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Music Video Production
Case Study
Music Video Production
• We will look at Music Videos from a number of perspectives, this template is
for you to write up your notes and to complete your case study.
• The document is split into 3 different tasks, each with separate questions to
answer.
• Task 1 is concerned with the purposes of music videos and the strategies
employed by labels and artists
• Task 2 is concerned with the styles, techniques and conventions of music
video production
• Task 3 is your own case study into a minimum of three music videos where
you can unpack and discuss the videos considering everything you have
looked at in Task 1 and 2
• You are expected to submit each section on a weekly basis during your remote
learning weeks.
• If you get stuck, talk to/email your tutor for guidance.
Notes on completing the case study
• It is often easier to show something you are discussing than to take
time describing it. With this in mind, feel free to add lots of
illustrative images from your chosen video examples. Links to
YouTube/Vevo/etc are also encouraged.
• Remember, when you make a point or define something, you should
follow this with an example, an explanation of this and then link to
further texts/videos where possible.
• If you don’t think there is enough room to add your full response to a
question, don’t just reset the font size to really small, add an extra
slide wherever necessary.
Task 1 - Purposes
You should open the Music Lecture powerpoint and look at section 1 before doing
this task
Q1 - Outline the 3 core purposes of music video with a short explanation for
each:
One of the main purposes of music videos is to achieve more sales. Essentially, a
music video is made to help advertise an artist's music. Another purpose of
music video is to establish a brand or identity. Music videos can help the artist
portray themselves in a certain way to attract certain audiences to their content
and create a certain identity for themselves. Finally, another purpose of
music video is entertainment. Music videos can be used to help portray a
narrative or story within their music as well as just provide entertainment for
the audience. It’s a way to engage their fans more into their content.
Q2 – What are some of the broader purposes of music videos? Try and outline a
minimum of 3. (Think about some of the strategies employed by artists in their
videos and how they represent themselves, you could consider where the artist is
on a major label, independent label or unsigned, is there a difference between
them?)
Broader purposes of music videos may change depending on if the artist is on a
major label, independent label or unsigned. When it comes to major labels one
of the broader purposes of a music video may be synergy. In major labels synergy is a
good way for the record company and artist to generate income as the music video
will most likely be mainstream and viewed by a lot of people. Synergy could be
something like product placement within music videos, companies may pay major
record labels to include their product in artists music videos as a form of
advertisement. Another example of synergy in major labels is having crossovers
with other artists. Doing this helps broaden the artists audience as they will be
appealing to multiple audiences rather than their usual audience.
With independent labels they don’t share the same budget as major labels meaning
there won’t be as much product placement and synergy. When making music videos
on an independent label the purpose is to increase audience interest in their music
and help broaden their audience. If the independent label is very small a music video
might not even be made as it most likely won’t make it to mainstream TV and won’t
have a good return on investment. Artists without a label at all can still make music
videos and because of social media and cheap access to distribution outlets it is
quite easy to ensure that their music videos reach an audience.
Q3 – Branding; select an artist you like and look at how they
present themselves in their music videos. Explain what their
‘brand’ is, who it appeals to and why they might have done this.
Melanie Martinez is an artist whose music videos I enjoy. Her music
videos all follow a very similar baby doll like aesthetic, she has a
certain unique style that makes her
content immediately identifiable. In her music videos everything is
quite surreal; her aesthetic is rather cutesy, and she follows a cry
baby theme however there's always a sinister twist within her music
videos. She shows darker themes which heavily contrast with the
bright colours and childlike look to her music videos. I believe that
this is her brand and what makes her content different and
unique. It's weird and doesn’t follow the conventions of your
everyday music video.
She portrays herself with a childlike demeanour as she plays a
persona in her music videos that she calls ‘Cry Baby’. Her music
videos tell a story about this character with much darker undertones
then the bright colours lead you on to believe. This can probably
shock the viewer and subvert their expectations when watching the
music video. I believe she makes her music this way on purpose in
order to show her creativity and stand out. This will appeal to her
target audience who enjoy an alternative style and something that
they can engage with in order to decipher a meaning behind her
music videos. On a general note however, Melanie’s target audience
is most likely girls aged 15 – 25 due to her style of music.
Q4 – Compare One Direction and Animal Collective music videos [find them on
YouTube!], what can you discern about each act from their videos? What is the main
aim? Explain why.
One Directions music videos and Animal Collectives music videos differ quite a lot.
One Direction is considered mainstream, they have a large audience and a high budget
when it comes to music videos. This clearly shows as their music videos are high
quality and remain consistent, their style doesn’t take any risks and remains relatively
the same. This is so they can keep appealing to their mass audience as remaining
consistent keeps their fans enjoying their content. To a popular band like One
Direction, it’s important to make money and the best way to do that is to
stay consistent with a style they know their audience enjoy. It's incredibly
significant to keep their fans interested in their content.
Animal Collective however are much more niche and obscure. Their audience is a lot
smaller which also means their budget is, meaning their music videos aren't as high
quality as One Directions. Animal Collective don’t have to worry about appealing to a
mass audience as they are more niche, this results in their videos not showing the
same consistency as One Directions. Their music videos tend to take a lot more risks
and having a smaller audience they can be as surreal and as creative as they’d
like. Making money won’t be as important to Animal Collective, it's clear that their
content is built to be creative and surreal.
