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Music videos first came about in 1923-24 with the invention of
synchronizing sound directly onto film by Lee D...
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In 1960s pop The Animals
created a promo film for
their breakthrough 1964 hit
“House Of The Rising Sun”
which was on...
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In 1964, The Beatles starring in their first feature film
A Hard Day's Night, directed by Richard Lester after
th...
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By the time The Beatles stopped touring in late
1966, their promotional films, like their recordings,
had beco...
In 1966 Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick
Blues" starred in his colourless music video
filmed by D. A. Pennebaker.
 Bob ...
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

Many "song films"—often referred to as "filmed inserts"
at that time—were produced by UK artists so they
could ...
Music video history
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Music video history

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Music video history

  1. 1.     Music videos first came about in 1923-24 with the invention of synchronizing sound directly onto film by Lee De Forest, an American inventor, which led to the creation of music videos. Oskar Fischinger was a Germa-American artists notable for inventing abstract musical animations in the 1920s. “His musical animations were the first real form of music videos. In early 1930s animation artist Max Fleischer introduced a series of sing-along short cartoons called Screen Songs, which invited audiences to sing along to popular songs by "following the bouncing ball". The cartoons featured popular musicians performing their songs on-camera in live-action segments during the cartoons. Musical films have also helped the progression of music videos and several well-known music videos have replicated the style of classic Hollywood musicals from the 1930s to the 1950s.
  2. 2.   In 1960s pop The Animals created a promo film for their breakthrough 1964 hit “House Of The Rising Sun” which was one of the earliest music videos created. It was a high-quality colour clip filmed in a studio on a specially-built set featuring the group in a lip-synched performance, portrayed through an edited sequence of tracking shots, close ups and long shots, as singer Eric Burdon, guitarist Hilton Valentine and bassist Chas Chandler walked around the set in a series of choreographed moves.
  3. 3.    In 1964, The Beatles starring in their first feature film A Hard Day's Night, directed by Richard Lester after their newfound international fame. It was shot in black and white and presented as a mock documentary, it was a loosely structured musical fantasia mixed together with comedic and dialogue sequences with exciting and original musical sequences. The musical sequences provided the basic templates on which numerous follow up promo clips and music videos were made and it has had a huge influence on the style and visual language of the genre.
  4. 4.     By the time The Beatles stopped touring in late 1966, their promotional films, like their recordings, had become highly sophisticated. In May 1966 they filmed two sets of colour promotional clips for their single "Rain" / Paperback Writer“. In early 1967 they made the colour promotional clips for "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane " and took the promotional film format to a new level. They used techniques from underground and avant garde film, such as reversed film and slow motion, dramatic lighting, unusual camera angles and colour filtering added in post-production.
  5. 5. In 1966 Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" starred in his colourless music video filmed by D. A. Pennebaker.  Bob Dylan Deliberately avoided any attempt to perform or present a narrative. The clip shows Dylan standing in a city back alley, silently shuffling a series of large cue cards (with key words from the song's lyrics) in time to the music, while his friends Allen Ginsberg and Bob Neuwirth talk in the background.  The cue-card device has been imitated in many other music videos. 
  6. 6.     Many "song films"—often referred to as "filmed inserts" at that time—were produced by UK artists so they could be screened on TV when the bands couldn't perform live which also increased the production of music videos. In the UK The Kinks made one of the first real "plot" promo clips for a song for their single "Dead End Street" in 1966. It was a miniature comic movie where members of Kinks acted like undertakers in old London streets. Oddly for the time, there was no lip-syncing, but the clip was edited according to the phases of song.

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