Monday, 16 September 2013

LF: Essay - Music Video

“Music videos are simply a tool for promoting an artist”. With reference to two music videos, how far do you agree with this statement?

  • With the advancement of technology, all forms of media have become bigger better and more functional. In this age, people can interact with forms of media and have a role in making, sharing and downloading texts. It has also gone as far as illegal actions that can lose revenue for producers. Music videos are not necessarily used to promote the artist, but in some cases it is a way of making a star image ‘Richard Dyer.
  • Richard Dyer created a theory of the star image. This consists of two paradoxes. Paradox 1 includes the artist in the video being both ordinary and extraordinary, where being ordinary includes everyday situations and breaking the fourth wall ‘first person mode of address’ whereas the extraordinary side has unique authentic talent which then contrasts with ordinary circumstances. The second paradox suggests the star must be simultaneously present and absent for the consumer. An example of this is Ellie Goulding’s ‘Burn’ where there is a narrative and then it cross cuts to the artists singing down the camera. This creates the absent scene and the breaking of the fourth wall. In this case I believe the video is promoting the artist in an authentic way, showing the audience it is her music and her talents, but then also showing the producers artwork and talents.
  • Roland Barthes introduced a theory in 1957 of semiotics and narrative codes. Enigma codes are current in any music video to make the audience ask themselves questions about the text and give a clue as to what is going to happen. Influenced by structuralism, this theory is a very easy way of deconstruction a music video as all texts have one of the five codes; enigma, action, semic, cultural or symbolic.  An example would be’ La La La’ by Naughty Boy Ft. Adam Smith. As the lyrics match the visuals in this narrative video, the boy puts his hands on his ears when the song says ‘la la la’ which makes the audience question themselves what is going to happen to the boy when this angry man is shouting sat him for not listening. Later on in the video you see that the boy is in a completely different location with a different man which suggests he has run away. In this video there is no relation to the artist so in this case the video is not promoting the artist.
  • In genres such as Pop, there is always the artist present and sometimes absent. Britney Spears is a great example of doing this. ‘Toxic’ one of her songs shows the artist in many different forms. It shows images of women in a popular culture. Goffman et Al’s theory vividly deconstructs this video in a perfect way of how women can display themselves to the public eye. The first stage of this theory is making the artist have an artificial look; slim, tall, long-legged and perfect skin and physique. This gives the artist an opportunity to caress herself in a way that shows she has a perfect body and for the female audience to inspire to.   However this is not real at all, the use of airbrushing and Photoshop make the artist look this way but give a false impression of the artist to the audience. Dismemberment plays are part in the video also as Britney spears has parts of her body on show and wanting the public to see her in a way that will attract the male gender. Ritualization of subordination is clearly used in the video with the parallel lines of narrative showing ‘on the floor’ action to introduce the male gaze and male pleasure.
  • I think that the role of music videos is different in different genres. Pop, Hip Hop and genres like these always show the artist in an authentic and positive way, whereas genres such as indie and dance may just give the audience a chance to enjoy the music and the artist may not feel the need to be present in the video as they believe the music is enough to please the audience.

1 comment:

  1. Some good points referred to but analysis needs development to bring it up to A level standard. i will speak to you about this.