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Conventions of a Music Video


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By Alina Haq

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Conventions of a Music Video

  1. 1. Conventions of a Music Video BY ALINA HAQ
  2. 2. Music conventions in Indie/Rock videos  Tends to be black and white  The artist/band is shown throughout the video  Use of extreme close-ups and long shots are popular  Dark locations  Fast paced  Some use of special effects Examples:  Kings of Leon  The Fray  Artic Monkeys – Brianstorm
  3. 3. Music conventions in Hip Hop videos  Locations tends to be a party, club fancy location  Use of alcohol and drugs  Recognised brands and clothing  Expensive cars and houses  Camera shots tends to be long and establishing to show money involved. Close ups to show the jewellery and assets of the artists.  Attractive women  Does not follow a storyline, only follows the genre  Artist(s) tend to be involved  Examples:  50 Cent – In Da Club (Int’l version)  T.I – Hell of a Life  T-Pain – Buy You a Drink
  4. 4. Music conventions in Pop videos  Tends to be based on performance  Lots of make-up and fashion accessories  Bright colours and lighting  Long shots of partying/dancing scenes  Many close-ups of the artists’ faces  Tints and filters to boost colour  Photo shopped artists to make them look perfect  Typical narratives in pop music videos are parties and relationships/breakups. Tends to follow a theme rather than a narrative  Examples:  Justin Bieber – Beauty and a Beat  Britney Spears - (You Drive Me) Crazy  Miley Cyrus – Party in the U.S.A
  5. 5. Elements of a music video  Performance  Narrative  Mixture  Cameo  Thematic  Symbolic
  6. 6. Performance  Performance is when the music video consists mainly of the artists performing in the video. A good example of this would be ‘Beyonce – Love on Top’ were the video only portrays the artists continuously performing to the song and there is no narrative or any other scenes in the video.  This style of music video isn’t as common, as music videos that are solely dedicated to performance aren’t that popular, thus target audiences would not be able to engage with the song or video.  However, in this example the lighting and costume to display the performance is used creatively that it makes it interesting to watch.
  7. 7. Narrative  A narrative music video follows a story line.  There are two types of narratives: linear and fragmented.  A linear narrative stars a story at the beginning, goes on through the middle and ends at the end (chronological).  A fragmented narrative is one that doesn’t. Example of a linear narrative:  Katy Perry – Thinking of You
  8. 8. Mixture  Mixture is a combination of performance and narrative.  By using both performance and narrative the video can be made more interesting and enjoyable to watch. Example:  Kelly Clarkson – Since You Been Gone
  9. 9. Cameo  Cameo is when a band or artist features in the narrative but doesn’t perform. Example:  Rihanna feat. Drake – What’s My Name  Were both artists play a part in the narrative but do not perform.
  10. 10. Thematic  Thematic is when the music video follows a certain theme depending on the genre.  Heavy metal bands would go for performance dominated clips.  Rap has a lot of street images.  Dance routines are common in music videos.
  11. 11. Symbolic  The use of symbols to portray hidden meanings e.g. mise-en-scene of a graveyard = death.  Use of montage, images to create meaning often contradictory  Lighting often used to suggest mood  Typically fast paced, only a few seconds per shot to build up meanings  Pictures can support or contradict the lyrics  Examples:  Katy Perry – Dark Horse  Paramore – Brick by Boring Brick
  12. 12. Key Concepts  Camera shots: Music videos tend to include a lot of long shots, close-ups and mid shots. This is to create emphasis on the artist, location and emotions. Also, close-ups are used to not only show emotions but to reflect the words of the song with the movement of the lips of the artist.  Camera movement: The movement of the camera is used to follow and trace the artist or band. Camera movement includes tilts, pans, tracking and crane shots.  Mise-en-scene: This refers to the arrangement of performers and props on stage or in a scene for a production of a music video or any other media text. Mise-en-scene puts importance on the representation of something.  Example: ‘Mad by Neyo’  The mise-en-scene involved him walking down a road alone, being in an isolated room. This reflects the isolation from his lover. Also, the props include hats and dark clothes which represents the down mood of the song. Similarly, the lighting is kept very dark as it is black and white; this connotes the angry and depressed mood. 
  13. 13. …Key Concepts  Editing: Jump cuts is the predominant editing technique used in music videos, thus, it allows a sudden change from one scene to another. Also, transitions such as fade and dissolve are very common in music videos as they create a different effect to cuts.  Lighting: Some music videos are black and white which helps emphasise a particular mood and some videos have artificial lighting which puts the artist/s in an enhanced look.  Sound: Sound is mainly the vocals of the song but in some cases such as Michael Jackson – Thriller, the producers can make the music video into a short film.  Props: These are vital in aiding to add to the scene and create significance on particular objects or people.  Costume: This goes with the scenes in the song and reflects the genre. Costume is an important factor because it has a slight influence on how the viewers will dress because they use some of the celebrities as role models.  Colours: Colours tend to set the mood of the song through creating an atmosphere. For example, dark colours are used more in rock songs such as Kings of Leon and bright colours are seen to be used more in hip hop and pop videos.