Thursday, 10 November 2011

Research into codes and conventions of relevent genre to my music video (Indie Rock)

Through numerous amounts of research into my music video’s genre of Indie Rock I have noted a number of codes and conventions throughout the genre, followed by most bands however like anything they are on occasion also subverted which is to be expected. For example in cinematography I have found it common that the shots used often feature the band with empathises on the lead singer.

You can denote this in the picture below of the Arctic Monkeys performing ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’. They used a close up on the lead singer (Alex Turner) connoting his dominance while we can just about see the drummer over his shoulder. Focussing on the lead singer is also a common trait I have noticed while watching and analyzing indie rock bands.

Another convention of Indie Rock music video’s is that bands often make performance  video’s however it is not unheard of  for an conceptual video to be made, a good example of this is another Arctic monkey’s song titled ‘fluorescent adolescent’. While the music video is conceptual at parts the song lyrics are amplified through the on screen actions for example the song is about the past and during the video it cuts back to two old friends and how they used to be.

Indie Rock videos also tend to stick to basic but effective shot types as they are mostly used so the audience can denote the band instead of other music video’s with narratives that try to evoke emotion from the spectators. The shot types used across the Indie Rock genre consists of mainly close ups, mid shots, wide angle shots and panning shots moving across the band.

Throughout this research I have also noticed some codes and conventions within the editing of Indie Rock music videos. Indie Rock songs often have a change of pace during the tracks which enable a mixture of fast and slow pace editing to match the tracks tempo, this helps to keep the audience interested in the video and offers play-back ability as the audience may not notice everything the first time round. Another trait of editing within the Indie Rock genre videos is that the camera happens to cut between shots frequently keeping the audience entertained.
The mise en scene conventions of Indie Rock are probably the least challenged as this micro aspect offers the look and identity of the band. For example Indie Rock bands are known for casual clothing with limited costume changes during their videos normally numbering zero.

Another convention of Indie Rock videos is the use of low key lighting creating shadows. This creates a sense of enigma for the audience and also connotes them being isolated from other music genre’s it also connotes them as being different from your typical boy band.  This is also a convention of Indie Rock music to stand out and be different from other mainstream genres.
Props also play an important role in Indie Rock videos as the band member are commonly seen playing their instruments while and not to do so would subvert the audience expectations. A reason why Indie Rock bands like to be seen playing their instruments is because is connotes them as being real musicians instead of industry made stars who offer none to limited musical talent.

While it is common for these videos to offer a number of locations, conventionally the bands are only seen performing in one location however this changes depending on the actually video. They are also typically made on low budgets which links back to the idea of them being independent (“indie”) and different from the big labels however since the 00’s a number of bands have crossed over to the majors with the increase in internet helping their exposure, the first most notably band to do this was the Arctic Monkeys.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Gender Representation in Music video's - Keri Hilson,The you love me

How do the representations conform or subvert typical gender representations : 
In this video Keri Hilson conforms to gender stereotypes through a number of different shot types for example at 4:12 in the video there is a mid shot used on Keri where you denote her licking her lips and also her upper torso as she's wearing a revealing costume exposing her breast, this connotes her as being a sexual object through her provocative costume and dance routine.

Another time this can be denoted in the video is during her dance routine at 1:29 in the video as she uses a suggestive stance while also rubbing her body this links to her lyrics at the time, 'The way you love me you got me going crazy'. This shows her in a passive light sugesting that she needs Male love or attention which connotes her being inferior to males a common stereotype in music videos.
However at times through this video Keri Hilson subverts some stereotypes of females in modern music video's, a good example of this is during the opening sequence to the video at 0:06. Here she is denoted as being dominant and powerful through the establishing shot of the room, you can denote this because of her being between the camera's power points but also through her body composition as she has her legs resting upon guns on the top of the table. You can also denote her dominance in this shot as all the other characters are withtin the shadows, most notably the one male character Al Jamal in the foreground.
The stereotype of women being inferior in music video's is subverted again at 5:28. In this shot two women are not only holding but pointing guns at Rick Ross the featuring artist on this single. This subverts their stereotype because guns connote masculinity and their expected to be feminine because of their sex, it also connotes authority which is also normally a male role.

How are the Micro/technical aspects used to create the representations :
The micro elements such as cinematography and mise en scene in this video are used stereotypically portraying Keri Hilson as passive and inferrior.

For example throughout the video there are a number of close ups on her body, you can denote this at 4:40 this close up of her legs panning up her body, this connotes her as being a sexual object. A common representation for women in R&B and Hip Hop video's.
Another way the music video director has created representation is through the mise en scene used in the video with specific reference to Keri Hilson's and the rest of the dancers costumes. They wear short, sexually provocative outfits conforming to the typical expectations of a music video.

