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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Rap Conventions - Joe Jones

We then started to observe and note down common themes and conventions to create the quintessential idea of the 'rap' video. This is what we concluded.

We traced rap and hip-hop back to its earliest forms and watched the videos of the influential groups such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. We started to notice some patterns in the videos; firstly, performance is always incorporated directly into the narrative of the song i.e. they are not separated. Secondly, there is always a headstrong gang behind the main rapper in all of the videos we watched. This is something we are certainly keen to emulate. Thirdly, there is a lot of aggression and passion with various hand movements towards the camera. We will attempt to do something similar to this, but we will exaggerate it heavily in order to create comedy, as this is our intention.

In this video by the Beastie Boys, they portray a quite hilarious narrative following the night of three geeks who decide to throw a party. The party gets gatecrashed, and the cooler, lower class citizens invade the vicinity. The idea of humour in a rap video was something that appealed to us greatly and also this idea of the suburban and the 'ghetto' clash, as this it is a humorous concept, and one we are very interested in, as residents of middle-class areas.

Finally, we looked at this video by Puff Daddy, Bad Boys For Life. In this video, again we see the stark contrast between the middle class surburbs and the 'Ghetto' so to speak. The video depicts a Bus offloading the 'gangsters' in a stereotypically middle class American suburb and they interrupt the peace and tranquility of the area and make it their own. As i've already mentioned, this contrast between the Ghetto and the Suburbs, however we are going to change it slightly in that the Middle Class are going to try to be 'Gangsters', to questionable success. This will form the crux of our Music Video.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Dizzee Rascal - Ned Keating

Dizzee Rascal is a British rappper who has been active since 2000. Originally part of the 13-strong Roll Deep Crew, who have since gone on to have their own success, Dizzee left the band in 2003 to pursue a solo career and was offered an additional solo contract by XL recordings. In the same year, he released his debut album titled "Boy in da Corner", which gained critical acclaim and peaked at 23 on the UK album chart. The album was later awarded the prestigious Mercury Prize, making Dizzee the youngest ever winner. In 2004, Dizzee won the NME Award For Innovation. In September 2004, Dizzee released his second album, "Showtime", which entered the album charts at number . 2007 saw Dizzee's third album, titled 'Maths + English", which was was also nominated for a Mercury Prize but lost out to Klaxons. Dizzee released his fourth album "Tongue N' Cheek" which contained four number-one singles and topped the UK R&B Album chart for two weeks.

The song "Fix Up, Look Sharp' was Dizzee's second song released from his debut album. It was Dizzee's second top 40 hit but the first to peak inside the top 20. It was released on 18th August 2003. It spent four weeks within the UK Top 40. It was released on the XL Records label, who release songs traversing a wide variety of genres such as indie-rock, rap, and dance. The song heavily samples the main beat and vocals from "The Big Beat' by Billy Squier.

Dizzee is signed to record label XL Recordings. Set up in 1989 by Tim Palmer, Richard Russell and Nick Halkes, it originally specified in dance and rave music. However, since the late 1990s, the label have expanded into other genres such as freak-folk, alternative rock, Uk Garage and hip-hop. XL Recordings have developed into one of the most commercial and influential record labels in the UK.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp - Ned Keating

The song 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' was recorded in 2002 and then later released during 2003. The song was released under the record label XL videos and was produced by Dizzee Rascal. The genre of the song is grime,funk and could be considered to be very popular within the general public. The song was released under the album 'Boy in da corner'.

The current music video that is used for the song 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' consist of purely Dizzee Rascal and some song lyrics edited onto the screen. The music video at the moment shows Dizzee Rascal dancing around acting hard and trying to portray his presence of 'looking sharp'. Throughout the music video there are lines and patterns running through the background to give off an original and different style to the music video. Also the two colours that are chosen in the music video are very contrasting. These colours are Yellow and Black and they interchange between being the primary colour and the secondary colour. Another feature that is used in the current music video is that of some of the song lyrics being shown in the background. This technique is used to emphasize the lyrics so that the audience understand them better. The song lyrics being in the background also keeps the viewer watching and keeps them intrigued and interested.

