Sunday, 30 October 2011

Conventions of a music video

Particular music genres having their own music video style.

The Pop genre has certain generic codes and conventions which helps the audience identify that it is a Pop video:
  • The videos are usually narrative based with a factor of performance separated into different scenes (the performance factor usually being a dance routine). Therefore, the music video will include many close-ups of the artist's themselves and also camera shots of the different scenes simultaneously promoting the artist's star appeal.
  • The usage of bright colours and flashing lights is typically apparent depicting the upbeat emotions of the song while also drawing a connection with the tempo of the song. Fast paced editing style is also used to correlate with the usual fast paced tempo of the school.
  • Usually the opening shots establish the setting and miss-en-scene in the music video. The settings or backdrops are usually unique and creative in contrast to other music videos, with the props and artist's clothing correlating, creating a continuous theme throughout the music videos. 
  • Pop genre styles videos also contain various and several types of camera shots which include, low-angle shots, crane shots (hovering over the setting or artist) and pans/tilts which usually track the artist during the video.
  • In Britney Spears' Circus video you can immediately see the setting being backstage and also on the stage with Britney performing a dance routine. The artist immediately establishes herself as being the main performer and focal point of the music video as the viewer is simply the audience. Throughout the video Britney is seen performing. At one point she is wearing a nude body stocking in front of a red curtain, singing with the top hat with a spotlight on her. This is followed by a group dance scene in the middle of a circus ring. Pop videos usually end in dramatic style, in Britney's case she is shown performing with dancers, circus acts, fire and even elephants surrounding her in the final scene.

  • Codes and conventions which are evident amongst the Rock/Indie genre is the usual performance based video which will therefore include many close-ups and long shots of the artist (the artist usually being a band, however most shots are predominately of the lead singer of the band).
  • The video is usually shot using dark filters, murky colours in a dim setting which shows a ongoing theme of darkness through out the video. Fast editing is also used to correlate with the music of the video. 
  • These are all evident characteristics shown in Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody. It is clearly a combinations of performance and a narrative  based video as the band are shown playing with their instruments to a live audience while lead single Caleb Fowell is shown kissing and having intimate moments with a girl, representing the narrative aspects of the music video. Close ups are shown of the band several times and at several points there are close ups of their instruments. Emotion is usually depicted by the artist emphasizing the importance of the lyrics through facial expressions. The video also features 'Diegetic' sounds of the live audience which features in the video.

In contrast Hip-Hop/Rap genre has quite similar codes and conventions to the Rock/Indie genre, as the music video is usually performance based with a slight combination of narrative. 
  • The camera shots usual begin with a establishment of the setting which in most cases is some sort of simple location where there is a gathering of some sort (party, club, meeting etc). There are also many close-ups and long-shots of the artist to try and increase star appeal and the branding of the artist themselves.
  • The glamorization of the lifestyle which the so called artist lives in, is portrayed within the video. This is why money, alcohol, cars and even women at some point are used as props which is now a generic code and convention of 'Rap' videos. This has created controversy within the 'Hip-Hop' market and discontent amongst the feminist audience. 
  • 50 Cent’s In Da Club depicts the common codes and conventions within Hip-Hop/Rap videos. The setting is established early within the video, with the familiar setting of a club. Men are all shown wearing similar baggy clothing (usually of a expensive brand) with expensive flashy jewellery while the women are shown dancing provocatively. Their are also cameos from other associates rap artists of the same genre, for example Eminem, Dr Dre, Xzibit and Lloyd Banks are all shown.