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Music Video Analysis

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Calum Poffel

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Music Video Analysis

Music Video Analysis History of the Music Video A music video is a short film that integrates music for artistic or promotional purposes and are used as a marketing device to promote the sale of the artists music and their image. Although music videos date back much further, they became prominent during the 1980's with the immersion of Music Giant MTV. MTV was broadcasting 24-hour-a-day music videos which hugely increased the demand for production and became a huge aspect to an artists career. Music Videos today Styles of Music Videos Music Video styles can be divided into many different genres in different ways and it is almost impossible to divide them consistently or logically however it is possible to put them under general genres. e.g.
Rock
Pop
R'N'B/Hip-hop
Rap
metal
Dance/Electronic
punk These are just some of the genres that covers most niches and sub-genres. Types Of music Video The First type of music Video is a performance based video, these types of video feature the artist/band/group performing as LIVE THROUGHOUT MOST, IF NOT ALL OF THE VIDEO. a PERFORMANCE BASED VIDEOS ARE POPULAR BECAUSE OF HOW EASY THEY ARE TO MAKE AND THAT IT IS PROBABLY EASIEST TO DO ON A SMALL BUDGET PROVIDING YOU CAN GET A SUITABLE LOCATION TO SHOOT IT. a GOOD EXAMPLE OF A PERFORMANCE BASED VIDEO IS FOO FIGHTERS-THE PRETENDER. THE SECOND TYPE OF MUSIC VIDEO IS A NARRATIVE BASED VIDEO THAT ATTEMPTS TO TELL A STORY. THESE KINDS OF MUSIC VIDEOS EITHER USE ACTORS AS THE FOCAL POINT OF THE STYORY OR THE ARTIST THEMSELVES. SOMETIMES THESE TYPES OF MUSIC VIDEOS HAVE CLIPS FROM FEATURE LENGTH FILMS AS A WAY OF PROMOTING BOTH THE BAND AND THE MOVIE. a GOOD EXAMPLE OF A NARRATIVE BASED VIDEO IS LeONA LEWIS-I SEE YOU. The THIRD TYPE OF MUSIC VIDEO IS CONCEPTUAL MUSIC VIDEOS. tHEY ARE USUALLY BASED AROUND ONE IDEA OR CONCEPT. THESE IDEAS OR CONCEPTS ARE USUALLY SURREAL, OBSCURE OR UNUSUAL. tHIS UNUSUAL CONTENT IS WHAT DRAWS CONSUMERS IN. cONCEPTUAL VIDEOS ARE USUALLY COMBINED WITH THE OTHER TWO YPES OF MUSIC VIDEOS TO WIDEN THE AUDIENCE AND TO AVOID BEING NICHE OR PURE CONCEPT ART. a SUCCESSFUL CONCEPT VIDEO KEEPS THE AUDIENCE LOOKING AT WHO OR WHAT IS ON THE SCREEN AND KEEP THEM ENTERTAINED AND EMERGED. THESE TYPES OF VIDEOS ARE NOT REALLY RESTRICTED BY GENRE AND CAN BE USED BY ANY ARTIST. An excellent example OF A CONCEPTUAL VIDEO IS RADIO HEAD-LIKE SPINNING PLATES. Music videos today are integral to artists