Thursday, 29 September 2016

Vodcast 1: Codes and Conventions of MVid's


A music video is a piece of marketing merchandise to promote the artist and sell the product (song). Each music video is special because they all have their different ways of portraying the meaning of the song and portraying the artist. 


There are several types of codes and conventions for music videos, which is what I will be looking at in this vodcast. The general conventions include: the different styles; narrative, performance and concept. Further conventions consist of the lip-syncing verisimilitude, a dance routine in the music video and the different camera techniques. The entire mise-en-scene consisting of costume, location, props, make-up etc. is also an important convention. 

narrative music video follows a storyline. There are two types of narrative, which are called linear and fragmented. A linear narrative has a beginning, a middle and an end, and these components are presented in that order, as with fairy tales. Whereas a fragmented narrative, however, might have a beginning, a middle and an end, but the components are mixed together. This means, that the narrative might start in the middle of the story, transition back to the beginning of the tale and then flash forward to the end. A great example for an artist that has created music videos with both narratives is Katy Perry. In her music video for the song Last Friday Night, the narrative starts at the end of the story, transitions back to the beginning of the story and then plays through to the end. This indicates a fragmented narrative
Whereas an example from Katy Perry for a linear narrative is her music video for Thinking of You, which tells the story from the beginning to the end, like a fairytale.

A concept of a music videos can for example be a short film that is created for the specific song. Great examples of this include Michael Jackson's short-film for Thriller, but also the more recent music video of the boy band One Direction song Best Song Ever. These short-films than also follow either a fragmented or linear narrative

A performance music video is where the focus is on the leadsinger and their performance. A great example of performance is BeyoncĂ© 's Single Ladies , where there is no narrative and you see the artist performing continuously. However in these types of music videos the audience can't engage with the video as much and they can't relate to the video, which is why they are not that popular. But despite of this several people love Single Ladies for the coreography in the music video, which leeds me to my next point of dance routines.

Some dance routines that can be tracked back to years ago when they were first seen in music videos. Some good examples of this include Michael Jackson's moves such as the Moon Walk in Billie Jean and his dance routine in his famous music video Thriller where he performs with a good amount of dancers. Ofcourse there is also this example of the song Asereje by the Las Ketchup band which I have blogged on in my post on Andrew Goodwin's theory of the 6 features in music videos.

However, a more recent routine that you would probably all know is the so called "Cup Song". It became famous through the movie Pitch Perfect and has since taken the internet by storm. It is a hard yet also simple routine to learn with the use of a plastic cup.

There are some common conventions of shots that are used in music videos. One of the main shots is an extreme-close-up, which is either on the artist to show their emotions or some of the instruments such as the base of the drum kit. Also, it can be of big significance to have the cables of the music instruments, such as the cable from the microphone, to create verisimilitude even though they are not actually plugged in, this is what we have done for our class project on "We don't talk anymore".   

The lip-syncing performance is also very important for a music video in order for it to achieve verisimilitude. It also gives the audience the opportunity to sing along with the artist.

The different locations used in a music video are very important for the narrative but also for the general mise-en-scene. Two great examples of a music vid with a good location that Bronwen and I will take inspiration from are from the songs Faded by Alan Walker and True Friends by Bring Me The Horizon. Another element of the mise-en-scene that we got inspiration for was to put the music instruments outside in the rain, while the band play it. This inspiration was taken from the music video by the band You Me at Six for the song Stay With Me, and the unofficial music video that was created by Nanalew for the song Sail by Awolnation.


  1. Either add pics or put script under a 'read more' break, with a clear instruction to 'click the read more link to see the full script'

  2. Oh - and you added '...APPLY' heading but didn't then write anything!


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