Wednesday, 6 April 2011
I mentioned Goodwin's theories in a much earlier post and now i am going to apply his theories into our music video to see just how right he was.
"The creation of character identities for stars provides a point of identification for the audience/spectator which is especially important when lyrics often lack depth."
Right from the start we instantly produce an identity, clearly displayed on the drum kit pan shot. At this very early stage the audience doesn't know who t
his identity is yet but they are aware of the name.
We then produce a character related to the name at around 10 seconds when t
he lead singer starts. The audience now knows a little bit more; they know the name of the band and the picture of a face related to it. We haven't put a full band shot in front of the name on the drum kit at the start because that is far too much information for the audience to take in at the start, we wanted it to be fed them gradually. They have quite a lot of information at this point despite not even hearing any of the lyrics yet.
Then we finally reveal the whole band with the name clearly displayed at the back in the centre of the screen and the audience can now see who everyone is, what everyone plays and what they look like. It is at this stage that they start to gain some sense of personality which they can be identified by. This is exactly what Goodwin is trying to say; that identity has to be established for the video to have any effect on the audience, they need to know who they are listening to. Also the long shot is very simple, the screen is split up into 3 sections and there isn't a lot to distract them as shown in the picture below.
Also their costumes are very casual which makes them seem more like ordinary people rather than hip hop rock stars which a lot of bands do today to make them easier to relate to and in the action of trying to deter away from an image, they have in fact created one. They tried to deter away from likes of Lady GaGa's extravagant costumes because they don't want that sort of identity.
He also says that: The construction of stars is central to the economics of the music industry – only stars guarantee sales and long careers
This is the point that creates some confusion. The video has clearly created a star image as shown, but what makes them a "star" is how the audience perceives them. So if they are perceived well then they can guarantee sales because people like them, but to say that they will have long careers is a sweeping statement. There are hundreds of artists who have been what's known as a "one hit wonder" where the artists makes one massive hot or album and then we never hear of them again.
This song was the fourth song on the album "Only By The Night" by Kings of Leon and according to the writer 'Caleb', it is about being lonely while travelling wanting someone to cuddle. In which case this song is one that many people can relate to because even though they are living the high life, earning lots of money and travelling round the world, they still get lonely at times just like any other person.
At the start we see a combination of aerial shots and swoops over a busy illuminated city which reflects on their life styles; how they are always busy and always on the go. It reflects their life style by connoting fun and excitement with an extraordinary night life. This is the part in which the audience can't relate to because the majority of them won't be able to say that they live like that. To further highlight their stardom, we then see them stepping out of a car in glasses about to go on stage as if it was an every day thing to be playing in front of thousands of people.
The live performance is inter cut with sped up scenes of the city, the roads and cars which mirrors their busy life style, but then at the same time we simultaneously see very slow shots of them sitting in a very expensive hotel room where they are doing nothing other than sitting around looking sorry for themselves. This is literally displaying how they feel at times amongst their amazing hi profile life style. They are just like anyone else who want someone to hug when they are lonely.
The main contrast is when the singing first kicks in and the two themes physically overlap in on shot; the busy city fades out while the singer looking fed up and alone in a room begins to sing fading in. Also there are very quick visions of the main singer holding a girl; it is done quickly so that we don't get mixed up with reality. It is also important to note that the vision is done in colour yet the shots of them performing life on stage and warming up, hugging, before they go on are in black and white. This is probably the opposite to what most music videos would have if they were using visions. But in the context of this song I believe they are trying to say that in actually fact, these visions are more important and give them more of a thrill than being in a band because that's all they ever do now, every day, play for fans, but that one moment of colour and passion means the world to them. This makes them appear to be very humble which is how they always like to make them selves appear. They want audiences to be able to relate to them rather than being arrogant rock stars who think the world revolves around them despite the fact they are very wealthy.
Leave Before The lights Come On, is a narrative video telling us the story of a women who thrives off of attention and affection, who gets this by convincing men she is going to commit suicide. The main man seen in the video is her target and when he finally realises that killing herself isn't her only intention he sees sense and tells her to go away, after which she returns to the same spot we see her at the start in a fit of rage as if she is going to kill herself as she looks for her next victim, and the cycle starts again.
Arctic Monkeys often create videos which have nothing to do with the song which is in fact quite common of the Indie genre however the subject matter is quite peculiar. In this video none of the band appears in the video at any time which isn't un-heard of but it is fairly unconventional. In most narrative videos one of the band members normally
appears even if it is just for a short while.
They make no delays in introducing our main characters as they both appear in the first 10 seconds; we see the main man walking casually down a high-street in dark clothing and under dark lighting, yet we see the "suicidal" girl dressed in bright col
ours above him which is quite ironic seeing as she is the one who is a
t rock bottom and about to jump of a building.
