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Music Video: An Introduction

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Music Video: An Introduction

  1. 1. ADVANCED PORTFOLIO IN MEDIA Music Promo Video: An Introduction
  2. 2. An Overview of Key Terms
  3. 3. Major Record Labels   The music industry is dominated by four multi national corporations; • Universal • Sony Music • Warner Brothers • EMI These are referred to as ‘The Majors’. The majority of these are backed by conglomerates with stakes in other industries such as; Film, TV and Electronics.
  4. 4. Major-Independents        Most of these ‘Majors’ own, or license, a series of smaller subsidiary companies in order to reach different kinds of audiences in different kinds of genre. Columbia Island Syco RCA Virgin, These companies are known as „majorindependents’.
  5. 5. Independents     There are a huge number of small companies with little or no financial connection to the majors. These companies often concentrate on a small number of acts, within specialised niches in the industry. These are called ‘Independents’. An example of a highly successful independent is „Domino Records‟. It is often that record labels begin as independents, but then are bought by a major and then become major-independents.
  6. 6. Types of Music Artists can be divided into two clear categories  Organic  Synthetic
  7. 7. Organic   The term ‘Organic’ is used to describe bands where the music comes first, they make the kind of music they want to make and then the record labels (if signed) try and sell this music to the correct market segment. ‘Organic’ music often appeals to a niche, but can appeal to a mass audience too.
  8. 8. Synthetic    The „Synthetic’ refers to the „Xfactor‟ methodology, and it is the record labels that sit in the driving seat. A gap in the market is identified, and then it is exploited by the development of music, and often the artist, to suit this gap. Money is the ultimate goal in this operation. Acts such as; The Spice Girls, McFly and JLS are good examples of “manufactured” artists.
  9. 9. Synergy    The Music Video exists as only one strand of a multimedia campaign, and is just one way in which a song is promoted. The industry as a whole has a complex relationship with a number of different media and purposes; Radio, TV, Print media, Film, New Media. There is often a clear sense of synergy across a number of platforms.
  10. 10. Music Promo video What is the purpose of a music promo video? 
  11. 11. Purpose of a Music Promo video Promotional  Extension of income  Extension of outlets (music channel, direct DVD and CD sales, website, download)  Synergy (films, TV programmes) 
  12. 12. Promotional Advertisement  Illustrates the song  Appeals to a visual audience  Expresses an individual‟s emotions  Tells a story  Markets an image  Creates a brand 
  13. 13. Creating a Brand    Often artists/groups are sold as a brand and the music video acts as a product of the brand, in the hope that the audience will be inspired to “buy into the brand” For some artists the ‘image’ is of greater importance than the quality of the product. The Spice Girls are a good example of this. Other times it is the song and the meaning of the song that is sold, and the artists ‘image’ has little to do with the sale of the song.
  14. 14. Marketing an image Compare the two artists  Lady Gaga  Adele  Bad Romance   http://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=qrO4YZeyl0I Someone Like You  http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=hLQl3WQQo Q0
  16. 16. Stars As Constructions    Dyer believes artists are constructed through artificial images such as advertising, films, magazines and music. He claims that consumers prefer artists to convey their true emotions themselves and not be groomed by record labels who try to create a fake image for them. A “real” artist can use this as their unique selling point.
  17. 17. Industry And Audiences    Richard Dyer also believes that stars are manufactured to make money for their record labels by appealing to target audiences. As a result of this record labels have to market different artists to cater for certain target audiences as there are both niche and whole markets. Examples of record labels doing this can be seen through Mirror branding, both Rage Against The Machine and Joe McElderry are signed to Sony Music.
  18. 18. Ideology And Culture    Another one of Dyers beliefs within his Star Theory is that artists become trendsetters in the sense that audience members will imitate hairstyles and artists clothing styles. Artists may have certain religious beliefs and cultural values that audiences may also pick up on if shared by the artist. The internet has meant audiences now have far greater access to the “personal” lives of stars.
  19. 19. Character And Personality    Presented as 'real' human beings Stars support hegemony/dominant ideology of their time/ generation - glorified versions of 'us' Stars are representations of the contradictions/reinforced ideas of the music industry.
