Deadlines/Brief

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

Sunday, 21 June 2015

UGC CONVERGENCE Ezine's fake 8bit metal game trailer

To the eyes of someone who fondly recalls all the acts featured, and the (now!) primitive video game style pastiched, this is a thing of marvel - a trailer for a notional 'Monsters of Rock' game, with legendary bands, music videos and singles all rendered in this retro style.
Bands like Chipmunk have of course made tech-retro part of youth/popular culture, fetishising 80s synths and recording technology.

This is a great example of convergence - an e-zine (there is no print edition, and Facebook, where I most often find its articles, seems to be, in effect, its key 'distributor') commissioned a fake retro video game trailer, 'published' on YouTube, featuring lo-fi music renderings that recall the early mobile phone ringtones.

[below the line: a second example, some important terminology, and points on 2005's Crazy Frog...]


... Which made me think of Crazy Frog, the 2005 phenomenon of a ringtone that became a number one smash hit single; read this 2005 Guardian report for a sharp sense of how dramatically and quickly things have changed - here's a snippet: ] (you may remember a certain frog making chart hits out of this).
Not content, however, with having the thing on their mobiles, it appears droves of people - a predicted 150,000 this week alone - want Crazy Frog in their CD players too, and the tune is set to become the first mobile ringtone to make it to the top of the charts.
Record shops yesterday reported that the single by German band Bass Bumpers, which mixes the ringtone with Axel F, Harold Faltermeyer's theme tune from the film Beverley Hills Cop, is outselling Coldplay by a margin of around four to one.
HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "Given the amount of exposure and advertising Crazy Frog has had, it shouldn't be that surprising that it's heading for number one. The only real issue is whether the record label can press enough copies to meet demand.
The highlighted terms/phrases simply emphasize the range of practices that have been dramatically 'disrupted' by the onwards march of digitisation (disruption is the term used to denote an industry or market that has been challenged by changes brought about by digitisation. Here's more, from a BBC report quoting the ringtone company behind the single:
Last week, Robert Swift, from Jamster, the company that markets the Crazy Frog single promised more ringtone tracks.

Mr Swift insisted: "We didn't come along and change the music industry. "It's been changing for a while and people have been in denial. And this is the sort of thing that highlights that."
Back to the Loudwire video...
The 'game' footage also mashes iconic music videos with classic video games. As Loudwire (the e-zine) explain:
We managed to narrow it down to five classic songs, which represent the best hair metal and hard rock of the ’80s. First off, we’ve got Guns N’ Roses‘ “Welcome to the Jungle” set in the iconic worlds of ContraDonkey Kong Jr. and Jungle Hunt. Next up, a cavalcade of classic Nintendo characters come together to watch Def Leppard perform “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” You’ll see Bowser from the Super Mario series rocking out with his kids, while Ganon from Link to the Past and the Big Fish from Megaman 2also enjoy some quality music.
We couldn’t make Monsters of Rock without Motley Crue and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The infamous quartet hit up a strip club driving Mario Karts rather than bikes, only to find themselves ogling an alien with the Angry Video Game Nerd. One of Nintendo’s most hated games, Friday the 13th, also makes it into our tribute, with Jason escaping his padded cell to the tune of Quiet Riot‘s “Bang Your Head” — no thanks to the help of Dr. Mario. ['Monsters of Rock' 8-Bit Video Game]
Read the full article here.
Here's another 'trailer' from the same production team - genius!
You can view more on their channel.

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