Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Practice Pitch(1) Picking a Track

Just as the Music Video Day has hopefully got us thinking about the best way to approach a film shoot, and be organised for this, the aim for the practice pitch is to get you thinking about different ideas on and approaches to your own music video. This is intended to be quite fun and light-hearted, but should help highlight aspects of the work required for your 'proper' pitch come September!
To get us going I need you to do three things:
  1. Pick a song which you have as MP3 (cannot have sexually explicit lyrics or swearing)
  2. Create a blog post, with one paragraph about the band/track (some hyperlinks, including a link to the lyrics, would be useful!), and a 2nd paragraph...
  3. some idea of what we expect to see in typical music videos from within this genre; common codes and conventions (links to examples would be useful).
We'll gather all the tracks together, hit shuffle and you'll each be assigned another track to work up a pitch

One quick example from me, done in a few mins, so not necessarily as stupendous and well researched as yours... Do note though that I made sure there were various hyperlinks embedded to enable anyone to find out more than I've written in my one-para summary! I also found useful links to enable anyone who gets Dread Zeppelin, my submitted track, to view a range of vidz from within their genre.

TRACK: DREAD ZEPPELIN: "Heartbreaker (At The End Of Lonely Street)"

I've cheated a little here as this was a single (in 1990!), but then I doubt very much you'd be familiar with it!!!
ARTIST/TRACK: A novelty band that featured an Elvis style lead singer, Tortelvis, and a weird fusion of Led Zeppelin, reggae and Elvis music... The band, without the 300-pound Elvis impersonator, had been about for many years before they had a surprise hit with the album Un-Led-Ed in 1990. You can find lyrics here. Useful wiki here. Band website. Facebook page. Blogger blog! rundown. Their live appearances are often at rock/metal festivals. As noted below, despite the wide and contrasting mix of musical influences, and the comedy aspect, they are generally seen as a heavy metal band with crossover pop appeal. You can see dreadlocked reggae fans in some of their videos though; like bands such as Faith No More and Living Color (both fused funk and metal) they helped popularise metal within the black American audience.
GENRE/VIDEO CONVENTIONS: There may be a weird, eclectic range of music genres that makes up their quite distinctive sound, but the band is ultimately guitar-led with loud crashing drums and prominent bass ... A novelty act maybe, but it is the heavy metal crowd who took to the band and provided the bulk of their fanbase, and so its heavy metal-with-a-wink we have to think of here. That means heavy focus on the singer, close ups of guitar fretboards, long hair and headbanging (often the fans), typically low budgets, can be low key lighting, freedom to produce quite daft concepts, teen males the key audience - fans often feature in vids, often macho, male gaze evident, performance often features as the 'musicality' + ability to play live of the band is key to the image or credibility, clothing codes can vary from black leather and metal studs to ripped jeans and t-shirts to virtual drag ... this is a well-established genre with many, many sub-genres! For examples see,
This was a press pack video on the band:

This rather goes against the main principle, but may help nonetheless: an example of a DZep vid...

More to follow, time permitting

(You can if wish view the video for the Dread Zep tune here)

List of tracks:
Practice Pitch Trax List                                                            
(Still 4 2 to add) + Jenny Dread Zeppelin - Living Loving Maid, Laura Death - Leprosy

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