success, there are many ways in which you can watch their music videos now that the industry and demand has grown. Youtube is one of the main outlets for music videos because of the on demand nature of them. there are several free view channels that air music videos 24 hours a day, VIVA, Channel 4 Music among them. there are also many more on pay to view services on sky or virgin media like MTv, kerrang, scuzz and kiss etc. Genre Conventions ROck: Rugged, As live performance, Instruments, Narrative RnB/Rap/Hip-Hop: BLING, CARS, HALF NAKED WOMEN, MONEY, SMOKING, GUNS, GANGS. pOP: DANCE ROUTINE, DIRECT ADRESS, MALE GAZE (FEMALE ARTISTS MAINLY)/FEMALE GAZE. Dance: light shows, dancing, jumping, male gaze, narrative metal: As IF LIVE PERFORMANCE, RUGGED, IMAGES OF DEATH OR VIOLENCE, GRUESOME, FAST PACED EDITING STYLES, SHAKEY CAM. PUNK: IMAGES AGAINST GOVERNMENT OR THE SYSTEM, AS LIVE PERFORMANCE STYLE. NIRVANA - SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT - ANALYSIS gENRE: THIS MUSIC VIDEO WAS VERY SIGNIFICANT TO THE ALTERNATIVE ROCK GENRE AS IT WAS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND TO ACHIEVE COMMERCAIL SUCCESS ACHIEVING HIGH NUMBERS IN THE CHARTS GLOBABLLY. THE CONVENTIONS OF THIS MUSIC VIDEO THAT TIPIFIED A GENRE ARE ITS LOW LIGHTING WHICH CREATE A SENSE OF DARKNESS THAT CAN BE REALTED TO BY THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE WHICH IS APETHTIC TEENAGERS WHO ARE LIFE AWARE AND IS A SUBTLE WAY OF REACHING OUT TO THEM. PERFORMANCE: THIS MUSIC VIDEO'S STYLE IS 'PERFORMED AS LIVE' WITH VARIOUS SYMBOLIC ELEMENTS THAT SHOW THE JOY OF YOUTH AND LIKE THE TITLE SUGGESTS OF 'TEEN SPIRIT'. BEING A PERFORMED AS LIVE STYLE MEANS THAT IT HAS LITTLE IF ANY NARRATIVE, THE CROWD WATCHING THE 'AS IF LIVE' PERFORMANCE ARE THERE TO TELL A STORY WITHOUT HAVING TO TELL ONE AS THE WIDE- ANGLE SHOTS OF THEIR FACES (AS A GROUP) SHOWS THEIR EMOTIONS. tHEME: THE THEME OF THIS MUSIC VIDEO IS TEEN SPIRIT AND THE NEGATIVITY SURROUNDING THE YOUTH OF THE TIME, THE VIDEO SHOWS TEENAGERS DANCING RECKLESSLY WITH NO CONCERN FOR HARM TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS AND CHEERLEADERS FOLLOWING THE SYSTEM. THIS IS TO SUGGEST WHAT IS MORE FUN AND TO SAY 'JUST BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT US TO DO DOESN'T MEAN WE WANT TO OR ARE GOING TO DO IT'. SYMBOLIC ELEMENTS: THERE IS A FOG/HAZE THAT IS COMMONLY USED IN HORROR FILMS TO HIDE ASPECTS OF THE STORY FROM THE audience. HOWEVER THE USE OF HAZE/FOG IN THIS MUSIC VIDEO IS A SYMBOL OF HOW MUCH THE SYSTEM/GOVERNMENT, OR EVEN SOCIETY, REALLY KNOWS OR UNDERSTANDS ABOUT THE YOUTH OF THE TIME.
