Monday, 27 September 2010

Weekly homework: video 2 and 3

Jack Johnson - Hope


A performance video, which is different to the common performance, in which it isn't a live performance on stage, but instead in a house, with a few people with instruments and Jack Johnson singing and playing his guitar.
The filming seems to be done on a hand held camera, which gives a documentry, realistic feel to the music video, rather it being heavily planned, the shots seem to have been taken on the spot, with camera zoom sometimes replacing close up cuts.
Shot length is quite long, which matches the music, as it isn't a fast paced heavy beat, but instead a much more chilled out song, and the cuts tend not to change specifically to the beat. 
The choice of black and white simplifies the music video, and creates the music to be the main focus. It also gives a much more arty style to the video, as it simply the band playing the song.

Friendly Fires - Kiss of Life

(unable to embed)

With this video, Friendly Fires have gone for another performance type video, with instead of them being in a gig situation, they are located in a foreign country, possibly Africa, with 3 band members and a line of what looks like a mixture of cultural people, with gold masks covering their face and in bright tribal clothing, with bongo drums. The video consists of a variety of shots of the band members and the people, close ups, long shots, low angles, slow motion, etc. The editing cuts to the beat change.
Even though the video isn't directly linked to the lyrics of the song, I think it suits the musical side, with the bongo drums and cowbells, the idea of culture and in a desert location works well.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Favourite Videos & The Consumption of Music Video

Here is a selection of some of my own personal favourite music videos:

I like the simplicity of this video based around the drummer. I think it has some really good shot variation, cutting from long shots to close ups of people and the drum kit. It's a mixture between concept and performance, showing the intensity of the drummer throughout the song. Another video from the Arctic Monkeys is also a favourite.

'When The Sun Goes Down' is a more narrative music video for Arctic Monkeys, following a female character, relating the video to the song and its lyrics. I like the way the video is filmed, showing the story of a couple, in what seems a quite social realism film genre. It has the look of a trailer, with the song as a soundtrack as opposed to a music video, which is against the common conventions of an indie rock music video, which is mainly performance with some concept or narrative to it.

Axwell - I Found U, is another favourite video of mine. A music video for the dance genre, which opposes common conventions of half naked girls dancing infront of camera, and instead is a music video which takes a basic idea of the love of dancing, which suits the song for its beat and its lyrics.

I really like some of the editing and cuts to the beat in the video for The Source Ft. Candi Station - You've Got The Love. The variety of shots, from close up, to long shots to extreme close ups works nicely in the black and white music video.

The consumption of music video 

has changed over the years, from a time in which top of the pops was the main consumption of music on television before the 80's, to MTV launching in the 80s [see post: The videos that changed the 80's]. Now it is more uncommon for a band not to create a music video to promote their singles, as there are various ways in which music videos are consumed. 
Through television, MTV and a vast increase in Music Channels are available on satellite television, showing different genres of music, from The Box being a selection of recent releases and top hits, to Kerrang, a magazine and television channel that dedicates itself to the heavy metal and rock genre. 

The ever advancing technologies of the internet also provide a base for music videos. From YouTube, possibly the largest online collection of various videos. YouTube allows people to find official music videos, remakes of music videos as well as peoples own creations.   
Other websites such as Yahoo and, which make it easy to find official music videos online have increased the audience for music videos, as it is possible to search for the videos the viewer wants to watch, rather than have the television channel decide what videos are being played.
The internet is not only available on computers, but on mobile phones, on Ipods, Ipads, and other similar devices, making it almost available at any time. 

This wide consumption of online music videos also makes it much easier for viral marketing. 
Through word of mouth, fans of similar genres, or artists can discuss and link to music videos over the internet; through forums or social networks. Therefore a band can gain valuable free marketing through uploading their music videos onto the internet, and letting the fan base spread the video and song. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Heavy Metal: Sub Genres

Sub Genres of Heavy Metal

  • Grunge
  • Death
  • Punk
  • Hardcore
  • Christian
  • Grindcore - Sludge
  • Rap Metal - Nu
  • Thrash
  • Black
  • Shred
  • Doom
  • Noisecore
  • Progressive
  • Glam/Hair
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Soft
  • Funk
  • Skateboard
  • Pirate

  • Kerrang
  • Metal Hammer
Fanzines (mini magazines - small publication)
E-zines (web based - no cost of print and production)
'-> All help the ever increasing amount of sub genres, which can form from a certain city, create a 'scene' of people who are fans of small sub genres. They are aimed at younger people, who are wanting to discover something new.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Weekly homework

 The XX - VCR

Bloc Party - So Here We Are

Bloc Party - mvSO HERE WE ARE

Codes and Conventions - Queen - Original and Remixed

Another One Bites The Dust was originally released in 1980, and in 2006 was remixed by The Miami Project. Both songs have a video to accompany, but both of different styles.

