2. In “Dancing In The Distraction Factory”, Goodwin theorises the main characteristics and elements of the music video.
Goodwin suggests 6 features that are expected to appear within all music videos:
- There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals,
- There is a relationship between the music and the visuals,
- Demonstration of genre characteristics,
- The demands of the record label will include the need for multiple close ups of the artist alongside motifs which may
appear across the artists work,
- Frequent reference to the notion of looking and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body,
- Intertextual references.
Before creating my music video, I was able to research these themes and ideas to see their relativity to the professional music
video business. I found that a lot of the Goodwin’s characteristics were met in the genre that I considered (Indie Rock) as I
knew this would be the genre of the music video I would create.
My music video is also applicable to Goodwin’s conventions of the music video.
Goodwin suggested there was usually some “relationship between the lyrics and visuals”. Within the genre of Indie Rock it is
usually uncommon for this trait to appear often. Many Indie Rock music videos simply feature performances or narratives
including actors who are not the artist themselves. Also commonly found in Indie Rock music videos is that the video itself is
done in a documentary style, merely focussing on the daily life of the artist. This often means a lack of lip syncing or mirroring
of the lyrics through the narrative.
In my music video, there are some occasions where there is a clear relationship between the lyrics and the visuals. Firstly, this
can be seen in the first line of the song which states, “From walking home, and talking loads…”, where my music video displays
two characters, via a wide shot, walking hand in hand through the outskirts of a wooded area. This clear link suggests that the
characters are in fact walking home, which is followed by a shot of the characters at the dinner table, further substantiating this
Secondly, this can be seen when the lyrics state, “I used to recognise myself, its funny how reflections change”. At this point in
my music video the camera cuts to a long shot of the male character looking at himself in a mirror, one that is seen again later
in the video with both the male and female character in front of it. This creates a link as it suggests that the male doesn’t
recognise who he is anymore, and that to him his reflection has changed since the apparent break up of his relationship.
My music video uses this aspect of Goodwin’s conventions and adheres to its ideas.
Arguably, my music video develops this characteristic. Although my music video adheres to this feature in the sense that it
cuts to the time of the music, it also subverts or develops it by purposely leaving in shots longer than what would be
The audience would expect that the cutting between shots would fit naturally with the music and that the shots would all
be equal in length. This is where my music video begins to develop this feature suggested by Goodwin. Although some of
my shots adhere to this in order to keep flow and rhythm within the music video, other are slightly more extended which
generates a change in pace throughout the music video, particularly when the mood changes from content to displeasure.
By doing this, I am effectively keeping the audience engaged as they cannot expect when the music video will move onto
the next shot. It also allows the audience to engage more with the narrative, which is already none linear, as they move
differently according to the mood of the narrative itself.
This is most notable when my music video hits the sections where the relationship is breaking down. The shots flick from
the male angrily talking on the phone to shots of items of the couple and memories they had created. At this point the
argument shots become the primary focus with the shots of the couples items becoming shorter and less significant,
following the tone of the song and the narrative. Therefore developing Goodwin’s ideology to fit with the genre and tone
of the song.
Goodwin also suggested that music videos should demonstrate genre characteristics. Although this is generic, Goodwin is
suggesting that the music video echoes the general ideas of the music’s genre. Within the genre of Indie Rock, popular
characteristics can include live performances of the artist/ group and documentary style videos. This can be seen in 30
Seconds To Mars video for their single ‘’Closer To The Edge’’. Often these videos include panning into the audience to
suggest a sense of a personal atmosphere and connection for the viewer at home. A mixture of narrative and performance
is also common in this genre, however the performance usually outweighs the amount of narrative seen.
Mise- en- scene is also a common feature for the Indie Rock genre. Often the artist will radiate and portray a message
through their use of clothing, props, decoration, location and make up etc. This message allows the audience to engage
with the artist creating a sense of personal connection and adoration for the individual.
