Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Genre and Auteur Theory

French film directors in the 1950's like Francois Truffaut advocated a focus on the contribution made by the director on the style and form of a film. This is a direct contrast with other perspectives on film which advocate looking at how the film develops as part of generic history. Also Auteur theory differs to 'Genre theory' in that it points our attention towards what is different between films, rather than what is similar.

Genre Theory Focuses on...
Generic similarities
How texts are determined by historic/social/political contexts.
How texts emerge as commercial products from an industry

Auteur Theory focuses on...
Individual stylistic features
How texts are determined by artist's creativity
How texts emerge as part on an artists body of work

Music Video Auteurs Examples:

Chris Cunningham



  • Supernatural 
  • Urban Mise En Scene
  • Horror
  • Bodies used frequently throughout his work

Michel Gondry



  • Bright Mise En Scene
  • Extensive use of colour
  • Heavily planned/choreographed
  • Subtle technology

Friday, 20 September 2013

Skills Lesson 3. Green Screen

What is a Green Screen?
The Green Screen or chroma keying, is a special effects / post production technique for layering two images or video streams together. 

Skills Lesson
Today we used the green screen, we also used a piece of green A3 paper to copy the same effect, making Jack's head look like it's floating. Once we had filmed what we wanted, we then uploaded the clip to premiere pro, which we then uploaded a background picture and stretched it out to match the time of the clip. After that we selected 'video effects', then 'keying', then 'chroma key'. When the window popped up we selected the colour we wanted to delete (green) and then used the sliders to delete the amount of shades of that particular colour until both the image and clip were layered together.

Here is an example below using the Green Screen, due to the time the editing around this isn't so sharp so there is still a 'halo' around the subject (Jack) but the skills using the Green Screen and also the editing around this were provided. 

Things to consider when using the Green Screen:
The use of lighting is also important when using the Green Sreen and if i were to use this in my video i'd have to consider this, for example the use of reflectors may depend on the image or video you are layering
Id also have to make sure the Green Screen isn't creased, this is because the creases can make it harder to fix the 'halo' around the subject or objects
Make sure the subject is forward enough so there are no shadows 


Copyright Permission

Remi Nicole - Another Day

Above is the email sent to Universal Music Group asking for permission to use the song 'Another Day' by Remi Nicole through the record label 'Island Record'.

Ideas For Our Music Video and Conventions

In our group we have decided that we want to create a music video within the 'Indie Pop' genre.
Particular Characteristic to consider in this genre include:

  • Use of narrative alongside the performance, normally involving a theme, explaining to the audience the story behind the lyrics, most linking to relationships or love of the artist or character in the song.
  • Some music videos in the Indie Pop genre use a filter over the top of clip or over the entire video to give a certain idea to the video such as, memory or age to the video, or showing the clip in a positive or negative light
  • Another convention in this genre is the use of Mise En Scene to show the setting of the video (usually abstract, natural settings) with the artist showing through the use of setting that it is a fictional idea and is the narrative part of the video
  • The videos also use camerawork, to show a heavy focus on the artist and their performance, rather than a narrative that doesn't include them. The use of close-ups and mid-shots of the artist are also frequent in this particular genre to familiarize fans or an audience who are being introduced, to make them recognizable in the future.
Examples of Indie Pop Music Videos include:

Taylor Swift - Love Story 

This particular music video uses the famous story of Romeo and Juliet to explain her love story along with the lyrics, treating it like a flashback to an older time, with flashback to the same two characters in the present time and also Taylor performing the song.

Lana Del Ray - Ride

In this particular video,the lyrics are shown through love being portrayed as free and 'living life to the full'. The video incorporates a lot of Lana's American origins in the video for example, the American flag appears a lot in the video and the majority of her other songs , possibly showing a particular theme reoccurring.

Florence and The Machine - Rabbit Heart

Uses a strange, alternative world to represent her story, incorporating ideas from 'Alice In Wonderland', Religion and other places to make her love story alternative, individual and also recognisable.

Bastille - Pompeii


Uses a lot of wide-angle and long angle shots throughout the video helping connote the enormity of the city. The lighting is quite muted, naturalistic and low key lighting used with the video shot at night and the rest at dusk/dawn. The video also has little to no performance elements to it but it does however, maintain the context of the narrative but this is does very subtly, even in the final shot mirrors the shot at the very start.

Goodwin Analysis
  • Close-Ups of the artist used throughout
  • Music and Visuals connected through the pace of edits, cutting on the beat and increase in pace/frantic running and camera movements as the song reaches crescendo
  • The cinematic style and zombie apocalypse narrative element are intertextual references
  • Notion of looking (looking out of a window and into a rear-view mirror
  • Lyrics and Visuals - "If you close your eyes" links to the black eyes, "walls tumbling down in a city" links to city setting; videos narrative enhance's songs meaning

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Music Videos- 1. Redundancy and Entropy

1. Redundancy and Entropy

  • Redundancy - "... is that which is predictable or conventional in a message... Redundancy is the result of high predictability..."
Saying 'Hello' is a predictable way of greeting somebody... but low on information (it tells us little). This is highly 'redundant'message.

