Analysis of Product3Music VideoFoo Fighters - Wheels
ConventionsI will use 7 specific shots I’ve chosen from this music video as examples for conventions of music videos.
CameraworkClose ups/extreme close-ups.(Extreme) Close ups are shots that are used all the time in musicvideos (especially in the alternative rock ones that I’ve researched)so can been seen as a convention.The close ups usually focus on the lead singer (if he/she is presentin the video, as in this one I researched) more than any othermember of the band, due to the fact they are the one singing.Showing these close ups emphasise the emotion when they aresinging, depending on what the lyrics mean (expressing anger,happiness) via their facial expressions.
PanningPanning is also a popular convention within music videos.In this case, the shot starts off to the right of the room the band are performingin, then it moves to the left, until a lamp blocks the view of the room.Panning simply tries to act as an establishing shot, showing where the bandare, what the room is like (what’s mise-en-scene like; theprops, costumes, settings, low-key light, etc.).The shot successfully shows the settings/location of the room, shows there islow-key lighting and shows the costumes the band members are wearing, and indoing so also shows that the band are the only people in the room.Odd props such as street lights/lamps are also in the room, indicating that theband aren’t in a normal room, which also seems to have padded/soundproofwalls.This could be a studio that the band practice in.
Fade InThis convention is from the technical area editing.I’ve seen it be used quite a few times, and quite often linking to the lyricsof the video. The singer will originally not be in the first shot, then fade in(or sometimes out). The lyrics usually relate to this by talking about notfeeling like you belong somewhere (hence fading out) or feeling likeyou’ve found somewhere new (fading in).This works quite well in low-key lighting, better than in high-keylighting, because it seems to have a better effect due to the backgroundlight not affecting the way the person fades in/out (sometimes withhigh-key lighting, fade ins/out just don’t look right).
Cutting/Cross cuttingCutting is another convention from editing which is always used in musicvideos.It simply cuts from one shot to another, keeping the video flowing. In thisexample that I’ve given, the camera cuts from the lead singers playingguitar and singing to the drummer of the band. Both people are shownused a type of mid shot; so even though the camera has cut to someoneelse, they still share the same camera shot which just creates as sense ofcontinuity in the camerawork.
High angleAs the lead singer says “looked into to the sky”, the shot cutsaway from a close up of him to this high angle which isaccompanied by a change from higher-key lighting to a lower-key lighting. This high angle goes well with the lyrics of thesong, with the low key lighting that appears emphasising thefeeling of being forgotten (which some lyrics in the songinsinuate).High angles are used a lot in music videos, usually to showsuperiority or inferiority, but in this case it’s used to showsomething else, which is good as it shows this one shot canrepresent different things.
Pace of editingAs the song picks up and reaches to the solo towards the end of the song, theediting speeds up from a slower pace to a faster one. This is due to theheavier/faster part of the song kicking in, forcing the editing to keep up withthis change of pace. When this happens, the shots sometimes become blurryor distorted which can be a good thing because it emphasises a heavier/fasterside to the song.This change in the pace of editing is common in the music videos I’ve seen socan be classed as a convention as it has been present in music videos foryears now, not just something that has only started being used.
Long shot The ending shot is a long shot which is accompanied by panning and a fade out, two conventions that I’ve mentioned before.As in the opening scenes, a mid/long shot is used to establish the settingsfor the music video while the ending scene ends in a similar way. Thecamera pans from left to right and fades out the further it moves, whileshowing a long shot to show where the band were. This type of ending is apopular one used to end a music video, especially when the last note of thesong is held and dragged out until you can’t hear it anymore.