As my advanced portfolio this year I have chosen to create a promotional
package for the release of an album including: a rock music video, a cover for
its release on DVD and a magazine advert. I am going to work on my own as
I’ve got loads of ideas already and it gives me full creative control. The
bands I’ve been looking at are Green Day, Metro Station and
Kids in Glass Houses (all pictures used in this presentation show these
bands). The sub- genres of rock music they belong to are: alternative rock/
punk rock/pop punk. The song I have chosen is ‘Goin’ down’’
by The Pretty Reckless. This song doesn’t have a music video yet so it gives
me a freedom while interpreting it. I’m not influenced by existing image of
the band; I want to make it my own. I will interpret this in a punk-rock style to
emphasise the speed and energy in the track.
The focus of my work will be to experiment with the editing techniques in both
film and print texts – to develop the impact, the drama of the work
and to make it look awesome!
The lyrics of most of the rock songs wouldn’t be appropriate for small
kids, that’s why I think the audience would be mostly teenagers. The text will
appeal to both males and females, it will represent the „punk” style which a niche
group of teens can relate to.
Research„Music is composed
and performed for
many purposes, ranging
pleasure, religious or
purposes, or as an
product for the
What is a music video?
• A music video is a short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music/song.
• Music videos use a wide range of styles of film making techniques, including animation, live
action filming, and non-narrative approaches such as abstract film.
• Some music videos blend different styles, such as animation and live action.
• Many music videos do not interpret images from the song's lyrics, making it less literal than
• In 1894 when sheet music publishers still ran the music business, Edward B. Marks and
Joe Stern hired electrician George Thomas and various performers to promote sales of their
song. Thomas projected a series of still images on a screen simultaneously with live
performances in what became a popular form of entertainment known as the illustrated song.
It has been termed the first music video.
• However the music video as we know it came to being in the 1970s.
• In 1975 Queen released their „Bohemian Rhapsody” music video – which marked
the beginning of video era. It’s also one of the first where advanced visual effects were used.
• In 1981, the U.S. video channel MTV launched, airing „Video Killed the Radio Star”
and beginning an era of 24-hour-a-day music on television.
Conventions of music video
The conventions of a music video vary depending on genre of
music. However, some general conventions are: the artist is shown
performing, the lyrics of the song influence what is shown in
the video, the pace of editing fits the pace of the music, and the
codes of dress reflect the mood of the song. A lot of different
shots and camera movements are used to keep audience in
excitement and to help them feel that, what the artist is feeling.
ECUs and CUs are often used to show lips, guitar strings,
eyes etc, to draw attention. Low angles are used to create a
weak and hopeless image of the artist; high angles are used to
illustrate artist’s power and dominance. Pans and tilts are used to
move from one performer to another.
Mise-en-scene is a key factor when
it comes to the video:
3. costumes (very important to the youth
culture groups who are music fans)
have to fit with the narrative and
also the genre of the music.
Important are also:
• camera movements
• lighting (which usually fits in the mood)
Rock music developed in the1960s from 1950s rock and roll,
rockabilly, blues, and country music. The sound of rock often
revolves around the electric or acoustic guitar, and it uses a
strong back beat laid down by a rhythm section of electric bass
guitar, drums and keyboard instruments such as: organ, piano,
analog and digital synthesizers (since the1970s) and computers
since the 1990s. Along with these, saxophone and blues style
harmonica are used as soloing instruments. In the late1960s and
early 1970s, rock music branched out into different subgenres,
ranging from blues rock and jazz-rock fusion to heavy metal and
punk rock, as well as the more classical influenced genre of
progressive rock and several types of experimental rock genres.
Conventions of rock music video
The most obvious convention of a rock video is that they tend
to be both narrative and performance based.
The narrative sometimes shows a romance between the lead
singer and a girl/boy, action based or even some form of current affair.
The performance tends to be the band with the audience ,
or just themselves playing to the camera. Sometimes they are filmed live,
but sometimes it’s constructed just for the video.
Another main aspect of conventions would be the band logo.
Sometimes it’s shown in the music video for only few seconds
but audience and fans can recognise it quickly.
In early rock and the 1960s, bands made many promo films for
instance, The Beatles made a 'Hard Day's Night'. Many
bands from other genres also made feature films, such as Cliff
Richards 'Summer holiday'.
• Props which are commonly used in rock
music video include stereotypical things
which are connected to the rock genre
such as the electric and base guitars,
drums and microphone.
• The setting of most of the rock music
videos is club or large stage – where
band is performing ‘live’.
Other settings for the story have to fit the
Mise-en-scene in Rock
Digipak is the exceptional alternative
to standard jewel box packaging and is
a patented style of CD or DVD
Digipak- style cases grew in popularity
among record labels and recording
artists in early 2000s.
Digipaks typically consist of a gatefold (book-style) paperboard or
card stock outer binding, with one or more plastic trays capable of
holding CD or DVD attached to the inside – which allows great
In addition, the panels can be increased from 4 to 6, 8 and more.
Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an
audience to purchase the product.
• Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters.
• Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another
manifestation of an ancient advertising form.
3. Magazine Advert
1. Music video : Green Day –
21st Century Breakdown
•Editing: animations together with live action footage- to keep audience in excitement/ do n’t bore them.
•American flag is used to show that they are singing about life in America.
