Josie’s Evaluation: Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Characteristics• Due to our artist being Taylor Swift, I thought it would be best to perform in her style, with the constant acting, performance and movement.• But we made our artist- our star- the complete opposite to Taylor Swift.• Diamond Clark is an edgy, indie girl, with an addiction to country music and a southern twang.
Influences: Taylor Swift• As an iconic artist, I knew research needed to be carried out, and not just the usual Wikipedia research.• I looked at her official website, watched every single music video she’s ever made, I watched interviews she was in to gain deeper aspects of her personality.• With a fan base as massive as hers, with over 26,250,000 followers on twitter, she is a HUGE and well known artist, with her own specific genre and personality as ‘America’s Sweetheart.’• The songs on ‘Red’ however, seem to break away from the country-pop stereotype, such as I Knew You Were Trouble, which has a dubstep edge to it.
Goodwin• The means of a successful music video: Genre characteristics, relationship between lyrics and visuals, relationship between music and visuals, close ups, voyeurism, intertextuality.• Now this isn’t to say that music videos who don’t have ALL of the above within, doesn’t make them unsuccessful. To be blunt, if a woman doesn’t have a lot of skin showing, it doesn’t make the music video ‘rubbish’ or ‘unsuccessful’.• For example, Taylor Swift’s videos rarely have her ‘showing lots of skin’ or other voyeuristic tendencies, but in recent videos (and songs) she has mixed it up, and produced a new genre from it.
Goodwin continued…• I agree that the relationships between lyrics and visuals and music and visuals is incredibly important, because it makes sense for a pop song to meet the characteristics of a pop music video, and a rock song to have a music video filled with instruments and hotel trashing.• It wouldn’t make sense however, for a group like Little Mix to sing a pop song, and have a music video in black and white, by the river (which I place as being a love song situation) with a guitar.• So Goodwin does have good theories, but some aren’t necessary. For example, in my own music video, I don’t use voyeuristic techniques, but I do use intertextuality in it, where the camera is held over a mobile phone, and a conversation is shown.
Iconography:• Using the typical location of Richmond Park for our performance, I felt that the romantic and beautiful setting embraced the theme of love and destiny in the video, although the twist broke the boundaries of a usual Taylor Swift video, which was my intention as a director.• In addition to the location, our costume displayed a wintery theme, in which the audience’s minds would unintentionally think of a cute relationship by the fire, drinking hot chocolate and cuddling.• This stereotype they automatically thought of would then be wrong, causing the shock of seeing this young girl in abusive relationship would cause them to sympathise with her character, and the audience would then react the same way when they see our main character holding a pregnancy test, and possibly feeling scared for her.• The use of natural lighting was a problem at some points, due to unwanted shadows, or the sun shining too bright- but these are problems I overcame whilst editing, with increasing the contrast or reducing the brightness in certain places that it was needed.• I think all this ties in to make my music video successful, along with the strong narrative, confident actress and brilliant editing skills.
Relationships:• The lyrics from ‘Sparks Fly’ are very lovely and cute but quite harsh. When reading over the lyrics, various lines would stand out to me, such as ‘my mind forgets to remind me, you’re a bad idea’ and ‘you’re the kind of reckless that you send me running…’- and to these lines an image would appear, a close up, or a specific narrative sequence that I created in my mind, would then appear in my music video.• It is very important for the lyrics and visuals to match up, so I would choose a specific line to edit and find the clips in my selection that fit together, like the shot of Daniel smoking and waiting for someone fits with the line ‘you’re the kind of reckless’ as it hints at Daniel being reckless, and a rebel of some sort. Automatically the audience see him as a ‘bad boy’.• The music and visuals matched together too, for example the line ‘lead me up the staircase…’ I edited with a clip of myself walking up the steps in Richmond park, to which we had positive feedback.• In the instrumental parts of the song, I would place fillers, such as me feeding the ducks, the romantic authority of the swans, or me walking/dancing/expressing my youth, and I feel this matched together perfectly, because it produced the idea of my character being naïve and upbeat, and is just placed in a situation that she cannot get out of.
Narrative• In music videos, the narrative is usually disrupted or discontinuous, along with ALL things which are usually disjointed or incomplete.• In my music video, for example, we left the ending on a cliffhanger, so the audience would be intrigued to see more.• I wanted to create enigma, which was a helpful skill I learned from planning my opening sequences last year. By creating enigma, the audience are more hooked into the story line, and even more hooked when they realise that the video is now over, and they really want to know the outcome of this young girl’s life.• It created questions such as: Is she really pregnant? Does she have to go back to her abusive boyfriend? What will she do next?• Also the closing shot to our video is of the main character, looking into the mirror with a sad look on her face, and the letters ‘WWSD?’ written in red lipstick on the mirror. WWSD? means What Would She Do, a play on words from what would jesus do, and this is so the character can discover herself and find out what she is going to do herself, without letting the audience know what she has decided.