24.06.2009 My Proposal Matthew Whiteley
For my A2 project, I propose to do a music video based on the song “My Last Day” by Castleford-
based pop-punk/punk-rock band Girl Kills Boy. I intend to work to produce the video footage which
will last in total around 3:30. In addition to this I intend to produce a website homepage for the band
and a DVD cover for the music video's release.
I aim to produce a good piece of work by studying other music videos with a similar theme to mine. It
will also be beneficial for me to look into music videos of other pop-punk and punk-rock bands. I will
also research conventions of music videos, band home pages and DVD covers in order to create
suitable products. I intend to have two primary locations for my filming, one being at a venue where
the band are performing and the second being the location that the narrative is taking place. I intend
to show clips of both whilst having the track dubbed over.
I plan for the narrative aspect of my video to be a sequence where a soldier has been taken hostage
in a foreign country. The idea is that the soldier will be forced by his captors to create a hostage video
in which he demands that all armed forces leave the country else he will be executed. This footage
will be filmed with Aaron Knowles and Ryan Dooler who are using similar footage for their project.
My intention is to create a video that, whilst has a political message and implicit violence, would still
be able to be shown on a music channel throughout the day. To do this, I will ensure that there is no
serious violence shown and the only mention of the violence will be the threat of execution, all other
violence will be implicit, i.e. cuts and bruises.
My target audience is reflected by the primary audience of the band which is young adults from the
age of around 16 through to around 25 years old. Primarily the audience is male but there is a fairly
large female audience as well to accommodate.
History of the music video
According to the Internet Accuracy Project, the first person to coin the
phrase "music video" was J.P. Richardson in 1959.
"The house of the rising sun" by The Animals is one of the first music
videos to feature live performances
The Beatles helped popularise music videos in the form of feature films
and promotional clips for their songs. They had feature films such as
Hard Day's Night and Let It Be as well as recording promotion clips for
their singles Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane.
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was the first video to be shown on Top Of
The Pops rather than the artist appearing live. It was this video that
affected how popular and pivotal music videos would become.
Michael Jackson's videos also helped popularise music videos in the
mainstream and the launch of the Thriller video is perceived as being
instrumental to the early success of MTV.
The launch of Youtube in 2005 has helped popularise music videos
further and it has also encouraged an increase in homemade music
videos for smaller bands and album tracks.
Styles of music video
Either a straightforward performance video or narrative video that illustrates the
meaning of the song and it‟s lyrics. Essentially visualising the music in a straightforward
manner. It could almost be referred to as music video denotation.
The video will “amplify” or “exaggerate” the creative interpretation of the music video
with unusual ideas or approaches. There will still be a direct link to the song whether it
be through a connotation of the lyrics or song title.
The videos are abstract and have no obvious link to the music, lyrics, song or artist.
Codes and conventions
A common feature of music videos is jumping directly between long shots, close ups and
extreme close ups. Extreme close up of lips are often used for lip synching.
Quick camera movements such as “whip pans” and fast track shots and sudden crane
shots are used to follow the artists‟ movements. Pans and tilts are often done relatively
The beat or rhythm of recording often determines the editing movement. For the most
part “MTV editing” or montage editing is used as the footage will jump from person to
person or instrument to instrument without any real continuity.
Performance strands of a music video are used to help promote the artist and make them
more recognisable so that if you were to see them on a chat show, for example, you
would immediately associate them with their music.
Narrative strands of a music video are used to illustrate the lyrics and help convey the
message behind the song. It is often the narrative aspects of a video that help make the
video memorable which can, in turn, increase the popularity of the song.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
The video is of the band acting a live performance of the song inside a high school gym with rows of
people sat on benches whilst cheerleaders stand at the side. In the video, which has low key and lots of
smoke effects, Kurt Cobain portrays himself as the devil. This video is similar to mine because it falls
under the genre of rock and appeals to a similar target audience.
The cheerleaders have black clothing with dark red pom-poms. This connotes that the cheerleaders
aren‟t stereotypical cheerleaders and shows the darkness and evil, which the band is trying to show
through this video, as it appeals to their target audience of teenagers/young adults.
The colours in this video – primarily brown, orange, yellow and grey – are used to show that the band
are singing a song that is sad and gloomy. This is a representation of the life of the band, who are
known for their "depressing" and "emotive" songs. The colours are chosen because they are the colours
associated with the “grunge rock”, they are not happy colours and they set the gloomy tone. The red
and orange also connotes the fire, which is associated with the devil.
In the video, lighting and camera angles have been specifically used to not show Kurt Cobain‟s face as
much as possible. This is to create suspense and make Cobain seem more mysterious and isolated from
the rest of the world – once again showing the connection with the devil, who is supposed to be isolated
from the rest of the world by being in hell. When there are close-ups and extreme close-ups of Kurt
Cobain, the lighting is intensely bright, and his face is still hard to see through the blinding lights.
