a2 evaluation question one

In what ways do your music video and ancillary products use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Evaluation Question 1- Louie Clark

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Page 1: A2 evaluation question one

In what ways do your music video and ancillary products use, develop or

challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Evaluation Question 1- Louie Clark

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Part 1- Music Video

There are conventions that all music videos are said to follow if not entirely then certainly in part. These have been defined by numerous media theorists although I have focused on Andrew Goodwin and to a lesser extent Stephen Archer as they seem most useful in analyzing my own work. I will not only be looking at what they said however, as in order to fully answer this question I will need to offer my own interpretation of how music video has used : Genre conventions, narrative, representation and music video conventions in general, in order to emulate existing professional texts.

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Genre conventions

Challenged: Seeing as the genre of my song was categorized by the artist as alternative metal, I saw the loose conventions and specific parameters of that sub genre as an opportunity to challenge some of the conventions of traditional metal music videos.They often contain aggressive performance footage of a whole band, this is a genre convention of heavy metal, as the music it’s self is often aggressive fast paced and powerful in it’s delivery music videos of this genre will often represent the music in this way visually. As seen below in the music video for Slipknot- Duality…

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Continued…I have intentionally broken this convention opting for an individual performer, sitting down, playing an acoustic guitar. I have done this to illustrate the unconventional nature of the song within metal music and allow for some originality to shine through. This also provides me with a link between the music (acoustic verses) and the visuals, an element of music videos in general established by Goodwin. This one way I have constructed a music video that does not convey generic metal sub genre mise en scene. Some music videos from this genre will try and incorporate humor into videos whereas others may not, it is more conventional not too as the music is considered to be very serious. I have attempted to inject humor into my video however with the use of characterization and costumes, making for an even more unconvetional metal music video. The breaking of conventions in this way could be considered post modern as well.

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Continued…Used:I have also made use of some genre conventions, namely with my choice of setting in some scenes, opting for the location of a graveyard. A graveyard will always have connotations of a gothic nature; death, darkness, the super natural. These connotations fit the narrative that I was constructing in my music video, if not lacking the somewhat humorous aspect. They are also images and issues that the genre of metal music seems to have an obligation to address and represent, and so they are seen here in my video. One of the characters a ghost that reveals himself to the other in a classically gothic setting. Although light hearted my music video does indeed tackle some serious subject matter that features quite regularly in both rock and metal music, the use of narcotics, and a possible link to depression. This convention has been upheld and used as an accessory to the story, the protagonists addiction the main reason the ghost cannot crossover.

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Continued…Lastly, although unconventional in the acoustic nature and solo style, I HAVE included some performance, which is a proven convention of most metal music videos. Performance is also one of the main three categories (narrative, performance and abstract) that Goodwin defined meaning it is more conventional in this way. The main reason for the performance aspect is to increase the connection between the music and the visuals, which I feel I have achieved.

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NarrativeMusic video could technically be considered a narrative performance, as it contains both a narrative and footage of the music being played. As it in fact contains a story it is interesting to examine the way in which it is fragmented. Stephen Archer spoke about fragmented narratives in music videos and in mine we can see that there is one.One of the ways in which it is fragmented is through cutting to clips of performance, this separates the periods of time within the story that the audience is witnessing. This way of interpreting a narrative can also be called post modern, as the full story isn’t important it’s the portrayal of certain images which give a brief picture of the songs subject matter.

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Continued…The video can also be read as a post modern text in the way that it addresses grand narratives or meta narratives. Lyotard said that there are no grand narratives and in showing a different interpretation of the steps between life and death, or going from this life to the afterlife, I have demonstrated the pluralism involved in the construction of these ideas.

I connected the music video to these themes and gave it a narrative that centered around them due to the connection given by lyrics ‘Why won’t you help me lay my ghost to rest, why won’t you buy me a piece of heaven?’ Therefore the story follows the ghost of a seventies cop attempting to help someone with their substance abuse, and in doing so he hopes to achieve the right of crossing over to ‘heaven’. By constructing this narrative I have deviated from grand theories and narratives and therefore this text can be considered post modern beyond the realms in which all music videos can be. The narrative also shows a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals in my interpretation of other lyrics in the song…

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…’There’s something black coursing through my veins’ and ‘You drink my wounds as you follow me down’ are the two phrases I used to justify my interpretation of the song in turning it into a story. The ghost’s role is to prevent the smoking and drinking mainly of the protagonist, and stop him sinking into an early grave. Having directly related the metaphorical implications of the lyrics to the music video, I have strengthened the connection of the narrative and it’s visuals to the lyrics even more, giving even more fortitude to the claims of Goodwin and presenting an unconventional almost buddy comedy (nothing is original- Jameson) about substance abuse and transcending purgatory, into a conventional music video. With the filmed performer forming part of the narrative at the end, giving it an almost circular structure, but not quite.

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Most striking, as appears to be a trend in music, is my representation of gender. In this case I have included no women in my music video, and whilst that was due to casting restrictions limiting the scope of my actual idea, I intend to discuss how this could be interpreted. Seeing as my genre is often considered to be male dominated my video could be accused of under representation of different genders, it also has a similar view of men as many crime dramas, often depicting the male characters as emotionally crippled, in need of help and turning to substance abuse for some kind of escapism. However it is arguable that in not representing women I have avoided common place problem when they are of their sexualisation and what the feminist known as Tuchman called ‘symbolic annihilation’, the portrayal of women through the ‘male gaze’.

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Part 2- Ancillary products

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RepresentationMy research into digipaks told me that unlike some cd covers, digipaks are much more likely to portray characters and tell a story. The multiple panel design allows for imagery and creativity to be applied, which has the effect of offering more for the consumer to feel involved in. Seeing as my music video was very narrative based I decided to convey some main features of this through photographs of the main characters. The use of these characters further shows the representation of men in my coursework, one can be seen to be in a position of power in each shot

The effect this has (one character holding a gun) is to maintain the light hearted appeal of the image whilst tying it in with typical metal band imagery which often aims to be confrontational and overtly masculine

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AudienceThe target audience I named for the promotional package was 18-24 year olds as it seemed they were most likely to identify with the music and more mature themes.At the same time it was my hope that they would appreciate the light hearted humorous aspect of what I was doing. One of the ways I aimed my ancillary products at my target audience was by editing the photographs to make them seem older, this gives them a ‘gritty’ vibe and a fashionable retro element.

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Most notable is how I have conveyed narrative on the two inside panels of my digipak design, giving a before and after effect which ties in with the initial encounter of my two characters and there friendship at the end of my music video.

Before After