My music video challenges this idea as it does not include any live performance what so ever. The video also does not
include a documentary style theme so therefore can be argued to subvert this feature of Goodwin’s convention theory.
However, my music video does include narrative, but this can also be said to subvert the theory as it does not get told
alongside a performance, but instead a lone narrative told in a non-linear fashion. My music video instead follows a story
of a relationship which is unlikely for professional Indie Rock music videos. This can also be said to develop the ideas of
Goodwin as it shows how artists in modern times may be more likely to defy the usual conventions of genre and push the
bounds of traditional characteristics within the given genre. Similarly, the mise- en –scene in my music video does not
portray any particular message besides the couple being in a loving relationship before it’s break down.
The fourth feature suggested by Goodwin is the fact that the demands of the record label will include the need for multiple close
ups and motifs across the artists work. Stereotypically, the Indie Rock genre does adhere to this in order to suggest a personal
engagement with the audience, allowing the audience to feel exactly what they believe the artist was experiencing at this time or
through the lyrics they are currently singing. Extreme close ups often aid this experience along side similar motifs echoed
throughout their work and different media sources/platforms. This creates a synergy that allows the audience to feel emotionally
connected to the artist and maintain their interest in their work allowing for more music video views and record sales. These
motifs make the artist easy to identify without necessarily listening to their music religiously.
My music video uses the idea as there are multiple close ups of the male character playing the role of the artist. The artist can be
seen to have several close ups including close ups when lip syncing and when featured alone in the narrative. These close ups, if in
the professional industry, would be a vital request of the demands of the record label as it is this that often allows the audience to
create these personal connections and feel as they know the artist well, making them more likely to purchase items related to the
artist, generating profit for the record label. This is similar for the demand of motifs to be across all aspects of the artists work. A
popular motif, for example, would be the unusual clothing of Lady Gaga or the hat of James Bay. The motif however could instead
be through all social media and promotional platforms as seen with my ancillary. Across my CD covers, booklet and website, the
motif of black and white and scenes of nature can be identified, making it easier for these to be associated with the artist.
Goodwin also suggests frequent reference to the notion of looking and voyeuristic treatment of the female body.
Within the Indie Rock genre this is less popular, but does however still occur. An example of this would be in The
1975’s “Robbers” video where specific camera angles and actions are purposely included to make the girl seem
desirable and ideal to the male character. This is done as music videos often present women from the view of Laura
Mulvey’s Male Gaze Theory that suggests that media is portrayed through the view of the heterosexual male.
Goodwin’s characteristic fits in with this idea well.
My music video does not treat the female body in this way. Despite the fact there is a male featured in the video, I
would argue that my music video does not include the voyeuristic view of the heterosexual male. I feel that in this
sense, my music video has outgrown this feature of Goodwin’s theory, although I do not believe his view of this to
be outdated or incorrect. My music video could be argued to be seen from a females point of view as it views the
emotional side of a relationship much more than a male would stereotypically view is from. In this way my music
video can be seen to develop Goodwin’s idea by suggesting an opposing view.
Finally, Goodwin suggests that there are intertextual references within music videos. For example, in Robbie Williams “You
Know Me” video, the intertextual reference links to Alice in Wonderland due to the fact that Robbie Williams is dressed up
as the rabbit from Wonderland. Similarly in Mcfly’s “Five Colours In Her Hair” video there are intertextual references to a
live television show in which Mcfly feature where they can be seen to enter the female’s house through the television and
In my music video I adhere to this. Throughout my music video, the male character can be seen to be interacting with his
phone and engaging with television. Firstly, the character can be seen to be texting which makes the story seem more real
for the audience who will engage in this activity often. This modern form of technology can be considered every day life for
much of the music video’s audience so therefore the characters interaction with it will make the experience of watching to
video feel relatable and familiar. Secondly, the character can be seen to be having a phone call which has the same affect.
Thirdly, the male character is seen to be watching television which is a large hobby of a lot of the age group of my target
audience, again making it a familiar aspect of life, allowing the audience to fully commit to and understand the narrative.