What is a music video?A music video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artisticpurposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended topromote the sale of music recordings. Although the origins of music videos date back muchfurther, they came into prominence in the 1980s, when MTV based their format around themedium. Prior to the 1980s, these works were described by various terms including "illustratedsong", "filmed insert", "promotional (promo) film", "promotional clip", "song video", "song clip" or"film clip".Music videos use a wide range of styles of film making techniques, including animation, live actionfilming, documentaries, and non-narrative approaches such as abstract film. Some music videosblend different styles, such as animation and live action e.g. ‘A-ha’s take on me’. Many music videosinterpret images and scenes from the songs lyrics, while others take a more thematic approach.Other music videos may be without a set concept, being merely a filmed version of the songs liveperformance. How music videos are generally made?The 3 stages in which a music video is made are: 1. Pre-Production- This is the first stage of making a music video. In the music industry first thing to do is to choose a production company which the record label, managers etc know will produce a good video and be known by the public. If a famous band/artist was to choose an unknown production company then the public may think they are not so serious about making it. It probably will not be of good standard and the audience might not enjoy it and want to watch it. It also includes hiring the crew and building/planning sets. In this stage there should also be ideas and a story board in mind with a structured plan of how it will all go about. This should be discussed with the crew and production company. This could take several months to get right and have several meetings with everyone involved. Then the budget is made in order to restrict certain things. 2. Production-
At this stage more crew will be hired to help with the production of the video, and then once they know everything is in place, filming will begin. Hundreds of takes will be taken so that they have plenty of footage to work with and create the video. Stills will also be taken and used if necessary. This is probably the most important part of the production process, because if this part goes wrong then the entire video will go wrong and the video may not be made, wasting a lot of money. It is also possible that they will begin to make the video, or even be half way through, and they will not like it, and have to begin completely again. However, as the video will have been drafted so many times this should not happen.3. Post-production- The final stage is where the video is put together and edited. If special effects are needed then this will happen at this stage aswell. There would be a separate team of crew who work in the graphics department who specialize in putting these parts together and getting the lip syncing and dancing in time with the music. The video will then be duplicated hundreds of times ready for different formats and also ready for distribution. Parts of the video may also be used for advertising the video, as well as the stills they will use for Digipaks and Digipaks adverts. What is the purpose of a music video for the companies/artists that make them? The purpose of music videos is to make profit, and this profit takes the form of financial gain. The main purpose of a music video to the artist and record company is to promote their music. When a video accompanies a song, the exposure of the single will automatically double. while the song can only be played on the radio and audio-only Internet services, such as iTunes, having an accompanying video means the song will also be played on sites such as YouTube and Vevo, as well as music television. Companies are aware that many consumers are more likely to share a video than an audio file, to talk about a video, and spread the song’s influence by word of mouth or even people looking over their shoulders. For an artist this could mean more recognition, as a visual medium widens the possible scope of their creative ‘vision’, allowing them to get their message or self image across with more power. For a record company, the music video gives them the opportunity to include product placement and earn more revenue, or place controversial images beside a song that, when it’s just listened to, doesn’t have as many or as shocking implications.
For example Christina Aguilera’s video for Beautiful which featured homosexuals or Rihanna’s‘SnM’ video which sparked up a lot of controversy, even being banned I n many countries for itslevel of sexual content. By ramping up the level of controversy, an artist can gain a reputation(good or bad), whether they want to or not, but this can boost the record company’s reputation.Also if word of mouth is effective it’ll eventually boost sales and views, and possibly the single willend up in a movie or advert with similar connotations to the theme of the video, giving recordcompanies the potential to earn revenue long after the single has been released.Other reasons include enjoyment, and doing the thing that they love. In the case of the artist it isabout showing off their talent for singing and maybe dancing and so on. But depending on thepopularity of the music video, it can help the artist break into different industries such as acting,where as in terms of the production company it’s all about the money, production and workingwith the artists. Who are some famous music video directors and why are their videos so well known?Most notable music directors are: Spike Lee- Lady Gaga ‘Paparazzi’ David Fincher- Madonna ‘vogue’, Michael Jackson ‘Who is it’ Jonas Akerlund- Lady Gaga ‘Paparazzi’, Madonna ‘Ray of Light’ Their videos are made so popular by the large budget they are able to put into it. The best directors will not want to do a video for a new artist unless they feel that their debut single will do well in the charts. These directors need to know that they will be getting the money they spent on the video back. How good the video is will determine the outcome of views and sales of the single after video consumption. Because technology is improving, the amount of creativity allowed in a video is unlimited. Artists coming out now are all about being individual and unique so they crate the most alarming videos in terms of dancing, effects etc. This makes the audience enjoy the video and praise the directors. And other artists, upcoming or established will want to work with that particular director. For instance when I hear a song I really like, I imagine what sort of video will suit the song and if a video does get released for that song I’ll be excited to watch it. However if the video doesn’t fit the song, I will criticize it e.g. Nicki Minaj’s video for Starships. How much money is usually spent on the average music video? & have any been made very cheaply or had large budgets? On average a music video would cost a minimum of £50,000. However this can go anything up to $500,000 or even more. For example, Michael and Janet Jacksons music video for scream cost $7,000,000 to make and Madonna’s express yourself video cost $5,000,000, but this is because they’re big pop stars so they’re likely to make back the money they spent and more. I guess it depend on the popularity of the artists/band and the people behind them. New artist/bands will not be given a huge budget for crew and video equipment to make their first video, because
you can’t risk such amounts of money especially with today’s economy. However there are some well known music videos which probably cost nothing at all. For example the OK Here we go video which was filmed in a gym room and Drake’s Practice video which was filmed in a bedroom using a laptop with webcam. How do audiences access music videos? & where can they be seen?There are a number of ways that the audiences can watch a music video, whether it is old or new.The two main ways are: Music channels YouTubeYouTube is very useful as it has almost everything, including the brand new videos. Millions ofusers watch YouTube as the videos are easily accessible and cheap for the record label forpromotional purposes. The music video site VEVO, is where established and upcoming artistsupload their videos or viewing, and this helps market the video and the artist.As a result more profit is made. For example, Carly Rae Jepsens- Call me maybe video which gainedover 260million views. Another way to watch music videos is through music channels such asMTV, Vault, and Viva etc. Music videos are shown on adverts between TV shows if it is a new videoand they are trying to advertise it.