One Directions music videos tend to portray an easy to follow narrative, this allows their
audience to be passive and enjoy their content without having to engage much or try
discovering a hidden meaning within their content. The story is simple yet enjoyable for those
who enjoy their music, anyone can watch their music videos and have an idea of what's going
on. The easy to follow narrative is something that is consistent throughout their music
videos. Another thing that remains consistent within their music videos is the band members
themselves. There's constant close ups of the band members in their music videos as that’s
what makes them identifiable, they are the face of their band and when you see their faces you
immediately know it's One Direction. Their faces are important to their brand and identity.
Animal Collective on the other hand has much more complex music videos. Their music videos
are surreal and ambiguous, it isn’t straightforward like One Direction. It’s a lot
more challenging to follow and watch, the audience must be more active and engage with the
content in order to decipher a meaning behind it. The audience has the freedom to give Animal
Collectives music videos their own meaning as the meaning is open and up to
interpretation. Each of their music videos are different from one another, they don’t have close
ups of the artists like One Direction as their music videos aren't focused on the artists: more on
their creativity. They are constantly focused on experimenting with different and weird music
videos, and as they are more niche, they don’t have to worry about appealing to a large
audience.
So, in conclusion, One Directions aim is to keep their large audience entertained whilst sticking
to a style that remains consistent throughout all their music videos. Their music videos are
created to entertain their audience whilst also getting more sales. Animal Collective however is
more focused on expressing creativity with their unique and surreal music videos.
Task 2 – Styles, Techniques and
Conventions
You should open the Music Lecture powerpoint and look at section 2 before doing
this task
Q1 – Describe and explain the use of camerawork in music videos, i.e. the
types of shot used with examples to illustrate this and how this creates
meaning
One use of camerawork to create meaning is camera movement. There may be
a lot of fast camera movement, this technique is used for a variety of reasons. If
there is a lot of movement of screen it can be used to help convey the rapid
movement, or if the pace of the music has sped up the camera might be
moving around a lot more to help amplify this. Another use of
camera movement is the camera being more still or calm, so in opposite effect
this could be used to portray the lack of energy in movement or to match the
music if the pace is slower. Camera movement can also be used to show a
mood or emotion. If someone is angry or in distress the
camera movement could be more rapid and have more movement to match
the mood, on the other hand if a music video shows someone being calm and
tranquil the camera movement may be more still to reflect this.
Type of shot is another way of creating meaning. Close ups with the artist can
be used to create a sense of intimacy between the audience and the artist, they
can also be used to emphasize emotion as the artists expression will take up
most of the frame. Close ups may also be used to establish the lead singer or
‘protagonist’ in the narrative of the music video. Medium shots are commonly
used in music videos alongside close ups. This type of shot can help give the
audience context of the location that the artist is in whilst also showing the
artist themselves. Medium shots may also be used if the artist is gesturing or
doing something as a close up wouldn’t capture this. Another type of shot used
are wide shots. These are often used when there's a large group of people to
be shown or to build a certain setting or atmosphere. If there's a
band performance being shown in the music video for example, a wide shot
may be used to capture the entire band at once. In pop music videos, wide
shots tend to be used in order to show a dancing.
Finally, camera angles can play an important part when illustrating meaning in
music videos. Low angles are used to give the impression of the artist being
powerful as they will appear bigger, this can be used in a variety of ways in
order to give meaning in music videos (for example if the artist is flaunting their
money and achievements, this type of shot may be used in order to amplify
it). So, in vice versa, a high angled shot can make the artist seem smaller,
however it can also help build a setting as high angled shots will show the area
around the artist. Eye level angles will most likely give a neutral effect as it’s a
neutral angle.
Q2 - Describe and explain the use of editing in music videos,
i.e. the types of shot used with examples to illustrate this and
what the effect of this is/meanings that are created/etc
Different types of colouring in editing can help create meaning.
Clips can be coloured to look warmer and brighter for example.
This will have the effect of comfort, warmth, happiness etc. Clips
can also be coloured to have colder colours and be darker also,
therefore appearing melancholier in contrast to warmer and
brighter colourings. This is effective and helps creates meaning
as the colouring of a clip can portray a certain mood
immediately to the audience as colours and lighting can be
associated with different moods and emotion. Colouring is
important as it can be used to either reflect, amplify or subvert
the meaning of the song.
When the clips cut in music videos its significant. When
editing it's important for clips to cut to the music, this is so that
the audience feels more immersed in the music video. This is
also effective as it’ll amplify when the pace picks up in the song
for example as the cuts may happen more frequently. This will
illustrate a sense of change to the audience and could also be
used to generate meaning. Much like camera movement, more
cutting could illustrate a certain mood like distress.
There are other editing techniques that can also have an effect
and create meaning. Some music videos purposely use ‘retro
effects’ for example in order to make their music
videos purposely look older to fit an aesthetic. Other effects can
be aberration which gives a ‘glitchy effect’. Using effects like
these can help portray a meaning beyond what was shot, or it
can help amplify the shot in a way you can’t do without
editing. Another editing technique that can be used to create a
certain effect is the velocity, slowing down the clip at certain
points can emphasise movement or actions within the music
video.