  20. 20. Extension of outlets     Music channel Direct DVD and CD sales Website Download
  21. 21. The End of the Music Channel?     With competition from a variety of online platforms, music channels are no longer the strong promotional platforms they once were. In many ways the music video channel is in danger of becoming defunct and irrelevant. Online streaming and downloads mean that music videos are instantly accessible. Gone are the days of TOTP!
  22. 22. Extension of Income Promotes the artist/single/album  Persuades audience to buy – CD/download  Raises the audience awareness or profile of the artist/group  Product placement e.g. Christine Aguillera & perfume (Not Myself Tonight) 
  23. 23. Synergy    Films TV programmes Definition – works to the mutual benefit of both film/TV programme and artist  Sky Fall  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StJLvbPIvTw  Military Wives  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hR6O7VxKaQ  Why is synergy a good thing ?
  24. 24. Music Promo video How might we measure the success criteria of a music promo video? 
  25. 25. Music Promo video Word of mouth  Number of hits on Youtube  Newspaper articles/TV reports  How many times shown on television  Amount of publicity  Downloads (legal/illegal)  Charts  CD sales 
  27. 27. Key features  Andrew Goodwin in Dancing in the Distraction Factory (1992) has identified the following features of music videos:
  28. 28. Key features       Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (eg stage performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band). There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). There is a relationship between music and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close-ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style). There is frequently reference to the notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. There is often intertextual reference (to films, TV programmes, other music videos, etc).
  29. 29. Key features    It is also worth considering: Whether the video is primarily performancebased, narrative-based or concept-based and how elements of each are used in it. You can use Goodwin‟s categories to analyse music videos for yourself.
  30. 30. Relation of Visuals to Song Music videos can use a set of images to illustrate the meaning of lyrics & genre, this is the most common This is where the meaning of the song is completely ignored This is similar to repeatability. Meanings and effects are manipulated and constantly shown through the video and drummed into our vision There are three ways in which music videos work to promote a song
  31. 31. Narrative & Performance Songs fail to give us the complete narrative! We only tend to get a gist of the meaning of the song and then tend to make up our own idea of what is being told. Goodwin explains that music videos should ignore common narrative. It is important in their role of advertising. Music videos should have coherent repeatability. Narrative and performance work hand in hand. It makes it easier for the audience to watch over and over without losing interest. The artist acting as both narrator & participant helps to increase the authenticity however the lip synch and other mimed actions remains the heart of music videos. The audience need to believe this is real.
  32. 32. What makes it memorable?   To make an artistic statement – e.g. Talking Heads „Once in a Lifetime‟ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1wg1DNHbNU  Ok Go – “Here it Goes Again” “White Knucklers” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHlJODYBLKs  Lady Gaga “Born This Way”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FrqwZyKw  Why are these good examples of a promo video? How do they achieve a range of different promotional aspects?   
  33. 33. How does a Music video get made?
  34. 34. Case study 1 Director – Jamie Thraves  Made short films at University  Used award-winning short film as a „calling card‟ to get a „foot in the door‟ with the video production company Factory Films  Began by shooting three very low budget music videos – cost about £5,000 each 
  35. 35. Case study 1       This is how the process works: A „Commissioner‟ from a record label sends a track to 5-10 directors The directors then each submit a treatment This stage is unpaid The director who has submitted the „best‟ treatment is then commissioned to make the video Only then is the director paid
  36. 36. Case study 1 As can be seen for many directors in the business it is a precarious existence where their livelihood is dependent on each commission  Jamie Thraves submitted treatments for his two best known videos and each was accepted 
  37. 37. Case study 1 1.   2.   Radiohead – Just £100,000 budget Shot in three days Coldplay – The Scientist £200,000 budget Shot in three days
  38. 38. Case study 1 Radiohead Just Coldplay The Scientist
