Saturday, 29 October 2011

Music Video Deconstruction: Yonkers

Artist: Tyler The Creator

Track: Yonkers

Year: 2011

Genre: Rap

Director: Wolf Haley ( Tyler alter ego

Audience: 15 - 24

This is rapper Tyler The Creator's first song and has a very bizzare video for it directed by himself under his alter ego of Wolf Hayley. 

The video is a hybrid between concept and performance, the video is very weird and drew alot of attention/hype and publicity to the track 

Friday, 21 October 2011

HK: Representation of Women in Music Video

The representation of women in music videos has always been very stereotypical, seeing women being on the stage for one reason and one reason only and that is to just look good.
Often wearing little clothing and dancing provocatively this is called the ' Male Gaze'.

This theory was made by Laura Mulvey and is seen throughout many forms of media, but especially in music video.

From just watching the music videos you often see women in music videos with no real purpose other than for the mens viewing pleasure but these are especially shown in Genres such as Pop and R 'N ' B.

In this day and age where looks seem to be just as important the boundaries of what is acceptable having drastically changed.

Looking at contrervisial artists such as Lady Gaga and Madonna, it is hard to sometimes see how there videos are allowed to be shown and are verging on X rated content.
Women in music videos bring in more audience and really prove the theory that sex does infact sell.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Music Video Deconstruction: Jack Sparrow

Artist: Lonely Island
Track: Jack Sparrow
Year of Release: 2011
Director: The Lonely Ilsland
Audience: 15-24

This video in my eyes is quite frankly genius and I've started to find it even better now that I have been studying music video's.
Its completely mocking the music industry as a whole and playing with music video's and how that if it looks like a music video and has all the bling and glamour then people will just accept it even though it makes no sense.

The video is a mixture of narrative and performance and was filmed in just 2 days, though each day consisted of 16 - 18 hours of filming.

The video starts with a brief intro with some dialogue between the 3 Lonely island members, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma 'Jorm' Taccone and Andy Samberg then Michael Bolton joins them late and apologises and tells them the reason he was late.
That he had been caught up watching a 'pirates of the carribean marathon' This makes us think about pirates of the carribean and why Michael Bolton starts going off on one about Jack Sparrow.

The video starts and the group 'roll up' to a club in suits without having to queue this shows that the lavish lifestyle that they are singing about, going out and spending all there money in night clubs getting women and expensive drinks.

The video then cuts expectantly to Michael Bolton on a beach singing about Captain Jack Sparrow using a long shot to establish the different location.
The video is alot about Mise En Scene, with Michael Bolton dressing up as film characters Jack Sparrow, Forrest Gump, Scarface and getting into drag to look like Erin Brockovich.

BH- Nine Inch Nails History

Trent Reznor
Nine Inch Nails 'formed' in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio whilst Trent Reznor was working as a cleaner at Right Track Studio, Trent recorded his first demo's in the studio after hours- playing most of the instruments himself he made a demo set later known as 'Purest Feeling', heavily influenced by industrial artist 'Skinny Puppy', later released as a bootleg in 1994 by Hawk Records. Their live shows have ranged from the violent and muddy to hi-tech light shows as time has gone on leading to much more advanced sounds- as close to studio as possible; Trent Reznor writes all music but often hires a band when it comes to the recording and live shows (wouldn't make a very good one man live show...)
Reznor however has moved onto other things- his new project with his wife; How to Destroy Angels and scoring several films- having previously been involved with David Lynch film Lost Highway and Natural born Killers directed by Oliver Stone.

 His more recent forays have been with long time collaborator Atticus Ross to create the score for Social Network by David Fincher- (who also directed the video for 'Only') and more recently Renzor and Ross have been working on the score to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo also by Fincher. Reznor and Ross also won an Oscar for their work on Social Network last year- and Reznor has been working on a HBO adaptation of his dystopian Year Zero with the writer from Fight Club being roped in to help based on Reznors 2008 album and ARG (alternate Reality Game) used to help market the album. 

In 1988 Reznor was working as a cleaner at Right Track Studios when he created his first ever demos later known as 'Purest Feeling' a very early version of Pretty Hate Machine- the first big release by Nine Inch Nails spawning singles like 'Head Like a Hole', 'Sin' and 'Down in It'- this wave of more mainstream industrial, combined with the very pop feel to some of the songs proved a success, one which launched Nine Inch Nails into the early 90's. 
This lead to an intense touring period, this and creative issues between Reznor and TVT records led to a huge delay util Reznor released...

Broken, which was much heavier than their previous work, in 1992, following Reznors absence over the arguments with the record company. Which led to this statement by Reznor to be put in the sleeve of each vinyl record.