The music video that was produced by Dizzee Rascal follows many conventions in the way that there is a character trying to act like a gangster. This portrays the fact that the music videos genre in grime. Contrastingly the music video only features one person acting like a gangster where as typically there is usually a big group of people showing their presence. Due to its typical and untypical conventions the video has become very successful. The music video for the song 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' by Dizzee Rascal currently has over 4 million views on youtube which shows the video and the songs popularity within the general public.

Music Video Idea - Joe Jones

The song we are covering for our coursework is "Fix Up, Look Sharp" by Dizzee Rascal.

In our music video for this song, we will attempt to parody the rap genre through numerous methods.We will almost caricature rappers in our video by taking their most identifiable characteristics and exaggerating them before adding a posh, upper-class taste to them. For example, the "ghetto" seen in our music video will in fact be a very affluent housing area. The video will see the group involved in various scenarios where they will attempt to act hard but will instead fail rather miserably. There will also be a performance element. This will involve the group performing to the camera in a "gangster"-like way, a convention seen in many a rap video. We will once again exaggerate the actions on rap stars who perform in their videos, but over-using our arms and moving our bodies excessively.

In the first chorus, we will be lip syncing to camera whilst walking out of a private school. The in the first verse, we will be wandering around the previously mentioned affluent area doing 'rap' actions with a posh boy twist. For example, we will be drinking Ribena from wine glasses instead of swigging alcohol from a bottle. Then we will revert back to the lip syncing in various locations for the chorus before starting the second verse, which will involve the group again carrying out 'gangster' actions in far from 'gangster locations'. We will use a variety of shots ranging from extreme close-ups to extreme long shots. Each shot and angle will be specifically thought out in order to obtain the maximum meaning for the video. or example, if we were looking to show some form of intimidation then their would be little point in using a neutral angle.

Working Process - Brainstorming - Joe Jones

Coming up with ideas for the music video was a very difficult process. At first, it was four boys all guns blazing, shouting each other down and effectively going nowhere. We decided a sensible place to start was to list our preferred genres of music, as we felt we wanted to know the style well in order to create a believable video, adhering to the specific codes and conventions. After listing these, we couldn't decide between Hip-Hop/Rap and the relatively new 'spoof' or 'parody' genre, made famous by such artists as Weird Al Yankovic and the Lonely Island. After a lot of deliberation, we decided that we should perhaps combine these two, and create a comedic video for a Rap song, in which we would spoof the genre itself. After this, we had to decide upon an appropriate song. We researched a number of Rap and Hip Hop artists who regularly used comedy in their videos; artists such as Eminem, Beastie Boys, P Diddy and the like. We also started to brainstorm ideas to create comedy in a rap video, and we came up with ideas such as using the elderly or middle class bourgeoisie as our protagonists, and using surburban settings.
Eventually, we narrowed it down to two songs; Bad Boys For Life by Puff Daddy, or Fix Up Look Sharp by Dizzee Rascal. We agreed to stay British and proud, and so selected UK grime sensation Dizzee Rascal's anthem.

Coldplay - The Scientist - Martin Woodhatch

The song that I have chosen to evaluate is Coldplay – The Scientist. This song has many different conventions of a typical music video. This is because it uses a variety of shots to portray the mood of the song; this is due to the scene as well. The scene of the song is very dark and depressing which is very much like the song. The song is not upbeat and exciting but is more focused on the lyrics of the song. The video matches the song due to the fact that the lyrics often talk about reversing something or rewinding time. This is in tune with the theme if the video as it is being played in reverse.

The fact that the video is in reverse means that it is not a typical music video as a generic video would be done in real time and not be in reverse. The fact that the music video is in reverse makes it compelling to watch as you want to see what will happen next. This is due to the fact that the viewers are likely not to have seen many music videos in reverse meaning that they are intrigued and interested. The fact that the video is in reverse makes it seem far more appealing to the viewer and also gives the audience a ‘Hook’. The ‘Hook’ is the part in the video which gets people watching and interested in it. This means that if somebody was describing this video to another person they would talk about the video being in reverse.