THE CHEERLEADERS, WHO ARE TYPICALLY HIGH ENERGY AND over excited seem to be the complete opposite and move in an almost robotic manner. This is in contrast to the grungy looking people in the crowd that are extremely high energy. this could symbolize Nirvana's view of which life is a better one to live and what will make you happier, they think it is the life where you don't have to care about the mainstream or what everyone else is doing and to be yourself. tYPES OF SHOTS Extreme wide shot-(EWS)
Wide shot-(WS)
Medium wide shot-(MWS)
Medium shot-(MS)
Close-up shot-(CU)
Extreme close-up shot-(ECU)
point of view-(POV)
Over the Shoulder Shot-(OSS) Mise-en-scene: There isn't many objects in the music video but i believe that their choice of location relays a lot of information back to the audience. First of all the location seems to be a high-school gym of some kind, this tells me as a member of the audience that Nirvana's aim for this music video was to relate to the younger generation at the time by choosing a loaction that they all know and can therefore relate to. Furthermore the gym seems to be very run down and dirty which, by way of contrast, makes Nirvana (a scruffy and rugged band), look very glamorous. this makes the audience look up to and aspire to Nirvana. The Basketball hoop in the background is also another mechanic to make the audience what to 'aim high' and reach the top and achieve a glamorous life style. This is a message that young adult can relate to because it is in their nature to want something that is better than what they have. Foo fIGHTERS - BEST OF YOU - ANALYSIS gENRE: FOO FIGHTERS ARE AN EXTREMELY successful ALTERNATIVE ROCK/POP ROCK BAND. THE VIDEO MIRRORS THEIR MUSIC GENRE BECAUSE IT HAS SOME OF THE TYPICAL GENRE CONVENTIONS OF A ROCK MUSIC VIDEO. THE VIDEO CONSISTS OF A SINGLE LOCATION AND LOTS OF CLOSE UPS ON THE instruments, THE FRONT MANS FACE AND MOUTH AND OTHER BAND MEMBERS. THIS IS WHAT TELLS YOU immediately THAT THIS IS A ROCK VIDEO/SONG. pERFORMANCE: THIS MUSIC VIDEO IS PERFORMANCE BASED WITH VERY LITTLE IF ANY NARRATIVE. THE ONLY CLIPS OTHER THAN THAT OF THE BAND PERFORMING THERE SONG ARE CLIPS OF LITTLE RELEVANCE TO THE LYRICS AND ARE NICE TO LOOK AT, BEING EASY ON THE EYE. THIS IS JUST TO BREAK UP THE LONG SCENES OF 'AS IF LIVE PERFORMANCE' AND TO KEEP THE AUDIENCE INTERESTED. As the music gets more intense so do the visual elements of the video THEME: the music video's theme is memories and loved ones. throughout the video there ARE VIDEO CLIPS with that could relate to dave grohl's (the frontman) life or the character in the narrative of the lyrics' life. THE NATURE OF THE transitions ARE TRYPICAL OF A reminiscing SCENE AND THE AUDIENCE CAN IMMEDIATELY GRASP THE NATURE AND MOOD OF WHAT THEY ARE SEEING AND APPEALS TO THEM BECAUSE THEY CAN RELATE TO THE EMOTIVE SIGNALS IN THE VIDEO. The LOCATION THEY ARE SHOOTING AT IS VERY BARE WITH HARDLY ANY IMAGRY, I BELIEVE THE PURPOSE OF THIS IS SO IT APPEALS TO EVERYONE AND THE AUIDENCE IS ALLOWED TO MAKE THEIR OWN CONNECTION TO THE SONG WITHOUT OTHER SUGGESTIVE IMAGRY TO DISTRACT THE AUDIENCE. I BELIEVE THIS IS ALSO THE PURPOSE OF USING GENRIC CLIPS THAT DON'T HAVE A SPECIFIC MEANING. Symbolic elements: The room is white this could be a symbolic representation of a clean slate or wiping everything blank to start again. I believe the purpose of this is to convey the message that it isn't too late to get out of a bad situation and that its possible to wipe the slate clean. later in the video there is a clip of a snake hunting, this has connotations of violence and pain which helps the audience understand the lyrics and their means by giving them a visual aid. The use of waves crashing could be symbolic of tears which conveys a sense of pain and emotional suffering. there is also a clip of a beautiful flower wilting which could be symbolic of the transition of a beautiful life into a life that has more suffering and pain. there are also numerous of images of innocence and youth, the purpose of this is to portray the person dave grohl is singing about as an innocent person that is a victim of abuse of some kind. Mise-en-scene: the choice of microphone that is and old style of microphone. the mic is center of the frame in a lot of clips. I believe choosing this type of mic was intentional to give an immediate sense of past tense and memories.
