1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms
and conventions of real media products?
These nine key frames show the end of result of our music video. My group and I have both
tried to challenge the conventions of the alternative hip hop genre (so that we can be
original and surprise our audiences), but we’ve also tried to conform to it so that our
audiences can also be familiar with certain elements of our video. In this evaluation
question I would compare random frames of my music video to already existing videos to
see how different or similar mine is to theirs.
This is a frame from my music video alongside a shot from Alternative hip hop artist Tyler the
creator’s video. The first conformity of my video I recognise is the lack of colour. The monochrome
effect is a typical convention of the alternative hip hop genre; I think this is because it is simple, yet
effective. It makes the alternative hip hop videos differ from the rest as it doesn’t lose the message
of its video to the business of colour. Secondly the monochrome effect creates mystery, not too
much is given away. For example the Tyler the creator frame just shows a dark figure, the mystery of
it just makes fans want to watch the video further. I personally think that the monochrome effect
makes a music video stand out because it differs from the generic coloured video.
This second frame certainly conforms to the conventions of the alternative hip hop genre. I have
recognised that extreme close ups are generally used to emphasise the artist. Andrew Goodwin’s
theory of close ups of the artist definitely comes in play here. Alternative hip hop artist tend to want
to focus on one thing, if the close up is not of their face as a whole, then it would focus on a body
part such as the lips. It’s a good way for fans and audiences to learn the lyric of a song quicker, but
also it creates anonymity. Fans of the alternative hip hop genre like a surprise, so by not fully
revealing the artist they’re always left guessing.
One way we challenged the alternative hip hop genre is by giving our artist a love interest.
Surprisingly male artists of this genre don’t tend to use women as love interests in their videos. We
chose to give our artist a love interest because we feel it would keep our audience interested in they
have a narrative to follow. Although our video is a hybrid of narrative and abstract we still feel it is
important to keep the audience focused. I feel that a flaw with some alternative hip hop videos is
that they’re too abstract and people are unable to make sense of certain elements. So by including a
love interest in our video we feel that we are appealing to a wider range of people.
There is some conformity is this key frame because of the setting. I have found that in the
majority of alternative hip hop videos I have watched id either in a plain backdrop or set in a
deserted area, such as the woods or forest. Because majority of the time the message behind these
songs are dark, I feel a deserted area is a good place to show this. It creates some fright and I think
the natural, simple beauty of the scenery speaks for itself. There is mystery about locations such as
the woods that almost enchants the audience. It also differs from the generic mansions or villas used
in the typical hip hop video.
In alternative hip hop genre Goodwin’s theory of correlation between lyrics and image comes into
play. Many artists of that genre tend to do that. However we challenged this convention, we didn’t
try o match any of our lyrics with images. We wanted to make our own twist through this video, we
stuck with some conventions of the hip hop genre to familiarise our audience. Also artists of this
genre use obscure angles to distort certain situation. But even though we were going for that same
idea we thought it would also be good if instead of using camera angles to distort certain situations
we use things like props and costume. It makes us a bit different from the rest.
Another way we’ve conformed to this genre is our use of low key lighting. This is typically used
because the genre is considered dark and slightly mystifying. An example of low key lighting is
especially evident in Childish Gambino’s frame, the scenery is hardly noticeable. We conformed to
the convention of low key lighting because it fit in perfectly with our concept and the message of our
song. Furthermore because we wanted to distort the fairytale on Alice In Wonderland using low key
lighting would help with that. Usually fairytales are light hearted, playful and people associate bright
colours with that; however we wanted to move away from that. Even the scenes we did in colour we
made sure that the weather was dim and dark so we can get that gloomy effect.
In alternative hip hop music videos the video is usually based around the artist, such as in Tyler the
creator and Childish Gambino’s videos. However we challenged this by making the character of Alice
the main focus. It took away the verisimilitude of the video (which is what we wanted) and made it a
fairytale. Using the character of Alice also created a lot of theatricality as we can push boundaries
because we want to remove the realism from our video.
In terms of costume we conformed to the clothes usually worn by the artist. It is a casual look, which
is good as I feel that fans would be able to relate to artists through this way. However we also
challenged costume as the second half of our video is a fairytale the costume has to be more
accurate to the character. Alice is dresses theatrically as she is the protagonist of the video, but also
it is her fantasy and as the video is in monochrome she has to wear something that would make her
Finally the alternative hip hop genre is known for its abstract ideas and concepts and we certainly
conformed to that. Although we have a narrative we also thought it was important to keep the
audience on their feet and excited. Our use of the kaleidoscope for example is typical in order
alternative music videos. It shoes a change in dimension and time, which is what some artists of this
genre like to dwell in as it creates more mystery.