In conclusion this music video has many typical conventions meaning that it is relatively appealing to the audience. Also the viewers can see that the video very much relates to the song meaning that they can understand the reasoning behind the video further. This video is considered appealing due to the ‘Hook’ which is very generic within music videos.

Music Video Analysis- Here it Goes Again by OK Go - Joe Jones

The Music video i have chosen to analyze is OK Go's rather infamous video 'here it goes again'.
The video features the band performing a dance routine on four treadmills. It breaks a number of conventions in that:

. There is only one shot used in the entire video; a long shot depicting the band frolicking on the treadmills
. There is no dramatic lighting used whatsoever.
. There is no narrative/storyline at all

What I like about it is the sort of 'Home Video' effect it has, which makes it incredibly endearing as a video. It doesn't take itself too seriously and essentially almost mocks itself, all part of its appeal. Also, the four machines are nicely positioned facing each other so that the video has a beautiful symmetry to it. All of these factors made it very accessible and relatable for a working class audience and contribute to make a superb music video, and this is it exactly why it is one of the most watched music video on YouTube with over 50 million views!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Do's and Don'ts - James Wilson

When creating a music video there are various factors that need to be considered.

.Know the groups limitations
.Use costumes (Mise en scene)
.Plan locations (Variety)
.Have an idea and commit to it
.Consider the audience reaction

.Go over budget
.Wear school uniform
.Stay in chararcter when filming (don't be shy)
.Forget about approoriate lighting
.Over use material(shots)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Junior Senior "Move Your Feet" - James Wilson

Junior Senior's "Move your feet" is a music video which subverts from contemporary music conventions. The video is all animation which subverts from contemporoary music conventions as there is no perfomance from the artist himself and there is no narrative in the video which is now common in contemporary music videos. With the video being completely different to other music videos it gives it a hook, which means that the audience remembers the song for its video as it is fun and different. With it being animated it still follows contemporary music conventions. With there being fast cuts between each scene of animation so that it keeps up with the pace of the song. The video is supposed to fun, as the animation which is used is random as it doesnt tie in with the lyrics.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Kayne West "Power" -Music Video Analysis - Ned Keating

Kanye West's Power is an extremely short video in terms of length, as it is only 1:42 in length. This is half the length of many contemporary music videos. This the first of many contemporary music conventions that the video subverts.
Due to its short length, the video only covers the first verse of the song; music videos generally cover all verses of the song it accompanies.
The video mainly uses just one shot constantly zooming out to reveal the scene. Again, this is different to many contemporary music videos, which use a wide variety of shot types. Also, the video does not include either a performance from the artist or a basic narrative. Only when you research the video further do you find that the video is full of symbolism.
In terms of movement, the video is almost stationary save for a few slow-motion upper-body movements periodically. This again subverts the conventions of a typical music video as they either include some form of dancing or other form of movement, such as walking.
Given that is subverts so many conventions of contemporary music videos, Kanye West does not label the song a music video, instead calling it a "moving painting".
The video does, however, include some conventions of contemporary music videos. For example, it has a hook - "the video where Kanye West has glow-in-the-dark eyes".
It is also compelling as you are intrigued and want to keep watching as a result of the videos mysterious and unconventional nature.
The video also makes use of dramatic lighting and is aesthetically pleasing, both of which help endear the song to the audience and will hopefully let it sell more copies

The History Of Music Videos - Joe Jones

The music video originated in the 1930s and 1940s. During this period of time, the music industry suffered an almost fatal blow from the invention of the television. To combat this, there was the creation of 'soundies'. 'Soundies' showed bands and artists lip syncing their songs on a screen. The reasoning for the 'soundie' was to counteract the television and offer another form of entertainment.

During the 1950s, the world-famous Elvis Presley released the song 'Love Me Tender' which accompanied the 1956 film of the same name.

The idea of a performance within a film started to become commonplace during the decade. Also during the 1950s, there was the rise of the teenagers, which coincided with the rise of Elvis Presley.