This song is very energetic and there is a lot of jumping up and down from the „live‟ audience. This
shows that the song is addictive and makes everyone want to make everyone join in and the
excitement the song creates makes the entire audience want to scream and shout. The head banging
from the crowd also shows that the band are creating immense amount of excitement, even from the
very beginning with the crowd tapping their feet with just the first few notes of the song.
Analysis of Smells Like
Teen Spirit Continued
Also featured in the song is an old man, seemingly in a different room dancing along with a broom. This
part of the video shows 2 different concepts, the first being that he is excluded from the rest of the
audience and is therefore not considered „cool‟ enough to be in the presence of the band. This is meant
to show that only young people are considered „cool‟ enough to be at the live show. However, it also
shows that no matter who you are – and how old you are – you will enjoy this song. Those 2 points
combined also show Nirvana‟s cockiness and ego, in that they are, in their own minds, more important
than anyone else and that they don‟t care who likes them, only the younger people are allowed to like
The „Anarchy‟ logos on the cheerleaders‟ uniforms show that Nirvana are rebellious and that they like to
cause anarchy. They specifically picked the cheerleader‟s uniform to have the „Anarchy‟ logo, because
anarchism and rebellion is symbolic of the „Rock‟ industry. The band following the stereotype of the
industry helps influence their popularity among the target audience, because they act in the manner the
fans want them to.
When the crowd join in on the head banging, they get out of their seats to be that little bit closer to
their band, although the „fire‟ supposedly surrounding the band shows that Nirvana feel they are too
important to associate with the rest of the crowd. The crowd joining their seats shows that the band are
so popular that everyone wants to get as close as they possibly can get to the band.
There are a variety of shots, including long shots of the band, close-ups of Dave Grohl on the drums
and Cobain on the vocals – as well as some extreme close-ups. There were also many long-shots and
mid-shots of the crowd featured throughout the video, as well as similar shots featuring the old man
dancing with the broom in the separate room. There were also, occasionally, several panoramic shots,
which featured views of the band, the crowd and the space in between the two where smoke was rising
– creating an obstruction between the crowd and the band. The shots also helped show the demonic
possession of Kurt Cobain, with his very sharp yet passionate movements and facial expressions.
Analysis of Smells Like
Teen Spirit Continued
The lighting in the video is very limited, showing that the band would rather let their music do the
talking rather than the video. The darkness also symbolises the evil image the band are trying to create
for themselves. The colours of orange and yellow – for the lighting – have been selected, primarily
because of their association with fire, and fire is an object connotation with the devil, a connection the
video is trying to generate.
The only real shot of Kurt Cobain‟s face is at the very end where he is in a pose looking as if he is
screaming, full of passion, fury and rage. This has been done to show the devil within him, making Kurt
seem possessed and keeping the theme with the devil running throughout the video.
There is also a heavy use of sweat being used as a connotation for energy in this video. The sweat is
pouring down the face of all the band members, which shows they are putting a lot of energy and
vigour into the performance. However, it also helps contribute to the effect of there being fire in the
gym, because the sweat would be being generated from the heat from the blazing fire. In turn, the
sweat is an indirect object connotation of the devil, because it adds to the effect of fire, which, as stated
before is associated with Satan.
Kurt Cobain wears a green and black shirt with denim blue jeans. This casual look appeals to the fans of
the rock genre of music, because it has ties to organic music, as opposed to manufactured bands that
dress far more formally and smartly. The crowd too are wearing similar clothes to Cobain; this shows
that they see Kurt as a trend and fashion-setter and see him as their idol, meaning they want to follow
his ways.The members of the audience start to become more excited throughout the song, to the point
where at the end, they are out of their seats, running around and even doing back-flips. This shows the
excitement that the song creates, and means everyone wants to join in with the madness that the
music is creating. Everyone wants to be part of the action, because the video is intending to prove that
the song is a great song, and something no one wants to miss out on. Further proof of this would be
the crowd member stealing one of Dave Grohl‟s symbols, this illustrates that the performance is once in
a lifetime and everyone wants a souvenir to remember it by. It also represents the rebellious attitudes
of rock audiences in general, which is a common theme running throughout the music video.
Analysis of Smells Like
Teen Spirit Continued
Throughout the verses there is a lot of smoke and lighting – designed to look like fire – which is again
a connotation with the devil. It also makes Cobain seem mysterious because the smoke and mist is
surrounding his face, making it impossible to see his entire face. The mystery surrounding Cobain
makes the video more addictive, as you want to keep watching – and, in turn, listening to the song –
to see why his face isn‟t shown and what is so mystifying about him.
