Evaluation: Question 1 – Anthony Szymaniak

Posted: March 19, 2011 in Anthony Szymaniak

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

For our media coursework, we were asked to make a music video, this allowed us to create a narrative and band performance sequence that would fit in with the chosen song. Having the difficulty of only being to choose songs that had no copyright, we had to use website such as www.soundcloud.com to find music that was free to use. We chose to use a song called “Play for Your Life” by the unsigned band “Concrete Disco” who we discovered through www.youtube.com and on the TV show, “Must be the music.” Using editing software, Final Cut Express on Apple Mac computers we went about forming our music video.

Before filming our video, me and my group looked at many well-known music videos for inspiration. We looked at videos such as Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” and Coldplay’s “Speed of sound” both directed by Mark Romanek.  We came up with the idea of chase sequence in an estate location, Jay Z’s 99 problems music video gave us this idea as it is filmed in Brooklyn, New York which is known for being rough and estate-like. We felt this would follow certain conventions of music videos of the same genre, such as “Sirens” by Dizzee Rascal, which is filmed in a rural, run down area and involves a chase. Goodwin’s theory of having a “relationship between music and visuals” in which is evident within these videos, for example in Dizzee Rascal’s lyric, “you can hear the sirens coming” link to the visuals of the character running away. This theory can also be seen in our music video by the way the constant chase throughout the video can be referred to the lyrics “play for your life” as it is similar to running for your life which the main character of the video is doing. When coming up with the chase theme we knew that we would have to film a lot of different angled shots as we felt it would go well with the frantic pace of the song. When came to the editing of the chase sequence we incorporated a lot of techniques that would help the video flow, while adding originality to the video. This was done by the way we used fast paced editing to help the story move along. These videos all follow Goodwin’s theory that “The Record label demand will include the need for lots of close-ups of the artist.

When it came to filming the band, “Concrete Disco” we again used a number of shots and techniques to get the right footage. Such as at one point we use hand held shots to make the band performance look more authentic as if it were a live show thus following a typical convention of a band performance sequence. To incorporate the band performance with the chase footage, we had to transition the different sequence at the correct time. Any director of music videos will know is that the image must go with the beat of the music. The beat was easy to locate in “Play for your life” and once getting to grips with the beat, we would switch from the frantic pace of the chase, to the footage of say the drummer playing up to the camera, which is seen in many music performances. To add originality to the video we added a stop motion introduction of the band setting up their equipment, we felt that it was different from other music videos of the same genre which would make it more noticable and entertaining but it also, allowed the audience to familiarise themselves with the musicians. This shows us following Andrew Goodwin’s analysis of following “genre characteristics,” in the sense that the dance music often include exciting, original ideas within their music videos, this to promote themselves to a broader audience.

Our Music Video really does show a sense of fitting in with certain stereotypes and connotations, such as the thuggish nature of “Chavs” or the clumsy, whimpish, traits of a “geek”  this often seen in such music videos such as “End Credits” by Chase and Status, which show the brutal, hoodie stereotype of a council estate played by the musician “Plan B”.



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