How have you used, developed or challenged the language of music video?
Mise en scene Location: I began my music video in a bedroom location. This can be seen as a convention in some music videos, especially for female pop and pop rock artists, to appeal to the target audience by presenting the artist as more personable and relatable. Props: The prop of an electric guitar is centralised in this shot, introducing the genre of music. I also positioned various props â€“ such as CDs, books and makeup â€“ around the location to help establish the character. For example, I put some romantic poetry on the chair beside the bed to create a visual link with the lyrics because the song is about a difficult romantic relationship. Lighting: I used natural ambient lighting in this shot, seen entering the room from the window behind the character. This creates interesting contrasts of light and shadow on the character.
Camerawork Over-the-shoulder shots: I have used over-the-shoulder shots within my music video to encourage the audience to identify with the character. Mise en scene Props: A mobile phone is a recurring prop in my music video. This prop can be seen in many music videos, such as ‘Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High’ by the Arctic Monkeys. The lyrics of this song by the Arctic Monkeys, like the lyrics of the song in my music video, make references to phone calls – therefore this prop creates an illustrative relationship between lyrics and visuals, which Andrew Goodwin said is conventional in music videos. The use of the phone also follows another convention that Andrew Goodwin identified – there are frequent references to the notion of looking in music videos, often through the use of screens. Additionally, this prop acts as a narrative device by displaying a photograph of the couple, establishing that the character is in a relationship. It also enables the narrative device of on-screen text which helps to drive the narrative by showing the communication between the couple. Editing Focus pull: I used shallow focus in the first of these two shots before shifting to deep focus in order to draw the viewer’s attention to the mobile phone. This technique makes my video more cinematic because focus shifts are also commonly used in film to direct the audience’s gaze. Shifting focus can also create a greater sense of movement and energy in a music video.
Mise en scene Props: Mirrors are a common prop within music videos. They can hold symbolic significance, representing personal reflection, which is significant because my song is about the questioning of the state of a relationship. Another prop which I used in this shot is lipstick. Like in an opening shot of the music video for ‘White’s Not My Colour This Evening’ by Cherry Glazerr, my character applies this makeup whilst looking in the mirror. The lipstick is a dark purple shade, which complements the purple/red colour scheme created by the burgundy dress which she wears, her purple nail varnish and the lilac wallpaper in the bedroom. This colour is quite feminine, perhaps appealing to the female target audience, without being as hyper-feminine as pink is considered to be. I also chose this eye-catching shade of lipstick because bold makeup is becoming increasingly popular with young people (such as our target audience) as a form of creative expression, so this could also create appealing connotations of female empowerment.
Sound I carefully matched the mimed instrumental performance to the music to make the performance appear more convincing and professional. Mise en scene Lighting: In the shots of performance, I used artificial lighting to imitate stage lights. These had a purple tint to continue the colour scheme. This artificial lighting also created bolder shadow to make the performance look slightly more dramatic. Costume: The character wears gold nail varnish during the performance. The reflective surface of this metallic colour emphasises the dramatic lighting. Furthermore, gold has connotations of victory and success so could emphasise the artistâ€™s passion for performance Location: The background is a black curtain, like a stage curtain. This plain dark background allows the artist to stand out. Camerawork Extreme close-ups/close-ups: Close-ups of performance are conventional in music videos because they can emphasise the skill of a musician.
Editing I cut to this establishing shot as the music changed, matching the transition to a new location with the transition to a new section of the song. Camerawork Extreme long shot: This establishing shot introduces the new location. However, I chose to use shallow focus, focusing on nearby branches whilst the wider expanse of trees are out of focus in the background. This shallow focus could be symbolic of the sometimes myopic nature of teenage love. Mise en scene The red colour of the berries on the branches typically connotes passion, however the branches are mostly bare; this could be symbolic of dying nature of their relationship as it can no longer be sustained.
Camerawork Long shot: This long shot of the character emphasises her isolation. Composition: The character is centralised in the frame, emphasising her individuality and the importance of her personal journey which takes place in the video, leads to the end of her relationship. Mise en scene Location: The autumnal leaves are symbolic of change, reflective of the change which takes place in the characterâ€™s life as her relationship ends. This is further symbolised by her walking down the path, which is also a symbol of transition.
Camerawork Extreme close-up: This extreme close-up emphasises the on-screen text which clarifies that the character has disappointingly been stood up by her boyfriend. Shallow focus: The use of shallow focus emphasises the text and its importance to the character. Mise en scene Prop: In this shot, the happy photograph of the couple smiling on the phone creates a contrast with the disappointment of the characterâ€™s boyfriend letting her down.
Mise en scene Prop: In this final shot of my music video, the character is presented throwing her phone into the lake. This shows her frustration, but also represents her rejection of the unsatisfying relationship. The symbolism of her claiming independence is further emphasised because, as digital technology and social media become increasingly integral to young peopleâ€™s everyday lives, many people find it liberating to turn away from their devices sometimes and focus on other aspects of their â€˜realâ€™ lives; as well as showing her turning away from her relationship, this could also symbolise a new focus on more fulfilling parts of her life. Lighting: This outdoor shot was taken in the late afternoon, so the natural light is approaching sunset. This adds to the finalism of this closing shot. Camerawork Composition: This shot uses the rule of three, with the splash and ripples emphasised on a line of third.