Q3 – Genre conventions; often music videos adhere to genre conventions within their visual style
and production techniques. Select a recognizable genre and use illustrations to explain what their
genre conventions are…
Genre – Pop
Pop music videos conventionally tend to have certain mise en scene. Within pop music videos a
popular genre convention is bright colours. Bright colours can appear in the background, clothing,
makeup etc... Bright colours heavily fit with the style of music as most of the time its conventional
for pop music to be happy and upbeat so bright colours will match the tone of the music. Another
genre convention for mise en scene is the lighting being bright or light. Much like the bright colours,
conventionally the lighting should be bright to fit the style of music. Due to the bright lighting and
colours, this helps pop music videos be eye catching to the audience. The artists will often be
wearing mainstream/trendy clothing also, not only this, but conventionally pop music videos tend
to include a lot of intertextuality too. This may be to just make references to other media in order
to attract a wider audience or to make money from product placement.
Pop music videos tend to have lots of close ups of the artist. This helps portray emotion through
facial expression as well as creating a ‘star image’. This is important as for most mainstream pop
artists, they are the face of their music. There is often dance in pop music videos if performance is
included, meaning there may be wide shots in order to show this. Often, the visuals within the
video will directly link to the song lyrics in some way. Pop music videos will either be led
by performance (dance routines for example) or led by narrative (most likely linking to the lyrics).
Q4 - John Stuart’s description of the music video “incorporating,
raiding and reconstructing” is essentially the essence of
intertextuality [something asserted by Andrew Goodwin]. Can
you explain what intertextuality is and find a minimum of 3
examples of it in music videos?
Intertextuality is references to other media; this is done for a
variety of reasons within music videos. John Stuart’s description is
“incorporating, raiding and reconstructing” which essentially
means incorporating other texts and media, raiding them for an
advantage, then to reconstruct it so its original but keeps the same
concept. Essentially: intertextuality is crossovers between different
texts if this is for a serious or humorous effect.
One example of intertextuality is product placement. This is when
an artist shows a product in their music video as a way of
advertising. In Lady Gaga’s music video ‘Telephone’, there is a clear
example of product placement with diet coke. This is done on
purpose in order to advertise the product to the audience as the
record label would’ve been paid to advertise the diet coke.
Another example of intertextuality is through narrative, or to
reference another text in order to develop a deeper story. In Taylor
Swift’s music video ‘Love Story’, the narrative/song has a reference
to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The intertextuality here helps
the audience interpret the song and music video with more
meaning as they can link it to the narrative of Romeo and Juliet; it
can bring the idea of forbidden love to the narrative of the song.
When a song features another artist, or another artist is featured
in a music video this is also an example of intertextuality. An
example of this is ‘Favourite Colour Is Blue’ by Robert DeLong ft.
K.Flay. In this music video both artists are featured throughout it,
doing this allows for their song to reach a wider audience as they
are appealing to multiple audiences instead of one as the
song/music video is a crossover.
Task 3 – Case Study
You should open the Music Lecture powerpoint and look at section 3 before doing
this task
Task 3 – Case Study
• For your individual case study you must study an artist of choice,
focusing on a minimum of 3 videos [ideally 5+ videos]
• This should provide discussion on the usage of the following:
• Style[s] & Techniques employed
• Intertextuality
• Camerawork/editing
• Genre conventions
• Critical approaches [you should be applying some of the critical approaches
from your lessons and some of your own, to your selected videos]
Task 3 – Case Study
• You should include a video link for the videos used
• You should include illustrative stills from the videos chosen
• Be creative in your approach, it is suggested you use the heading on
the previous slide a guide on how to structure your response to get
you started
• Remember, make a point, use a specific part of the chosen video as
an example, explain yourself and then link to another video where
possible
• Compare and contrast your artist/genre to other artists/genres
• Remember to consider differing contexts
Chosen artist: Mars Argo
Mars Argo has a certain style to her music videos; her songs
follow the alternative rock genre mostly so naturally her music videos
follow that genre convention. They tend to have a more retro feel to them
making her music videos quite surreal and stand out, having a unique style also
fits alternative genre conventions. There’s a variety of shots in all her music
videos, often close ups of her and the instruments being used within the band,
however there is also mid shots, high angled shots etc to build a setting and an
atmosphere of where the narrative of the music video is set. Another convention
Mars Argo’s music videos tend to follow is ‘dynamic shots’ in order to build a
certain setting alongside a variety of locations/scenes to keep her music videos
interesting. You could also say that generally the editing of her music videos fits
the songs pace or narrative (eg fading out at slower tempo, cuts to the beat,
faster editing if someone is angry, slower if someone is sad etc), this type of
editing also follows alternative rock genre convention. I can link this to other
music videos like The Killers - When You Were Young or Muse - Starlight which
also follow the same alt rock genre conventions above. Since I will be making my
own music video to a Mars Argo song, it is important to follow these genre
conventions myself and investigate Mars Argo’s style.