Broken was secretly recorded from march to august 1992 in a variety of locations
without the permission of
the record label
to ensure it could fester without Divine intervention
now They just leave me alone and let me do what I want

"Broken was a hard recording to make
Broken is an ugly record made during an ugly time in my life
Broken marks phase three of nine inch nails: the becoming
I am starting to realize what this is all about
and I don't like it

Flood starting out producing but I ended up
I'm not sure why

maybe I am what everbody seems to think I am

nine inch nails is still not a real band with real people playing real instruments
there will be no touring for Broken

I am starting work on my new full-length recording - The Downward Spiral - which I
hope will be finished the beginning of 1993

some will come along for the ride, some won't

Trent Reznor, 1992

From Ninwiki 

Happiness in Slavery

These new- darker tracks gave way to something much darker- the Broken film- which to this  day has still never officially been released due to the extreme and graphic content of the video which depicts a slow and ritualistic killing filmed on a very low-res camera- leading some to believe that it was infact a real killing...seriously. 

And as Reznor said the next release was The Downward Spiral- the big 'hit' for Nine Inch Nails with the song 'Closer' combined with a controversial video by Mark Romanek made it gold dust.
A concept album about the general destruction and fall of one man led to some seriously overwrought tracks filled with noise and screams. The 90's proved to be the biggest decade for Nine Inch Nails who at that point seemed to be going from strength to strength- a new sound with each new album as it appeared at that point.

(turn your speakers up)

Cue a five year gap in which Reznors problems became news and he all but vanished from 

the musical scene until 1999 with The Fragile which cut opinion in two- some seeing it as overwrought and far too depressing and others seeing it as a work of art spread over two discs of goodness. 

Although defiantly more depressing than the prior album The Fragile did contain some single material such as 'We're in this together now'  and the censored 'Starsuckers'

Cue another vanishing act from Reznor- who goes into rehab for alcohol addiction and 6 years go by until the release of 'With Teeth' a much more mainstream album- filled with catchy songs with plenty to make them far more catchy then the Fragile with more hooks to boot but it seemed almost that Nine Inch Nails had lost its bite or to others had adapted to a more modern audience.It generally divided fans.

Year Zero appeared 18 months later- a slick concept album on what Reznor perceived to be flaws on the american society. He said that the album was 'for a movie that never existed' This, however, is on the way, with Reznor producing a show for HBO with a hopeful air date of late 2012.
To compliment this Reznor created a vast online viral marketing scheme. Focusing on the proposed end of the world with a totalitarian US government in control- and various drugs used to control the masses with daily terrorist attacks taking place in protest- something not too far detached from today- releasing websites and codes for fans to trawl through. 
Here is one example:  

However Reznor took issue with the record companies pricing of it and prompted fans to 'steal it' leading to another huge fallout between Reznor and Universal Records. Signaling his departure to the foundation of 'Null Corperation' through which Reznor published Ghosts I-IV and the Slip for free for charge and launched the NiN remix site (more on this in future blog posts)

Following this seperation he begin to work on film soundtracks with Atticus Ross- on Social Network by David Fincher and the upcoming Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Thus concludes 20+ years of Nine Inch Nails history with Reznors promise that there's more to come...

HK: The Group

The groups have been decided for our coursework and the birth of [ Insert group name ] was here
consisting of its 3 founding fathers Ben Hudson, Kyle Meeson and Harry Knight.

We decided to go for Ben's track as myself and Kyle both liked the concept of his pitch, though i cant say i'm the biggest fan of 9 inch nails but I decided to work on this track because I liked the idea for the video, and thats what this coursework is about. Creating a good music video.

Harry Knight

Age: 17 
Nickname: HK
Main Attribute: Cinematic Genius
Hobbies: Making Music Videos!
Idol: Brendan Sheerin
Favourite Artist: Example
Faviourite Food: Calimari and Mussels by the sea!
Favourite Film: Step Brothers
Favourite TV Show: Coach Trip
Subjects Taken: ICT, Media, Sociology.

