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, 21 October 2010

A few vids worth looking at

First up, one from our very own Chris Lawrence...

This could be an interesting possibility for the A2, as an additional (not the main) production: mixing performance with film ( from your own) footage. Excellent bit of thinking outside the box there Chris!

Also thinking outside the box is Andy Rehfeldt; I've embedded his Abba as death metal remix below, but he also does this the other way round, eg Metallica as smooth jazz!

The copyright in his tracks would presumably be rather ambiguous, but you could nonetheless contact him and ask about using a track for a video (the board simply requires that you evidence your attempts to gain copyright clearance or permission).

Another postmodern take on the form now (with thanks to Mr Handley for bringing this to my attention!), a fine Father Ted pastiche of the lame Eurovision performance:

And finally for now, a practice vid from Latymer students, which may just be something you'll be doing very shortly after returning from the half-term hols!

Any thoughts/comments on any of these?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

FinalCut experiments - vid eg

I've embedded below a clip from another centre where students have experimented with the chroma key function available in software such as FCE (an aspect JonnyH + Joel have been exploring recently). BRIEF videos such as this form useful evidence of your R+P, will help later with the evaluation, plus with various aspects of A2 exam Q1a (DCRUP), though you'd be advised to include info on software within these.
I am looking into buying some screen recording software to this end.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Early History1: Panorams

I'll be adding some detail on the history and development of the music video format in due course - you can of course start reading up for yourself using the book suggested: "Dancing in the Distraction Factory: Music Television and Popular Culture" by Andrew Goodwin
The video embedded below showcases an early archetype of video jukebox (one of several that emerged and disappeared many decades before MTV was even thought of), the Panoram...
Many of the suggested links alongside this video on YouTube point to clips from 'soundies' - sound in the movies was still a new, emerging phenomenon in the early 1930s, with musicals swiftly emerging as a key format/genre for Hollywoods industrial-style studios.

Try some simple research to discover in what year sound was first used in the cinema and the first 'talkie' or 'soundie' released - it does involve music, and a 'blacking up' process which wasn't controversial at a time when the US segregated the races but which is considered unquestionably racist today...

Friday, 15 October 2010

Cars (2nd pitch exercise)

Following up on our efforts with The Doors' "People Are Strange" today we used Gary Numan's classic "Cars" as stimulus ... with some genuinely impressive ideas emerging!
We didn't get time with 13D to look at the actual video; this is embedded below, followed by the lyrics, then a summary of some (don't have enough time to type in all!) of the ideas that emerged, some examples of cover versions and some links for further reading. It was generally felt (and I certainly agreed) by 13B that their ideas would work much better than the actual video - remember though that this was 1979, some years before the success of MTV made shooting a music video almost an automatic choice for any singles release. The generally basic look reflects the artist's techno-driven style and the technological limitations for videos shot and edited on low budgets (an Indie label released this song).

POST OUTLINE: After the video; the lyrics; snapshots of your ideas (+ some of mine), examples of covers (remember, you could always look to commission your own!); some useful links for further reading on this track.


*** LYRICS ***

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
In cars

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please?
If I open my door
In cars

Here in my car
I know I've started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right
In cars

*** Released : August 1979 ***


There are many, many covers of this - just a few examples below. Numan himself notes:
This song has found new life and given Numan a great deal of exposure to another generation through covers by Fear Factory (with Numan singing on the track and appearing in the video), Nine Inch Nails, Dave Clarke, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, The Judybats, and Tia. Says Numan: "It's been a most amazing thing, really, to keep hearing about the people that are doing cover versions. I was trolling around the other day for something totally unrelated and I came across a Youtube of Courtney Love's band, Hole, doing 'Cars.' I just thought, 'Yeah.' And there's a lot of that. It's very cool, and I don't take it for granted at all. I'm so totally blown away with a big grin on my face every time I hear that someone's done something like that. So it's not as if I'm kind of arrogantly expecting it. Quite the opposite." [Source]

Numan covers it himself in this ad:

Daft Punk

Synthpro - better audio quality at Myspace

Fear Factory

With Nine Inch Nails

Technologic [a cute little pussycat DJ!]

Blue Man Group

Main Wiki on Gary Numan
Wiki on the song
Covering Cars with actual cars []
Again on this ad [technorati]
Bass tabs for the song guide to and analysis of the song/lyrics
RollingStone interview about Cars etc
Guide to playing on synth
Gary Hunter cover

Music vids as ads

We've discussed 2 examples, both of which used the expensive but prestigious ad-breaks within Saturday's X Factor to launch the campaign. In each cases we can see a company looking to extend (or consolidate) its reach to the lower end of the youth market, 15-24, with humour the main tool used to achieve this.

I came across these examples by reading the Media Guardian online - can i urge you all again to flick through this from time to time...

We can take from this the widening use of the music video format; as well as commercials for bands/singles/albums/tours/merchandise, as well as 'art films', we are seeing the form used within advertising - an ad trying to disguise its status as an ad!

In the 2nd example we get a straightforward use of juxtaposition which you could consider yourselves: the urban, bling-heavy rap set and performed in a farm by supposed farmer types wearing country clothing! Nice effects with the tractor, the owl and quirky shots of cows all thrown in.

The song dates back to 1980, so as well as our core youth target audience we're looking at clear appeal to a secondary nostalgic mature youth market, 35-44.

As Media Monkey notes:

At first glance Monkey was mightily impressed with the breathtakingly fresh, unique and offbeat approach the ad agency BBH had taken creating dairy company Yeo Valley's first TV ad. It was a a well-planned debut: Create an ad of a bunch of young "farmers" performing a rap homage to their trade and hog an eye-wateringly expensive two-minute slot in The X Factor's first live knockout round on Saturday. Except it seems that the idea for the campaign may not be that new at all. It seems a Canadian TV campaign from a year ago, the "Milk Rap" by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, which aimed to make milk a bit "cooler" (strapline: "It doesn't get any cooler than this") featured a bunch of, you guessed it, young hip farming typers rapping about the virtues of the white stuff.
Spot the difference, you decide: here's the Yeo Valley TV ad and the Canadian Milk TV ad .

There's a nice link from this into our 2nd stimulus song: Cars...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Michel Gondry

We will look at Michel Gondry's varied work as one of two director case studies.
Michel Gondry (born May 8, 1963) is a French film, commercial and music video director and an Academy Award-winning screenwriter. He is noted for his inventive visual style and manipulation of mise en scène. [SOURCE: wiki]
I've added a links list to this blog if you want to explore Gondry in advance of any November lessons