1. Andrew Goodwin –
Music Video Theorist
Andrew Goodwin’s six characteristics of a music video:
2. 1. Demonstrate Genre Characteristics
Goodwin’s theory states that, each genre of music video has its own set of characteristics to
For example, Indie/Rock music video’s usually include both a narrative (that may or may not include the
artist) as well live stage performances of the band and a mixture of greyscale and colour. Or Hip-
Hop/Rap music video’s often revolve around the artist being surrounded by wealth and luxury.
A Music Video that demonstrates the first of Andrew Goodwin’s conventions is ‘Daydreaming’ by
Paramore. The music video follows two fans on their journey to see the band play live in London, during
this it shows the band’s live stage performance with cuts that suit the pace of the song and switches
between greyscale and colour.
3. 2. Relationship between Music and Visuals
Goodwin’s theory states that, the visuals must match the music; often by taking the tone and atmosphere
of the song and extracting them into the music video.
For example, the original song may feature heavy emphasis on instruments, so a guitar solo or an entire
band playing their instruments in one shot is highly likely to appear. If the instruments play at a low pitch
it’ll likely effect the tone and atmosphere of the song and make the video dark and distorted. An up-beat
song is likely to include various dancers and consequently make the tone and atmosphere cheery
A Music Video that demonstrates the second of Andrew Goodwin’s conventions is ‘Murder Mitten’ by I
SEE STARS. The music video’s atmosphere and tone is rather dark and is demonstrated with low lighting
and distorted camera footage. As well as instances of the band just playing their instruments.
4. 3. Relationship between Lyrics and Visuals
Goodwin’s theory states that, the visuals must match the lyrics; often by taking the literal meaning of the
lyrics and applying them to the music video. The lyrics also likely have deeper meaning which can be
realised by the audience after further inspection of the visuals. Consequently, the viewer is more likely to
understand the meaning of the music video due to the relationship.
A Music Video that demonstrates the third of Andrew Goodwin’s conventions is ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry.
The simile ‘firework’ is used as a central point of meaning in the music video and is visually seen on
people who have overcome a social dilemma. The theme of a firework is constantly referenced in the
song and in the video too: ‘You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine. Just own the night like the 4th of
July’ ‘As you shoot across the sky’; Come on, let your colours burst […] You're gonna leave 'em all in awe,
awe, awe’. This allows the meaning of the song to be much more clearly identifiable to the audience.
5. 4. Demands of the Record Label
Goodwin’s theory states that, despite whatever the meaning of the song or music video may be, a
record label must profit from the release of a music video. Therefore, the music video will include lots of
close-ups of the artist and the artist may develop a motif that reoccurs throughout their work (e.g.
another music video or album art).
A Music Video that demonstrates the fourth of Andrew Goodwin’s conventions is ‘Love The Way You Lie’
by Eminem ft. Rihanna. The music video includes vast amounts of close-ups of both artists despite the
narrative between the couple, who are continuously fighting about their relationship. Unsurprisingly, a
majority of the video is of only the two artists (predominately Eminem), in an attempt to advertise
themselves and their music (as well as the record label).
6. 5. The Notion of Looking (Particularly
Voyeurism in Women)
Goodwin’s theory states that, often the artist will look directly to the screen (or through an object such as
a mirror), to make a connection with the audience. Although, in some cases this is done in the form of
voyeurism. In that, the artist (highly likely to be a female) looks to screen to sexually arouse the viewer.
A Music Video that demonstrates the fifth of Andrew Goodwin’s conventions is ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley
Cyrus. The first shot of the music video is Miley Cyrus’ eye contact with the camera, this reoccurs
throughout the video; through this she makes an early connection between herself and the viewer.
Voyeurism plays a large part within the music video, as Miley Cyrus often stares at the camera whilst she
swings from side to side, barely clothed or naked on a wrecking ball. She also looks to the camera when
she’s laying the rubble. This is done in the music video to show two sides of Miley we must identify but also
differentiate: we have the innocent and pure Miley as well as the seductive and dangerous Miley.
7. 6. Intertextual References
Goodwin’s theory states that, sometimes music videos reference other media texts. This can be done to
give greater meaning to the music video or to give a greater understanding to the audience.
A Music Video that demonstrates the sixth of Andrew Goodwin’s conventions is ‘This Ain't A Scene, It's An
Arms Race’ by Fall Out Boy. Various references to the band’s previous music videos are shown at the
funeral of bassist Pete Wentz (in the music video); these references include: the teenage girl from ‘Grand
Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy’, the vampire from ‘A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More "Touch
Me“’, Pete’s date from ‘Dance, Dance’ and the deer-boy from ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’. These
references are likely to indicate the death of older videos along with their band member.