1 – Mrs. Stadler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVXJMyq53aQ
Mrs. Stadler shows several examples of following genre convention and
portraying a variety of technique: if this be editing, camera work, costume
etc. To start with, the camera work is interesting and maintains different
angles and types of shot. An example of this is when Mars Argo is looking
through a dollhouse window and the camera’s point of view is on the
opposite side, almost as if the artist is peering in on the audience. I believe
this gives an interesting perspective and immerses the audience a lot more
into the music video. You can also see genre conventions being followed
such as lip syncing and simulated performance, this gives the feeling that
you are watching the artist perform and tends to be an effective use of
mise en scene. This is a rock/pop genre convention. Theres also lots of
close ups of Mars Argo herself, this is a significant use of camera work as
she is the face of her music and represents it, therefore it's important to
show lots of shots of Mars Argo in her music videos. Another camera
technique shown is the fade out to the music, where the camera pans
away along with the lighting. This is an effective technique as it matches
the song, the tempo slows down so the fade out follows and matches. If I
can input similar techniques into my own music video, I will get a nice
effect. This music video reflects Mars Argos unique style well, similar
techniques used in this video are followed in another music video of hers
‘Beauty Is Empty’ (next slide).
2 – Beauty Is Empty
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC6EEDVqbT8
Yet again in another example of Mars Argo’s music videos you can see the
same genre conventions being followed. Theres close ups of Mars Singing
matched with a variety of scenarios and locations. Theres some shots that
don’t include the artist at all in order to build a setting and certain
aesthetic within the music video. The artist isn't shown until the singing
starts, the instrumental introduction is used purely to build a setting and
atmosphere whilst also creating a sense of mystery as the face of the
artist is kept anonymous. The use of colouring can also have an effect
within this music video, you can see colder colours being associated with
the dark and warmer colourings are used when there's a light source like
the fire or gas station. The use of colouring has a big impact on how we,
the audience, perceive a scene. If colder colours were used when there’s
a fire it wouldn’t match as the warmer colouring is used to portray the
idea of heat and light. Beauty Is Empty is considered an Indie Rock song
and you can tell this as the music video follows the conventions of that
genre. There’s lots of props used to give the music video a sense of
realism, like the gas tank, the doll and the camera for example. Another
genre convention followed is the retro aesthetic within
the editing, props and costume. These are all music video conventions
followed in Indie Rock music videos. Another thing of note is how Mars
Argo is the focus of the music video, the face of her music. The music
video consists of lots of close ups of her in order to ‘introduce’ her and
help advertise Mars Argo.
3 – Using You
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp1ZluX4aYs
Using You is more of a pop song compared to her other songs and furthermore
follows pop music video conventions a lot more. In terms of attire,
background, lighting and makeup the colours are a lot brighter and more
vibrant as seen in many pop music videos. Also, in terms of camerawork, there's
lots of close ups of the artist singing as well as wide shots of the band as a
whole, simulating live performance (more of a rock convention however). There
are also mid shots of the band members, despite this the main focus remains
on the singer as the music video consists of a lot of close ups of her
performing. The narrative is also simple to follow, there isn’t any hidden
meaning to decipher and the music video can be watched as a passive
audience. You’ll often find that mainstream music videos tend to have this
‘easily digestible’ narratives compared to more niche artists that tend to
experiment a lot more with narrative within music videos. There is also dance
and choreography shown within the music video, performance being a large
factor in the pop genre. Although the music video follows pop conventions it
also follows rock as it is a mix of both genres, you can see this with conventions
such as simulated performance and showing the rest of the
band performing rather than solely focusing on Mars Argo. In terms of editing,
there's a boost in saturation as pop music videos tend to be brightly coloured.
With the general tone of the music, the bright colour and narrative help portray
a euphoric feeling about the music video.
4 – Love in Black and White
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLOdar3jshI
Love in Black and White is a pop song much like ‘Using You’ therefore there’s a lot of
similarities between this music video and Using You as they follow the same genre
conventions. Much like Using You, Love in Black and White is another music video that
is supposed to simulate a live performance. You can see a lot of movement and camera
angles. For example, there's angles from above in order to show the entire band in the
shot, but there's also lower angles so Mars Argo takes up most of the frame as she is
supposed to be the main focus. The camera movement remains energetic and
interesting to reflect the tone of the music. The music video is also quite vibrant
and colourful, reflecting pop music video convention. Some of the transitions between
shots use warm light leaks which give the music video a euphoric feeling, sticking to
the happy and upbeat nature of the song. In terms of performance, there's lots of
movement and dancing whilst they perform which matches the mood of the
song and follows pop music video convention also. The camera movement matches
the energetic mise en scene, keeping the music video exciting and allowing the
audience to feel immersed within the music video and the performance (a rock genre
convention). Since the music video is heavily connected with the music and pace,
there is a point where the music comes to a halt before continuing. This mise en scene
heavily reflects this as the we are cut to a wide shot of the band; the camera is still
alongside the band. This takes un-immerses the audience before cutting right back into
the action on que with the music. I believe this is an incredibly effective technique as it
really shows how well the music video reflects the tone and pace of the music.
5 – You Gave Away
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q9suju_0qA
This music video is a recording of a live performance; therefore, it is
taken in one shot. Despite this the camera work remains interesting,
there's lots of movement and types of shot. The whole music video is
also in black and white, this gives the video a more serious or
melancholy vibe. Compared to Using You, which is upbeat and has lots
of colours, You Gave Away is a gloomier song so the desaturated video
matches. The song is filled with emotion alongside the music video
itself, Mars Argo is very passionate with her facial expression
whilst she's singing, matching the tone of the video whilst also following
rock convention. This choice of doing a ‘One Shot’ music video (which is
a recording of a live performance) makes the music video feel more
real and lets the audience feel like they are watching the band perform
live. Despite this music video being done in one take the
cinematography techniques allows the camera to pan from different
angles and types of shots. You can clearly see a variety of shots and
angles being used like a wide shot of the band and close ups of the band
members. Not only this but the camera work also focuses on the
instruments too, really emphasizing the live performance. This music
video shows that different camera techniques can be used in one shot
and it can also give a rock music video a more realistic feeling to it
which matches the emotional/realistic tone of the song itself.

