems as though there is a clear division of genders which the women are portrayed as inferior to the
men as they are ‘Gold diggers’, meaning that they are after the money as they a skint etc...
2) A relationship between the music and the visuals.
The print screen illustrates the editing structure of the opening sequence of Gold digger. I have
established that Gold digger is an illustrative music video and this applies to the relationship
between the music and visuals. The opening sequences is rather redundant as it follows a basic
editing structure of following the artist singing his lines then when then is a pause it illustrates
the ‘gold digger’ he is portraying then once again goes to Kanye to show him singing and
illustrating his lines by doing actions for the line;
‘ But she ain’t messin’ wit no broke niggaz’ by using
the gesture no! with him waving his finger from side to
side. The artist reacting to the song by doing gestures
continues through the video and the best example is;
‘Get down girl go head get down’ (print screen to the
Left illustrating this). Also when there is sound of the
beat of clapping a shot of Jaime Foxx clapping is used to
identify to audience where this source of noise is coming
from because at first it seems to be non- diagetic clapping but
It is established in 0:35.
The editing pace of the video is amplifying to the beat which is quite popular in
pop/ dance videos as they tend to have a quick, sharp tempo to them which a great
source for knowing when to cut. Gold Digger is once again a perfect example of this style
of editing, as there is a non linear narrative used the video does rely upon the beat of the
music to give a pace to the video e.g. When the tempo increases so does the editing
pace. A great example of this technique used is from the clip 0:20- 0:24, 1:30- 1:31, 1:34-
1:35 and 2:12- 2:13, in the Youtube video. The repetitive jumpy editing is used when a
word tends to be repeated e.g. “Money, Money”
These print screen shots are from the repetitive jumpy cut in 1:34- 1:35
As well as the editing pace relationship with the music the actual shots themselves
change to the beat of the music e.g. a cut edit is used to slightly zoom in or out of the frame
in a blink but I have managed to caption an example from the Youtube video from 2:32.
From a mid shot to a long shot in a split second which creates a depth of field shot as this allows
the audience to read the text and imagery portrayed itself in greater detail.
By the visuals being edited together by the beat of the music is rather redundant as most
videos tend to do this but I think it is really effective for this music video as there a strong,
catchy distinctive tune which many would recognise just here the first 10 seconds. What I
particularly find irritating about this video is the repetitive nature of it e.g. Going back and
fourth to the two artist t show them singing their lines which is slightly boring near the end. At
times as the beat loses it tempo at times so does the video e.g. When Kanye is rapping it seems to
go on a tangent and loses pace with creates dull sections within the video e.g. 0:44- 1:05.
Star image, multiple close-up shots of the main
artist or vocalist.
In Gold digger the main focus of the video is the sleekness of Kanye West surrounded by
these ‘Gold diggers,’ to portray this most of the shot used for Kanye and Jamie Foxx are
close up shots of their faces. I would say by using such close up shots it is meant to create
a connection between the audience and the artist but in this case it seems as though
Kanye is ignoring the audience as he never gives eye contact, as he is either wearing
glasses or has his back to the camera as though he doesn’t care.
I have print screened many examples of the multiple close up shots of both Kanye and
This print screen is an establishing shot of the Here is great depth of field bust shot of both
Lead ‘gold digger.’ the artist’s, they are both wearing similar costumes
which creates a distinctive look to the video as it
shows that they must generally have a close bond.
This is a similar shot to the one on the previous slide I mentioned that Kanye does not connect with the
but e.g. bust shot and the framing composition. The audience by looking away from the camera and
difference s Kanye is slightly out of focus as the camera covering his eyes by some shades, which is
has focused on Jamie, as he his singing his lines. The most important physical feature when singing.
These two shots are once again a perfect example of the artist ‘blanking’ the camera, I think this is
symbolises the men rejecting the ‘gold diggers’ by them turning away and not seeming to connect and give
eye contact with either the audience or the extras in the video.
These two print screens are another great example of Kanye rejecting the ‘gold digger,’ in the first he
has turned his back to the camera sideway but yet he does keep turning back to sing the lyrics. I think
by doing this he is expressing his ‘not bothered’ approach to the situation by doing hand gestures like;
waving his finger and go away ( 2nd print screen.)
