Sunday, 5 December 2010

My Pitch for my A2 coursework

I decided to choose a song that could easily be interpreted in many ways, I wanted to make a concept form of music video linking with the performance within the narrative. I also wanted to re-vamp an old song with a modern age music video.
I chose to do Down Under - Men at Work.
I liked the idea of making it quite metaphorical as well as having some form of narrative, perhaps using one line or word from the song to create a concept idea, for example in the first verse the singer says the line "head full of zombie" referring to a drug, however we could take this to be literal zombies or give it a hallucinogenic feel, or having the typical Australian stereotype with a cork hat and a can of lager as a zombie.
I want a bohemian feel throughout and link the performance into the concept. Having a flutist walking around the goings-on and the singer, maybe walking through the streets of a busy city, e.g. Leeds.
Also I am going to take a video camera with me to New York City and try to capture some iconic footage to use in the video to give the impression it's a music video about travelling, linking to the literal meaning of the some and providing some narrative.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Shot-by-Shot Denotation of AS Coursework

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Analysis of Music Videos #3

Commander - Kelly Rowland ft. David Guetta
  • Starts with crowd dancing in slow motion footage, wearing dark colours. Some men with slicked back white hair. Metallic looking clothing.
  • White smoke screen pyrotechnic, bright lighting. Singer walks through in a cat suit, close up on her boots.
  • Shot of her from behind walking through parting the crowd. Dominance, feminist ideology?
  • She starts to sing, performance video, perhaps also concept?
  • She's walking along a cat walk that is self raising, crowds dancing to the beat of the music. Red flashing lights.
  • Intercuts from her wearing the black cat suit to a red one. Then duplicate shot of her in both, like mirror image but conflicting outfits.
  • Perhaps intertexual link to something like Gladiators or Power Rangers ?
  • Form of animation, choreographed dancing.
  • Intercuts to a binary oppostion, no longer black background but white. Singer has her hair down in a dress, with a male DJ in the background.
  • Split screen footage into three of singer and then DJ.
  • Then cuts to slow motion shots of the crowd dancing, diverse range of people and fashion sense.
  • Shot at the end where she hits the camera lenses, breaking the fourth wall, like a glass screen which shatters, she jumps through and her outfit changes as she does, music fades out and shot.
Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams

  • Starts black and white footage, strumming a guitar. Flashback?
  • Garden shed, male band playing, drinking beer.
  • Narrative/performance, nice linking shot, throws a can away then turns to a shot of wedding car driving off with cans attached to the back.
  • Shed collapses then fades into Bryan Adams laying on a hammock singing about the narrative, goes into colour. Like he is talking to a journalist as he makes notes.
  • Then cuts back to flashback of 1950's dirve in movie setting. Couple running around, teenage romance.
  • Fades back to colour, shaky camera work following singer walking towards the camera, breaking the fourth wall.
  • Flashback of the band running around wrecking havoc, running around factory throwing apples. police chase them.
  • As he walks fades from B/W to colour, walking around singing, someone out of frame throws him a guitar, walks to the garden shed again to play.
  • Added bit at the end, like a mini film, linking with the narrative story of the song.
  • Narrative footage adds anchorage to the story of the song and that the lyrics are not metaphorical but more narrational.

Analysis of Music Videos #2

Roxanne - The Police
  • Performance music video, concert footage and behind the scenes
  • Starts with nice fast paced editing and intercutting to the beat with foot tapping and the strumming of the guitar and drums.
  • Then a mid shot of Sting in a make-up room, mise-en-scene - mirror with lightbulbs around the edges, turns into still frame.
  • Then footage of band of stage, and intercutting back to Sting walking through a door saying "No Entry".
  • Shot of the audience through the drum kit, nice framing. Purposefully done for the effect of feeling a conert. Slowed down footage turning into still frame, against the tempo of the music. Also slow motion shot of band playing and dancing to the music.
  • Close up of Stings face as he sings, breaking fourth wall as he stares down the camera lense. As he holds the note "Roxanne" pan zoom into his face to close up of his mouth.
  • Point of view shot from the audience, with a crowd members shadow jumping up in the frame.
  • Fast-paced editing between Stings face, instruments being used, drums, head nodding.
  • Intercuts between close up shots of Stings face and slow motion footage of the band and the crowd.
  • Living in the moment? Concert lasting a long time.
Know Your Enemy - Green Day

  • Distorted camera footage, elliptical editing, fast paced editing and variation of shots. City skyline, barbed wire fencing, plane flying in the sky.
  • Black and white shot through a tube, intertextual link to James Bond gun barrel sequence?
  • Close up on band members feet, night vision?
  • Performance footage with narrative?
  • Performance, concert set up with screen in the background as if set outside in plain lands, sunset skyline.
  • Variation of high and low angle shots of band members. Close up on lead singers mouth when he leans into microphone.
  • Fast paced editing between band performance, nightvision footage, behind the scenes, rehearsal, etc.
  • Signifies criminals? Barbed wire, night camera vision - CCTV Sureveillance, helicopter search lights. Band are performing in what looks like a cage, prison setting? Stereotype of rural southern USA Prison. Police vehicles, control towers, wardens, etc.
  • Quick night vision of shot of what looked like the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.
  • Smoke screen, pyrotechnics used, flames burning in the backdrop.

