Codes and Conventions of Music Videos By Rachel Kealy
Performance Performance is when the music video consists mainly of the artists performing. An example of this is the music video for ‘The Big Pink’s, Dominos’ . This video shows the Band performing the song and there is no narrative to it. It was quite hard to find a music video solely dedicated to performance, as target audiences would not be able to engage with the song or the video.
Another example of Performance.. Michael Buble - Cry Me a River
Mixture is when the music video has both narrative and performance. Most music video have a mixture, as it is hard to have a pure performance or narrative. An example of this would be ‘Paramore-Decode’
Mise-en-scene includes props, lighting, characters and setting. They are used to convey the importance of the people in the music videos. They are also used to represent certain characters in different ways. They do this by using the costume and the lighting. For example, if you wanted the character or artist in the music video to be portrayed as angelic and kind etc, the lighting would be very natural and bright, whereas if you wanted to portray evil, the lighting would be dark and there would be loads of shadows.
Different artists would also wear different clothes to represent what there are portraying in the music video. An example of this is with Lady Gaga’s music videos. She often wear dramatic clothing to go with her extravagant image.
Editing Editing is the process that concludes the making of the music video. When you edit, you cut scenes down, add special effects and add the track to the music video etc.. The editing consists of the following things: -Jump Cutting -CGI effects (the process used for generating animated images by using computer graphics). An example of this is in the music video, Sweet Dreams- Beyonce . The background has been added on via CGI. Additionally, the effects in the second picture have also been generated using computer graphics. -Parallel editing- (A method of cutting between a couple of scenes or stories that are happening at the same time.) -Also, adding non-diegetic sound is also part of the editing process as is been added in and isn’t originally part of it.
A variety of camera angles are used in music videos, such as long shots, close ups, mid shots etc, in order to emphasize the artist or to convey emotion. Also, close ups are used to show the artist lip syncing. The camera never stays on one shot for longer than 3-5 seconds.
The camera moves to follow the artist or to show the performance of the artist. These movements include panning and tracking. A director may choose to move action along by telling the story as a series of cuts, going from one shot to another, or they may decide to move the camera with the action. Some examples of camera movements are :
Pans - A movement which scans a scene horizontally. The camera is placed on a tripod, which operates as a stationary axis point as the camera is turned, often to follow a moving object which is kept in the middle of the frame.
Dolly- The camera is mounted on a cart which travels along tracks for a very smooth movement. Also known as tracking.
Music videos often use jump cutting when they skip back and forth from one scene to another.
Close-up shot Long shot
Sound Parallel sound is when the music matches the mood of the video. An example would be if the song was slow then the video would also be slow to go with the mood of the song. Also, if it was a sad song then the video would also be sad. Some music videos have diegetic sound, where they include sound from the surroundings, such as birds, police sirens that make the video seem more realistic. However, the music itself is non-diegetic sound.