Can you apply the theories of The Male Gaze or female gaze ?
You can apply elements of The Male Gaze and Sexual Objectiontification theory by Laura Mulvey ,1975. However there are valid points to argue agaisnt it at the same time. For example the difinition of Voyeurism is the erotic pleasures gained from looking at a sexual object who is unaware of being watched, while people may gain erotic pleasures from watching this video Keri Hilson knows she is being watched as a large part of the video is of her dance routine. On the other hand the presence of the other women besides Keri Hilson in the music video is solely for display purpose as they do not play a part in the small narrative of the video. Another point that conforms to the theory is that the females on display in the video are passive and objectified but in the same video they are also shown as strong and dominant which subverts stereotypes of women in music video's. Another point that goes agaisnt the theory is the Voyeuristic treatment of the female body in 'male' videos, the reason this goes agaisnt the theory for this video is because its a females video which only features a male artist as a side act. While this video conforms to the basic ideas of the Male Gaze theory you cannot apply it because its based around Male video's and this is Keri Hilson's video who is female but you can agree it has correct criteria to fit into this theory.

What genre is the video and how does the representation alter due to this ?

What is the star persona of the artist ? 
In this video we see Keri Hilson in two ways one being a strong women subverting stereotypes for instance at the beginning of the video and the other side of being passive and inferior to males throughout the majority of the video. Overall i would say she conforms to the stereotypes of women in music video's as she only subverts stereotypes when she's with her partners or 'bad bitches' as she put it, suggesting she can only be strong and seem superior with back up.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Intertextuality Study - Blink 182,All the small things

Blink182's ' music video 'All The Small Things' is a parody of a number of pop music videos of the time most notably boy bands such as the Backstreet Boys,NSYNC and westlife but also other popular pop genre artists of the time such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. The difference between a Parody and a Pastiche is a parody is a imitation that mocks.

The band were well known for their humour and this is shown through this music video, while this video is a paraody the bands mocking style is critically acclaimed, with them winning several awards for the video, connoting that the parody was popular and liked at the time. It also appealled to their audience as they are stereotypically opposed to the audience of boy bands.

The whole mise en scene in this video is taken from various other artists and twisted into it being funny, through the bands winks and looks to the camera you can denote it's not meant to be taken seriously and also allows the audience to feel a a part of the joke.

  • In these two pictues you can see the imitation through the costume used as Blink 182(Left) our wearing the same as Nsync(Right) was. This is just one example of the parody but it continues throughout the whole video.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Intertextuality Study -Robbie williams,Let me entertain you

 The key intertextual reference in this video is to the rock band Kiss, particularly with Robbie referencing the style of their lead artist Gene Simmons.
This is achieved through mirroing different aspects for example their Dress code of sequins, lycra, black and white colour scheme and boots another way Robbie imitated them was by using their iconic face make-up style of white face with black lips and eyes he also copied the Hairstyle of being big and hairsprayed.
Lead performance style and facial expressions also added to the references towards Kiss you can denote this through numerous close ups during the music video, a good example of this is the first shot used as it connotes our stereotypes of Kiss and instantly reminds us of them while subverting our ideas on Robbie this will broaded his fan base as he's branching out into other styles another example of his reference to them is the used of 'Flying V guitars' which was often was opted style used by Kiss.

These references change the predicted audience of the video as it attracts male,masculine rock fans over the previous target audience of Robbie Williams which consisted prodominantly of teenage girls and young womenand other pop fans.
Therefore, this music video broadens his image and identity from mainstream pop singer to someone who experiments with style and isn't just a tool of a major label.

  • You can easily see the references between Robbie on the left and Gene Simmons on the right in these two photo's. Another obvious comparsion used which i didn't mention earlier is having the chest area showing which you can denote in both pictures.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Types of Music video: Conceptutal

Cinematography: For cinematography there is a variety of shot types in this video which makes it intertesting as the shot being used it forever changing keeping us focused on the video. For example there is a lot of close ups and long shots on the puppets from numerous angles, this gives the video a sense of identity as its like watching a real gig another strong element of the cinematography is it kept cutting away from the performance to see the reaction from the audience with there facial expressions often confirming how we feel ourselfs as the video is very conceptutal and hadn't really been done before.