Analysis of Music Videos #1

Everything I asked for - The Maine

  • Performance/Narrative style of video.
  • Animated background, white and yellow stripes and coloured spirals. Use of bright colours, signifies a youth audience, teenage male band, maybe young teen or tween audience?
  • Paparazzi, make-up artists. Photoshoot? Fashion show? Intercuts between band performing and the narrative/concept set up of a fashion show. Judges holding up scores, like a "beauty pagant".
  • Lot's of close up shots of females faces, applying make-up.
  • High angle shots of band members in what looks like a changing room, vulnerable men, dominant attractive women? Femme fatale? These attracitve females being superior to young males. Successful models? Teenage band.
  • Fast paced editing, with the beat of the song.
  • Band playing on the cat walk that the girls are walking on, trying to gain their attention but being ignored. One girl hits a band member in the face, the band members infatuated with the girls and the girls not being interested, women having the power. post-feminism?
  • Male gaze? admiration of these dominant attractive females. Tease. Attractive females in control, post-feminist idea that women choose to look like that and not a patriarchal society.
  • Male gaze idea comes back into play, as towards the end we have the girls in gold bikini's as it seems now maybe the males have control of the situation as they pull strings like puppet strings and the girls clothes come off, could connote men now have the balance of power?
  • Quite light hearted and suggestive but not overly sexual, teenage audience also due to swearing in the lyrics and singing about sex. Also some forms of animation help to anchor the target audience of the band and the song. Perhaps a bit of Irony or juxta positon as the video is suggestive whilst also being quite light hearted and appropriate for the tweenage audience, but the them of the song is more sexually orientated and more for a late teenage audience.
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon

  • Helicopter shot of a city at night, intercuts to shots from alternative angles, elliptical editing.
  • Mid shot of band getting out of a van.
  • Fast paced editing, intercuts of flashbacks, plane flying, performance, band walking down a hall way.
  • Behind the scenes shots, speed up footage like a point of view shot of car on the freeway. Band in hotel room, smoking, drugs?
  • When the lyrics start, we have a close up of the singers face quite dull dark lighting, then intercuts of flashes back to a quick shot of a couple ebracing lying down. warm lighting.
  • Mixture of narrative and performance video, the singer is performing within the narrative and the behind the scenes footage is part of the narrative. With flash backs to concerts with huge audiences.
  • Use of strobe/flashing lights and the night sky.
  • Cuts back to black and white footage of performance and behind the scenes, flashback. not part of the narrative.
  • Then back to colour footage, narrative. American bar setting, pool table, smoking, beer bottles.
  • Quick shots of couple embracing, red sports car, again fast paced editing. Elliptical time? Like it is trying to signify a band tour and maybe telling the story backwards?
  • Ends with lead singer sat in appartment/hotel room? dull lighting like the video has been a narrative of a memory?
  • Footage kept with the tempo and beat and speed of the music, the quicker the tempo the quick/faster the footage.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Guns N' Roses Presentation (GS/EM)

Performance Video

One of the best examples of a performance music video is Bruce Springsteen's 1984 single hit Dancing In the Dark.  Entire performance revolves around the singer, framing to show lively audience, point of view shots used as though we are looking through the singers eyes as the video is all about them. The only change is when he pulls one member of the crowd onto the stage to dance with him, being the then unknown Courtney Cox.

Many performance videos intercut between the band and backstage footage, this is clear in many Guns N' Roses videos, especially Sweet Child o' Mine and Paradise City. 
Also good use of set dressing, like in paradise city where there is the giant band logo hanging in the background. Also Motley Crue - Wild Side.

Guns n Roses were formed in 1985 in Los Angeles and became a established band in the 70's era.

Genre- The bands music is usually heavily influenced from rock and roll, hard rock and punk. However the band became established and famous for there heavy metal music.

