In what ways does your media product use,develop or challenge the forms and conventions of real media products? I believe that as a whole, our music video is extremely conventional, not only fitting the codes of music video construction, but also when viewed within the context of its own music genre. Freddy & The Letdowns – Ike & Tina [YouTube Link] (Coombe Media 13B6 – Sam Hopkins)
Applying Goodwin’s theory to my music videoWhen we first began brainstorming ideas for the video, a lot of our ideasstemmed from creating narrative concepts, framed by generic performancescenes. These were largely informed by our interpretation of the lyricalcontent and how we could create a relationship between the lyrics and thevisuals - as discussed in Goodwin’s music video theory. Once we haddiscerned the basic narrative concept (the artist stumbling home after adrunken night, coming to a lifestyle-changing epiphany through fragmentedflashbacks), it made logical sense that the visuals should therefore providean illustrative effect for the lyrics, in some places in an extremely literalsense.
Applying Goodwin’s theory to my music videoWe also used synaesthetic ideas to inform ideas about the visuals from thetexture and mixing of the audio. Through this, our cultural influences turnedus to urban environments, although interestingly rather than the expectedclaustrophobic estates and alleyways, we utilised the monotony of suburbia,demonstrating our personal influence on the creative direction of the videoapplied to cues in the music.
Goodwin – Star ImageAnother convention we conformed to while creating our music video is thepromotion of star image. This was achieved by careful technical constructionof shots, ensuring lots of close ups of our artists face to satisfy demands ofthe fanbase as well as requirements of the label to promote theircommodity.The quantity of close ups and screentime prevalence (‘Freddy’ features inalmost every shot), is compounded by the types of shots we used to film him,such using low angles to promote fan worship of the star and centralisedframing. It was also important for us to feature a wide variety of shotshowever, to sustain interest in the film and the star, so not every shotcomplies with this adoration style.
Goodwin – Star ImageHowever, it was essential in my opinion to present our artist not as apompous, celebrity pop-star atop a pedestal, but with instead a sense ofnormalcy. This is to reflect not only the class associations of the musical styleand lyrical themes, but also to challenge unfortunate genre conventions forsuch real life artists who often ‘sell-out’ to fame and stardom. I think that wecombined these two conflicting sides of star image successfully through thenarrative themes as well as shot technical composition, creating a relatablecharacter the audience can identify with whilst still maintaining a sense ofvisual presence in how they see his “star” image (such as through the artistsmannerisms).This unique construction of the star image is something we intended to comeacross in all areas of our final product, including the albumartwork/digipak and photographs we uploaded to the band’s socialnetworking websites.
Vernallis - Editing• The editing of our music video doesn’t follow the classic continuity style of Hollywood films, instead building upon what Vernallis recognised as the significant disjunctive narrative music video style, heightened by our use of fragments and flashbacks giving an even greater sense of disorientation.• In some edits in the video (such as the verse with the child performing), consecutive shots alternate between different scenes in a dramatically disjunct way, demanding attention from the viewer by dragging their attention to the different focal points of each shot very rapidly.• This montage style is able to create new meanings through the juxtaposition of images (Kuleshov), linking the grievous lyrical performance to the clubbing scene of the night before, demonstrating the regret the artist feels for his lifestyle – the key message of the song and video.• Highly conventional editing on the beat to emphasise rhythmic basis of the song we are promoting, and to tie the visuals closer with music. We also edited the footage to match some lyrical phrases, such as an extended shots for each line of the song (eg in the first verse this is done several times), or cutting away to emphasise one word (eg “substance” at 1:48, and “face” two seconds later).• We manipulated the editing pace to shape the intensity of the video, creating a series of peaks of energy to correspond to the song. Most obviously this is done with the series of quick edits in the chorus at 2:18, as well as the peak at 3:05, and also the slowed down, conclusive tempo at 3:29 to signify the end.
Vernallis – Camera• Tracking shots create a performance space that is usually lacking in music videos (eg the verses starting at 0:47 and 1:40) as well as a sense of continuity necessary to counter the fragmented sections.• This contrasts the party scene, in which we intentionally never see an establishing shot, creating the illusion of a real club as well as a feeling of novelty and immediacy every time a new angle is shown.• The camerawork also varies to create interest, and the steady tracking technique of the street performance section (eg 0:46-1:00) can be compared to heavily dynamic camera use in the party (eg 0:19-0:23)• In this latter example (as well as several other points in the video), we also use the camera movement to match the rhythm of the music in a similar way to the editing technique’s use.• Finally, our artist rarely breaks the fourth wall, which is unconventional for a pop music promo. During the filming of the performance sections, we requested for many shots that he didn’t in order to give the narrative a more distanced, separated effect on the audience, and to create value in the rare shots where he makes direct eye contact with the audience.
Vernallis – NarrativeWe presented the narrative in a conventionally disjunct way, although wecreate much ambiguity through the use of the letter and the unexplainedtravelling put together in a largely continuous style. In this way, we havefound an odd, unconventional middle ground between a clear,straightforward narrative interspersed with performance and an opposingfragmented, non-narrative music video.
How we used tropes of the music genreAs well as conventions of music video style, we also delved into the pre-existing codes of videos from this particular genre. Our iconography,including sexual promiscuity and partying as typical events or locations areeasily recognised by the target audience.However, as the genre of the song is contestable and can actually becatagorised in many ways, such as indie, alternative rock, hiphop and evenrap, this ensured our video would not be too mundane and conventional, asconventions for such niche genre crossovers do not exist to the same extentas for other genres (such as bling and bikinis in gangster rap music videos):
Voyeurism and ScopophiliaThe ‘sex scene’ in our video is an extreme instance of voyeurism in musicvideo, with extreme close ups worshipping the actor’s bodies,metaphorically orgasmic blue light flash and almost explicit action.However, from the context of this scene, the rest of the video seemsparticularly un-sexualised, especially compared to some modern popvideos and even real-life clubs - for example, compare the extremely tamedancing scenes in the party to a video like Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado(link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J3vgcE5i2o).
Voyeurism ContinuedIn fact, the considerable lack of sexualisation (apart from that one scene) inour video is highlighted by one quick close up shot of a dancer (2:58), whichalthough flashes up for only a few frames is memorable only because itsvoyeuristic connotations are so out of place.We also consider the ‘post-feminist’ concept of voyeurism, by featuring ashot of the artist showing off his abs, which complements the idea of starimage and fan idolisation of the artist.