In what ways do your mediaproducts use, develop or challengeforms and conventions of realmedia products?Zainab Oyenuga
As a group we felt that it was vital for us to stick with media conventions as they are often thereasons why most music videos makes sense, have clear meanings and are able to appeal andconnect to audiences; making them look a lot more professional.Lyrics and storylineIncluding a protagonist was a convention that we used in our music video, this way the audiencewould have someone to almost follow through the story with. Also, having a main characterwould ensure that the audience knows who the story/ song relates to. Following this, anotherform and convention that we enforced involved linking the storyline with the lyrics- allowingthe lyrics shape the story and events. Below I have analysed the lyrics to show the parts of thelyrics we considered when producing the storyline:The ways our music video used forms andconventions of real media products
White lips, palefaceLights gone, days endStruggling to pay rentLong nights, strangemenBut lately her faceseemsSlowly sinking,wastingCrumbling likepastriesAnd go mad for acouple gramsAnd she dont want togo outside tonightOr sells love to anothermanIts too cold outsideFor angels to flyAngels to flyRipped gloves,raincoatTried to swim and stayafloatLoose change, banknotesWeary-eyed, drythroatCall girl, no phoneFor angels to flyAn angel will dieClosed eyeAnd hoping for abetter lifeWe made our protagonisthomelessWe made our protagonist aprostituteWe made our protagonist palewith dark circles and eye bags,messy and greasy hairWe made our protagonist buydrugsWe made our protagonist drownherself& wear a raincoat andripped tightsWe made our protagonist haveloose change and find a £20 noteon the floorWe showed our protagonist makinga phone call in the phone boothWe showed our protagonist killherself/drown. We captured birdsflyingWe captured our protagonistclosing her eyes in hope, justbefore she kills herself
Furthermore, all music video use the lyrics as the main influence of the storyline, often performing the lyricsand bring it to life , which is what we did. Challenging such a convention is likely to confuse the audienceand make the music video hard to understand. At the same time, we often had to, like all music video’s,interpret the lyrics to create the storyline; the lyrics didn’t provide a exact story.Editing- cutting the music to the beatWe used and enhanced forms and conventions of real media products (being music video) -by ensuring that the combinations of clips, were cut to link with the beat and rhythm ofthe song. This is a convention that is upheld by most music videos as it demonstrates astrong correlation between both media- the music and the clip (video itself). Also, byupholding this convention we could effectively capture the audience’s interest, as ourvideo would appear more touching. In addition, we ensured that when the tempo of thespeed was slow, the cut and transitioning to the next clip was also slow and subtle.
Camera shotsAnother convention we used, following our detailed and wide ranging research ofmusic videos, was our use close-up shots to capture the protagonists deep anddepressing emotions, for example, her anxiety after sleeping with the man.Through this, the audience, as shown through my audience feedback, were really able to feelthe protagonist pain and sadness, creating sympathy from the audience. Most musicvideo do this through close-up shots, in order to engage with the audience and almostplay with their emotions. The image above also demonstrates the fact that we used mediaconventions as it links to our research- a real media product, Rhianna’s ‘stay’ musicvideo, where a close-up shot is used to show her deep emotions. Following this, I feelcapturing the video in black and white enhanced this bleak mood as these are coloursthat are used in the media to represent and capture gloomy atmospheres. Moreover,like most music videos, we used long-shots to establish the different settings, and themovement of the protagonist.
Costume and settingA convention that was prominent for us to follow, especially as protagonist was homeless and aprostitute, involved ensuring that the protagonist looked unpleasant, dirty, greasy- like ahomeless person. We made our protagonist wear ripped tights with a tight and short dress, as atypical media representation of a prostitute. The way in which our model chewed her gum anddid her make-up was also unpleasant looking – again, we aimed to reinforce typical mediarepresentations of homeless people and prostitutes. This notion was further emphasisedthrough settings, specifically as we captured the protagonist waking up outside in an alleyoutside a pub, which is the sort of setting, as shown in the media, where a homeless personwould wake-up.EditingThrough editing, we incorporated typical forms and conventions of real music videos, by usingdissolve transitions in order to create a clear link between clips ensuring that they blend insmoothly. Like real products, we used this to speed up the transition and to create a correlationbetween the beat of the music and the video itself, also, using transitions such as the one below,allowed us to present this event (the protagonist drowning herself) in a more simplistic andclearer form..
