Pop videos typically have a performance based video, for female artists oftendancing, and/or shots of the artist walking and singing in an interesting location.This applies to most songs from famous female pop artists, such as LadyGaga, Beyonce, Rihanna.However, Taylor Swift goes against this in most of her music video, by havingnarrative that goes on throughout the whole video. However, there are manyclose-ups of her face, and shots of her singing, which is typical of a pop musicartists video. The video is bright and cheerful, in fitting with the song.
The song illustrates the videos completely. The lyrics are a story, which the video then plays out. For example, as she sings ‘You’re on the phone to your girlfriend...’, it shows a boy on the phone, establishing him as the main person in the song. However, it cuts to her as the music starts to show she is the protagonist in the story.At times the story doesn’t directly illustrate the lyrics,and it’s a bit like a performance, as the girl dances andsings along to the song, but whilst still in character, sodoesn’t break the narrative.
The video starts off with the boy, not the singer, which is unusual in pop videos. However, it cuts to the girl as the singing starts, so even though she’s not singing along with it, the audience knows she is the artist, and it establishes her role as the protagonist.The song has lots of cuts, and each shot is never longer then 3 seconds, to keep up with the pace of the music.
4.The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artists may develop a motif that reoccurs throughout their workTwo of the main characters in the video are played by the artist, so it’s easy for the video to have many shots of the singer. The video has mostly medium shots of the singer. This may be as the song is a story, so the video is made more like a short film rather then a typical music video. Also, as is isn’t performance based, it gives less chance for close ups, whilst still looking natural.However, as with in a film, at some points close ups work, so the record label can use them, so the audience can see the artist close up.
5.There is frequently reference to the notion oflooking and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female bodyMost pop videos concentrate on making the artist look attractive in order to make them more popular, and in the case of females, this is often achieved by making them look ‘sexy’, often by wearing not many clothes. However, in Taylor Swift’s video, her main character is a ‘nerd’, so dresses in very un-flattering clothes. Taylor’s audience is young girls, so her image is very much more conserved.However, the typical idea of ‘attractiveness is still promoted in the video. The girls likes the boy throughout, whilst looking like a nerd, but in order to get him to admit he likes her, she must dress up to look ‘pretty’ which she does by dressing differently, and taking off her glasses. This gives the assumption that in order to look pretty, you must not wear glasses, and you must wear tighter clothes.
5. cont.Her other character in the video is looked down upon for being a ‘bitch’ and ‘not nice’ to the boy. The audience can see the comparison between the two girls at the end, one nice and one mean. The nice girl is blond and dressed in white; connotations of purity and goodness. In contrast, the ‘bad’ girl has dark hair, and is dressed in red; connotations of anger and darkness.However, we can see that out of the two of them, the person wearing the less ‘sexy’ outfit, got the man, showing you don’t have to be sexy to people like you. Also, the video shows he liked her before even when she was ‘nerdy’ which is also a good message for the younger audience.
6.There are often inter-textual referencesThe narrative could be said to be a reference to Grease, who coined the girl who changes from ‘nerdy to cool’ in order to get the guy.
7.Is the video primarily performance based, narrative based or concept based and how elements of each are usedThe video is almost entirely narrative. The only aspects of performance is the main character (played by the artist) singing along to the song, but whilst still in narrative role. She doesn’t need to have a performance based bit in the video, as she is a solo artist, so there are no other band members roles that need establishing. Also, a narrative video works with her image, as a ‘down to earth, girl next door’ type. She doesn’t use scenes of her on stage, looking dressed up, as this could contradict her image, and make her less relatable.