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Case Study

  • 2. Music Video Production • We will look at Music Videos from a number of perspectives, this template is for you to write up your notes and to complete your case study. • The document is split into 3 different tasks, each with separate questions to answer. • Task 1 is concerned with the purposes of music videos and the strategies employed by labels and artists • Task 2 is concerned with the styles, techniques and conventions of music video production • Task 3 is your own case study into a minimum of three music videos where you can unpack and discuss the videos considering everything you have looked at in Task 1 and 2 • You are expected to submit each section on a weekly basis during your remote learning weeks. • If you get stuck, talk to/email your tutor for guidance.
  • 3. Notes on completing the case study • It is often easier to show something you are discussing than to take time describing it. With this in mind, feel free to add lots of illustrative images from your chosen video examples. Links to YouTube/Vevo/etc are also encouraged. • Remember, when you make a point or define something, you should follow this with an example, an explanation of this and then link to further texts/videos where possible. • If you don’t think there is enough room to add your full response to a question, don’t just reset the font size to really small, add an extra slide wherever necessary.
  • 4. Task 1 - Purposes You should open the Music Lecture powerpoint and look at section 1 before doing this task
  • 5. Q1 - Outline the 3 core purposes of music video with a short explanation for each: One of the main purposes of music videos is to achieve more sales. Essentially, a music video is made to help advertise an artist's music. Another purpose of music video is to establish a brand or identity. Music videos can help the artist portray themselves in a certain way to attract certain audiences to their content and create a certain identity for themselves. Finally, another purpose of music video is entertainment. Music videos can be used to help portray a narrative or story within their music as well as just provide entertainment for the audience. It’s a way to engage their fans more into their content.
  • 6. Q2 – What are some of the broader purposes of music videos? Try and outline a minimum of 3. (Think about some of the strategies employed by artists in their videos and how they represent themselves, you could consider where the artist is on a major label, independent label or unsigned, is there a difference between them?) Broader purposes of music videos may change depending on if the artist is on a major label, independent label or unsigned. When it comes to major labels one of the broader purposes of a music video may be synergy. In major labels synergy is a good way for the record company and artist to generate income as the music video will most likely be mainstream and viewed by a lot of people. Synergy could be something like product placement within music videos, companies may pay major record labels to include their product in artists music videos as a form of advertisement. Another example of synergy in major labels is having crossovers with other artists. Doing this helps broaden the artists audience as they will be appealing to multiple audiences rather than their usual audience. With independent labels they don’t share the same budget as major labels meaning there won’t be as much product placement and synergy. When making music videos on an independent label the purpose is to increase audience interest in their music and help broaden their audience. If the independent label is very small a music video might not even be made as it most likely won’t make it to mainstream TV and won’t have a good return on investment. Artists without a label at all can still make music videos and because of social media and cheap access to distribution outlets it is quite easy to ensure that their music videos reach an audience.
  • 7. Q3 – Branding; select an artist you like and look at how they present themselves in their music videos. Explain what their ‘brand’ is, who it appeals to and why they might have done this. Melanie Martinez is an artist whose music videos I enjoy. Her music videos all follow a very similar baby doll like aesthetic, she has a certain unique style that makes her content immediately identifiable. In her music videos everything is quite surreal; her aesthetic is rather cutesy, and she follows a cry baby theme however there's always a sinister twist within her music videos. She shows darker themes which heavily contrast with the bright colours and childlike look to her music videos. I believe that this is her brand and what makes her content different and unique. It's weird and doesn’t follow the conventions of your everyday music video. She portrays herself with a childlike demeanour as she plays a persona in her music videos that she calls ‘Cry Baby’. Her music videos tell a story about this character with much darker undertones then the bright colours lead you on to believe. This can probably shock the viewer and subvert their expectations when watching the music video. I believe she makes her music this way on purpose in order to show her creativity and stand out. This will appeal to her target audience who enjoy an alternative style and something that they can engage with in order to decipher a meaning behind her music videos. On a general note however, Melanie’s target audience is most likely girls aged 15 – 25 due to her style of music.
  • 8. Q4 – Compare One Direction and Animal Collective music videos [find them on YouTube!], what can you discern about each act from their videos? What is the main aim? Explain why. One Directions music videos and Animal Collectives music videos differ quite a lot. One Direction is considered mainstream, they have a large audience and a high budget when it comes to music videos. This clearly shows as their music videos are high quality and remain consistent, their style doesn’t take any risks and remains relatively the same. This is so they can keep appealing to their mass audience as remaining consistent keeps their fans enjoying their content. To a popular band like One Direction, it’s important to make money and the best way to do that is to stay consistent with a style they know their audience enjoy. It's incredibly significant to keep their fans interested in their content. Animal Collective however are much more niche and obscure. Their audience is a lot smaller which also means their budget is, meaning their music videos aren't as high quality as One Directions. Animal Collective don’t have to worry about appealing to a mass audience as they are more niche, this results in their videos not showing the same consistency as One Directions. Their music videos tend to take a lot more risks and having a smaller audience they can be as surreal and as creative as they’d like. Making money won’t be as important to Animal Collective, it's clear that their content is built to be creative and surreal.