The original is a performance video, but unlike the common performance video, it does not include any shots of the audience, and it is not know if there is an audience present. Instead the focus is all on the band, and following one of the conventions of a performance video, the lead singer, Freddie Mercury is featured the most.
Their clothing style is mixed, with Freddie wearing a bright yellow vest top and tight jeans, and the guitarist wearing a denim shirt, and another guitarist wearing a leather jacket, the band seems to do their own thing as opposed to matching each other.
Heavy use of lighting is used on the stage, which blacks out where the audience would be, and highlights the band members. The stage itself has a podium on which the drummer is placed at the top, and the other band members are situated around him.

Queen vs The Miami Project - Another One Bites The Dust

This version is a remixed to a faster beat, and the video works well as its a narrative music video, following two young kids who battle with a group of older dancers, first time losing, then going off and practising, then beating them in the end. It is important for this type of video to cut to the beat, as it makes the dancing look better and more in sync with the song. A variety of shot types is used, from close-ups to long-shots, low angles and dutch angles. The location is in an inner city, run down buildings, city block flats and what could be an underground club.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Codes and Conventions: Genre - Rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow

They are an American Funk Rock band and can also be described under the genres of Rap Rock and Alternative Rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow

The music video is performance based, however the first shot, which conventionally in music videos would be the lead singer, is of fans, simply smiling into the camera. With the first half being the warming up, in black and white, with cut away shots to the fans who are waiting to watch the show. This gives insight into the audience of the band, with style, age, gender, and overall shows a wide range of people being the fans of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, which could be done purposely, so when anyone watches the video, they feel that they can be included too.  The black and white gives quite a stripped down and simple feel to the video, as though its them naturally. Shots of close ups of the band members and the instruments, different angles and long shots showing an empty arena, showing that its a warm up rather than the actual gig, and then it cuts to colour at the climax of the drum build up, and the arena is full with fans, with close ups of their hands and cheering, cut away to individual shots of the band playing. As the fast pace of the music drops back down, the shots of couples and singular fans are shown again, this time in colour. 
The general feeling of this music video is that the band really care about their fans, as individuals.

Codes and Conventions: Genre - Electronic

David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi - Memories
David Guetta is a french house producer, singer and DJ.  Kid Cudi is an American rapper, singer and actor.

David Guetta - Kid Cudi - Memories (Featuring Kid Cudi)

Common with most music videos, and especially within the Electronic genre, the editing matches the beat change in the music, which can build tension to the the drop of a song and make it flow better.
The video is a mixture of performance and cameo, with David Guetta DJing throughout the video, and Kid Cudi singing the lyrics and traveling through different scenes in the video. But as well as having the two artists, the video includes reflections of women who would be filming them, who are naked with one word lyrics such as 'Hey' covering parts of their body. This sometimes isn't noticable at first, but can be seen now and again. Including females with little clothing is a common convention in this genre, as the music is dance music, to gather a male audience they use areas of the male gaze theory and have women with little clothing dancing.
Scenes of the club with the two performing can sell the song, and make fans want to go see them live.

Deadmau5  - I Remember (Edit)

is a Canadian progressive house and electro house producer. The video was directed by Colin O'Toole, and shot in Manchester

Deadmau5 & Kaskade - I Remember (Edit)

There are different versions of this video, and extended, which is a short film with the song within, and the edit version which is the main music video, with short clips of the film and the 10 commandments of being a raver over the top of the song.
The video is narrative, with actors finding a location in which to have a rave, with another actor, Stephen Graham, telling the 10 commandments to his real life younger brother, and telling the story of his past and the illegal raves he used to have. Alongside that story, there is a couple who are followed throughout the music video, and can be seen at the rave. Close-ups and pans of the rave, cut to the beat of the song and building up tension to the drop in the music.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Codes and Conventions: Genre - Pop

Ke$ha - Tik Tok
 Classed as Electro-pop and dance-pop, Kesha is an American pop singer, rapper and songwriter.