Next we see a mid shot of a shoe falling from the sky in front of the man and as he grabs it and looks up he sees the young girl about to jump from the roof and he runs in desperation to save her so at this stage we think that we have one suicidal girl and o
ne man who is about to save her.
Once she has been saved by the hero (or as it later appears, the
victim) we are taken to a much less depressing scene, we are in a cafe with bright colours to represent how the girl now feels. She begins to flirt and her
facial expressions tell us that she is much happier and starting to fall for this man, however she also think that he likes her even though he is a married man and is just trying to cheer her up because she was upset. This is statement on an issue that many teenage boys may have actually been through with unstable teenage girls which isn't normally commented on in music because it is quite a delicate subject but the band feels that this issue has to be addressed to the public becau
se it is actually very common and can be very stressful for both parties. One can only assume that a similar kind of story has happened to one of the band members.
It feels more like a short story as opposed to a mus
ic video because there is very little variation in shot types and the narrative is in real time (almost) instead of jumping about all over the place like alot of videos which is actually typical of this genre. It is making sure that the main focus is the narrative and not the song itself. Its is also shown to be a story because there is no "on the beat" cutting, it looks more as if it may have been edited without even having the track there.
Then the atmosphere starts turn into something darker as the man realises that the girl is mental and has issues with obsession. He gives her plenty of warning
to go away until he has to forcefully tell her to go away. The cutting rate speeds up as the action builds however this change doesn't occur in the music which once again implies that this is more of a drama with a soundtrack. After the fact that he didn't want anything to do with gi
rl kicked in, she hits another state of depression and we see her running on the roof of the same building we first saw her. It looks as if she is about to jump b
ut then stops, looks down, and the story has gone back on itself as we see her how she started off in the video. It is now apparent that this girl is just an attention seeker and probably won't kill herself because she knows that there will always be fresh victims for her to suck affection from.
This video uses very little conventions seen in most music videos but uses alot of the conventions that Arctic Monkeys use in their videos. "Fake Tales Of Sanfransico"
is a very good example of another video of theirs which is in a very similar style. The only difference being the story line itself. Personally if I was making a music video for this song it wouldn
t be anything like that as think that seeing the band is quite important in a music video. However it does strongly demonstrate a common issue which isn't brought up enough in society which is partly what indie music is all about.
I have now added "Out Now" to the right hand side to one, fill up the gap, and two, it lets the audience know that it is actually out and they don't have to wait for it. I have also added a band website to the bottom so the audience knows where to find them. I think this pretty much close to my final idea now.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Carol Vernallis has her own theories about what a music video should be. She says that videos should be "quick cutting or editing on the beat ". This is one of the first things we considered when making any edit when producing our music video as I and the rest of the group agreed that this was a solid theory to stick to.
She also says that ". . . the editing in a music video works hard to ensure that no single element (the narrative, the setting, the performance, the star, the lyrics, the song) gains the upper hand" She is essentially saying that everything should be in balance and moderation to make sure that no part takes over the video and overpowers the rest. However this is quite a generic statement because some videos actually like to go for the opposite effect. In our case we have actually followed this theory and put everything in balance and moderation.
In reference to Graphic Match she says "Such an edit joins two shots through shared compositional elements such as colour and shape, irrespective of context . . . Music video can be can use graphic matches so freely because the genre has reason to draw attention to its materials and production methods: the viewer can reveal in an interesting edit, in a nice shape shared by two images, and in the cleverness of the direction and the editors work, any of which might draw us away from the narrative of a Hollywood movie. The graphic match can highlight elements of a popular song".
We have used this when cutting together our performance base however when we cut to the narrative all of the colour and shape changes which is the effect we were aiming for when making the video.
"Most music videos make such extensive use of the dolly that a static shot seems anomalous. The dolly shot keeps the video moving, it starts almost invariably as soon as the video begins, and only ceases towards the end. It provides a simple way for a music video to catch and sustain a song's momentum".
This is something that we struggled with making our video although we didn't realise while filming it at the time. When we was editing we realised that still steady shots look overly still in a real film. They just look so dead so we had to add artificial camera movement to liven it up.
Music videos do not follow the usual conventions of films, "not only is the relation between the figure and space not frequently off kilter, but the camera bisects the figure in places that would be unacceptable for the classic Hollywood film".
"The framing of music video makes us aware of the edge of the frame and of what we cannot see".
This is basically saying that music videos have much more freedom with the camera and they can break the rules of films. We have used this on several occasions in our video just to make some of the shots more interesting by requiring more audience attention.
Monday, 4 April 2011
I decided to use myspace to create the website as its very simple to use and it has a template specifically for artists. I also have decided to keep the bands standard text to keep some sort of theme. Below is just a quick screen shot of what the main homepage looks like.