  • 9. One Directions music videos tend to portray an easy to follow narrative, this allows their audience to be passive and enjoy their content without having to engage much or try discovering a hidden meaning within their content. The story is simple yet enjoyable for those who enjoy their music, anyone can watch their music videos and have an idea of what's going on. The easy to follow narrative is something that is consistent throughout their music videos. Another thing that remains consistent within their music videos is the band members themselves. There's constant close ups of the band members in their music videos as that’s what makes them identifiable, they are the face of their band and when you see their faces you immediately know it's One Direction. Their faces are important to their brand and identity. Animal Collective on the other hand has much more complex music videos. Their music videos are surreal and ambiguous, it isn’t straightforward like One Direction. It’s a lot more challenging to follow and watch, the audience must be more active and engage with the content in order to decipher a meaning behind it. The audience has the freedom to give Animal Collectives music videos their own meaning as the meaning is open and up to interpretation. Each of their music videos are different from one another, they don’t have close ups of the artists like One Direction as their music videos aren't focused on the artists: more on their creativity. They are constantly focused on experimenting with different and weird music videos, and as they are more niche, they don’t have to worry about appealing to a large audience. So, in conclusion, One Directions aim is to keep their large audience entertained whilst sticking to a style that remains consistent throughout all their music videos. Their music videos are created to entertain their audience whilst also getting more sales. Animal Collective however is more focused on expressing creativity with their unique and surreal music videos.
  • 10. Task 2 – Styles, Techniques and Conventions You should open the Music Lecture powerpoint and look at section 2 before doing this task
  • 11. Q1 – Describe and explain the use of camerawork in music videos, i.e. the types of shot used with examples to illustrate this and how this creates meaning One use of camerawork to create meaning is camera movement. There may be a lot of fast camera movement, this technique is used for a variety of reasons. If there is a lot of movement of screen it can be used to help convey the rapid movement, or if the pace of the music has sped up the camera might be moving around a lot more to help amplify this. Another use of camera movement is the camera being more still or calm, so in opposite effect this could be used to portray the lack of energy in movement or to match the music if the pace is slower. Camera movement can also be used to show a mood or emotion. If someone is angry or in distress the camera movement could be more rapid and have more movement to match the mood, on the other hand if a music video shows someone being calm and tranquil the camera movement may be more still to reflect this. Type of shot is another way of creating meaning. Close ups with the artist can be used to create a sense of intimacy between the audience and the artist, they can also be used to emphasize emotion as the artists expression will take up most of the frame. Close ups may also be used to establish the lead singer or ‘protagonist’ in the narrative of the music video. Medium shots are commonly used in music videos alongside close ups. This type of shot can help give the audience context of the location that the artist is in whilst also showing the artist themselves. Medium shots may also be used if the artist is gesturing or doing something as a close up wouldn’t capture this. Another type of shot used are wide shots. These are often used when there's a large group of people to be shown or to build a certain setting or atmosphere. If there's a band performance being shown in the music video for example, a wide shot may be used to capture the entire band at once. In pop music videos, wide shots tend to be used in order to show a dancing. Finally, camera angles can play an important part when illustrating meaning in music videos. Low angles are used to give the impression of the artist being powerful as they will appear bigger, this can be used in a variety of ways in order to give meaning in music videos (for example if the artist is flaunting their money and achievements, this type of shot may be used in order to amplify it). So, in vice versa, a high angled shot can make the artist seem smaller, however it can also help build a setting as high angled shots will show the area around the artist. Eye level angles will most likely give a neutral effect as it’s a neutral angle.
  • 12. Q2 - Describe and explain the use of editing in music videos, i.e. the types of shot used with examples to illustrate this and what the effect of this is/meanings that are created/etc Different types of colouring in editing can help create meaning. Clips can be coloured to look warmer and brighter for example. This will have the effect of comfort, warmth, happiness etc. Clips can also be coloured to have colder colours and be darker also, therefore appearing melancholier in contrast to warmer and brighter colourings. This is effective and helps creates meaning as the colouring of a clip can portray a certain mood immediately to the audience as colours and lighting can be associated with different moods and emotion. Colouring is important as it can be used to either reflect, amplify or subvert the meaning of the song. When the clips cut in music videos its significant. When editing it's important for clips to cut to the music, this is so that the audience feels more immersed in the music video. This is also effective as it’ll amplify when the pace picks up in the song for example as the cuts may happen more frequently. This will illustrate a sense of change to the audience and could also be used to generate meaning. Much like camera movement, more cutting could illustrate a certain mood like distress. There are other editing techniques that can also have an effect and create meaning. Some music videos purposely use ‘retro effects’ for example in order to make their music videos purposely look older to fit an aesthetic. Other effects can be aberration which gives a ‘glitchy effect’. Using effects like these can help portray a meaning beyond what was shot, or it can help amplify the shot in a way you can’t do without editing. Another editing technique that can be used to create a certain effect is the velocity, slowing down the clip at certain points can emphasise movement or actions within the music video.