Editing : A lot of editing has gone into this video

mise en scene :
This video is set within a villages pub with the performance coming from a punch and judy stand which the children are watching. A number of props are used throughout the performance given by the puppet version of coldplay for example at 4:13 with the use of the helicopter however a lot of props are still used outside of this with all the rooms interrior plus food and added table,chairs etc. For costume however there isn't a single change between the characters on the other hand the costume their using is very detailed and looks good

Relationship between the music and the type of video :
Firstly the lyrics themselves contradict each other as at first they sing ' There's a cold world its a violent world' but later sing 'every road is a ray of light' followed by singing  'still its a beautiful night' this connotes that even though theres stuff going wrong and it can be dangerous, the world is a beautiful place. When you put the song lyrics and video together it connotes foreshadowing the children's life telling them life isn't always great but its always worth it. The song and video denote inspiration through the lyrics and also throughout the video too. You can denote this when the drummer drops his drum sticks into the little girls hands this represents the passing over of the task of inspiring and making people enjoy music. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Types of music video : Narrative

Cinematography : Throughout the video a lot of Close ups are used on the characters as this allows us to denote their feelings at the time, the first close up is during the shot reverse shot when our characters meet, it forshadows happiness as everyone is smiling however this idea is shown to be wrong later in the video through a number of flashbacks and song lyrics. During the video depending whos in the shot Gwen Stefani or the male actor are always between the power points of the screen and when both in the same shot they often share the centre of the screen together this connotes their importance while it always connotes the males partner is inferrior to Stepfani and her relationship towards the man. This is shown numerous times throughout for exmple at 0:45.0:56,2:2. In this video there is a variety of shots mostly consiting of close ups and long shots, overall the shot types used are basic but effective.

Editing : At the begining it cuts between Gwen Stefani and a couple walking when Stefani opens the door a shot reverse shot is used to show the emotion between the trio. This technique(shot revser shot) has been used throughout the video a number of times each time denoting the feelings of the characters used in them it is often a shot reverse shot between Stefani and the male actor playing her Ex in the video, through these shots we connote that she still has feelings for him which contradicts the chorus of the song as she sings 'I know we're cool'. Another technique used throughout is flashbacks between the pair (Stepfani and the Man) this links to the lyrics as shes singing about history of what they ust to have and how they are now however through the flashbacks used it just conforms more to the contradiction of her Chorus to what were seeing as it shows them always having a good time together.

Mise en scene : props,costumes
There are a number of different settings used in this video for example at the starts two characters are walking on a large estate which then changes to the inside of a building and from there through numerous flashbacks takes us all the place for example at 0:57 they are infront of a river and at 1:02 they are in some feilds. The number of settings for this video is a real strength of it as it shows the pair (stefani and the male actor) have history which links in to the songs lyrics. As far as props go besides the interier of her house there isn't many which is a disapointment however because of the narrtive in the video being based around her and the man props aren't crucial unlike other videos. A number of costumes are used during the video as it shows time has moved on from each flashback and that its a different day.

Relationship between lyrics and video :
While the lyrics and video conform to Gwen Stefani's predominant genre of pop, which can be denoted through the visual images and colours used as they are all bold and bright connoting happiness and joy a basic stereotype of the pop genre. The actually lyrics when compared to the video however tend to subvert each other and cause a contrast effect reflecting real life slightly as sometimes we have to pretend were happy for other people's happiness. I think this point allows people to relate to the song and video which is a key selling point for any artist.

Types of music Video: Performance video

 Cinematography -In this video the shot types used are very basic. The composition of the shots are all based around Beyonce with the camera on her at all times this denotes her dominance in the video. Even though the cmaera shots used are basic the movement from the camera is very good and dosen't stay still for long periods of times often giving the illustion of the dancers moving when infact its the camera. It also used a number of Zoom,panning and tracking shots throughout the video giving you views from loads of angles but mostly with beyonce in between the power points, once again connoting her importance and dominance within the video.

Editing -The whole video is shot in black and white, when changing shot type or shot angle in the video they often use a quick fade effect to make the video look smoother and avoid annoying jump shots which would ruin the visual imagery on screen, causing you to lose focus with beyonces performance.

Mise en scene - In the video Beyonce and her backing dances wear black leotards throughout with black heels as their only costume which is unusual for a mainstream music video. During the video there is one main overhead light on them at all times with fades introduced when the shop angle is changed. The back drop to the video is white however at times its dark and has shadows depending on the rest of the lighting. While the Mise en scene in this video is basic its also effective in what it does as it draws your attention to the performance strickly and not the background which is a positive as its a performance video.

Relationship between music and lyrics and type of video -
It is mainly a dance video without many relationships between the lyrics and the actually video footage however when she sings "put a ring on it" she references her hand by pointing towards it connoting she means wedding ring. Another  link between the video and the lyrics can be denoted when she runs to the other side of our screen when she sings 'And like a ghost our be gone' this action connotes that she won't wait around  and will just move on symbolizing she's a strong modern female which she tries to show through her newer video's including this one.