The bright orange glow, as well as the rising cloud of smoke, around the arena give the effect that
there is a fire burning within the gym. With the fire being an object connotation with the devil, it once
again shows the idea that Cobain is the devil, as he is surrounded by the fire. However, the fire never
comes close to the band, it only surrounds them – this is shown in long camera shots of the band –
this shows that they have a somewhat immunity to the fire. The invulnerability to the fire gives the
impression, once more, that Cobain is the devil. This is because the devil is also unaffected by fire, as
Cobain – and the rest of the band – seem to be in this video, showing similarities between the two.
The video is set up to appear like a live performance, this shows that the band are not worried about
having to perform on their videos, which is an attribute of an organic band. They show that they like
to play instruments and are not worried about performing in their videos.
During the performance, the crowd begin bowing towards the band; this shows the respect the band
feel they deserve. The bowing is a connotation of admiration for the band from the live audience; this
is an important part of the video because it shows that they are a great band and that the crowd are
honoured to be in the presence of the band. To someone watching the video, that symbolises that the
band are something special and immense, a band who‟s music is definitely worth listening to.
The performance begins like a regular high school band playing with a simple intro and the crowd sat
on the bleachers. Slowly but surely, the performance turns into something resembling a major band‟s
performance in a huge concert. This denotes Nirvana‟s rise to fame, as they started off as a small
time band performing in tiny venues before becoming a huge, global band performing in some of the
biggest arenas in music history.
DVD Case Research
Part of my project involves designing a DVD
cover for the music video‟s release. For this
cover I intend to create a design similar to the
The DVD case will most likely be designed
with 6 sides (3 on each side), with a
consistent design running across all 6. 2 of
the inside designs will have to be fairly basic
as they are designed to have discs placed
over them. The central design on the same
side will most likely have information about CD Info CD
the DVD. On the reverse side, one will act as Inside
a front cover, one as a back cover and the
other will be tucked inside.
Front Back Tucked
Cover Cover inside
Band websites typically have a banner at the top of the page with the band‟s logo on
it. They also have a menu bar either below the banner or down the side of the page
that links to tour dates, news, an online store, pictures.
The websites tend to have a consistent colour scheme (blue and black for Oasis,
orange/red and black for Green Day). The colours have been selected because of
their connotations with the band‟s genre of music.
Typically, the homepage will have limited amounts of information on. Usually there is
a “Latest News” section which would have a brief summary of a couple of articles with
a link to further information.
The two above plans were for the designs of the The above plan is the designs for my website,
DVD covers. The top image is the first disc, the it details what everything is and where it will
inlay, the back cover and the front cover. The be situated.
bottom image is of the second disc, and the inside
of the DVD cover when it is opened out.
The above are photographs of my storyboards for my music video. They show
sketches of a still from the shot, details of the type of shot and type of angle, any
camera movement, a brief description of the narrative and any edits that would need
to be made to the shot.
My music video uses the convention of a typical music video by using both a narrative
strand and a performance strand. Typically a music video will depict the artist performing the track as
well as a narrative to accompany the performance, I have opted to imitate this style of music video in
It also uses the convention of having a close-up of the lead singer when singing, this allows the
audience to be focused on the lyrics as they have the visual image to reinforce what they're hearing.
This also promotes the artist and makes them familiar to the audience as the music video is a form of
advertisement for the band. Furthermore, fast pace editing is also used in the video as this is also
conventional of a video for a fast paced song.
Another convention I have included is the use of titles in the bottom corner at the
beginning of the music video to introduce the band, the song and the album it's taken from. This is
commonly used so that if the audience has no prior knowledge of the song or artist, they can go and
purchase the song or seek further information on the band if they like the music video.
Additionally, my video challenges the convention of a typical music video by having the
dialogue from the narrative transcribed in a fashion similar to subtitles in order to help carry the
political message conveyed in the video. Typically a music video would have no text other than the
titles at the beginning of the video and possibly a handful of credits at the end of the video, however I
felt it was necessary to help reinforce the political message within the video and felt it more
appropriate than temporarily fading the music out to add the dialogue in.
On my band website I used standard conventional features such as a menu linking to all the other
pages on the web page. The web pages included were also typical of those found on a band's
website such as discography, fan club, merchandise, etc.
I also used the conventional layout of a consistent colour scheme – the overwhelming majority of
the colour on the page was black, red and white. This was elected because the dark colour
scheme has connotations with rock music and therefore appropriate and also because it is
consistent with the band's logo which is red and white. It also gives a consistent masculine style
across all 3 products.
For my Digipak DVD cover, I have used a conventional format for the inside 3 panels of the DVD
cover by having one image taken from the footage spread across the entire cover. This is done
to give the audience an idea of the content of the DVD from the image.