  • 13. Q3 – Genre conventions; often music videos adhere to genre conventions within their visual style and production techniques. Select a recognizable genre and use illustrations to explain what their genre conventions are… Genre – Pop Pop music videos conventionally tend to have certain mise en scene. Within pop music videos a popular genre convention is bright colours. Bright colours can appear in the background, clothing, makeup etc... Bright colours heavily fit with the style of music as most of the time its conventional for pop music to be happy and upbeat so bright colours will match the tone of the music. Another genre convention for mise en scene is the lighting being bright or light. Much like the bright colours, conventionally the lighting should be bright to fit the style of music. Due to the bright lighting and colours, this helps pop music videos be eye catching to the audience. The artists will often be wearing mainstream/trendy clothing also, not only this, but conventionally pop music videos tend to include a lot of intertextuality too. This may be to just make references to other media in order to attract a wider audience or to make money from product placement. Pop music videos tend to have lots of close ups of the artist. This helps portray emotion through facial expression as well as creating a ‘star image’. This is important as for most mainstream pop artists, they are the face of their music. There is often dance in pop music videos if performance is included, meaning there may be wide shots in order to show this. Often, the visuals within the video will directly link to the song lyrics in some way. Pop music videos will either be led by performance (dance routines for example) or led by narrative (most likely linking to the lyrics).
  • 14. Q4 - John Stuart’s description of the music video “incorporating, raiding and reconstructing” is essentially the essence of intertextuality [something asserted by Andrew Goodwin]. Can you explain what intertextuality is and find a minimum of 3 examples of it in music videos? Intertextuality is references to other media; this is done for a variety of reasons within music videos. John Stuart’s description is “incorporating, raiding and reconstructing” which essentially means incorporating other texts and media, raiding them for an advantage, then to reconstruct it so its original but keeps the same concept. Essentially: intertextuality is crossovers between different texts if this is for a serious or humorous effect. One example of intertextuality is product placement. This is when an artist shows a product in their music video as a way of advertising. In Lady Gaga’s music video ‘Telephone’, there is a clear example of product placement with diet coke. This is done on purpose in order to advertise the product to the audience as the record label would’ve been paid to advertise the diet coke. Another example of intertextuality is through narrative, or to reference another text in order to develop a deeper story. In Taylor Swift’s music video ‘Love Story’, the narrative/song has a reference to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The intertextuality here helps the audience interpret the song and music video with more meaning as they can link it to the narrative of Romeo and Juliet; it can bring the idea of forbidden love to the narrative of the song. When a song features another artist, or another artist is featured in a music video this is also an example of intertextuality. An example of this is ‘Favourite Colour Is Blue’ by Robert DeLong ft. K.Flay. In this music video both artists are featured throughout it, doing this allows for their song to reach a wider audience as they are appealing to multiple audiences instead of one as the song/music video is a crossover.
  • 15. Task 3 – Case Study You should open the Music Lecture powerpoint and look at section 3 before doing this task
  • 16. Task 3 – Case Study • For your individual case study you must study an artist of choice, focusing on a minimum of 3 videos [ideally 5+ videos] • This should provide discussion on the usage of the following: • Style[s] & Techniques employed • Intertextuality • Camerawork/editing • Genre conventions • Critical approaches [you should be applying some of the critical approaches from your lessons and some of your own, to your selected videos]
  • 17. Task 3 – Case Study • You should include a video link for the videos used • You should include illustrative stills from the videos chosen • Be creative in your approach, it is suggested you use the heading on the previous slide a guide on how to structure your response to get you started • Remember, make a point, use a specific part of the chosen video as an example, explain yourself and then link to another video where possible • Compare and contrast your artist/genre to other artists/genres • Remember to consider differing contexts
  • 18. Chosen artist: Mars Argo Mars Argo has a certain style to her music videos; her songs follow the alternative rock genre mostly so naturally her music videos follow that genre convention. They tend to have a more retro feel to them making her music videos quite surreal and stand out, having a unique style also fits alternative genre conventions. There’s a variety of shots in all her music videos, often close ups of her and the instruments being used within the band, however there is also mid shots, high angled shots etc to build a setting and an atmosphere of where the narrative of the music video is set. Another convention Mars Argo’s music videos tend to follow is ‘dynamic shots’ in order to build a certain setting alongside a variety of locations/scenes to keep her music videos interesting. You could also say that generally the editing of her music videos fits the songs pace or narrative (eg fading out at slower tempo, cuts to the beat, faster editing if someone is angry, slower if someone is sad etc), this type of editing also follows alternative rock genre convention. I can link this to other music videos like The Killers - When You Were Young or Muse - Starlight which also follow the same alt rock genre conventions above. Since I will be making my own music video to a Mars Argo song, it is important to follow these genre conventions myself and investigate Mars Argo’s style.
  • 19. 1 – Mrs. Stadler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVXJMyq53aQ
  • 20. Mrs. Stadler shows several examples of following genre convention and portraying a variety of technique: if this be editing, camera work, costume etc. To start with, the camera work is interesting and maintains different angles and types of shot. An example of this is when Mars Argo is looking through a dollhouse window and the camera’s point of view is on the opposite side, almost as if the artist is peering in on the audience. I believe this gives an interesting perspective and immerses the audience a lot more into the music video. You can also see genre conventions being followed such as lip syncing and simulated performance, this gives the feeling that you are watching the artist perform and tends to be an effective use of mise en scene. This is a rock/pop genre convention. Theres also lots of close ups of Mars Argo herself, this is a significant use of camera work as she is the face of her music and represents it, therefore it's important to show lots of shots of Mars Argo in her music videos. Another camera technique shown is the fade out to the music, where the camera pans away along with the lighting. This is an effective technique as it matches the song, the tempo slows down so the fade out follows and matches. If I can input similar techniques into my own music video, I will get a nice effect. This music video reflects Mars Argos unique style well, similar techniques used in this video are followed in another music video of hers ‘Beauty Is Empty’ (next slide).
