Music and Genres

Analysing different genres of music videos was a vital step towards my understanding of which I would like to conform to. By breaking down the codes and conventions associated with the different genres I was able to see which one would be the most suitable for my target audience and similarly which genre I would be able to successfully recreate.

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Hiro Murai – Music Video Directors


Researching renowned and esteemed directors means that I can take inspiration for creators who excel. Through my work this week I had learnt that I am really interested in working with slow motion. The director I chose to research was Hiro Murai. His work is so varied and he has created many videos for artists of the indie genre and this is only positive as my final media product will be also. Murai is renowned for music videos which heavily feature visual effects- for example, his work for She Wolf, performed by David Guetta. Personally, what I find so engaging is his seamless camera movement which makes his pieces appear almost fluid.

 

History of Music Videos

Click the image below to link to my video on the history of music videos:

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In researching the origins and beginnings of the music video industry I am able to understand the importance of the product to artist’s today. Music videos are driven by technology and this technology has encouraged artist’s to create content which will grab the attention of more and more potential viewers and listeners. In my own work I will aim to include some impressive technology such as dolly cams and cranes which will improve the look of my own video.

Different types of Music Videos

Most often than not, music videos can be categorised in three ways. Most music videos can fall into a combination of the categories: conceptual, narrative and performance.

media venn diagram

Conceptual

These music videos have no structured narrative and often the lyrics have no relation to the content in the video or on the other hand, have a very deep message or idea. Often they contain metaphors and imagery. Conceptual videos are often very individual and differ from other videos of their own genre. For example, “Big Girls Cry” by the artist Sia features a younger actress who has previously danced for the artist’s other work. Maddie sits in front of a black screen and the mid-shot of her pretty much remains static. Maddie is visibly upset and distressed, she dances erratically and perhaps this is a deeper metaphor for an outburst of emotion which challenges the common phrase “big girls don’t cry”.

Performance

Videos which fall solely into the performance category feature the artist or an actor singing their music. There is no storyline or hinting towards a metaphor. Often props are random and have no deeper meaning; either they are whimsical or fit well with the genre of the song. An example of this is Alex Winston’s “Velvet Elvis” which features the singer in direct address in front of several green-screens with backing dancers and holding and dancing with various objects such as a model of the Eiffel Tower or an umbrella.

Narrative

Narratives, while they may feature the artist or performer do not contain any lip-syncing or singing of the music. Music videos which are narratives have a distinct storyline and tends to have a goal, destination or kind of journey or feature the relationships between characters. There is always an event which occurs. An example of this is Daughter’s “Still” which despite only featuring a woman getting undressed and then getting into bed next to her boyfriend, tells the story of a woman who is unhappy in her relationship. This example addresses relationships between two characters but also an event, getting into bed takes place. You could also apply the feature of a journey to the main character joining her partner in bed.

Cross-over in Music Videos

An excellent example of a music video which encompasses all three is “The Scientist” by Coldplay. During the video, the lead singer performs the song as he travels backwards. This travelling backwards provides the conceptual aspect of the video as the song is about the idea of trying to go back to one moment when everything is the way it was and there is no hardship. The metaphor of the lead singer in reverse relates to his want to travel back in time and undo his mistakes. This event or mistake is addressed in the video through narrative. The performer is walking in reverse to the site of a fatal car crash and the video beautifully shows his lover crashing through the car window and the tragic moments before this, when she took off her seatbelt.