In what ways does your media products
use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
Carol Vernallis' theory explains that music videos are constructed around 4
main concepts, which are:
Narrative – Editing - Camera movement and framing - Diegesis (the world
of the music video)
She says the music video is a visual response
to the music and lyrics of the song, but she
also says that there isn't always a balance
between the narrative and performance.
The editing may match the musical phrases
in the song, or the beat which is not
unusual in music videos. Also, the video
may break, or disrupt, the 'rules' of
continuity editing and this is a convention
in music videos.
Camera movement and framing
Vernallis says that when it comes to shot
types, extremes are very common and the
style of framing and movement may run
through the video and is distinctive to
The diegesis may be revealed quite slowly
and the actions are not necessarily completed
- they may be interrupted in some way. She
also says that the characters or objects may
move to the music and some frames may be
more important than others.
Rizzle Kicks – Lost Generation is a video that illustrates most of Vernallis’ ideas.
The shots in the music video directly respond to the lyrics and the title of the song. At
each lyric, they show a shot that matches the message they are trying to get out during
The camera shots switch and change on the
beat and there are some odd, irregular
camera changes throughout the song.
“Turn on the TV and see someone else’s life displayed.”
Camera movement and framing
There are many mid shots of both members of
Rizzle Kicks and some close ups of them both which
is a common convention in music videos.
This music video has not got a ‘world
of the music video’ as the song is
about the audiences world and the
different shows, ideas and examples of
technology in the normal world.
Vernallis’ Theory – Our Music Video
In terms of narrative, we knew that we did not want a clear story line in our music video. Our
video supported her theory of no equal balance between the narrative and the performance.
We had a link with the music video and album rather than the music video and song title.
In the editing stage, we counted beats of four and six to make sure our camera cuts would
land on the right beat and we had hardly any cuts off beat .
Camera movement and framing
There is a wide variety of shots in our music video. There are mostly close and mid shots
of our artist, as she is a new artist we wanted to introduce her in a specific way.
Our music video was shot in various, well known locations around London, so there was quite
a blurred line between the world of the music video and the audiences world. Although in the
video itself there wasn’t a part in which we made an obvious reference to both.
Andrew Goodwin feels that traditional narrative styles don't really apply to music pop videos. He
feels that they approach narrative from a different angle to novels and films.
Pop videos often have easily recognisable features. One feature is the way women are
presented as objects of male desire. This is usually seen in the hip hop and heavy metal genres.
Some artists such a Beyonce and Nicki Minaj deliberately present themselves this way but they
directly look back at the viewers through the camera and they cease to be passive
Some videos are autonomous from the music they come from. What the video shows may go
beyond the original meaning. Sometimes the video provides a visual pleasure that encourages
repeated viewing which therefore promotes the music. Sometimes the videos will promote
other commodities like films, therefore it can be said that there are three types of relations
between songs and videos: illustration amplification
Illustration: This is where the video tells the story of the lyric.
Amplification: This occurs when the videos introduce new meanings that do not contradict
with the lyrics but add layers of meanings.
Disjuncture: Where there is little connection between the video and the lyrics. Or when the
video contradicts the lyrics.
An example of illustration is the music video from
Kanye West ft. T-Pain - Good Life.
Here there are different illustrations and lyrics that
correspond with the lyrics that they're both saying.
An example of amplification is the video by Naughty
Boy ft. Sam Smith - LaLaLa. The video is quite
random and has some elements that we don't here
in the lyrics, but the lyrics are 'I'm covering my ears
like a kid, when your words mean nothing I go la la
la' and there is a little boy that does the actions in
An example of disjuncture is the music video of
Fatboy Slim - Praise You. The lyrics seem to be
about a relationship and how much he loves her.
But the video doesn't show this at all and only has
random people that have come together for a
There are no examples of illustration in our music video. We thought about having
some of the lyrics appearing on the screen, or coming up in the video in a subtle
way, however we realised that it would not have fit in with Molly as an artist or with
the type of music genre she was included in.
In terms of amplification, I feel as though it was in our video but not in an obvious
way. The song lyrics are about Molly as a person and about how she is feeling. Us
using the close and mid shots on Molly especially during the chorus capture how
Molly would look while expressing these feelings. I feel that the different looks that
Molly gave to the camera was the subtle use of amplification we needed.
Since our lyrics were not about the nightlife or London trademark
buildings, there is use of disjuncture in our music video. However, I would
not say that our music video contradicts our lyrics in any way.
Unlike other famous music videos with female artists such as Nicki Minaj or Mariah
Carey, we didn’t present our artist in a way for male desire. We all those the
costume for our artist with that in mind, and all of her clothes were not revealing in
any way. Our camera angles were not looking up at her in a male gaze and there
were no close up shots on inappropriate parts of her body.
We chose to challenge certain aspects of Vernallis’ and Goodwin’s theories, such as the male
gaze, a narrative story line and a clear diegesis. These parts of their theories simply wouldn’t
have gone with our video or genre, or we simply chose not to include them.
For the ancillary, I feel that I did follow conventions in
terms of constant colour schemes, clear and
consistent font, clear professional pictures, and no
words over the artists face. My digipak resembles
artists such as Ellie Goulding and her albums were
definitely inspiration for mine.