“The concept of genre is useful to audiences and film companies.” Discuss with
reference to your own coursework productions. (GENRE)
Representation of particular social groups in the media often relies on the use of
stereotypes. Discuss this with reference to your own productions.
“Media texts rely on cultural experiences in order for audiences to easily make sense
of narratives”. Explain how you used conventional and/or experimental narrative
approaches in one of your production pieces. (NARRATIVE)
“Audience readings of media texts are affected by variables such as
age, gender, social status and social context.” How might different audience
members interpret one of your practical productions? (AUDIENCE)
Different media texts utilise their own specific ‘language’ to convey meaning to their
audiences. With reference to one of your own productions, explain how you used
the medium specific language to convey meaning. (MEDIA LANGUAGE)
• The genre of music videos determines the codes
and conventions used in a video. Create a chart
that looks at 5 different genres that analyses the
media language of the videos. Think about what
you learnt from the TV drama exam for the
headings – these are CODES AND CONVENTIONS;
• Example chart – obviously more detail needed!
Aluna George Just A Touch
Ed Sheeran –
The A Team
Mise en scene
Black and white
Audio-Visual Technical Codes for Music Video:
Camera Shots: jumping directly between long shots, close ups and extreme close ups. Primarily the close up on the
singer’s face is the main generic convention for music videos. Also the extreme close up on the lips for lip synching.
Camera Movement: whip pans, fast dolly track shots and fast overhead crane shots to follow the running, walking
or dancing of performers. Also fast vertical tilts and horizontal pans.
Editing: various terms: jump cutting, MTV style editing or montage editing. Creating the visually de-centred
experience of ‘jumping’ from location to person to instrument without any normal narrative continuity. Instead it is
often the beat or the rhythm of the track which provides the organising principle for editing movement. The editing
moves so fast it creates the need for viewing ‘repeatedly’. There are exceptions though. Some ‘continuity editing’
used such as atmospheric ‘dissolve shots’ such as in Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compare to You’
Post-production digital effects: ‘colourisation’ ‘slow motion’ etc. Special effects are now conventional for music
videos. Please look out for other innovative effects.
Lighting: Expressive lighting a key feature of music videos. Extreme artificial light to create the ‘bleaching’ effect on
pop stars faces (making them seem ageless). Also the use of switching from colour to black & white or sepia to
indicate a shift from chorus to verse. Also lighting effects such as strobes or flashing needs to be identified. This
obviously links into the use of CGI in dance music videos to enhance the atmosphere.
Mise-en-scene: look for the overall artistic concept in a video. Is there a theme?. Does the video’s mise en scene
follow the need for authenticity in performance videos by using the concert hall or rehearsal studio setting. Or is
there an intentional ‘parodic’ setting to exaggerate star image?
Music videos have certain codes and conventionsWhich of these are codes (make
something recognisably ‘a music video’), and which are conventions?
Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (e.g. stage performance in metal video,
dance routine for boy/girl band).
There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying,
There is a relationship between music and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying,
The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist
and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style).
There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc)
and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.
There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc).
• Music videos have elements of performance as well as narrative
elements. Find 5 different music videos that are different and
create a presentation that you will deliver to a small group of
people. Use tubechop to cut the video so that we only see the
smaller clips. Please pick videos that are interesting and are slightly
different. If you do mainstream videos you won’t get any
• Example videos:
Ed Sheeran / The A Team – completely narrative based music video
The Verve / Bitter Sweet Symphony – performance based narrative
Justin Timberlake / Mirrors – performance and narrative based
Fat Boy Slim / Weapon of Choice – performance based video
• Music videos represent artists / bands in various ways
dependant on the genre. Find 5 music videos that
represent music artists differently. Make a poster per genre
on the representation using lots of different images from
the video to discuss the representation of the artists/bands.
– What clothes to people wear?
– Are there any stereotypes that fit a certain genre? If so what
– How are men/women represented in videos? Could you link to
camera angles, editing?
Feminism v Masculinity
Shuker - The representation of women in music videos,
and the nature of the gaze (usually constructed as male)
of the viewer of such texts
Versallis – representation in music video is not
monolithic, that progressive videos, ones that run against
the grain, also exist.
Versallis – music videos often reflect cultural stereotypes
but in the majority they exaggerate them.
Versallis – music videos reflect gender stereotypes.
There are elements that ‘men act and women appear’
Images of women are made for a heterosexual
male audience and the audience must look at
the characters with this perspective.
Has this been engrained in the way that we look
Laughey – Any given ideology contains a common
set of values, beliefs and ideas. These common
values, beliefs and ideas limit the range of
acceptable meanings and representations that an
ideology can accomodate. DIVERSITY is a dirty
Ideology as a concept however does have
weaknesses as it is a rigid concept that is based on
the ruling classes governing the weak.
Hall and Hegemony
Hegemony – a dominant ideology that highlights the relationship
between the ruling and the ruled.
Hall – questions does the media ever encode images with anything
other than the conventional representations that do little to unsettle
existing power structures in societies?
Dominant code – consumers adopt a preferred reading of
Negotiated code – accepts some aspects of the media representations
Oppositional code – decode the representations in ways that were not
• TASK 4:
• Pick one music video and do a close analysis
of the video using theory (this will be taught
during a lesson). Try to pick a genre that you
will eventually use. You will need to look at all
the areas studied so far. The close analysis
can be completed on a PowerPoint/Keynote
and then made into a movie.
He suggests genre is hard to define, doesn’t
really exist and is just a concept made up by
theorists and critics.
Do you agree?
Give examples from your work that suggests
that genre either IS or ISN’T easy to define
He says that the way we define a genre is by two main things:
• Semantic Elements (eg signs such as knives, blood, dark colours,
eerie music). He thinks these elements are easier for audiences to
recognise and identify
• Syntactic Elements (includes THEMES such as fear, revenge, rage as
well as plots such as PLOTS such as group go on trip, one by one they die,
last girl survives and kills killer) He thinks these elements are more
subtle and harder to recognise.
Identify semantic and syntactic elements in your video that
might help audiences identify the genre of your film / music
Thinks that music videos follow the following conventions:
• Conventions depend on the genre of the music
• Star persona is important and companies use close ups to
sell them to the audience
• Voyeuristic images are used to attract an audience
• They often contain intertextual references to other media
• There is a link between the lyrics and the visuals
• There is a link between the visuals and the music / pace etc
How can we apply this theory to your video?
Extra Theories for a JUICY response
• KNIGHT – argues that making sense of texts
in genres is an active process of creating meaning
• Duff – believes that genre is evolving overtime,
and that the conventions are a result of
agreements between author and reader
• Sonia Livingston – different genres
specifiy different contracts to be negotiated
between the text and the reader
• Nick Abercrombie – says that media
producers should stick to using the typical
conventions in a music video or film, as
audiences are guaranteed to like them and
identify with them easily
• Separate task; Audience Research
• TASK EIGHT
• Deadline Monday 15th July