The 1960s saw two major bands fight it out for record sales - The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The Beatles followed the same route as Elvis by releasing a song and film under the same title - A Hard Day's Night.

The 1960s also saw the invention of 'Concert Films', which included live performances and interviews with the band. To this day, this is something bands release often as a DVD feature, or even use live footage in the music promo videos themselves.

Also in the decade, The Monkees were given their own television show as a way of launching their music career, as the music industry continued to battle with the inevitable lure of the television. Musicians seemed to be saying 'if you cant beat 'em...join them'.

The 1970s saw the invention of open air rock festivals, which were often taped. Again, these helped to promote the band and offered the audiences unlimited access to their idols. Furthermore, the decade saw an increase in the amount of bands that used concert films as a way of promoting themselves.

1975 heralded a turning point for music videos with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

This promoted the band and its music in a way never before seen. At the time, it was considered a gamble as it was an untried method. However, it proved to be a successful way of promoting the song as it helped Queen to a then record 9 weeks at the top of the UK charts, thus paving the way for all other artists to begin to make these 'promotional music videos'.

In 1981, Music Television, or MTV for short, was launched in America. The main idea of MTV was to broadcast music videos into the homes of millions, which would help further promote the music of the bands and artists showcased on the channel. The first video shown on MTV was 'Money For Nothing' by Dire Straits. In 1984, MTV Europe was launched. Both of these have contributed to an increase in record sales in the past 25 years.
Michael Jackson's Thriller was a music video that subverted the conventions of a music video when it was first released. For example, at 13 minutes in length it was three times longer than some other music videos of the time. The length, along with the inclusion of dialogue and a break from the song for the narrative to continue, lead to the video being labeled by many as a short film. Another video which subverts the conventions of a music video is The Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up, which included drug use, violence and nudity, all of which lead to it eventually being banned from television.
A video that has, however, lived up to the conventions of its era it Beyonce's hit from the noughties, Crazy In Love. In the video, Beyonce is objectified as she dresses and dances provocatively, trying to catch Jay-Z's attention. This is a typical video from the hip-hop genre during the noughties as women are often viewed as objects by the men within the genre.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Conventions of a Music video - Joe Jones

During today's lesson, our group discussed the key concepts of a music video from any genre. These included a variety of shots within the music video; deciding whether the video should contain a narrative, a performance or both; ensuring the video follows the song in terms of mood, genre and timings; and, most important of all, making sure the video covers the full length of the song. After discussing these key concepts, we as a class watched several examples of music videos that had been filmed as part of a group's A2 coursework. Whilst some of the videos were a success in terms of including the key concepts of a music video, others were an unmitigated disaster. It could be said, therefore, that music videos that contain the key concepts are more likely to score higher when marked than those who didn't. We then watched a variety of music videos across several genres and tried to identify some common themes and patterns. After doing this, we compiled a list of what we perceived to be conventions of the music video;Lip syncing - imitating saying the lyrics. Performance - lots of the videos had the band/artist performing interspersed with the narrative of the videos.Costume - often ties in with the style and genre of the music.Visually AppealingFast Cuts - synonymous with the beat and pace of musicProvokes a reaction - quite a few of the videos we watched intended to have a lasting effect on the audience, for example a video we watched by the Aphex Twins called Come To Daddy, aimed solely to shock and frighten the life out of its viewers. Lack of lyrical context - often the themes in the video do not directly match the lyrics of the song.Narrative - Most of the videos we watched had a narrative/story line.Locations - appropriate locations to match either the style or genre of the artist or the narrative of the video."Hook"- A lot of the videos had a 'hook', which is a idea or theme that makes the video memorable and thus promotes the song. For example, in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', the hook is the idea that Michael Jackson's character is a zombie and transforms into one and dances with the other zombies. Humour - A few of the videos we watched brought elements of humour to their videos, to make the audience laugh and to entertain. One example is the song 'Jizz in My Pants' by the Lonely Island, which is a spoof. The video is, I think, hilarious, and helped greatly to promote the song, with over 8.8 million views on YouTube.