"Redundancy is not merely a useful tool in communication, it is absolutely vital... A degree of redundancy is essential to practical communication..."

  • Entropy is "...unpredicatable"
A text is entropic if it contains unpredictable elements.

Are texts entropic or redundant?
No... all images arguably contain elements of both... However, some texts communicate effectively using high degrees of redundancy and other high degree of entropy.

2. Entropy/Redundancy are employed in different measures in different genre:
Which of these are higher/lower in Entropy and redundancy

Taylor Swift Video:


Taylor Swift video tends to have a high degree of redundancy, due to her 'Country Pop' style the lyrics and visuals tend to be literal with no ambiguity and sends out a more 'predictable' message to her audience creating a 'high predictability' as the video has generic teen pop qualities such as, having fun and the bright Mise En Scene aspects such as, clothing and setting.

Yo La Tengo Video


This video is slightly more entropic, as it as a highly unconventional narrative and use of cinematography. However, it does have quite some aspects of redundancy, as it shares quite a few conventions of the indie rock genre, such as having a 'home made' or 'authentic' aesthetic. 

OK Go video


High Degree of Entropy used in this music video, the visuals hold little relevance to the audio. This creates a sense of ambiguity within the video making it less predictable.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Andrew Goodwin 6. Intertextual References

6. There are often intertextual references to (films, TV programmes, other music videos).

  • Below is an example of Geri Halliwell's 'It's Raining Men' music video incorporating the audition scene from the 1983 film 'Flashdance'.

And here below is the official 'Flashdance' scene:


  • Another example is Madonna's 'Material Girl' music video which is inspired by Marilyn's Monroe 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend' 


And below is Marilyn Monroe's 'Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend':


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Andrew Goodwin and Music Videos 5. Reference to notion of looking.

5. There is a frequently reference to the notion of looking (screens within screens, mirrors, stages, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.

The 'Voyeuristic treatment of the human body' link to Mulvey's theories of the male gaze. She wrote a seminal work in feminist film theory entitled, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975) in which she posited the idea of a gaze that was specifically male.

1. The gaze of the camera: the camera that looks at the female body

2. The gaze of the male actor: shots of males looking at women and then the shot of the female body being looked at

3. The gaze of the audience: what the audience look at (even female audience members were positioned within a male gaze)

The male gaze essentially reduces women to passive sexual objects to be looked at and quite often their representations were fragmented so that it was just the sexual parts of the body that the male gaze at.


Lady Gaga - Alejandro

Key words:

  • Power
  • Objectifying
  • Queer Gaze
  • Political Act
  • Pink Pound
  1. The video firstly starts with the males being sexualised but this switches throughout the video
  2. Switching of power
  3. Role Reversal
  4. Political Music Video - Trying to get males to see/look at females differently (attempt to change)
  5. Males can be seen as quite feminine - Attempt to tap into the Pink Pound?
  6. Males are sexualised a lot - unusual, so we don't notice the artist (Lady Gaga) being sexualised as much this could be through the use of Mise En Scene - costume encourages us to focus on the males as the males wear very little and Lady Gaga tends to stay 'covered up'
  7. Queer Gaze - Men sexualised for other males (gay male audience)
  8. Playfulness of male gaze - plays around with this (level of self awareness)

Primal Scream - Country Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWjm W-4MI8&feature=relmfu

1.Genre: Rock 'N' Roll

  • Typical Low key lighting used
  • Typical Mise En Scene - drinking, bars, having a good time
  • Lots of Camera movements - 'homemade' feel/ sense of amatuerness/ sense of reality/ sense of authenticity

2. Illustrative and Amplifying 
3. Picks up pace - looking at the audience - strong relationship between music and visuals
4. Plenty of close ups of the artist - camera stationary during this - almost an act of rebellion

Andrew Goodwin and Music Videos 4.The tone and atmosphere of the visuals

4. The demands of the record label will include the need of lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style that reflects their star image/persona).


1. This acknowledge the commercial nature of music videos. Music videos are essentially promotional devices whose function is to sell the song to its target audience.

  • Close ups and mid close ups are key promotional devices in music videos, keeping the attention on the artist.

  • Also Mise En Scene is a promotional device, the use of props and particularly clothing also help promote the artists music but also there brand/image

  • Male Gaze can also be seen as a promotional device.The mise-en-scene in the music video is simply a blank white background which grasps the audiences attention. The props in which are used are minor as there is only a robo-glove and a ring on Beyoncé's finger, as well as a seductive leotard worn by both Beyoncé and her back up dancers. Even in the screen shot above we can clearly see a shot of Beyonce but with a female dancers leg in the frame.

