Monday, 21 September 2015

Goodwin's Music Video Analysis

Andrew Goodwin came up with a theory based around the idea of music videos, what he demonstrated is that music videos mostly include key iconography of genre characteristics and conventions. For example, a rap music video will mostly likely include weapons, money and drugs; whereas a pop video tend to include dance choreographies, multiple costume changes and also green screen effects in post-production.

What Goodwin also revised, is that some genres link to other popular cultural mediums - such as film or books. This is what you call "Intertextuality" where two or more mediums reference each other. For example, heavy metal tend to include horror film links - they do this because they know their target demographic will pick up this cross referencing.

Here is a few more key points Goodwin included in his book, "Dancing In The Distraction Factory".

  1. There is a relationship between lyric and visuals. Which will be obvious as some music videos may include a narrative, if the song said, "He's got his gun" the visuals will most likely show him picking up the gun. This is a way of gaining an understanding of the song/narrative for the audience. 
  2. There is a relationship between music and visuals. So for example, a dubstep song that includes a lot of escalating beats that tend to lead to a "drop" may include unique special effects that exaggerate the jar in the music, as it adds to the entertainment factor.
  3. The demands of the record label. Some record labels will really focus on the main selling points of their artist, with any pop superstar from Miley Cyrus to One Direction, the record label intelligently knows their fans are obsessed with their looks; consequently leaving them to demand for more close ups of the artist. What else the label will look out for is any key iconography of that artist, that they can stress upon and make a motif. In other words, keeping the audience engaged and wanting more. A relevant example is Lady Gaga in her crazier era, where she wore a lot of creative and quirky costumes that brought her to the center of attention. It's what gets the people talking and is one way of obtaining a buzz.
  4. There is frequent uses of notion of looking and voyeuristic treatment of the female body. Similar to point 3, the notion of looking portrays the artist - male or female - as very alluring and seductive, as if there is direct eye-contact to the audience by breaking the fourth wall. The use of props such as mirrors, cameras and computer screens, can all be references of the notion of looking. Moreover, voyeurism is predominantly used to sell the artist's sex appeal, presently it's mostly done by female artists as they're considered more "sexy". Or perhaps, the only male artists that rely on their good looks over musical content (One Direction, Justin Bieber and The Wanted) their audience are made up of young teenage girls and their parent's wouldn't appreciate crotch shots and sexual camera movements. 

99 problems - 

Jay-Z 99 Problems Analysis

By using Godwin's Music Video Theory we analysed 'Hip-Hop/Rap' artists Jay Z's music video for his single '99 Problems'

  • The setting was in an abandoned run down environment in Brooklyn New York, Jay Z's hometown, which enforces Rap Culture and is recognised as highly black community. New York is a very iconic city and it's clear Jay Z wants to represent his hometown in his music video.
  • There are  numerous close ups of Jay-Z lip syncing to the lyrics and of his chains and clothing to represent how rich he is. He of course wants to make himself represented positively in his own music video, so materialistic things that make him look better will be shown on camera.
  • Glamorous half naked women where shown in the video which brings in a lyrics and visual relationship as the hook of the song is 'Got 99 Problems but a bitch and aint 1' This is a way of voyeuristic / scopophilia as it's representing women in a sexual manner.  
  • He also shows racial discrimination by police by showing prison brutality towards black people. This is a sensitive topic, especially for people of colour because of the history of police brutality, especially in a place / ghetto like brookyln.
  • The editing was synced with the song, fast paced and a lot of jump cuts. This goes with the genre characteristics that rap music is all fast etc.

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