Friday, 12 September 2014

Preliminary 1 - Staying Alive

I found that the hardest part of creating a preliminary was definitely the lip-synching. Even when one or two of the lyrics don’t quite sync up with the movement of the artists’ mouth, the whole thing looks forced and unnatural. I also found that the scenes where my mouth was most animated (when there was a lot of movement), it looked better. Also, I think there should be more movement in the music video, camera movement, because it matches the upbeat tempo of the song. The tempo of the song should always match the editing, in other words you should edit to the beat, which I feel isn’t always achieved in this preliminary. However this is a mistake I do not intend to replicate in my final piece. 

Copyright Letter to Elektra Records

I emailed Elektra Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros Music and consequently have emailed them as well. If I get a reply, it will be up on my blog. 

Tinie Tempah- Written in the Stars Analysis

Written in the Stars – Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner

The video I am analysing is “Written in the Stars” by Tinie Tempah. It is a very popular song with over one hundred million hits on YouTube. The song can aptly be described as British Hip Hop in terms of Genre. The video was directed by Alex Herron and features Tinie Tempah standing on top of a roof in New York City. It mostly conforms to the conventions of pop videos. For example, there is bright lighting with emphasis on the artist and the piano in Eric Turner’s part.

Also, the boy’s mother in the music video is depicted as a prostitute. Arguably, there are elements of voyeurism in this, with emphasis on the female form.

The relationship between music and visuals is interesting in this video. The lyrics “disciplined child” are accompanied by the shot of the boy who is suffering. Also when Tinie raps about the past, “I knew one day I would have a plan” it cut to the same basketball court that the little kid was in. Presumably, the little kid is an earlier version of Tinie Tempah.

Every chorus cuts back to Eric Turner playing the piano. This is both an example of editing to the beat and emphasis on the piano playing by Eric Turner. The camera movement also differs with the speed of the music video. The camera moves faster around Tinie Tempah to match the tempo of the song.

There aren’t many close ups of Tinie Tempah as you would expect in a pop video where they really try and sell the artist, but that’s probably because it very narrative based. The narrative scenes see a young boy whose life is shaped by the fact he and his mother are subjected to a financially insecure life and he is regularly bullied by his peers about how he is consumed b

Imagine Dragons - Radioactive Analysis

Imagine Dragons – Radioactive

I will be analysing the video to the very popular song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It was directed by Syndrome. The video is very unusual as it revolves around a mysterious female drifter, who is on a quest to save her friends (Imagine Dragons) from the perils of a sinister, underground puppet-fighting ring. This kind of video is designed to create a lot of media attention for being comical and defying conventional music video paradigms. The song itself falls under the genre of alternative or electronic rock. This genre is largely defined by its rejection of mainstream commercialism and culture and in some aspects this is reflected in the video, with the fighting puppet beasts.

The relationship between lyrics and visuals is very interesting, it is as if one does not know the other exists. In other words, the visuals mostly contradict the lyrics. The lyrics “ I’m Radioactive”, and “welcome to the new age” probably causes to mind images of a modern world or alternatively a post apocalyptic world, but instead we are shown images of a primitive fighting ring and a man underground beating a drum. Although when the lyrics center on a “revolution” we start to see some correspondence between the visuals and the lyrics. For example, people fall down into the underground part of the music video suggesting some sort of change (revolution) is about to or is occurring.

The music is very much in tune with the visuals and editing side of the video. The opening shot of the video shows a woman walking alone in a forest. This is before any of the musical instruments actually start to play and we only have the vocals of the lead singer. When the ‘beat drops’, it cuts to the illegal puppet fighting ring, and the cuts are synced up with the beating of the big drum between each verse in the song. Nearer to the end of the song when there is a change of pace, the editing mirrors this and slows down as does the pace of music.

The artists themselves, Imagine Dragons, do not feature in the video as much as you’d expect. The reason for this is because the video is meant to reflect a certain perceived narrative and thus it makes sense for the video to be more about the video than the music stars. However, in the brief moments we are shown the Imagine Dragons, they are presented as quite strong, and perhaps as something of vigilantes because they are alone underground.

This video doesn’t have ‘sex appeal’ in the respect that the artists are not on sexual display or do not act provocatively. One could say, that the deliberate choice of Alexandra Daddario, an attractive actress and model, to play the girl alone in the forest trying to rescue her friends, is an attempt to add a bit of sex appeal to the video.

Despite the oddity of the puppets fighting in a ring, the image of the boss, with his cigar and money is one we as an audience are familiar with. We have seen this iconography countless times before in film. As to whether the music video is more performance-based, narrative based or concept based, the answer is somewhere between all three.