Name: Ben Hudson
Nickname: BH
Main Attribute: Visionary
Hobbies: Skyrim
Idol: Trent Reznor
Favourite Artist: Nine Inch Nails
Faviourite Food: Curry
Favourite Film: Pasta
Favourite TV Show: The Wire
Subjects Taken: Media, English and Theatre

Name: Kyle Meeson
Nickname: 'Tooone'
Main Attribute: Sleeping
Hobbies: Sleeping
Idol: The Rev
Favourite Artist: Avenge Seven Fold
Faviourite Food: Pizza
Favourite Film: Inception
Favourite TV Show: Mitchell and Webb
Subjects Taken: English, Physcology  and Media

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Fish Eye Lens

'A fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in a broad, panoramic and hemisphericalimage. Originally developed for use in meteorology[1] to study cloud formation and called "whole-sky lenses", fisheye lenses quickly became popular in general photography for their unique, distorted appearance'

Fish eye len's can be used to make a surreal, artsy style photo or video. There are a few music videos that have been filmed with a fish eye lens such as... The Beastie Boys
Although at school we don't have a fish eye lens for our cameras we can create a fish eye lens effect in editing software Final Cut

Although at school we don't have a fish eye lens for our cameras we can create a fish eye lens effect in editing software Final Cut


Music Videos were made to for TV and Tv's must control whats they are showing and making sure that it is appropriate to air.

MTV's views on censorship have been in debate for years with people thinking that they are too politically correct and have been known for some very petty edits for example in Jamaican rapper's Sean Kingston's song  'Beautiful Girl's' the word 'suicidal' was changed to 'in denial'

Usually if a video is even still explicit after being edited it will only be shown late an night after the watershed (9pm)  but even some track's such as Maddona's 'Erotica' could only be played after midnight.

Madonna has 4 video's banned on MTV usually due to there sexual themes, though the video that caused most controversy for her was the video for Like A Prayer in which crosses are burned, this caused out rage with religious fundamentalists and the video was banned and let to the pope even banning Pepsi from The Vatican because of its use on the pepsi advert.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Music Video Deconstruction: Iris

Artist: The Goo Goo Dolls
Track: Iris
Year of release: 1998
Length: 3:36
Audience: 15 - 24

The Goo Goo Dolls are American alternative rock band and this song was written for the sound track to the film City Of Angels.

The music video is a mix between concept and performance, feautures shots of lead singer Johnny Reznik cross cutting between the concept location and where the shots of the band are plating.
There are two locations in the video, the first location we see from the first few shots is that its very high up, like a viewing room on top of sky scrapers. The room is full of telescopes and this reference to Johnny looking down on everyone through the telescopes is made for the link between this song and the film City Of Angels, as angels look down upon people.

The mise en scene in the skyscraper scenes give of a fantasy feel to the video with what johnny is wearing and his hair make him look like an Anime character, and fantasy/anime is something that would appeal to The Goo Goo Doll's more 'Emo' Audience.

The second location is on the middle of a road under a unnel where all band members are present this is where the shots of the performance side to the video are filmed, though follow codes and conventions of music videos and are mainly focusing on the front man Johnny Rezner lip syncing to the camera.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Music Video Deconstruction: Cash In My Pocket

Artist: Wiley
Track: Cash In My Pocket
Year: 2008
Genre: Grime/ Alternative Hip Hop

Wiley - Cash In My Pocket - HD from N.K. on Vimeo.

This video is concept but has people miming to it so also has a performance aspect to it.

The son features an entire office miming to the song, and is a great video to watch in the eyes of a media student as it proves that high budgets aren't required when you have good ideas or imagination.

It is whats known as a Lip Syncing video, these are the kind of video's that I took inspiration from for my coursework pitch for Hall & Oates.
There is no shot variation as it is a single take video.

The Location the video is based in is a london office you can tell that the video is in London at the start when there is some opening dialogue in the car you can see shots of iconic London buildings such as the gherkin.

The dialouge between the two men show represent the class of the charachters in the offices, the men speak with southern accents which usually signify's them to be rich. They are talking down upon the people out side the car and saying '' oh should I throw him some money at him"  here we really know that these characters are snobbish.

Mise En Scene is a big factor in the video, as it is filmed in an office all the people involved are wearing smart office wear and sharp suits and the women are wearing these outfits in a secretarial way which adds a certain element of male gaze.
Suits and expensive clothing worn in the feature is a symbolism for success and the video features bits of narrative for example when the line ' do it like ronson' a woman flashes her top which says Mark Ronson on it.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Deciding On Which Track

It took a great deal of thinking in which song to finally pick. The song had to match the criteria of either being over 10 years old or it not having a video.

I was torn between 3 song's, all very different this is why it was tough to decide on which one to finally go for.

Westlife: Looking Like That
Hall and Oates: You Make My Dreams
The Goo Goo Doll's: Iris

Firstly Westlife
Track: Looking Like That
Length: 3:26
Year: 2001

I took great inspiration from last years work by Emmie Bryett and Megan Claydon on The Backstreet boys song I Want It That Way.
A few of my friends were involved in the filming as part of the boy band, and it looked like a really fun thing to be a part of for both production crew and the actors.
Using full advantage of the local iconic scenery like the cow and calf rocks on Ilkley Moor.

