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Genre Research - Task 3. (Media Studies, A2)

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Lisa James

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Genre Research - Task 3. (Media Studies, A2)

"A category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter"

In the music industry the main genres present are
- Pop
- Rock
- R'n'B
- Punk
- Jazz
- Blues

All music videos adhere to certain rules, or conventions which enable the audience to recognize the genre.
According to
Andrew Goodwin
(“Dancing in the Distraction Factory” 1992) music videos display genre characteristics; this is the same for all genres of music.
Task 3; Genre Research.
What are genres?
What are the conventions of a 'Rock' video?
What are the conventions of a Heavy Metal music video?
What are the conventions of a HipHop music video?
HipHop - The main characteristic of HipHop music videos usually show some kind of wealth and dominance - usually dominance over women. Prime examples of HipHop music videos are 'My Name is..' by Eminem and 'Because I got High' by Afroman.
As Andrew Goodwin has already suggested, a common factor of music videos is 'genre characteristics' this obviously differs depending on the genre.

Alternative/Indie Rock - One of the main characteristics of an alternative rock music video, is that it is often made abstract through the use of camera, sound, mise-en-scene and editing codes. Examples of Alternative rock music videos are 'Starlight' by Muse, and 'When you were young' by The Killers.
I'll be focusing on the conventions of an alternative rock music video, with special detail towards mise-en-scene, camera and editing codes.

MISE-EN-SCENE: In Alt-Rock videos the most common choice of clothing is smart casual, this may be reflective of their style of music.
The setting also tends to contain some kind of abnormal quality, as shown in 'Starlight' as the setting is right in the middle of the sea, likewise with 'When you were young' as the video is set strangely in the middle of a desert. Both are not typical choices for settings in a music video.
The lighting for Alternative rock videos also tends to be abnormal, using lots of shade and strange lighting, reflecting the tone of the music.

CAMERA: Most commonly, a high angle shot is used to establish the scene. It is also common to have plenty of close ups on band members with their instruments, then usually followed by a group shot to show the whole band.
The music videos made by Alt-Rock bands tends to have a narrative and so a long shot is used to capture a overall look at the story presented.

EDITING: AS with most music videos the editing matches the speed of the song, for example if the song has a high tempo moment, the editing will be choppy and quick, whereas if the song contains a slow moment the editing will include some fading, therefore slowing the whole music video down in synchronization with the music.
Lisa James - Media. (A2)
The main conventions for a HipHop music video, taking into account mise-en-scene, camera and editing codes are..

MISE-EN-SCENE; The main singer/rapper will usually be wearing things that suggest a certain wealth, such as gold chains and designer clothes. They are also pictured wearing sporting clothing implying they are strong and have sporting prowess.
These videos are also frequently set in clubs, suggesting the main singers are popular and therefore something to aspire to, the lighting in videos usually replicate that of a club to reinforce these connotations.

CAMERA; One of the most common camerea shots used in HipHop music video is the low angle, this angle implies that the artist has a certain power over the audience as the artist is physically looking down over the audience, this feeling is reinforced by a close up shot , giving the artist a whole frame to themselves.

EDITING; The editing for HipHop videos adhere to the usual music video editing conventions. As the tempo in most, if not all, songs are high, the editing is most commonly quick and choppy to reflect the music.
Heavy Metal - These music videos are stereotypically seen as wild and in some cases satanic. Heavy Metal music videos usually contain some insight into the bands tour life, usually breaking up the music video with shots of the band in a relaxed atmosphere. Examples of Heavy Metal music videos include 'Fallen Angels' by Black Veil Brides and 'Can i Play with Madness' by Iron Maiden.
The conventions for a Heavy Metal music video are..

MISE-EN-SCENE; The clothing worn by the artists in this genre tends to be dark, and leathery. This has been typical of the rock genre since the 70's and so has become a defining point in the genre. Some bands such as 'Kiss' and 'Black Veil Brides' decide to paint their faces in an almost war paint style, this could be reflective of the sometime violent nature of the music. The lighting of the videos also reflcts this dark nature and so will often be shady and dark.
The setting of these videos vary, they are commonly set on a stage of some sort so the whole band can be seen or contrastingly, they can also be set in some kind of story, or scene. Like the 'Can i Play with Madness' video on the left, where the video is set in a school and cave, becoming a storyline.

CAMERA; The camera shots tend to be varied also, with a mix of high angles and close ups to show the band in its entirety. If the video has a storyline, the camera angles will obviously adhere to the nature of the story.

EDITING; The editing used in these videos are very fast paced to keep up with the pace of the music, this may also be to reflect the sometimes violent nature of the music videos. To break up the video the artists may show small clip of them touring, this may be with a hand camera which gives the band a more approachable feel.
Through the research i have conducted here, I have shown the theory suggested by
Andrew Goodwin
appears to be correct as all the genres i have looked at have displayed genre characteristics which define them.
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