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Styles, Conventions and Techniques of the Music Video

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Scott Media-Harrison

on 25 September 2014

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Transcript of Styles, Conventions and Techniques of the Music Video

Styles, Conventions and Techniques of the Music Video
Learning Objectives:
Understand the styles, conventions, and techniques of music videos
Consider the use of style, convention and technique in music video examples
From the assignment brief:

The style of a music video will tend to depend greatly on the genre of music that it is created for.
So, a music video intended for a pop song would tend to differ to one intended for a rock song, which will differ to one intended for a rap song.
In pairs, you will be given a genre of music. Write down your expectations of what a music video from that genre should be like...
Think about the following...
The use of:
Choreography & Performance
Narrative (story)
Sexual/Violent content
The image of the musician
Representation (gender, class, age etc.)
So were you correct?
Rap / Hip-Hop
Rock / Metal
In-Concert and 'As live' footage
Arguably used more in music videos for indie and rock bands. Why?
Uses real-life (not staged) footage of the band or artist performing live
As a medium which has classically been used to experiment with story-telling techniques, music videos will often use animation.
Stop-motion animation
Digital/Cell animation
Arcade Fire - 'Ready to Start'
The White Stripes - 'Fell in Love With a Girl'
Death Cab for Cutie - 'Grapevine Fires'
Illustrative / Interpretive
An illustrative music video is one which will use the literal lyrics as a basis for the visuals. The visuals and the lyrics will have a strong bond.
Whereas an interpretive music video encourages the audience to speculate as to the deeper meaning of the song, by using a narrative which is not lifted literally from the lyrics, and the bond between the two will not be immediately obvious.
The video to 'Stan' by Eminem has a strong connection to the lyrics of the song
The video for 'Televators' by The Mars Volta hints at a deeper meaning to the song, which lyrically involves the story of the suicide of man by jumping off of a bridge in Texas.
The video encourages viewers to speculate as to perhaps the reason for his suicide, through the use of rainforest animals...
In media, narrative refers to the way a story is told. In this case, we are talking about how a music video communicates a story to its audience.
What is the narrative here? Is it interpretive or illustrative?
Pastiche & Homage
lyric interpretation;
extending or consolidating song’s meaning;
allusion - making reference to other things (pastiche/homage & parody)
links to other artists - collaborations?
Cutting to beat
An element of editing in music video determining whether or not the video is cut to the beat and tempo of the song
Pastiche or homage is where one media text (in this case, a music video), references another in an affectionate way (as a tribute). When one media text refers to another, we call this
Visual Effects
Due to their experimental nature and the freedom of expression allowed, music videos have often been the basis for experimenting with new visual effects, particularly in the early days of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery)
Dire Straits - 'Money for Nothing'
One of the first uses of computer-animated human characters, considered ground-breaking at the time. MTV were strongly involved in its development, and persuaded the band that the concept for the video was a good idea.
Miming and Lip-sync
A well-established technique of the music video, the artists will often mime and lip-sync in their videos to connect their image and performance to the sound of the song. This is where they 'pretend' to sing the song as if they were singing it live.
Chroma Key
This is a special effects / post-production technique for compositing (layering) two images or video streams together based on color hues (chroma range). This process is often called green-screen.
Back to the brief...
Compare and contrast
two music videos with different styles to critically
. Focus upon the styles, conventions and techniques of the videos, and discuss how they enhance the music track."
We are going to look at a music video and do this exercise as a group. When you view the video, think about the style, conventions and techniques used.

You pick the video...
Muse's video for 'Our Time is Running Out' is an homage to a particular film...
Parody, like Pastiche, is where one media text imitates another. The key difference is that parody will do this mockingly, whereas pastiche does so in tribute to the original. Sometimes the line between the two is not entirely clear cut...
The video for Blink 182's 'All the Small Things' is clearly a parody of videos made by boy bands of the time. How do we know this?
Surrealism is an art movement which aims to break down the boundaries between fantasy, dreams and reality. In music videos, this means using bizarre and jarring imagery, creating a dream-like quality which would be memorable to the audience.
Aphex Twin - 'Come to Daddy'
Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'Californication'
The Offspring - 'Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)'
Justin Timberlake - 'Mirrors'
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