2. Ultimately, stars are commodities that are used to represent values that will be attractive to their target audience. They are a brand. How is this brand identity established through their videos?

  • Beyonce is almost portraying her sexy side throughout the video, through the use of the robot-glove the provocative leotard and the ring.
  • The robot glove can be used to show the power of a 'single' lady and this particular video can be seen as quite feministic due to the fact that throughout the music video only the three women are in it.
  • The lyrics suggest that women can also be in a way 'bossy' in a relationship, suggesting that a women can be strong and show men exactly what they've missed out on.
  • Finally, this music video is unique in a way that is extremely simple yet it has a huge impact on it's audience. It's catchy chorus and the extraordinary choreography performed in this music video creates a quality which no music video has but that is however, typical of a 'pop' genre.

3. To appeal to the target audience, record companies will demand that there are a lot of close ups of the star so that the audience will identify with them. What evidence have you found of this in the music videos you have watched of this star?

The editing in this video uses fast cuts aswell as fading in. Shots are mainly extreme close ups, medium close ups and medium shots. As there is only 3 people involved in the music video our focus is simply on the artist herself. This video also uses alot of zooming in and out and pan shots. The music video only appears in black and white which makes this music video so unique.
The techniques used in this video in ways dont convey the stereotypical R&B/pop music videos as it is very simplistic.

Andrew Goodwin and Music Videos 3.Relationship between music and editing

3. There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone an atmosphere of the visuals reflects that of the music. (Either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). This is linked to the concept of Synaesthesia - seeing the sound.

"This idea i absolutely central to understand music videos as they build on the soundtrack's visual associations in order to connect with the audience and provide additional pleasure" - Pete Fraser

  • Synaesthesia, according to Andrew Goodwin in his 'Dancing in the Distracting Factory', is  proces by which sensory impressions are carried over from one sense or another. For example, when listening to music, you imagine images.

  • Another way that we see the music/feel the sound is the way that the visuals are edited to the music. Here is an example of the Beastie Boys video for 'Sabotage' as a good example of how this is done:


  • We might also look at the verse/chorus structure of the popular music video and look at how the visuals represent the structural differences between the different parts of a song. The two video below could be seen as useful examples of this patterning.



Sunday, 15 September 2013

Andrew Goodwin and Music Videos 2.Relationship Between Lyrics and Visuals

2. Relationship Between Lyrics and Visuals.
The Lyrics are represented with images is either Illustrative, Amplifying or Disjunctive

  • Illustrative: there is a direct link between the words of the song and the actions in the video
  • Amplifying: introduces new meanings/images/actions that do not conflict with the lyrics but that add/reinforce layers of meaning
  • Disjunctive: there is no direct relationship between the lyrics of the song and the events of the video


Example of Illustrative:

Example of Amplifying:

Examples of Disjunctive:

Andrew Goodwin and Music Videos 1.Genre Characteristics

1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics, for example:


  • Subgenre of pop music
  • Typical genres include: pop, dance, R&B, HipHop, Country, Rock
Typical Characteristic include:
  • Auto-tuned vocals
  • Choreographed dancing
  • Emphasis on visual appeal - Photogenic faces, unique body physiques, immaculate and designer clothing
Lyrics focus on issues such as, (sexual/emotional) love/relationships, finding yourself, friendship, coming of age, fitting in and growing up and repeated chorus lines along with a generally happy tune in the background are typical conventions.

  • Mainly bout having fun (no serious message)
  • Brightly lit -fairly high key lighting
  • Colourful Mise En Scene
  • Smooth camera Movements 
  • Confrentational
  • Safe form of rebellion 
  • Literal meaning


Justin Bieber - Boyfriend

Demi Lovato - Heart Attack

What is a music video?

What is a music video?

music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes.

History of video

Len Lye- Colourbox 1939

  • Experimental - trying out new things
  • Ground breaking
  • Advertisement
  • Visuals respond to the film

Nat King Cole - Frim Fram Sauce 1945

  • Lip Sync
  • Pointless shot of a female (male gaze)
  • playing around with the motion of 'looking' and being 'looked at'

The Beatles - 'Cant Buy Me Love' 1964

  • Part of a film
  • No lip syncing or singing
  • using the relationship between sound and visual
  • Developing a long term brand/image

Madonna - Open Your Heart 1986

  • 1980's - Initial development of music videos - huge budgets spent - birth of MTV
  • Narrative based
  • Ambiguous 
  • Male Gaze - We are looking at the people looking at Madonna (In control, not just objectified)