•„Photoshopped images” :kept in black/ white/ grey mode- to make it look more dramatic, only the fire is red/orange
to make it look dangerous; hearts are red- connotes romance.
•Members of band: tattoos, dark makeup, black spiky hair, dark clothes, skinny jeans, probably converse shoes
(typical for rock outfit) + band logo on drums– which are iconic for the youth culture.
•Narrative and performance based: band is shown while playing and singing, others are illustrating it.
•Few of the sentences is written on the wall- exaggerates the importance of these words.
•Not stereotypical representation of female – girl repaired the car while boy couldn’t + it leads to kiss and having a
baby: showing that love comes from small things.
•Loads of „cool” transitions is used.
•Sign of „dollars” is used a lot – connoting America and that everything in 21st century is about money.
•Scenes are set in random places – to fit the narrative.
•Use of graphic match – makes it look even more interesting.
•Fast camera movements – to fit the music.
•Fast pace/ fast cuts - to keep in action.
•Controversial scene – 2 men (probably presidents/ ministers) kissing each other after argument; music slows down
having a romantic note + pink heart appears behind them to implies this romance.
•Red roses connotes romance between teens/ men.
•Lots of close-ups is used to show vocalist’s face, eyes –emotions.
•Long shots are used to show band together with instruments: guitars and drums, illustrate the genre.
•Last scene is like „back to reality” (real colours etc)– after all that animation it shows us that they were singing about
•It’s set on the roof while sundown- implies the end of the day.
•Music slows down also connoting the end of the day and the song.
•He sings about „American dream” and it’s just after the scene with two kissing men – we can assume it’s an American
dream to be in peace with others/other countries etc.
•After all – fading down to black – the end
Intertextuality in this music
• Someone throws a baby down to the power station’s chimney where it burns – I think
we can say it’s an historical reference/ intertextuality (in ancient Sparta they have
thrown babies down the cliff if these weren’t strong enough)- and that’s been used in
movies such as „300” - when Spartan kicked other king into a hole, because he
wanted to show his power.
• Banksy - British graffiti artist whose identity is still unknown.
His artworks are often satirical pieces of art on topics such as
politics, culture, and ethics: whole video is made in „his style”
(walls with graffiti/ texts etc)
• Horror films: a hand coming out of the grave is a motive often used in horror
movies, for example „The night of the living dead”. It’s also a motive often
used by Stephen Kings- many horror movies are adaptations of his books
(for example „Carrie”)
• Clockwork Orange” – tells a story of Alex: young, violent but from good
family. (Billie from Green Day sings „I was raised in hell. A welfare child
where the teamsters dwelled” –matches perfectly)
Paramore lead singer said : ‘’I found the butterfly in my moms
driveway a while ago... dead and completely in tact. After
writing the lyrics for "brick..." with the one line that says "the
angles were all wrong, now she's ripping wings off of
butterflies"... the image we chose for this song was the
butterfly I'd found. Only we cut its wings off and pinned the
butterfly with all its separate pieces in order on the fence in
my backyard. In hindsight, to me, it represents the fact that
broken pieces... individual pieces can still make one big
picture. Doesn't matter if they all have their own purpose as
long as they stand together. ‘’
Symbolism of the butterfly:
*as the butterfly starts its life as a caterpillar and goes through a
lot of changes before becoming a butterfly, it is a symbol of
change/ metamorphosis/ transformation: the band was
arguing for a long time, so I think the butterfly is a good
image to represent their new live.
*many people believe that as the butterfly freely soars in the sky, it
signifies freedom and independence.
*as a butterfly itself is very delicate, it also symbolizes fragility of
life and impermanence.
*as the butterfly goes from flower to flower for collecting food, it
also becomes a symbol of instability on earth.
Inside the digipak we find a booklet with lyrics
to all the songs. Wiliams herself says that
they wanted no misunderstanding while
listening to their music. Every page of the
booklet is designed for other song, and the
image which is used fits in with the lyrics. All
these pictures was taken in Wiliams’ house-
and that makes it very personal. Lots of
colours is used in regard to the mood in the
song. For example the song ‘where the lines
overlap’ tells a story of a happy couple:
pastel pink, blue and green are happy
colours. Also the images are really artistic
close-ups . Colours are strong and all that
implies the genre which is rock.
• On the actual CD the motive of butterfly
• The inside and the back, both fits into rock
genre of music. Black/white mode used to
make it look sad – and then the butterfly which
means new life.
• In dreams, the mirror is a symbol of vanity and
self knowledge. Seeing a large mirror foretells
fame or success.
3. Magazine advert
Page was influenced and inspired by grunge and rock
artists such as Nirvana and Queens of The Stone Age:
I think that’s why magazine advert is kept in
grey/black/white mode giving us that ‘’rockish’’
impression. She is also holding a guitar which implies the
Pop -rock style of music she plays. The background
is white to make her stand out as her body and
features are dark. Fonts are rather simple and white to
contrast a dark body. Mid-shot is used to make it
personal, as she seems closer to us. Lighting is dark to
show the rock side of her. The clothes she’s wearing are
not important, because they don’t define her as a artist.
Her messy hair style and dark make-up also connotes
that she is a pop-rock artist, as it is a stereotypical rock
chick look. The name of the artist is the biggest text and
is set just at the centre.; connoting importance. The name
of the album , date of release and other texts are getting
smaller and smaller; making her name stand out.