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Conventions of Music Video By George Blake


What is a convention? A convention is a set of generally accepted standards, social norms, or criteria recognised in a specific subject. In terms of my course, Music Video’s have conventions that are generally accepted as being particular to this form of media. Conventions can be specific to a particular form of media, and also specific to a genre in particular. In the case of my music video, the Indie genre has a number of conventions that I will have to be sure to follow.


Conventions Off Music Video


Editing • Evidence of editing is present in all forms of music video • They include both transitions and specific effects • Cuts and Fade’s are the most common type of edit, and are present in every single music video, especially Cuts, as they are the primary method of going from one clip to another • Special effects are used in some genres in order to separate the music video from a generic music video, such as bright lights or customised transitions


Camera • Camera usage is a very significant part of music video creation • Close ups are particularly common, and help to build a relationship between the reader and the viewer (Andrew Goodwin) • Close up’s often also used cohesively, as view of singer and the song they are singing • Long shots also used to help set the scene, particularly when shots are taking place outside • Range of camera movements are also significant, such as a pan


Sound • The main bulk of the music video • Song is ALWAYS playing in the background of a music video • In some cases, some artists create music videos in the form of short films, and the song begins after a several minute opening in which the scene of the music video is set. One example of an artist that does this is Lady Gaga • In a narrative music video, the lyrics of the song will often suggest what is happening in the narrative.


Mise En Scene • Often more important when filming is taking place outside • An example would be the use of backing dancers in the pop genre • Includes the costume of the singer, as this helps them to gain an identity • Mise En Scene often helps to set the scene of the music video, much like the use of long shots, and is often used cohesively with camera


Conventions The Indie Genre


Pace • The music of the indie genre is often very fast, with quick and choppy guitar rifts being the main bulk of the music • As a result, the music videos will often be very fast paced to reflect this speed • Video may be slower at the beginning of the song, as often the song will start slow and build up very quickly


Split Between Narrative and Performance • The genre itself has a fairly even split between the use of narrative and performance base in the music videos • There is usually some form of performance base in the video, but certainly not always • Often if a performance is included, it may be in a concert setting • The narrative bases are often very simple, boy/girl stories are very common


Simple Natured Video • The videos are almost always very simple, with the use of special effects very rare • This reflects the very simple nature of the genre as a whole, with the use of simple instruments • Rarely a complicated location or story, the genre tends to stick with a very easy to follow story or performance


Conventions of Music Video