Kesha's music video links in with her music, and features her in the narrative, suggesting a Cameo video. With a wide variety of shot types, from close-ups of the artist as well as mise-en-scene objects which link with the lyrics, the video is what you could imagine it would be if you only listened to the song, without being too creative and doing anything different but narrative based on the artist and lyrics. 
Editing is synced with the beat of the music, which makes it flow better together rather than being off beat. 

Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed

An English singer-songwriter and guitarist, under the genres of Indie Pop, Electro-pop and Synth-pop

Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed

This video features mainly the artist singing, with high editing in fast crossover effects, which is cut to the beat of the music. Dancers also feature in the music video, where a lot of editing is also used to create a sense of blurring of time.

Codes and Conventions: Genre - Indie

Paolo Nutini - Last Request

a singer songwriter from Scotland, Paolo is categorized under genres such as Indie, Pop Rock and Folk

Paolo Nutini - Last Request

The music video follows the Cameo style, in which the band/artist is in the narrative, but doesn't perform, although it isn't as obvious as other examples. I figured it was Cameo rather than Performance, as he sings, yet does not play any instruments, and follows the narrative part of the music video. 
 I feel the video could have two messages, either Paolo Nutini has gone through a break up, which is suggested through the lyrics, and is feeling the isolation of not being with the person in the situations that he is in in the music video. With the opening scene being centered on a close up of his face, then moving out to reveal the setting, with couples on either side of him, this emphasises his lonliness and links to the lyrics of the song. 
Another meaning could be the situations within the music video are of past memories of the artist and the person the song is about, with the people in these scenes being quite blurry, and features not easy to make out, this suggests that Paolo is reminissing, and revisiting the memories and linking in with the lyrics, wishing that they could go back there.

The video consists of close-ups of the artist, a montage of shots from scenes which together suggest a collection of memories. No instruments are seen within the music video, which suggests the music video was made to focus more on the lyrics and meaning of the song. 

The Strokes - Reptilia

Originating from America, they can be described as Indie Rock, Alternative Rock and Post-Punk Revival

The Strokes - Reptilia

Reptilia can be categorised as a Performance music video, focusing mainly on the band playing their instruments. Extreme close-ups of microphones, guitars and drum kits. Almost always the hand is included in the frame, showing the playing of the instruments. A sequence of close-ups of the band members faces show fans what the band look like, and gives an insight to their style.
Editing fits in with the music, with jump shots syncing with the beat of the song, this can emphasise the song, and builds up tension in the viewers. 4-way split screen shows the different band members roles at the same time, and creates a different shot to the previous single screens.
Mise en Scene is basic, with majority of the frame been taken up by instruments or faces, which doesn't distract the viewers.

Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy
Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy

The video to Friendly Fires Skeleton Boy, features just the band playing, surrounded by black backdrops, wearing fully black body suits with just their faces on show. Snow-like powder falls all around the band whilst they play, and gradually as the video progresses, the white powders stick to the body in the lines of bones on their body, linking with the Skeleton theme. Even though the instruments cannot be seen, the actions of the members show the playing, which suggests it being a Performance based video. With different shot types and angles, such as close ups and birds eye views, the video to Friendly Fires can be classed as more creative than others in the genre.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Music Videos

Music videos can be categorised into different groups, these are:

Performance: Band/artist playing

Narrative: Includes story, commonly linking with lyrics

Mixture: Both performance and narrative

Cameo: Band/Artist features in narrative but doesn't perform

Animation: Digitally / Stop Frame

Music videos are short, so in order to get the most out of the time a lot of camera work has to be included.
From close ups to crane shots, tracking and low angles. Fast editing is common amongst a lot of music genres in their videos, jump cuts and editing to match the music can make the video much better quality.

Mise en scene varies in the different genres, from extreme use of costume and props, to the simple mise en scene of instruments and lighting.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Videos That Shaped The 80's

On Sky Arts, a documentary type program reliving the memories of the music video directors and the bands, talking about the influential beginning of the music video era. I have noted down some of the quotes throughout the program

  "It's Harder to come up with something original now, back in the 80's it was all original!" Trevor Horn - The Buggles

"Nobody really knew what it was supposed to do, but the possibilities were endless." Kevin Godley

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen, Directed by Bruce Gowers
'Bohemian Rhapsody' is widely regarded the visual extraviganda that kick started the music video revolution

 "For our generation, Bohemian Rhapsody, was hugely important, firstly it was number one for weeks and weeks, and we all got to see it because we didnt have any music channels back then, and not really until the 80's, and that had a big impact the first time you'd seen a band make an effort for a song"  Nick Rhodes - Duran Duran

 "When it came out, people were really talking about it, it had broken a mould and challenged everybody to come up and suprise everybody, both musically and in video" Steve Barron

"We did quickly realise the power of the video because it was on top of the pops week after week after week" - Roger Taylor - Queen .

