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

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

DANCE EG: Tata Young - I Believe (2004, Thai)

1st shot: walking towards lense, stays in MS. Semi-revealing costume
Tata Young -

Dir: unknown, 2004.


The track is dull and tedious, and it gets the video it deserves! Its all proficiently done - the green-screened CGI is fairly impressive, the dance routines are slickly choreographed, the male performers are suitably tight-lipped and moody, the shirtless male provides eye candy for a female gaze/audience, a wind machine adds that dramatising touch, some aerial shots are set up well.

Nonetheless, it suffers from a lack of shot variety; the studio setup and the cliched basic romance setup both fail to hold the attention. Britney Spears shot to fame by fusing signifiers of innocence and sexuality in a polysemic promo that be read as raunch or innocent; this video appears to be attempting a comparable blend, less successfully blending these binaries - although this Western-centric reading may be misinterpreting Thai cultural signifiers.

It is worth working through all the screenshots for the final shot, which is beautifully lit and very well executed.

For quite some time we crosscut between this shot (graphics colour changes) and that below

A basically very dull video, notwithstanding the slick green-screened SFX/CGI

Eventually we get some variety; her costume is now burlesque; there is tension here between signifiers of innocence and sexuality; the Lolita meme at work perhaps?

Compare this MCU with the shot above: innocence vs sexual expression? Simple point: a wind machine is used throughout

Matching the lyrics, we get fire FX

An overtly sexual pose: strip bar/lapdance club connotations? I'd guess Britney Spears was a key influence

This was underused: the potential for performance to add greater variety was missed (tho' still useful verisimilitude)

This isn't explicit - shirtless males are considered acceptable - but is effective in signifying adult sexuality

In many ways this shot sums up the cheesiness of the vid

A well-lit aerial shot injects some much needed variety
This is actually the last shot, and the one artful exception to the general tedium: beautifully lit, we presume they kiss, but can't actually see to confirm this. The height differential would of course be typical, but carries potential connotations of a power differential too - the silent, strong male as dominant, in control?

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