Fifty Cent - The Candy Shop 2005

  • Narrative Based
  • HipHop/Rap genre - Male Gaze
  • Produce Placement

DangerMouse - The Grey Video 2006

  • Intertextuality
  • Cultural Capital - Understood context/references
  • Media 2.0 - Audience is making and doing things - responding to music videos

Main Themes that occur:

  • Male Gaze - temporary video play around with this
  • Narrative Based
  • Playing around with the motion of lookinf
  • Lip Sync
  • Developing a brand or image
  • Responding to sound (Visual)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Skills Lesson 2: Stop Motion Animation

Skills Lesson 2: Stop Motion Animation

For this experiment we had to create a stop motion video conspiring of items found in our classroom, a stop motion video (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make an object physically appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small actions between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played in a continuous sequence. 


Friday, 6 September 2013

Skills Lesson 1. Lighting

In this lesson we covered lighting such as, the classic three point lighting where the object is placed in the centre of three lights, the back light, the key light and the fill light, this forms a ‘T’ shape and the camera is then placed between the key and the fill light. This particular method help lighten up all aspects of the object.
Other aspects of lighting we came across was, silhouettes, this was created by placing the key light directly behind the object and the camera filming directly in front.

We also experimented with different coloured gels, which are a transparent colored material which come in various colours such as, blue, yellow and red, these gave of different lighting effects making the image seem either warmer (red and yellow) or colder (blue) depending on the colour.
We also used scrims, which help to modify the light. There are a variations on types of scrim, depending upon its use, whether with natural light, or on man made light sources. However, their basic use is to reduce intensity, and/or harshness of light.

Reflectors we also experimented with, these reflect light when you hold them opposite the light source: redirect light to open up darker or shadowed areas, while controlling highlights.
White: Provides a clean bounce to balance highlight areas and add exposure to the shadow without affecting color balance.
Silver: Its reflective surface produces an increased reflection value.
Gold: Produces a warmer reflection. Excellent for capturing people, this provides a little boost when ambient light is on the cool side of the color spectrum.

We also looked at the use of a blackdrop and the ways I which to create low key lighting.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Evaluation on Lip Sync Exercise and Busted Video Remake


For the first task, we had to do a 'Lip Sync Exercise' which will help us become more aware of the problems and pitfalls we may have to face. We were asked to do just the introduction and first verse of a chosen song (Total Eclipse of the Heart).
Te second task was to create in groups, a 'Video Remake' of Busted's 'What I Go To School For' to understand what is involved in the organisation, direction and editing of a music video (Remake the first 1 minute 8 seconds).

Research and Planning:
Task 1: For the first task, the best tip was not to pretend to sing but actually sing out loud, this is because when singing out loud, your breathing and mouth actions were far more convincing and 'correct'. Also looking into the camera for the mid-close up framing was important and also learning the lyrics correctly was key which i something i wish i had done more of, by watching and listening to the song more and considering the expression used.

Task 2: For the second task the most useful planning task was both the storyboard and shooting script. Both these worked together helping all of us as a group to establish not only the time scale of production but also the order of production. From doing this task as a group, we wished we had done more for the schedule of production, as we struggles when members of our group were unable to make the lesson. For next year, i expect the planning to be more thorough due to the scale of production when making a music video, for example:

  • Watching the video
  • Writing each and every shot used - Storyboard
  • Props and how to obtein these
  • Personnel requirments (cast)
  • Shooting Script (order is appears in the video)
  • Health and safety risk assessment
  • Planning a schedule (when and where)
  • Booking Equipment
  • Gathering props 
  • And Recording
Production: Digital Technololgy
Throughout the production stage my knowledge became more advanced through filming and the use of YouTube but particularly through the use of edit suits such as, 'Premiere Pro' which enables you to construct the video by placing all the clips from the filming onto the editing suit and placing them together by editing and cropping them individually to create a flowing sequence of clips to form a video. From this i was able to learn how to place effects on clips from the 'Effects Window' and also how to speed up or slow down a particular clip and also change the volume of individual clips. Not only was i able to expand my knowledge in these areas but also on the software itself as i have never come across i before.

Production and Post-production:
During the production we felt as a group overall, we did very well and worked well together, particularly because we planned our schedule very early on. Problems we came across a few times was the lighting,  as there are numerous occasions the in the video of low key lighting, to avoid this issue we decided to use a single photography spot light/lamp which was light enough for the camera to establish everything buy not too bright is took away the low key lighting effect from the video. Another issue we faced during the Post-Production is that we didn't give spend enough time on editing the video together, resulting in us spending extra time, going over our time schedule.
Particular tool and devices that were particularly useful when editing were tools such as the 'Red Clip Icon' which came up when you scrole the mouse over the end of a clip which enables you to cut a clip, which was very useful as we filmed a long time before and after each scene and when we continuously filmed multiple scenes together.