N:\Music Video Analysis Slideshow


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N:\Music Video Analysis Slideshow

  1. 1. Music Video Analysis <br />Laura Pinkney<br />
  2. 2. Telephone: Lady Gaga & Beyonce<br />
  3. 3. The two performers in this video are Lady Gaga and Beyonce, both of which are renowned American artists. In this collaborative video, there are various images in the sense that there are multiple hair and costume changes. Saying this, the general image is the one of a ‘bad girl’; Lady Gaga is in prison and Beyonce is bailing her out. The video plays out somewhat like a story, and is very lengthy with frequent pauses for dialogue. They end up at a diner where they go on to poison people there, which suggests to the audience they will continue to be a criminal duet. The majority of song you see the artists performing the song, sometimes accompanied with a dance routine. Lady Gaga’s iconography is very eccentric and unconventional, and this is reflected in the video – for example, one of her first outfits is essentially studded lingerie covered by a large studded coat with high heels and cans in her hair acting as rollers. Beyonce on the other hand, has a very chic and glamorous iconography, but in this video whilst still maintaining elements of this she does adapt to Gaga’s more eccentric style of dress (but this, of course, does fit in well with the tone of the video. <br />
  4. 4. As briefly mentioned previously, the video is a story about Lady Gaga being in prison and being bailed out by Beyonce – they then continue their journey to a diner which is where the video comes to an end. Interestingly, the images seen in the video do not relate to the lyrics of the song at all, as for this to happen there would most logically be a seen based in a nightclub. The video does somewhat build to a climax for the sheer fact that it is a story, so the viewers have expectations that something at the end will occur. In the case of this video, it has a ‘to be continued’ ending, which suggests to the viewer that maybe sometime in the future if the two artists are to collaborate again there may be a sequel to this one. The two artists do play distinct characters, which are criminals; saying this, they do not have just one look to them; it is constantly changing which again supports the idea of them hiding from the police as they are constantly disguising their identity. There is no real pattern of repetition, and the video keeps on going without reflecting back to previous sections, for example when they are in the diner there are no shots of when she was in prison. <br />
  5. 5. The genre of the song is pop, and this is reflected in the video in the sense that there are typical pop features such as dance routines. However, the video does put the edge on pop and is a bit more risqué in terms of costumes, dialogue and artists performance (for example, there is a shot of Gaga with her body covered in nothing but police tape). The video itself is a realistic concept in the sense that it is based in a prison, and then in a diner. Saying this, it is more of a realistic concept that has been played up for dramatic effect, so it is probably more fantasy. The standard iconography associated with pop is often softer than what it appears in this video, which again is reflected mainly in costumes and performance. <br />
  6. 6. In terms of camerawork and editing, it is done a way that is very quick paced – no singular shot is focused on for a particularly long period of time. Some particularly interesting shots are ones which I believe fall under the point –of-view shot category, these are the ones seen from the CCTV footage. There are obviously standard shots of the performance, but then it cuts in to short glimpses of the same footage from a CCTV perspective which makes it seem far more real. Another interesting shot is the one where Gaga is in the kitchen at the diner; there is a dance routine that accompanies the song, but there are a series of alternating medium close ups, long shots and close ups that follow in quick succession from different angles. This in particular is an example of how the editing adds to the dynamism of the song, as there are quick cuts throughout the whole video that change angles and positions. Another interesting edit is where they quickly repeat two of the same shot to give a ‘CD-skipping’ effect; this is done in two locations with Gaga and makes her seem somewhat robotic. <br />