I have also used conventional logos such as a BBFC certificate, the Dolby Digital logo, the DVD logo
and the record company's logo. I have also placed the band's logo in the conventional place,
centrally on the front cover. This is because the logo is the image that is associated with the
band and their product therefore by having this logo as a focus of the product it instantaneously
tells the audience that the product is a Girl Kills Boy product.
How effective is the combination
of my main products and ancillary
Both my ancillary products use a consistent dark colour scheme mainly using reds, blacks and
whites. These colours have connotations with the pop-punk genre which ties in with my music
video as this was the genre of music performed in the music video.
The products are all appropriate to an audience of older teenagers and upwards, this is because the
teenage and young adult demographics are my intended audience.
I have also included screenshots of the film on the band website and the DVD cover, this reinforces
that the products are related to one another. Similarly, there is an image of the band that is
used on both the website and the DVD cover.
The band's logo has also been used on both of the ancillary products, this is because the logo is the
recognisable image of the band and it's presence indicates to the fans that it is a Girl Kills Boy
product. The band members were also featured in all 3 products as this also indicates that they
are all products related to the same band.
What have I learnt from
my audience feedback
The majority of my audience said that my product was appropriate for the target audience of
teenagers and young adults. They also said that it would most likely appeal to fans of rock or
emo music, which are genres similar to the band's – pop-punk. This was pleasing as it meant
that the content was appropriate for the target audience.
One main area for improvement that was pointed out was the poor lip-syncing for the lead singer,
this was because I had limited footage to work with – due to needing a live audience – and
therefore if the footage from the actual song “My Last Day” was of poor quality, I had to
compromise by finding clips of the singer singing a different song where the lip movements
looked similar to how they should have. Evidently, in places, this was obvious to the audience
and in future I would have to either ask the band to perform the song twice – to increase the
amount of high quality footage from the song – or have more footage of the lead singer so I
could get a closer match.
Another, smaller issue was that the initial shots of the narrative didn't make it entirely clear what
was happening. To correct this, in future, I will have to ensure I have an establishing shot of
some description to make the narrative clear straight away. Perhaps in my video I could've
used a shot of the banner that the terrorists use to set the scene as the unclear shots of
someone pacing around a room wasn't appropriate for someone that didn't know the narrative.
The audience also commented that there was a variety of shot lengths used in the clip, which was
positive as I had wanted to use a variety of different shots. They also remarked that the use of
both a narrative and performance strand was effective and that the timings for each clip was
How I used new media technologies
in the construction, research,
planning and evaluation stages.
In the research stage I used an Apple iMac computer to access the Internet using a web browser,
this allowed me to view websites with information on about music videos, music DVDs and band
websites. In this stage I also used flash player technology to watch music videos on “Youtube”.
In the planning stages, I used a digital still image camera to photograph my storyboards and
designs and uploaded them to an iMac computer using a USB cable to be included on my
In the construction stage I used many new media technologies including a video camera for filming
my music video, a stills camera to take photographs that could be used on my ancillary
products. After filming the footage, I had to use a firewire to upload the clips onto an iMac and
into the iMovie software. In the iMovie software I used the software‟s features to add my audio
track, cut the clips and, in the case of one clip, alter the brightness and contrast levels to make
the clip more visible.
Additionally during this stage, I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 on the iMac computer to create my
ancillary products - a website for the band and a DVD cover. In Photoshop I had to design a
layout, create and position text, use the “Gaussian Blur” filter to improve the sharpness of
images and crop images appropriately.
Finally, in the evaluation stage I have used a DVD player and a printer to show my finished project
to other people to get their feedback on the products. In addition I have also used Microsoft
Powerpoint in order to write up my evaluation onto an iMac computer.
This is my front and back cover with the
inlay for my digipak DVD cover. It includes
all the standard conventions of a dvd cover
including the bar codes, copyright
information, BBFC and DVD logos. It also
includes an image of the band‟s logo so
that the audience can immediately relate
the product to their music.
This is the inside cover for my DVD
digipak. It contains information about the
band and the DVD which you would
typically expect to find on the inside of a
This is my design for a web page, it includes standard
conventions such as images of the band and an
advert for their latest release. It also includes the
conventional menu which links to the other pages on
the website which include pages you‟d typically find
on a band‟s website including a fan club, discography,
merchandise and tour dates.
Music Video – Wikipedia
Early History of Music Video - Wikipedia
Bohemian Rhapsody – Wikipedia
Smells Like Teen Spirit Video – Youtube
Music Video Conventions - Scribd.com
•Digipak Example - Sirepress
•Digipak Example - Andreas-Lenz
•Green Day Homepage