Success- There breakthrough hit was with 'Sweet Child O Mine'. The first EP ( live ?!*@ like suicide) was released in 1986 that led to a record company with Geffen records bought by Warner Bro's, they provided 100% funding and distribution in the USA, UK and Canada. Geffen records previously had a diverse range of artists signed however recently established them selves as a rock label with artists such as nirvana. In 1987 Geffen released Guns n Roses debut album 'Appetite For Destruction' the album gave them worldwide success selling 20 million copies and three top 10 hits in the charts, making it the best debut album ever sold. Followed by two other albums ' Use Your Illusions 1 and 2.' The albums give the band the heavy metal metal band person era and a self destructing attitude. 'Use Your Illusions' subsequently cemented the band as being extremely influential and a permanent in the rock and roll genre.

Almost 15 years later Guns n Roses released 'Chinese Democracy' a highly controversial album that has mixed reviews. The album did place at no#3 on the Billboard top 200 chart, in November 2008 and no#1 in the UK. Despite this records sales didn't reach exceptions, although the song hit international success the album has only sold a estimate 5 million copies in Europe making the album the least successful of all albums released, the album was released in November 2008 after being in production from 1994 and cost a massive £14 million. Controversy occurred when previous band members tried to ban the release claiming it would change the bands image. Which it did the band didn't get the same support as they usually did the crowd didn't respond to the band and was pushed off stage.

The Video and lyrics is at first are critical of the American democratic system however develops and the lyrics come to defend the the American democracy. The song makes strong links to the American dream and how it should be admired and recognisable worldwide. However if rejected people can rebel and reject causing controversy. Shown in the graphic images and news footage. Making the link with Guns n Roses previous music video ' Welcome To The Jungle'.

Audience- is within to 30+ range, former fans (dedicated fans), targeting younger audience. It will be interesting to see if anyone under the age of Twenty-Five makes any kind of effort to buy the CD,” said Scrape TV.

Bloc Party - "So Here We Are"

  • Intertextual link to film American Beauty and also to Richard Ashcroft's Bittersweet Symphony similar experiences to each character..
  • Distorted background, like a daze or a dream-like state. Dreamy skyline.
  • Revolving Panning round shots [round-a-bout] - making everyday life more interesting. 
  • Montage effects of still images - cuts/transitions, elliptical editing.
  • influence from Madonna's video - Ray of Light. [Time Lapse]

  • The idea of speeding things up to make them more interesting - supermarket, street corners.
  • Indie music, suburban audience. Quite dull/drab, like Oasis, The Pixies.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sweet Child O' Mine [Draft]

Black and White grainy footage for the intro, ideology behind this could connote it is representing some form of social issue, perhaps racism?
Signifiers of a rock band: long hair, leather jackets, tattoo's, smoking, bandana, studs, male jewelry, etc.

Performance style of video, rehearsal? no audience. Good use of behind the scenes footage.

Sexual intent connoted between band members and attractive females, eye contact, cheeky smile.
Perhaps song title and lyrics refer to love interest, Sweet Child O' Mine, maybe they are flashbacks? Possibility that it is a narrative form of music video.

Sub-genres of Heavy Metal

I found atleast 25 sub-genre's of Heavy Metal music, there must be many, many more.

Black Metal - High pitched vocals, similarities to rap.

Celtic Metal - Music mixing traditional Irish folk music with that of Heavy Metal.

Doom Metal - Downturned tempos and thick, heavy musical sounds. Influenced by Black Sabbath.

Gothic Metal - Flamboyant/Melodramatic, with a dark dress sense, vampiric, devils, bats, etc.

Grindcore - often growling in the background and high pitched screams. High Speed tempo and distorted guitar sounds.

Hair Metal/Glam Metal - traditional hard rock music mixed with Punk Rock, strong emphasis on a certain style of dress, long back combed hair, studs, spandex, etc.

Metalcore - Extreme Metal and Hardcore Punk music. Sepultura and Integrity are good examples.

Nu-Metal - Mixture of Grunge and Hip-Hop

Power Metal - Found in mainland Europe, Brazil and Japan. Lighter music with melodies and keyboard music prominent.

Progressive Metal - Guitar lead sounds with complex and unusual structures.

New Wave of British Heavy Metal - Harsher sounds, elements of Punk and a turned up tempo to traditional British Heavy Metal like Led Zep. Examples of this being Iron Maiden and Saxon.

Thrash Metal - Megadeath, Metallica. Deals with social or political issues, trying put a point across, like Megadeath's song "Peace Sells (But Who's Buying?)

Groove Metal - Hard Rock mixed with dance and hip-hop

Industrial Metal - Ministry, Godflesh, Nine Inch Nails

Pirate Metal - Scottish band Alestorm would be a good example of this, they also did a very good version of the Flower of Scotland!

Post-Metal - distorted guitar, gradual build up of the song, least amount of emphasis on vocals.

