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

Saturday, 6 August 2016

POMO RETROMANIA Shot-by-shot remake videos

This vaguely creepy effort by a US presenter has added a useful 1m hits to Selena Gomez' hit single. BELOW I consider examples where a different (new) track is used with a remake of an old video. There is an embedded playlist at the bottom of this post.
NB: There is some swearing from 2:38 in the video below.

More evidence that music video is the ultimate postmodern, intertextual format, the magpie medium that steals the nest eggs of previous videos and just about every audio-visual format going: the shot by shot remake videos.

The article that drew my attention to this doesn't mention an earlier filmic example of this strange phenomenon: Gus Van Sant's utterly dreadful Psycho remake (1960; 1998), adding colour and some jarring diegetic sound as the woefully miscast, towering Vince Vaughn uses his peephole. (See Wiki; trailer; FeudNation's often crude comparison flags up many of the problems using multiple clips from both) That was seen as a terribly arty effort by an auteur filmmaker - many of the music video equivalents share the element of tribute, but are much more playful and consciously postmodern.

A British politician perhaps best known for angering students and weakly letting a Tory government back in after 13 years recorded a remake of a Carly Rae Jepson video, I Really Like You - perhaps trying to get over just how few UK folk now really do like him. He kept the resultant video private (here's a tribute...), but its an example of UGC or fan-made videos - and how such work and aesthetics influence 'professional', official promo videos.

The IGS Media students' two Britney Spears videos (2011; 2010) plus One Direction (girls' cut) and Lady Gaga videos are further examples of a phenomenon that has become common practice since cheap digital cameras and editing hardware and software also became widely accessible (with iMovie especially encouraging many amateurs to have a go, and shooting, editing and uploading all now manageable through a smartphone).

Don't be fooled by the (often intentional) comic look of many of these - they take considerable planning and skill to pull off.

This has been seen with quite a few videos now, and is usually more down to the tastes of the director than the artist. You could argue this is further evidence for Simon Reynolds' argument in Retromania that popular music is increasingly dominated by the past, its heritage and nostalgia for this - shared by those too young to be there as digitised, online media has made music consumption and sharing easy (compared to the analogue days when you'd have to buy or borrow vinyl, or get someone to do you a copy on tape!).

Here's a recent example - in this case as much a promo for sponsor GoPro's cameras as for the music act; the YouTube blurb states:
Published on 23 May 2016GoPro is proud to release the official music video, “Whatever I Want" by Classixx Ft. T Pain. With this Director’s Program collaboration, director Daniel Pappas wanted to pay homage to Morrissey with a shot-for-shot remake of the iconic music video “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This Before” by The Smiths. Pappas enlisted the help of Morrissey fans from all over East Los Angeles to put a modern spin on the concept.

Here's the original, from Mancunian miserablists The Smiths - to my ears it would be hard to pick a less appropriate track than the Classixx sub-Zapp Band dirge, about as tuneful as Cher regurgitating a vegan lunch with its cliched chunks of autotune, but this is a 'homage'?!

With varying degrees of accuracy, this is a long-established element of comedy TV shows, though again the notion of remaking a video set to a new track is fairly new. Here are a couple of contrasting examples.

French and Saunders have done a lot of music skits over the years (Madonna + Britney amongst others) - here's a playlist.

Weird Al Yankovic (his channel) has made a career out of this - tweaking the lyrics with his own re-recordings - including classics such as ...

Mikal Cronin + comedians do Turn Around while remaking Natalie Imbruglia's Torn. (see 4 more comedy examples, including Jack Black remaking Extreme's classic acoustic ballad, here).


You can find much more with a simple google.

PLAYLIST (feel free to suggest additions via comment with links)

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