Analysis of a music video
Christina Aguilera: Beautiful
Christina Aguilera is known to be a strong female musical artist, whom expresses her
emotions and ideology through her music. The video that I will be analysing will be from
her collection called ‘Beautiful’. There are many areas in which I will be analysing such
as lighting, camera angles, meaning, editing etc.
Firstly, camera angles were used effectively throughout this 2 minute sequence, to
emphasise the locations, body language and feeling within
the song, which was an important element for this song to
be successful. Close up shots of Christina were used to
emphasise expression and meaning in the words Christina
was singing. The expressions of her face were shown in
detail through these shots, to portray sympathy and passion
in the lyrics she was singing. This shot of her face was an
important statement throughout the song, as it re-enforced
her beliefs in the morals of the song.
Long shots were used on the characters in which the song was
mainly aimed at, the long shots used, gave an insight in the
troubles that the characters were facing. It also helped the
audience to view the scene from a different perspective as an
outsider; therefore they would be able to empathise with the
storyline better. The shots were used to establish the locations
of the incidents to be typical local places, which faced the
audience with the reality of situations of today.
An important medium shot used in 1:11, was a direct mode of address, the character
was looking straight into the camera, this emotion in the
expression is a ‘cry for help’ from the audience. Once again
the camera shot is able to manipulate the audience into
feeling sympathetic and apart of the scene.
Lighting is used to connote the emotions running through
the scenes and to link in each shot with another. Mainly
low key lighting is used in the backgrounds of the scene to
represent loneliness, depression, dullness and sadness, which are all themes which are
given away within the lyrics. However, high key lighting is used on the actual object of
the scene (the characters), which details their body language, expressions and
movement in the shot compared to their surroundings which are left in the dark.
On the other hand, in comparison to the low key lighting in the scenes, all scenes with
Christina in are all high key lighting, expressing the change within happiness and
unhappiness. The change symbolises the transformation within the songs from sadness
to happiness, as the characters manage to evolve from their situations into something
One of the best examples of lighting within the sequence is during 1:22; the lighting in
this extreme long shot is very effective. As it portrays the darkness of the storyline and
song to be pushed away by the happiness that concludes
the song. The lighting here focuses the audience up on the
comparison between the two, and lays our eyes on
Christina. In addition, the lighting focuses on the
emptiness of the room, which could represent the
emptiness of the characters throughout the song.
Editing is essential in any film or music video to make the
video to its best. During the sequence, transition was the
key to the editing in this particular music video. The transition between each cut and
each scene, gave an impression of a story being told, with different storylines. The
transitions between each cut were fast in pace to be continuous with the lyrics, and the
re-enforcement of the lyrics ‘I am beautiful... So don’t you bring me down today’, gave
hope to the storyline.
As the music increased in pace and tempo, the transitions between cuts gained speed to
create a feeling of time passing by, this was effective as it was drawing a close to the
climax of the song.
The main purpose of the music video was to send out a message of ‘It doesn’t matter
what you are (e.g. homosexual, emo, anorexic, etc.), we are ALL beautiful’. Personally, I
think this music video successfully portrays this message effectively, drawing the
audience into real life situations. The relationship between the music and visuals
manipulates the audience into feeling sympathetic for all the right reasons, therefore
feeling each and every lyric which was intent of the song.
The main style of the video was to show the side of many different situations in different
prospective for the audience, such as the point of view as the victim and everything
their going through and as an outsider.
The type of music video this was was established by the pace of the music and the artist
herself. The genre characteristics were found to have been illustrative by the visuals of
the different storylines and the pace of the music to be steadily slow until the climax,
portrayed this song to be a ballad.
In conclusion, by analysing different aspects of the music video, I found that the lyrics
were re-enforced to be the major element of the music video. The lyrics cut to the beat
of the music and the visuals that were going on, whilst interacting with the audience to
draw some emotions out of the crowd. Personally, I think all the elements used to make
the music video, helped to put across a positive message to all.