"when your given a track and someone says make a video, sometimes its absolutely  dead easy and it comes to you like that, other times you fiddle around for a week and you can't think of anything" David Mallet 

Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles, Directed by Russell Mulcahy 


We felt something about video but I don't think we were aware then that it was going to be as huge as it did become, the thing that actually kick started the video era was emergence MTV" Kevin Godley

"'Video Killed The Radio Star' opened up MTV, and no one realised the impact that this would have." Russell Mulcahy

 Vienna - Ultravox, Directed by Russell Mulchay

"A lot of my videos try to tell a little story, i wanted it to have a very noirish mystery about it." - Russell Mulchay, Director

"'Ultravox - Vienna' changed the landscape of what was possible for a band to do, you didn't actually have to play your instruments on screen, you could be an actor on it" Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet

"The joys of making a music video in that era was that you just did it, there was no commisioning editor, there was noone you had to explain it to and no one you had to write the idea down to, and then no focus group twho would then have a meeting about the idea, you just turned up and did it" David Mallet

"There was that period in the 80s when we made those videos where there was a freedom, a visual freedom." Russell Mulchay, Director

Making of Elton Johns, I'm Still Standing "At that point I realised you can be creative on the spot if you have to be" Russell Mulchay

Queen - I Want To Break Free

"It was the most fun of any video we ever made." - Roger Taylor - Queen
"I laughed for 3 days straight, we all were, we were just histerical" David Mallet
 "it was a measure of the thinking at MTV, that they thought it was discraseful and didnt show it and banned it." Roger Taylor - Queen

Billie Jean - Michael Jackson, Directed by Steve Barron
"I saw enough to see that this was something phenomenal"
"Then we heard that MTV wouldn't play it, because he was black. There was a very difficult 3-4 weeks" negotiation with the head of CBS who was really going to go to the supreme court and get MTV to reverse this decision." Steve Barron, Director

Rockit - Herbie Hancock, Directed by Kevin Godley


"nobody had done anything quite like what they did with Rockit" Herbie Hancock
"I saw an artist who made these extraordinary neumatic robots, a few weeks later we got this track from Herbie Hancock, and it was a natural pairing, that sounded like this looked." Kevin Godley
"The big problem back then was getting a black artist on MTV, because it was a big issue back then" Kevin Godley
They put us on low rotation, and after a week or two we were put on heavy rotation, skipping out medium. we had the most MTV awards that year, the year of the first MTV awards." Herbie Hancock

Cry - Godley & Creme, Directed by Godley & Creme


 "In like cry we didnt want to be in it at all... we just felt like it was a kind of song that anybody could sing, and it turned out to be correct, and we're just in there with everybody else."
"Soft wipe, allows you to get from one face to another using a shape that opens up, what happens is it reveals a part of the incoming of the face over the out-coming face"
"It wasn't new technology, I think it was just because we were using faces, makes it seem more magical" 
 - All Kevin Godley

Dancing in the Street - Mick Jagger & David Bowie, Directed by David Mallet 
Filmed in one 24 hour session, with the aim to premier it at Live Aid to an estimated global audience of 40 million.
 "We literally made something up as we went along"
"There was one scene which is definitely Davids (Bowie), one scene I can look at now and know that it was mine, and a whole lot of other scenes which were sheer desperation" 
- All David Mullet

"Earlier on I think it was much easier because you had such a small budget you just had to get it done." Nick Rhodes - Duran Duran

Close To Me - The Cure, Directed by Tim Pope

"I got this idea of wanting to shoot it all in this very very confined space to give that feeling to the song. - a wardrobe"
"what was interesting was, i think the video completed the song, we then which is very rare to do these days, which is remix the song to fit the video... So in a way the video had an influence on the song itself" Tim Pope

"A great video definitely helped a song at that point, but if you didn't have a great song, you could have a fantastic video and it really wouldn't make a lot of difference." Nick Rhodes - Duran Duran