In the background of the scene there are mountains, the effect this has on me as a spectator is a sense of journey, hardship and ultimately reaching your goal or an end to a rough journey. the symbolism of a journey is supported by the lyrics in the song. since 1991 when smells like teen spirit was released the genre has come a long way developing alongside the demands of a growing audience with growing impact on the industry. It has developed from a low budget, low quality production into a much more polished and viewer friendly experience that appeals to a much wider audience. MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This - Analysis Genre: This music video falls into the pop/hip hop genre you can immediately tell because it has all the conventions of a pop video, it starts with a dance routine which is typical of a pop music video. The video also has elements of male gaze, a technique used to make the video appeal to men in particular by depicting females in a sexual manner by centrally framing various parts of female anatomy. these images do not however exclude a female audience because these shots are often short and do not demand your focus because there is more going on in the scene. The video also fits into the hip-hop genre by showing scantily clad women and images of street culture as well as 'bling', success and fame. Performance: this video is primarily a performance based style due to its lack of narrative or concept and relys heavily on the dance routine and lip synching of MC hammer. This style is fitting to the song as it is all about his success at various rewards shows and the lyric "u can't Touch this" meaning that other artists are no where near his standards. However it is almost a challenge to the audience to try and imitate him and dance along to learn the moves. This also works as a way of marketing the artist and his image and raises awareness of him even further. even today 21 years later people are still making home videos of themselves attempting the dance. the dance has also been featured in massive game franchise World of warcraft. Theme: the video carries a a sense of celebration and a dance along theme because of its high spirited nature and high energy dancing. dancing as a way of celebration or showing happiness is something the audience can join in with or relate to. The effect this has on the audience is an urge to join in and attempt the dance as well. Symbolic elements: during the dancing sections of the music video the location is often bare with very little going on in the background, the purpose of this is to keep the audience fixated on the fast dance moves and to minimize focus on anything else in the shot. Mise-en-scene: the costumes are the most prominent form of mise-en-scene in the music video, the females are mostly dressed in black whilst Mc hammer is wearing colorful, eye catching clothing. the trousers are big and demand the audiences attention throughout to make them notice the dance moves. furthermore his shoes are plain black and very nondescript, The purpose of this is to create an illusion along with the dance. Justin Bieber - Boyfriend - Analysis Genre: this is a pop video and is typical of the genre, it has all the conventions you would expect from a male pop artist: direct address, dance routines, female gaze to attempt to draw in an audience wider than the intended audience. this music video is also the start of an image change for Justin bieber. the video is intended to communicate that he isn't the young, innocent boy he was when he first appeared but is now also a young man that has sex appeal. I get a sense that he is also trying to widen his audience and expand the genre of music he is able to do by playing guitar in his video, this could signal a slight change of direction steering towards some acoustic songs or some songs of a genre similar to someone like james morrison or someone of that genre. Performance: the performance elements in this video are mainly dance routines and acoustic. this means that its is a performance based video with little narrative. instead this video is showing the success that justin beiber has achieved in terms of materiel value. Theme: the theme of this music video is a mainstream theme, it follows the notion that being perfect is the correct way to be and paints an idyllic picture. the purpose of painting this image is to get the younger section of the audience to aspire to him and look at what he does and copy him. however with his image change/alteration justin or his management wants try and appeal to a wider audience, they try to do this by having justin drive a nice car and include male gaze. symbolic elements: at the start of the video it starts in a room that has an icy blue tint to it symbolizing a colder edgier side to him. despite this, this section is only short and it immediately goes back to a sunnier setting. I believe they did this to reassure his younger fans that his is still the same justin beiber that emerged in 2009. the choice of filming it on a rooftop makes you think that he has reached the top and that his success has taken him there. Mise-en-scene: Mise-en-scene in this video also supports the notion of contrasting and opposing ideas and images. the combination of classic cars and new cars shows he is growing with age and experience whilst still being young and cool and wanting the newest toys which is appealing to both old and young fans.
his outfit is also a suggestion of an image change, he is wearing all black clothing and is driving a black car, the effect this has on me as a spectator leads me to believe he has a darker more 'dangerous' side about him. Pop music video has changed over the last 20 years from an industry that was all about selling yourself as a character and was all about the artist. It has now become extremely glamorous and is about appealing to a mass audience whilst trying to juggle what each section of their fans wants. Rock Genre development Pop Genre Development
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