Typical Locations Studios are the main focus of most music videos as they are cheaper and the producers can build and design any set that is needed. On location shooting is usually limited to one destination,which is then cut between the studio footage.
Typical Characters The main “Protagonist” is usually the artist or lead singer in a band. In the video there are also actors, if the video is narrative based, extras/dancers and any other band members.
Iconography The iconography is mainly reflected by the band or artists image as they bring their own style and personality to the their music. “Particular music genres may have their own music video style and iconography.” “Artists may develop their own star iconography, in and out of their videos, which over time, becomes part of their star image.” - Andrew Goodwin.
Typical Narratives Romance often plays a large part in narrative videos, however sound still dominates over visuals. The narrative of the performance is interweaved with the narrative of the story, if there is one present. If the narrative is present it will have a full plot idea including equilibrium, disruption and re-equilibrium (Todorov’s narrative theory.)
Typical Media Language Editing matches the pace of the music or sound. Close up’s and extreme close up’s are used frequently in order to create a relationship with the audience members watch the video. Lyrics sometimes link to the visuals of the video. High key lighting is the most common lighting in videos. Dynamic cinematography (camera angles and movement) is used to create interest and excitement in the video. The Male Gaze, or voyeurism, (Laura Mulvey 1975) is often used in music videos.
Typical Ideologies Dominant ideologies are usually shown in mainstream music videos, so they do not alienate the audience or possibly offend them, for example “love conquers all” or “good defeats evil”. Alternative ideologies are usually used when there is a controversial message or theme to the song.
The brilliance of music videos is that, as P.Fraser said, “A distinctive art form which can allow really interesting creative opportunities.” Basically stating that these conventions don’t need to be followed completely and are often broken in very successful music videos.