  • 21. 2 – Beauty Is Empty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC6EEDVqbT8
  • 22. Yet again in another example of Mars Argo’s music videos you can see the same genre conventions being followed. Theres close ups of Mars Singing matched with a variety of scenarios and locations. Theres some shots that don’t include the artist at all in order to build a setting and certain aesthetic within the music video. The artist isn't shown until the singing starts, the instrumental introduction is used purely to build a setting and atmosphere whilst also creating a sense of mystery as the face of the artist is kept anonymous. The use of colouring can also have an effect within this music video, you can see colder colours being associated with the dark and warmer colourings are used when there's a light source like the fire or gas station. The use of colouring has a big impact on how we, the audience, perceive a scene. If colder colours were used when there’s a fire it wouldn’t match as the warmer colouring is used to portray the idea of heat and light. Beauty Is Empty is considered an Indie Rock song and you can tell this as the music video follows the conventions of that genre. There’s lots of props used to give the music video a sense of realism, like the gas tank, the doll and the camera for example. Another genre convention followed is the retro aesthetic within the editing, props and costume. These are all music video conventions followed in Indie Rock music videos. Another thing of note is how Mars Argo is the focus of the music video, the face of her music. The music video consists of lots of close ups of her in order to ‘introduce’ her and help advertise Mars Argo.
  • 23. 3 – Using You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp1ZluX4aYs
  • 24. Using You is more of a pop song compared to her other songs and furthermore follows pop music video conventions a lot more. In terms of attire, background, lighting and makeup the colours are a lot brighter and more vibrant as seen in many pop music videos. Also, in terms of camerawork, there's lots of close ups of the artist singing as well as wide shots of the band as a whole, simulating live performance (more of a rock convention however). There are also mid shots of the band members, despite this the main focus remains on the singer as the music video consists of a lot of close ups of her performing. The narrative is also simple to follow, there isn’t any hidden meaning to decipher and the music video can be watched as a passive audience. You’ll often find that mainstream music videos tend to have this ‘easily digestible’ narratives compared to more niche artists that tend to experiment a lot more with narrative within music videos. There is also dance and choreography shown within the music video, performance being a large factor in the pop genre. Although the music video follows pop conventions it also follows rock as it is a mix of both genres, you can see this with conventions such as simulated performance and showing the rest of the band performing rather than solely focusing on Mars Argo. In terms of editing, there's a boost in saturation as pop music videos tend to be brightly coloured. With the general tone of the music, the bright colour and narrative help portray a euphoric feeling about the music video.
  • 25. 4 – Love in Black and White https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLOdar3jshI
  • 26. Love in Black and White is a pop song much like ‘Using You’ therefore there’s a lot of similarities between this music video and Using You as they follow the same genre conventions. Much like Using You, Love in Black and White is another music video that is supposed to simulate a live performance. You can see a lot of movement and camera angles. For example, there's angles from above in order to show the entire band in the shot, but there's also lower angles so Mars Argo takes up most of the frame as she is supposed to be the main focus. The camera movement remains energetic and interesting to reflect the tone of the music. The music video is also quite vibrant and colourful, reflecting pop music video convention. Some of the transitions between shots use warm light leaks which give the music video a euphoric feeling, sticking to the happy and upbeat nature of the song. In terms of performance, there's lots of movement and dancing whilst they perform which matches the mood of the song and follows pop music video convention also. The camera movement matches the energetic mise en scene, keeping the music video exciting and allowing the audience to feel immersed within the music video and the performance (a rock genre convention). Since the music video is heavily connected with the music and pace, there is a point where the music comes to a halt before continuing. This mise en scene heavily reflects this as the we are cut to a wide shot of the band; the camera is still alongside the band. This takes un-immerses the audience before cutting right back into the action on que with the music. I believe this is an incredibly effective technique as it really shows how well the music video reflects the tone and pace of the music.
  • 27. 5 – You Gave Away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q9suju_0qA
  • 28. This music video is a recording of a live performance; therefore, it is taken in one shot. Despite this the camera work remains interesting, there's lots of movement and types of shot. The whole music video is also in black and white, this gives the video a more serious or melancholy vibe. Compared to Using You, which is upbeat and has lots of colours, You Gave Away is a gloomier song so the desaturated video matches. The song is filled with emotion alongside the music video itself, Mars Argo is very passionate with her facial expression whilst she's singing, matching the tone of the video whilst also following rock convention. This choice of doing a ‘One Shot’ music video (which is a recording of a live performance) makes the music video feel more real and lets the audience feel like they are watching the band perform live. Despite this music video being done in one take the cinematography techniques allows the camera to pan from different angles and types of shots. You can clearly see a variety of shots and angles being used like a wide shot of the band and close ups of the band members. Not only this but the camera work also focuses on the instruments too, really emphasizing the live performance. This music video shows that different camera techniques can be used in one shot and it can also give a rock music video a more realistic feeling to it which matches the emotional/realistic tone of the song itself.