The idea I wouldve gone with for Westlife would of been a mixture of narrative and concept, featuring lots of the boy band lip syncing to the music and also the narrative part of the relationship between a member of the band and the girl which the song is about.

The Goo Goo Dolls:

Track: Iris
Length: 3:36
Year of Release: 1999

My idea for this would be a hybrid between concept and performance, it would feature shots of a band playing and also the relationship between a boy and a girl.
The boy fighting for the girl and wanting to be with her, but she ignores him however hard he tries.

An inspiration for this idea which is similar is the video for We Are The Ocean: Confessions

Using Final Cut

I had had a brief introductory into using Final Cut but this project really got me hands on experience with using the software, the more time you spend on it you realise just how much more you can do than on iMovie, you can use different video layers and the range of effects that can use is amazing.

The array or effects cover so many different effects and styles and really make your product look alot better and the visual effects create a much more professionally made.

A great effect that could be used in final cut is what is called the Sin City effect and is used in the hollywood blockbuster Sin City and this just goes to show what you can do with Final Cut.


Shooting The Class Vid

Today we went out shooting for the class video and it was in all honesty a complete disaster.

  • We had no clear plan
  • The tennis courts weren't even up which completely messed up our plans as we could do nothing without any location.
  • Unorganised about mise en scene, people ( including myself) didnt bring in costume.
  • No tennis racquets or balls 
  • No clear objective.
From this we learnt a lesson and we learned that PLANNING IS KEY!

The day after we went out and attempted filming again and we were so much better, we had learnt that hard way and how failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

  • This time, we organised location and got the tennis courts to be put up.
  • Everyone brought the correct costume 
  • Got tennis balls and racquets from the P.E department
  • We had clear goals and delegated roles so people knew what they were meant to be doing.
So the second day of shooting was a world better than the first day but still it wasn't entirely perfect we didn't get enough coverage of certain parts of the video and some shots were shaky as we didn't have the time to set up a tripod for shots, though this was largely as we were so limited for time.

But what we did do in this short space of time was very good and the shooting went well getting most things we needed in under an hour.

Winning Pitch

The class decided on Tom Wardmans idea to re make a video for Martin Solveig's Hello

Artist: Martin Solveig ft Dragonette

Song: Hello

Date of Release: September 6th 2010

We decided to stick with the tennis theme as we thought it was a good, funny concept.
Location wouldn't be a problem as there are tennis courts on site at school which we could use at convenient times and would mean that we didn't have to do as much planning or organising to meet up at a different location out of school.

Mise En Scene and costume wasnt too much of a hassle as only sports/ tennis kit was required for most and all which everyone had there own so we didnt have to organise special costumes.
Though to ass comedy factor Tom and Rob dressed up as women in the production wearing wigs and tutu's which really gave across a fun vibe to the video.

Music Video Comparison

Today we are comparing to different music videos both from different genres of music. Hard Rock/ Metal and Dance.

The songs are Martin Solveig's - Hello and Avenged Sevenfold's- Afterlife

The two videos are very different, this is an example how different genres have different styles and conventions in their videos.

The first difference we discussed is how different the lighting is in the two.

Martin Solveigs video is entirely concept whilst the A7X video is performance and narrative.
It is common for music video's from Avenge Seven Fold's genre to include lots of performance aspects in there videos such as other rock hard rock metal bands like AC DC and Iron Maiden, who were pioneers of the genre and all there video's had performance aspects in. And the same dark kind of feel whilst dance tunes are more up beat and have a lighter style of video.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Music Video Deconstruction: Pixie Lott

Artist: Pixie Lott
Title: All About Tonight
Year: 2011
Genre: Pop
Audience: 12 - 24

Pixie Lotts video for this is a performance and narrative video, it features the singer dancing and singer to the song and getting ready and going out for the night.

Mise En Scene
The Mise En Scene in this video highlights Pixie Lott's attractiveness and singling her out to be the centre of focus and attention.
She is wearing really short black shorts which show alot of her body and bum from behind, this adds an element of male gaze which is a common convention in music video's as it attracts males to the video and also gives girls something to aspire to and they want to look like her.

The men in the video are wearing futuristic clothing which you would never see any one wearing out, this makes the video seem more high budget and also timeless.

The audience for pop music is quite large as all ages tend to enjoy it but mostly youth generation. When I think of pop music a standard audience that would spring to mind would be young girls. This is why the video is very clean and hasnt got many rude or suggestive parts in it or drugs or sex references as they know that it will be watched by a younger audience.

There is use of two video layers in the opening sequence featuring a ECU of Pixie Lott's eyes and a Birdseye view over an American city, This effect works and looks slick and is definatley something that would be worth including when I make my own video as it can be easily done on Final Cut.