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

Monday, 17 September 2012

Directors Challenge

Chris Cunningham. Michel Gondry. Spike Jonze. Anton Corbijn.
We have these 3 DVDs + work by Corbijn
Just 4 of the many video directors who have developed a distinctive individual style, leading some to label them as auteurs. The latter 3 have all directed successful feature films too - its a common route into the film business (remember that both Warp and WT emerged from music video producers deciding to take it a step on).

[2012 selections: Andy: Gondry; Will: Jonze; Tom: Cunningham]

Before you start to firm up ideas for your own videos, you should spend some time exploring the distinctive media language employed by some of these music video auteurs, and see if you can find some inspiration. One of the most successful IGS Media productions to date was the Joy Division video (here's one of their blogs, JH's) which was strongly influenced by the visual style of Anton Corbijn, a good example of how individual creativity can be bolstered with influences. Postmodern theorists would argue that any original idea is in any case impossible: everything is intertextual, every idea merely a remixing of existing ideas and expressions.

So, your task is to:
Chris Cunningham's style comes across loud + clear
  1. Identify a particular director with a clear visual style that you can research
  2. View a good number of their videos and use screenshots from these plus any additional research to summarise their style
  3. Having blogged on this, prepare a pitch for a class project, where a short section of a whole music video (at least 30 seconds) will be produced ... in the style of that director. You need to identify a track for this and in your pitch make it very clear which aspects of this director's style you propose to use. Remember that a pitch is a competitive process; you need to provide reasons why your classmates would want to work on your idea
  4. Having picked one of these to work on, plan this in detail so that you end with storyboards, a shotlist and full details of which cast member/s are required for each shot. Use the appropriate templates to do this.
  5. With casting and shots arranged, and every aspect of mise-en-scene (including costume, props, locations etc) arranged, shoot your footage.
  6. Using the expertise of whoever's pitch won out, each then individually upload and edit your own version, making notes as you go on how you're reflecting this director's signature style.
  7. You can use this opportunity to have a go with Final Cut Pro X.
  8. Blog on your learning as you go
You can find links lists on some big names in this blog, and could search for posts on each within the blog too - here's just 2 egs on Corbijn: and

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