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Music Videos

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Emma Wilkinson

on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of Music Videos

Music Video
What are the conventions of a music video?
Andrew Goodwin
John Stewart
Music videos have the aesthetics of a TV commercial, with lots of close-ups and lighting being used to focus on the star’s face.
The video allows more access to the performer than a stage performance can. The mise-en-scene, in particular, can be used to emphasise an aspirational lifestyle.
Laura Mulvey
Male Gaze theory

Audiences view texts through the eyes of a heterosexual male

The camera (displaying the perspective of a male) objectifies the woman down to fetishised parts.

Female viewers must experience the text secondarily, by identifying with the male perspective.
Case Study
Pick your favourite music video and answer the following questions about it:

What genre is it?
How do you know this? What conventions can you find?
How does this video market the artist?
Who is the audience?
How do they try to attract that audience?
Analyse the video using the 3 different theories we have looked at:
Andrew Goodwin
What category does the video fit into?
How do you know this?
John Stewart
Does the video allow access to the performer or use intertextuality?
What examples can you find of this?
Laura Mulvey
How are women portrayed in your video?
Give examples to show this

If you finish looking at your selected music video pick on of the unconventional videos we have discussed today. Compare this video to your favourite video and assess the differences and similarities between the two.
What is a Music Video?

What is its purpose?
• Anything you want?
• Does have specific conventions
• Lasts the length of the song (but sometimes longer)
• Features the artist (but not always)
• Can tell a story (but doesn’t have to)
• Needs to be visually memorable and worth repeat viewings….

To promote the artist
To promote the song/single/album
To entertain (Uses and Gratifications)
To invoke a reaction (create a talking point; Uses and Grats)
To present the story of the song in a visual form
To give the listener a better understanding of the song
To increase the exposure of the artist
To help/make people remember the song

The conventions of a music video are generally genre specific.
This allows the audience to recognise the genre of the song through the video and the representation of the band.
What genre do you think the following videos are?

What genre specific conventions tell you that?
Music Videos can have different conventions depending on the type of music.

Colour can be used to signify the genre:
Blacks - rock
Pink - pop
Brown - country

Setting can also be used:
Clubs - Dance music/Rap
Performance stages - Indie/rock
Schools - Pop

Editing can be used to connote the speed of the song:
Fast paced - Fast song/anthem
Slow paced - Ballad/love song

The conventions of a Music Video are strongly linked to the conventions of the genre of music, make sure when you come to make your own video you take this into consideration.
Illustrate - Music videos serve to illustrate the meaning of the song.

Amplify - Music videos accentuate the meaning of the song. This meaning is constantly repeated so it is made clear to the audience.

Disjuncture - The Music Video completely ignores the meaning of the song and is unrelated to it.

What categories do you think these videos fall into?
How to analyse Music Videos
Stewart describes music videos as "incorporating, raiding and reconstructing".
This is essentially the essence of
, using something with which the audience may be familiar, to generate both nostalgic associations and new meanings.

Allows fans access to the studio to watch the band perform. The lyrics and lack of other girls allow the (primarily female) audience to think they are singing about them.
Illustrates both a normal life and the life now lived by Drake and his team. The video makes this life appear aspirational to the audience and makes them want to attain it.
Uses intertexuality to mock several boybands around at the time. This distances the band from the boy bands and attempts to create a hierarchy around their music (placing Blink 182 above the boy bands)
Uses intertexuality to reference Marilyn Monroe and the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. This is meant to create a feeling of nostalgia for the audience and attract more people to the video, it also add further meaning to the song recreating parts of an iconic film scene.
Erotic pleasure gained from looking at a sexual object that is unaware they are being looked at.

This is incredibly relevant for female performances but becoming more prolific in male music videos.

Filmed in an intimate location (bathroom, bedroom etc...)
Screen within a screen
Doors or windows framing the shots
Sexually provocative and in control of it

Invites the sexual gaze

Does this exploit the female body for predominantly male profit?
Or does it assert female self confidence and sexual independence?
Unconventional Music Vidoes
These videos aim to create a 'buzz' around the video, encouraging more people to watch it and potentially buy the single.

These are much more common now as videos can be easily monetized through YouTube, however some good examples can be found from before YouTube existed.
How can you apply this to the following videos?
What elements of nostalgia or intertextuality can you find in the following videos?
How do these videos use the male gaze?
How does this video apply the concept of voyeurism?
What examples of unconventional videos can you think of?
You can use this research for your coursework next year, so make sure it is detailed and presented creatively.
Full transcript