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The History of Music Videos

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luke newell

on 8 October 2012

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Transcript of The History of Music Videos

The creation of music videos has greatly changed the way we listen to music. If music videos had never have been created we would be listening to the music without any real idea of the feelings or emotions of the artist. They have allowed many artists to show the true meanings of the lyrics of their songs, and allowed us to fully immerse ourselves into the story behind the songs. The History of Music Videos 1895 The first phonoscene was created in 1902 by Leon Gaumont in France. It combined a chronophone sound recording with a chronograph film shot with actors lip-synching to the sound recording. The recording and film were synchronized by a mechanism patented by Léon Gaumont in 1902. 1902 In 1926, with the arrival of "talkies" many musical short films were produced and included dialogue and music. These short films were around six minutes long and featured art deco style animations and backgrounds and clips of the artist singing. “The Jazz Singer” was the first full-length talkie in cinema history, and premiered in 1927. Many early sound-on-film productions featured vaudeville stars, opera singers, bands and other popular musicians; known as musical shorts, these clips were played before feature films well into the 1940s. 1926 1929 In December 1992, MTV began listing directors with the artist and song credits, reflecting the fact that music videos had increasingly become an auteur's medium. Directors such as Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Stéphane Sednaoui, Mark Romanek and Hype Williams all got their start around this time; all brought a unique vision and style to the videos they directed. Some great examples of music videos that had been created with huge budgets by directors are Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream", which cost $7 million to produce, and Madonna's "Bedtime Story", which cost $5 million. "Scream" remains the most expensive video of all time. Both were directed by Mark Romanek and show the extreme lengths artists were ready to go to to have their music seen and heard. 1992 Direct predecessors to the music video were soundies. These were three-minute films featuring music and dance performances that were designed to display on jukebox-like projection machines in bars, restaurants and other public spaces. Many of the time's greatest talents, from jazz singers and swing dancers to chamber musicians and comedians all appeared in soundies. 1940 In 1959 singer and songwriter Jiles Perry Richardson who was also known as "The Big Bopper" was the first person to use the term “music video” in an interview with a British magazine, according to music historians. 1959 In 1964, The Beatles starred in their first feature film "A Hard Day's Night" which was directed by Richard Lester. It was filmed as a mock documentary featuring the band, and the musical sequences heard within it became a template on which many more music videos were based on. It was the direct model for the successful US TV series The Monkees (1966–1968) which similarly consisted of film segments that were created to accompany various Monkees songs. 1964 In 1964 one of the most iconic TV shows relating the the muxture of tv and music was created, "Top of the Pops". The programme was a way for chart music to be broadcast all over the nation with the incorporation of the top bands and artists performing in front of a live audience. It was originally presented by Jimmy Saville and lasted for over 40 years until the final show in 2006. 1964 During this time period the use of promotional clips by bands and artists greatly grew in importance. Record companies began to use television as a means of publicity for artists and bands and as a way to increase record sales. The 1966 clip for Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" was featured in a film documentary about him named "Dont Look Back". Not making any attempt to simulate performance or present a narrative, the clip shows Dylan standing in a city back alley, silently shuffling a series of large cue cards (bearing key words from the song's lyrics). Many "song films"—often referred to as "filmed inserts" at that time—were produced by UK artists so they could be screened on TV when the bands were not available to appear live. Pink Floyd were pioneers in producing promotional films for their songs including "San Francisco: Film", directed by Anthony Stern, "Scarecrow", "Arnold Layne" and "Interstellar Overdrive" 1967-1973 In 1981, American music channel MTV was launched, and sparked the start of non stop music on television 24 hours a day. The first clip shown on the channel was, ironically, a video to the song "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. With this new outlet for material, the music video would, by the mid-1980s, grow to play a central role in popular music marketing. Many important acts of this period, most notably Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran and Madonna, owed a great deal of their success to the skillful construction and seductive appeal of their videos. 1981 With the creation of MTV, more and more music videos were being created by bands and artists in order to promote themselves and their music as much as possible. Two key innovations in the development of the modern music video were the development of relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use video recording and editing equipment, and the development of visual effects created with techniques such as image compositing. The advent of high-quality color videotape recorders and portable video cameras coincided with the DIY ethos of the New Wave era, enabling many pop acts to produce promotional videos quickly and cheaply, in comparison to the relatively high costs of using film. 1982 During this period, MTV launched channels around the world to show music videos produced in each local market: MTV Latin America in 1993, MTV India in 1996, and MTV Mandarin in 1997, among others. MTV2, originally called "M2" and meant to show more alternative and older music videos, debuted in 1996. 1993-1997 2005 saw the launch of the one of the most popular websites on the internet, YouTube, which revolutionised the way we watch music videos, made the viewing of online video much faster and easier than it had ever been before. Othe similar sites which also heavily feature the sharing of music videos that were created around this time are Google Videos, Yahoo! Video, Facebook and MySpace. Such websites had a profound effect on the viewing of music videos; some artists began to see success as a result of videos seen mostly or entirely online. The band OK Go may exemplify this trend, having achieved fame through the videos for two of their songs, "A Million Ways" in 2005 and "Here It Goes Again" in 2006, both of which first became well-known online. Artists like Soulja Boy Tell 'Em and more recently Korean artist Psy have also achieved some level of fame initially through videos released only online. 2005 The first known link between music and video was created in 1894 when sheet music publishers Edward B. Marks and Joe Stern hired electrician George Thomas and various performers to help promote sales of their song "The Little Lost Child". Using a magic lantern, Thomas projected a series of still images on a screen in sync with live performances. This would become a popular form of entertainment and can be seen as the first step to a music video. 1894 The “first” music video is filmed at Thomas Edison’s studio on a device called a Kinetophone. The Kinetophone showed moving pictures and was also fitted out with a phonograph. In the film, its inventor, William Dickson, plays music from a popular operetta on a violin as two men dance beside him. This is the earliest true example of a music video. In 1929 Blues singer Bessie Smith appeared in a two-reel short film called St. Louis Blues featuring a dramatized performance of the hit song. Numerous other musicians appeared in short musical subjects during this period. Later, in the mid-1940s, musician Louis Jordan made short films for his songs, some of which were spliced together into a feature film Lookout Sister. These films were, according to music historian Donald Clarke, the "ancestors" of music video.
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