  39. 39. Case study 1         Jamie Thraves – most recent video – Japanese Popstars – Song for Lisa Currently videos cost about £20,000 Shooting time – 2 days Jamie has used the music videos to get into the film business Has so far shot three features: The Low Down The Cry of the Owl Treacle Jr
  40. 40. Case study 1 Jamie‟s Tips  Use the lyrics but try not to be too literal  Most importantly – go with the emotion of the lyrics 
  41. 41. CASE STUDY 2  Emil Nava  Began as a runner for film production companies Worked for Blink Productions Now freelances for OB Management  
  42. 42. CASE STUDY 2    After working as a runner graduated to Assistant Director (A.D.) where he would manage the video shoots He signed to Academy – who are the biggest music video production company Then worked for Between the Eyes and now works mainly for Pulse
  43. 43. CASE STUDY 2  Has now begun to make adverts, which generally have a far higher budget and production values but which allow for less creative freedom
  44. 44. CASE STUDY 2    At his busiest Emil has made 24 music videos in one year When he began shooting videos for independent labels the budget would be as low as £5,000 to £10,000 His most expensive video to date has been for Jessie J and the budget was £160,000
  45. 45. CASE STUDY 2         Emil‟s first budget was for the band Kid British and the track Our House Budget - £20,000 Location – Manchester Cast – local people 1 day for filming 2/3 days for editing 10 days pre-production Demonstrates the very tight timescales involved
  46. 46. CASE STUDY 2  Kid British – Our House
  47. 47. CASE STUDY 2 – OB Management       OB Management work as agents for music video directors Their aim is to: Nurture talent Work with production companies Work with record labels Match the right director to the right artists
  48. 48. CASE STUDY 2       Some of the Production Companies that OB work with are: Pulse Films Rocket Agile Films Friends Wonda
  49. 49. CASE STUDY 2 – Emil Nava‟s Videos  Paloma Faith ‘30 Minute Love Affair' Client Sony - Director Emil Nava  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0O2DfNRxv4 
  50. 50. CASE STUDY 2  Paloma Faith 'Picking Up the Pieces' Client Sony - Director Emil Nava Cost - £80,000  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijel4Vcqd9g  
  51. 51. CASE STUDY 2  Ed Sheeran 'Lego House' Client Atlantic - Director Emil Nava  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4BLVznuWnU 
  52. 52. CASE STUDY 2  Jessie J 'Do It Like A Dude' Client Island - Director Emil Nava Cost - £25,000  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOf3kYtwASo  
  53. 53. CASE STUDY 2  Rita Ora 'RIP' Client RocNation - Director Emil Nava  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1l9WST5lXM 
  54. 54. CASE STUDY 2  Ed Sheeran 'You Need Me' Client Atlantic - Director Emil Nava Cost - £35,000  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXvzzTICvJs  
  55. 55. CASE STUDY 2  Jessie J 'Price Tag' Client Island Director Emil Nava  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMxX-QOV9tI  
  56. 56. CASE STUDY 2      Emil’s Top Tip Use Extreme Close Up on faces wherever possible Do not shoot whole of video in medium shot/long shot Example – Sinead O‟Connor – Nothing Compares to U Godley & Crème - Cry
  57. 57. CASE STUDY 3     Alex Southam Also freelances for OB Management Trained as a lawyer but decided to go in a new direction and work in film Began making music videos to learn „the trade‟
  58. 58. CASE STUDY 3   Has worked for Agile Films who describe him on their website as: „Alex Southam is an exciting new talent, working in a dizzying variety of styles across live action and animation. Entirely selftaught, his inventiveness and creativity have caught the eye with a series of diverse promos for the likes of the Walkmen, Alt+J and Lianne La Havas. Alex joined Agile in August 2012.‟
  59. 59. CASE STUDY 3      To begin with Southam undertook all the tasks on his videos Camera Lighting Editing Now uses a Director of Photography
  60. 60. CASE STUDY 3    Southam likes the format of music videos as, „you can try new techniques and can have real artistic freedom‟ He is less keen on commercials as they allow for „much less freedom‟ He uses Vimeo to showcase his videos – this is becoming an increasingly important platform as it is considered to have „higher status‟ than YouTube
  61. 61. CASE STUDY 3      His breakthrough came with the video Tesselate for Alt J Budget £10,000 1 day shoot Large cast Special effects – used AfterEffects  http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Qg6BwvDcAN g
  62. 62. CASE STUDY 3         Chase & Status – Lost and Not Found £50,000 budget Filmed Los Angeles Used Steadicam Filmed at 36 frames per second then slowed down Influenced by Massive Attack‟s Unfinshed Sympathy Went for an early 1990s VHS video look Only three shots in whole video – can you spot the edits?
  63. 63. CASE STUDY 3  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw1nmEQ7IM