  7. 7. The mise-en-scene of the song is somewhat typical of the genre but almost in an ironic way. The scene that best describes this is the diner scene, whereby the costumes are brightly coloured and somewhat vintage, the make-up is again bright but immaculate, the hairstyles are full of volume but neat, and the props are typical of a diner setting. However, despite all these normal expectations there are various twists to them; for example, the props used are things such as poison, which you wouldn’t expect to see in a standard pop video. Potentially the biggest twist on the pop image in terms of the mise-en-scene is the actors performance, and an excellent example of this is where Beyonce is watching her boyfriend eat diner food which is poisoned, looking both feminine and innocent, and when he dies she says some dialogue which includes obscenities (which isn’t part of the original song) that completely detracts from both the female and pop stereotype. Eateries are often featured in videos, especially diners which are most common with American artists, and this diner generally is no different from any other you would expect to see, so in that sense the setting is typical of the genre. A huge part of the mise-en-scene for this video is colour; in the prison scene there are lots of dark tones such as grey, which again is fits in with the prison atmosphere. In the diner scene, however, the colour scheme changes and bright, bold colours are introduced which fits in with the style of the video as it has elements of both pop art and comic book features. <br />
  8. 8. The video does make use of some special effects, but not all that much. There is a shot where there is a split screen of Lady Gaga in the kitchen acting as the chef, with the man she has poisoned on the right. The effects aren’t really dramatic, but there is a lot of CGI that is again like pop art and comic books, such as the skull that occurs after the split screen. There is also a lot of text in the same style that appears, such as ‘let’s make a sandwich’ which again appears in a comic book style.In terms of inertexuality, there are no examples of it in this video as the story is completely original one. Obviously because prisons and diners actually do exist they do play around with various stereotypes of the settings, but there is no real direct link to any media which people could instantly detect.<br />
  9. 9. Lady Gaga is generally known for exhibitionism in her videos and furthermore her style in general; the video does not show her and Beyonce in a way that is typically sexually desirable to men, for example perhaps a shower scene where the viewer feels like he is in fact secretly watching her. Instead, she is deliberately provocative and invites a sexual gaze; this is achieved mainly through her costumes, and this is almost always apparent throughout the entire video. At the end, both her and Beyonce do a dance routine in the diner in outfits that do show a lot of skin, but it is not in a way where they are trying to look vulnerable or sexy to men by being ultra feminine, they do it in a way by trying to be sexy by being provocative in a powerful way. <br />It is hard to identify the relationship between the lyrics of the song and the visuals of the idea because there is in fact, no direct link between the two. The main point of the song is about the artist being out at a club and their boyfriend/love interest keeps trying to contact her, and she does not want to speak to him because she is busy dancing and having a good time. This is in no way reflected in the visuals of the songs, so in a sense they do contradict the lyrics; this is not done in an obvious way but the fact is the visuals are so irrelevant to the song. <br />
  10. 10. The meaning of the song is different in this case to the meaning of the video, as the two are not directly linked. In terms of the video, the general message is that Gaga and Beyonce are a cheeky criminal duet that outsmart the legal system and cause havoc around America. The video is aimed at the younger generation (15-30 year olds approximately) but no particular gender, this is because although they are dressing provocatively and in a way that would probably most interest males they are doing it in a way which is interesting and the story being told is not leaning towards any particular gender to enjoy more than others. The reason for the ages I have stated in terms of who it is aimed at is because it is a risqué pop video that has unconventional costumes and artists performance, this makes it not appropriate for younger children but the right sort of combination people of this age group would enjoy. Unusually for me, the fact that the video did not relate to the song lyrics at all is something that I thought really worked. By doing this, they completely separated the video away from others in terms of its originality, and its uncontroversial story telling is what makes it most interesting to watch rather than standard videos. Another thing that worked well for me was the extravagant costumes, hair and make-up; these mise-en-scene visuals give viewers a point of interest, and the fact that there are so many changes to all these things means that it keeps people constantly intrigued. Also, I feel that the fact that they did stick to some conventional things typical of a pop video did stop if from crossing the line of being to risqué; for example, the dance routine at the end is something that many people like and look for in their videos, and instead of just going out of the ordinary with just a story they kept in the essence of what most pop videos are best loved for. <br />