Sludge Metal - Originating from Southern states of the U.S.A., quite aggressive music, shouted rather than sung vocals and contrasting tempo's.

Speed Metal - Influenced by Motorhead, and to an extent Iron Maiden. Very fast form of metal, use of sounds that are challenging to create.

Stoner Metal - Slow music, with low guitar music. Seen as quite retro.

Avant Garde Metal - also seen as experimental metal, using unconventional sounds, instruments and structure of songs.

Christian Metal

Soft Rock/Adult-Orientated Rock/Arena Rock - Good live performances, with loud audiences participating, use of pyrotechnics, smoke bombs, etc. A lot of focus of chorus and vocal harmonies.

Funk - Red Hot Chili Pepper's is a very good example of this mixing classic heavy metal with african american originated Funk music.

Grunge - classic example would be Nirvana, the sub-genre originates from Seattle, Washington in the 1980's, the idea of heavy distorted electric guitars.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Summer Task 2010

Down Under - Men at Work
Narrative form of music video, however argueably it also had aspects of performance due to the characters within the video are singing on screen. It is lighthearted, not offensive to a younger audience and also good use of bright colours, quite comical too.
Target audience children but maybe also family? Also use of The Kookaburra Song in the song connotes younger more innocent audience, however could also be irony as the song refers to the drug 'zombie' in the first verse. Polysemic.

Father and Son - Cat Stevens
Performance, also aspects of narrative, no strong clear anchorage as to whether the people on screen are father and son or whether this is the three stages of Cat Stevens life?
Metaphorical with the Chessboard? Whitewash background connote emotionless environment?

Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Performance, but also narrative to an extent through signifiers, being more subtle than purely telling the story. Maybe also some aspects of concept? Bright colours and clothing mixed with the binary opposition of sexual theme and adult suggestive images, youth 15-34 target audience? Reminds me in some respects of Moulin Rouge similar theme and style of clothing, portrayal of characters and setting.

God Save the Queen - The Sex Pistols
Performance video, but with flashback footage which adds aspects of narrative to it, almost a sense of irony, showing Institutions and British icons like the Monarchy, Parliament, British Police Force, etc in a binary opposition to the Punk revolution. Shakey camera work, social realism within the video? More harsh and offensive, trying to make a point.

Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
US Flag is the first thing we can denote, the symbol and icon of the United States, irony here in the sense of the song being in fact anti-American to an extent and yet the Star-Spangled Banner is seen as the heroic powerful flag and liberty and freedom, and yet the song is about the US inflicting form of tyranny and oppression in the Vietnam war. Use of flashbacks and also setting up exposition, images of US industry, army, Vietman war against performance of Springsteen in concert.

Alejandro - Lady Gaga
Performance and concept, not enough clear anchorage to signify narrative. Metaphorical symbolism, dark setting, pale skin, metallic costumes. Military style of clothing and background harsh objects like spikes, blades, etc. WWII European uniform clothing. Nazi? Soviet? symbolising persecution of the gay community within the Catholic church.

Candy - Paolo Nutini
Performance and narrative style. Lighthearted, love and marriage signifiers. Blue sky, cheerful. Purity and happiness, bright colours.

Dirty Old Town - The Pogues
Performance, location changes, slight metaphorical symbolism? possibly concept?
Dull colours, street lights, traditional old fashion clothing, not uplifting, mature audience.
Emphasis on the instruments throughout.

You Were Always On My Mind - Pet Shop Boys
Performance and concept. Three shot in a chauffeur driven car, front seat passenger is singer/performer.
Song doesn't seem to connect to images, concept, very 1980's. Styles and costumes and colours.
Pop music and lighthearted.

Three Little Birds - Bob Marley and the Wailers
Narrative/Concept. Black/White linking to social issues? racism? oppression? connoting skin colour? rivalry.
Cartoon images, cheerful song. Young audience, children on screen. Deeper meaning to a happy song?

Rough Ideas for Coursework:

Wild World - Cat Stevens
Could make this quite lighthearted mixed with maybe flashbacks and a binary opposition of more concerning issues. Maybe political? Religious? World poverty, war, freedom, natural disaster, etc.
Could make it about love and loss.

Wherever you will go - The Calling
Nice fast paced music, concept/narrative could work nicely with flashbacks to performance.
Image of a man running through streets, adrenaline making him run for love. Flashbacks of him with his girlfriend being happy contrasting with him being worked up and upset, feeling hurt.

Whiskey In the Jar - Thin Lizzy
Good hearty song, could easily be a nice narrative form of music video with flashback to performance, but also could work well in a concept style. Could add in aspects of Irish culture mixed with modern and traditional.