CODES AND CONVENTIONS OF A MUSIC VIDEO By Ellen Whight
WHAT IS A MUSIC VIDEO?A music video is short film integrating a song and imagery together forpromotional, advertisement and artistic purposes. In todays society music videos are used topromote an artist by their music, look, and even advertising their own products or someoneelse’s. A music video is also used to promote an artists new upcoming song not just byhearing the song but visually to. Music videos have been around since the 1980’s. There aremany styles used to film a music video using techniques such as animation, live actionfilming, documentaries and non narrative approaches such as abstract film, some musicvideos blend two techniques and styles together. Many music videos use and interpretimages, scenes and techniques from their song lyrics making sure the song goes with thevideo that’s being filmed where as other music videos take a more thematic approach. Somemusic videos may not have an concept i.e. A music video showing the new upcoming songbeing performed live.
Type Of PerformancesThere are three main types of performances:•Commercial Exhibitionist - An artist sells their image to be the newest upcomingartist, stealing the spot light from other artists. Through a music video they sell theirimage, voice, face, lifestyle and records. By using this type of performance thecommercial exhibitionist wants success.•Television Bard – An artist or band tell a story through images on the screen insteadof inner personal images. This type of performance shows images to create a storyabout life and death. The television bard usually only contemplates her, his or theirown greatness and unfulfilled wishes.•Electronic Shaman – The shaman can sometimes be hidden in the music video, onlyhers, his or their voices and rhythm can only be heard, anchors the visual. Theelectronic shaman promises that there is a hidden meaning in everything i.e. He, she orthey promise we live in a magical, mythical reality. This is the least used type ofperformance.
MUSIC VIDEO STYLESA music video can be categorized depending on it’s style and how it has beenfilmed. These styles are:•Standard Clip – A music video that contains more or less then three visualtraditions: a filmed singer is blended in with inserted images and thepresentation is artistically influenced by the experimental film tradition.•Performance Clip - If a video contains mostly filmed performance then is aperformance clip. The performance can take place anywhere.•Narrative Clip – If a music video is mostly appropriately understood as ashort silent movie to a musical background then it is a narrative clip. Anarrative clip contains a visual story that is easy to follow. A pure narrative clipcontains no lip-synchronised singing.•Art Clip – If a music video contains no perceptible visual narrative andcontains no lip – synchronised singing then is a pure art clip.
CAMERA STYLESA music video contains a lot of different camera styles and techniques dependingon the style of the music video such as:• Close up shots especially in a performance music video.• Extreme close up shots of the artist/band, their instruments, face and lips.• Crane shots which hovering over stage images.• Low angle shots.• Pans and tilts moving around, moving to different performances.• Tracking.
MUSICThe music is one of the main features of a music video, if their was no music themusic video would be a silent movie. The music makes the video, the video iseither based around the music and it’s lyrics or nothing to do with it at all. Amusic video can include images which are bound together to go with thebeat/rhythm and other musical features. The musical elements can help shape themoving image, movements such as footsteps, tapping, walking or dance are oftensynchronised with the beat of the song, showing the people in the music video tobe in synch with the music which we can only hear, it sometimes looks as if theycan hear it to.
EDITING AND SOUNDEditing and sound are a major thing when it comes to filming and making thefinished product. Editing involved things such as jump cutting, putting scenesequences together, cross cutting etc. Normally footage is edited to the match themusic, it is also edited so that the lip syncing looks right and fits with the music.Editing can also include split screens/CGI, including diegetic sound andchanging the levels of sound. Voice overs can be edited in and other noiseswhich go with narrative of the music video.
MIS EN SCENEMis en scene of a music video can depend on the genre of the music, lyrics andthe type of music video that is being filmed. Mis en scene can include, clothing(certain outfits for different people, artist, band) , makeup, themes, props, performance equipment, artist merchandise, locations(concert halls, venues, streets houses etc) and facial expressions.
LYRICSThe lyrics can help create a narrative for the music video, yet sometimes themusic video has nothing to do with the lyrics. In most music videos a newmeaning is added to the lyrics through metaphorical language. Lyrics can beillustrated by visual images, scenes etc. For example if the lyrics mention acouple splitting up you will see a couple arguing and splitting up on the screen.
IMAGERYBy using different colours within a music video they can interpret differentmoods of the song, video or the mood of the person being filmed. Usingdifferent images or moving images can help create an atmosphere for theaudience watching the video. By manipulating colour, motive setting, storyfootage, clothing etc the director can create ideas which are repeated and variedin the music video.
AnalysisNicki MinajA Music Video Of – Va Va Voomhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U72hzeBLOw&feature=relmfu
NICKI MINAJ – VA VA VOOMAs the music video starts there is a fantasy theme , some fairy tales are exploredthrough out the video. Diegetic sound starts off with the sound of falling waterand birds tweeting, then fades in to the opening of the song. Unicorns ride in, afantasy creature of beauty, then the featuring artist, Nicki Minaj enters in awhite, princess looking dress with a man who is dressed like a huntsmen both ofthe costumes create a fantasy theme through the first sequence of the video.
Nicki Minaj’s costume s give off a fantasy feel asshe is dressed in sparkly princess dressesdepending on what character she’s playing withinthe music video, here she has an unusualcostume on, it looks like a unicorn still a fantasycreature keeping with the theme of the fantasy.Mis-en-scene ties in with the fantasy theme, withthe little cottage in the middle of the forest. Thelighting in this scene is quite bright and has ayellowy tinge making it look old.This shot shows Nicki Minaj in danger, goingwith the fairytale theme of a damsel in distress.
This scene reminds me of Snow Whitewhen she is in a deep sleep in themiddle of the woods in a classcase/coffin waiting for her princecharming to come and save her, thisgoes with the lyrics of the song as thisis what the song is about.A close shot of Nicki Minaj in the glasscase/coffin, wearing a formal dress whichis white showing good, chastity etc.This shot shows her prince charming hascome to her rescue, the man is young andhandsome and fits the typical princecharming look. His costume is oldfashioned and fits with the fantasy theme.
This shot makes Nicki Minaj look evil asshe is wearing a black costume luring theprice to her. This also looks like the evilqueen from Snow White looking into themirror.Again a fantasy shot with the darkbackground and Nicki Minaj standing outfrom it by wearing a white dress.Nicki Minaj wearing a odd costume yetwhite again showing good with bright redhair all standing out from the darkbackground, she is also wearing a mask tocover up her identity. There is also a harshlighting on her lighting up her from thebackground.