Finally I have print screened these two shots as I believe that are a contrast to the previous shots used. The
first is Jamie, the mise en scene has changed e.g. back ground colour, this is because the tone of the song has
changed as it the girl who has tricked the man and green cold symbolise envy. The second is an over the
shoulder shot of the lead ‘gold digger’ this shows a Kanye to a stronger presence as he is looking down upon
the woman. The mise en scene has once again changed , the lighting is softer with a warm pink tone applied
and also the ‘gold digger’ is out of focus it shows the audience that Kanye is the main focus of this framing.
Gold digger is a great example of Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze but this
is in a
music video not in a Hollywood film, I argue through that the video is set to look
like a old film because the opening starts with opening titles which sound like they
are being projected from an old film projector and also the letter boxing framing is
reflective of old films. As it meant to look like an old film I think the director has
gone for the stereotypical sexualising of women, this is done by the camera acting
as the male gaze. The camera objectifies sexual parts of the woman; lips, boobs
and bum (print screens.) throughout the video the tilts up and pans up and down
the women as though it is Kanye’s point of view ‘checking out’ the women.
The way the women are dressed is very provocative but yet is still done in a classy
way by them being dressed as 1950’s pin up girls, this reflect the tilt of the song
Gold digger as they are trying to attract rich men to scrounge money off by using
These two print screens stand out for me in the video as they are not so sexualised like the previous
shots above. The male gaze has concentrated on the beautiful smile and piercing eyes, this is because
it symbolise that not all gold diggers are so in your face with their beauty instead they can be cunning
by using their natural beauty to get what the want. The extreme close up shots create a mysterious
aura towards this woman as at first glance you think that this is a sweet girl because of the soft lighting
and turquoise background but when you look in detail e.g. In her eyes you can see she is cunning.
Here are two print screens which I believe shows the main ‘gold digger’ using her sexuality
to get male attention but yet still look classy by wearing a peal necklace and sexy lingerie.
The mise en scene is also very sensual as the lighting is flattering on the female form by
exaggerating the curves, the pink and black compliment each over to create a sexy tone to
the shot which also matches the colours of the lingerie worn.
These print screen shots are other examples of voyeurism, the first is a low
angle close up shot of a pair of heel. This is could be because this is a very
sexual portrayal of femininity and the mise en scene is reflective of a sensual
tone due to the dark red and shadows casted . The second is exploiting the
woman by making her lye on her back in a sexual pose. The third and fourth
concentrate on the mise en scene, both have the gold diggers in a spot light to draw
attention to them and to also create a soft tone to the shot. The costumes worn are
typical in R&B music videos as the tight fitting and revealing, mostly the legs. Both
camera angles are slightly low as this creates the illusion that they are powerful
which amplifies the song.
The voyeurism in the second print screen seems a bit sordid as it as
though the audience are watching her lour a rich man, this point
of view is not from the male gaze which is unusual in this video as
the rest is from the males point of view. It seems that we are
following the gold digger and actually the audience especially the
female audience start to warm to her as she is in control and
The camera is
acting as though it
is Kanye eyes
which is his point
view. The camera
pans up this
woman to create
the male gaze
Mulvey came up
with the theory.
Here I have printed screened a sequence from the video which is great example
of the male gaze. The camera pans down the woman, first looking at her face but
then starts ogling her toned body. This is done to show that these women are
stunning, beautiful and can be classy but they use their body to drawn the rich male
attention by flashing flesh. The mise en scene of this shot is important as it how she is
presented that catches the audiences eye. The pink background is bold and striking and
contrasts well with the matching costume and text as it creates a feminine look to the
shot as it sexy yet angelic by using the colour white. The soft spot lighting behind the ‘gold
digger’ also creates a angelic tone to the woman which is contradicting to the her as she is
a dark, cunning character.
It is obvious that Gold digger have intersexual reference to the pin
up look and even pornographic imagery. I have print screened every
different magazine to illustrate that this video has been inspired by
the 1950’s pin up girl magazines. The is such detail in ever shot of
e.g. Price of the magazine, volume and most importantly the title
which is the either a lyric being sang at the time the cover appears
or it amplifying the lyrics being sang such as; ‘White girl,’ ‘ Pre Nupt’