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Monday, 24 September 2012

Intertextuality in Music Videos Part 3

  Another example of the use of intertextuality can be seen in Eminem's music video for his song 'We Made You'. Althought the video references other texts it is more of a parody, which is also a form of intertextuality.

The music video is a parody of the television series Rock of Love and Star Trek, as well as Eminem singing in a background of an imitation version of the notes of the video game Guitar Hero while the casino-based sequence in the video is an homage to the film Rain Man, a film Eminem has previously referenced in his lyrics. The casino scene was shot in The Palms hotel and casino. References to Nanook of the North are also made, especially seen in the scenes with Sarah Palin, those scenes parodying Larry Flynt's Who's Nailin' Paylin?. There is also an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho.
On April 3, 2009, Eminem talked about the music video in an MTV News interview, stating that there is some "Celebrity bashing in it," which is often a feature of his album's lead singles. In addition to Sarah Palin, notable celebrities mocked using look-alike actresses and actors include Jessica Simpson, Bret Michaels, Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson, Amy Winehouse and her then-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Elvis Presley, Tony Romo, John Mayer, Jennifer Aniston, and Kim Kardashian. Eminem even spoofed himself, wearing an ALF t-shirt and holding a cake, referencing a commonly circulated pre-fame photo of him of when he was a youth. This Music Video also marks the return of Eminem's alter ego "Slim Shady".

Parody of 'Star Trek'
Parody of Ellen DeGenere talk show

Parody of Britney Spears 'Give Me More' music video

Intertextuality in Music Vidoes Part 2

Another example of intertextuality in music videos include the following:

Lady Gaga's Telephone video features an array of refrences to things like prducts and cooking shows and it even has a yellow truck ''pussy wagon'' from the cult film Kill Bill.

Intertextuality in Music Vidoes

"Intertextuality" refers to the way a text is shaped by other text.

In the case of music videos its how a music video is shaped/inspired by other media texts such as films, TV-shows and pop culture. When used It can spark recognition in the audience, generate nostalgic associations as well as new meanings. This can create a bond between the artist and the viewer because the viewer feels like they can relate to the artist as they both can enjoy the reference.
A good example is the music video 'What You Waiting For?' by Gwen Stefani:

The video properly starts at 1:40min, and we can clearly see connotations to Alice in the Wonderland, it is shown by the style of the clothes and the locations and overall the whole  mis-en-scene.

Below is a montage I made that displays the main iconic images used in the music video and what they refer to:
(Click to enlarge)
The use of intertextuality in this music video makes it more interesting and appealing to the viewers that have seen the film Alice in the Wonderland or read the book, because it is a different use and interpretation of the text that they might have once enjoyed.

John Stuarts description of the music video “ incorporating, raiding and reconstructing ” is essentially the essence of intertextuality.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Voyeurism in Music Videos

Voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered to be of a private nature. This concept is explored in music videos to attract the male viewers gaze, to make the main star seem more appealing and to show the star as an object of fantasies.

Voyeurism in music videos is used in different ways, if the main artist is female, for example Rihanna, she will be sexually objectified in the video and shown in a very appealing way to the male viewers, this could be done with the outfits she wears, her dance moves, the camera angles and movements and also framing.
Below are two screen caps from her video 'Only Girl (In The World) that illustrate the use of voyeurism.
From the pictures you can see that her outfit is quite revealing, she is basically wearing just underwear in the second picture, but its not done in a slutty or tasteless way because if it was then the female audience would not want to identify with her and would not like her (and most of her fans are female) so to make Rihanna sexually appealing to the male audiences but also relatable and an icon to her female audience, the director has decided to put her in revealing but also fashionable clothes that could even pass as being cute, in the first picture she is wearing a cute baby blue sweater and knee high socks but her belly and her mid thighs are exposed, so some people might notice her nice clothes and some people might notice the distinct lack of them:

 Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)

Voyeurism is usually used differently if the music video is for a male artist or a band of some sort. In these kind of videos the artist is not the focus of sexual objectification, but they might be shown with ladies. This can be to make them seem more popular or liked, the fan (mostlikley male) will look up to the artist thinking they get all the girls and start to associate thermselves with them. A good example of this is Rap/R&B artist's music videos such as Snoop Dogg (video shown below) or Pitbull.

In Snoop Dogg's video he is shown surrounded by hot girls, who are all over him, the video also features bikini clad girls dancing withouth the main artist, Snoop's male fans would enjoy seeing the fragmented body shots of the girls alone while also thinking how cool he is that he has all these ladies at his disposal.


Snoop Dogg vs David Guetta - Sweat

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Advanced Portfolio - Technical Codes

Today in class we talked about what are the generic rules of music videos in terms of editing and camera work.

 We established that the role of the camera is to make the performance more dynamic and/or energetic, so that the artist or band are shown in an appealing way to the viewer and consumer. The camera should always be following the performance, and unlike in films it should not be centered around telling a narrative, it should be very abstract (with a variety of different shots and movements)because music videos are not meant to represent reality but the abstract world of the artist. 

 Another important role of the camera is to sell us the artist, this is done by using close-ups and framing. Close-ups of the artists in music videos create a sense of intimacy between the consumer and the performer this important because then we begin to like the singer and are more likely to recognize their face in stores and on billboards. Close-ups show that the artist is a commodity on sale.

We also talked about editing, and how that is used in music videos.
The most common form of editing we see in music videos is montage, which is fast cut and fast paced, it is used in many genres of music but usually for quick songs.
Slow songs are slow paced and have gentler transitions to establish the mood.
It is important that the pace of the editing matches the pace of the song.

Another thing that is common in editing is that the main artist is usually given more screen time, meaning that the duration of the shot on a particular artist relates to how important they are, for example if you are editing a music video for a band you would usually give and equal amount of screen time to all the band mates but the most to the 'leader' or the main person.

Another part of editing is the post production and special effects and digital effects. In films and TV shows special effects  are meant to be very realistic and life like and verisimilitude but in music videos special effects are there to make the whole piece more abstract, interesting and thought provoking. Sometimes digital enhancing is just used to make the video more dynamic.

Below is a music video that is a good example of the things I talked about in this post:

 This music video uses a lot of close-ups on the artist Jessie J, this familiarities the viewer with her image, her persona, and style.
Camerawork and special effects are also making the video more exciting than it actually is, she is just dancing and singing in front of a colorful background but because of the fast paced editing, the varied camera shots and movements, and the special effects (like the lens flare and the blur) we as the viewer can stand to watch her without being completely bored.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Lip Sync Activity

This is my lip sync video that I filmed over the summer. The song is 'Call me maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen, I chose this song because at the time it was popular and I liked it, it is also upbeat and fun, although in hindsight I wish I had done a different song because this one is really overplayed and has gotten really annoying. I also wish I had got someone else to help me film this because having the camera stationary on a tripod really made the video dull, boring and repetitive, I also did not notice that behind me, in the background you can see the light switch and once you notice it its really distracting .
When it came to editing the footage I used windows movie maker because that was the only editing software I had on my computer, it was easy to use and the footage was all shot in one take so syncing up with the music was really simple.