The high-angled shot we incorporated, in our drowningscene, is used purely to emphasis our protagonistvulnerability and inferiority at this point as she is unableto control her actions due to the trauma and extremesadness she has experienced. This type of shot, is used inreal media products to present that same emotion.Camera Angles
IconographyWe used real music video forms and conventions by including iconography which is mostly common inother forms of media such as magazines or films etc. Our icon was the necklace. We used this to createmystery in video. The fact that the pendant was a heart enhanced its purpose, as heart is a symbol ofmany things relating to love. I feel this would have made the audience more engaged, almost givingthem a role to guess what the heart may mean or symbolise, and why it is an important object to theprotagonist. The icons importance, is however, developed through the use of media conventions such asclose-up shots which are used to capture emotions or things of importance, as shown in the picture onthe left. In addition, the way we used conventions is made effective, through our use and combinationof real forms and conventions of real music video.
The ways my music video developed forms andconventions of real media productsCharacter in our music videoOur product developed forms and conventions, through the fact that, although wefollowed through with music video norms such as, the story being carried out by anew character, rather than the actual artist, we have avoided placing the actual artistinto the video or the protagonist singing along with the song. For example, if you lookat Ed-Sheeran’s ‘A team’ music video, or Pinks ‘Perfect’video, the artists feature inthe video in a distant way. We could have chose to do this, however, this would havecomplicated, or even risky. Overall, we developed forms and conventions of musicvideo’s by including a protagonist, without the artists existence, and without theprotagonist singing along with the lyrics- avoiding lip syncing. Using this structure,helped add to the audiences emotion by making it more distant- adding a sense ofmystery. Following this, it can be argue that, we not only developed forms andconventions of media products, but we also challenged them, by taking a newapproach. Also, even though, Ed Sheeran and Pink appear in their music video’s, theprotagonist who features in their storyline, also avoid lip syncing as it prevents thevideo from being emotional and deeply depressing, this was our reason for avoiding it.Therefore, lip syncing, I feel is more suitable for different genres of music/ storylines,perhaps ones that have a more angry tone, compared to upsetting and depressing.
Camera angles and movement• We product further developed forms and conventions as, usually, music videos that follow the life of amain character/ protagonist, either equally combine point of view shots and distant shots (includinglong shot or mid-shot of the characters actions), or use one or the other. However, we decided toslightly change this by randomly placing in a point of view shot in the middle of our video. I feel thatthis gave the audience a new perspective of our protagonist, developing a sense of hope which is onlyindicated through the point of view shot. I think this shot also, gave the audience an opportunity torelate and connect with the protagonist, for the first and only time, and the fact that it is souncommon in our video makes it more extraordinary and effective. We intentionally incorporated itwhen our protagonist is in a natural and rural setting because this type setting represents freedom- afeeling which is presented through the point of view shot.• Similar to real media products, we incorporated a variety of different angles and camera movementslike a 360 degree pan, which we felt contrasted to the rest of our camera angles and movements,stimulating the audience.
Real media products, especially ones that focus on a protagonist, tend to briefly include, othercharacters to make the story less ambiguous for audiences and more fluent. However, wedeveloped forms and conventions of real media products as we decided, not to identify andcapture the full identity of other characters, in order to create and enhance mystery, anddevelop a sense of foreboding. We also concluded this due to the fact that alternativecharacters can be unreliable, whereas Niamh was a member of our group making her, as theprotagonist, more reliable . In addition to this, to ensure that the story made sense weincorporated snippets of other characters, and rather than showing them fully and explicitly,we used body parts, such as the hands and body, to represent their existence. I feel this addedto the mystery of our product.Characters
We avoided challenging media products due to the fact that they shapemusic videos and make them clear to audiences, allowing them todistinguish the aspects of a music video- mainly its genre and theme.Editing- OpacityDespite this, following my specific research into indie music videos, as well as videos that portrayed socialrealism, it was made clear to me that we challenged real media products, considering our video wasbased on social realism with the genre, indie, through the fact that we decreased the opacity of oneclip and placed it on top of another, making both clips appear together. This challenged real mediaproducts, that portray social realism and indie, due to its advanced and technical effect, whereas indieand social realism use more natural resources and effects in terms of editing, like simple cuts.Torodovbelieves that stories begin with equilibrium- a basis and calm structure, which is thendislocated by an event, creating a dilemma, that is eventually resolve, but is explored throughout thenarrative (video). However, our media product completely conflicts with this form and convention ofreal media products as our narrative commences with what appears to be the dilemma, and ratherthan the narrative capturing the process of dilemma being resolve and the eventual resolution, itcaptures the process towards the dilemma. Our video demonstrates no eventual peace and escape.Therefore, our music video challenges the claims of Torodov.The ways my music video challenging formsand conventions of real media products