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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Inspiration and Ideas for my music video

I am going to be making an 80s themed pop music video for the song, Summer Love by Michael Jameson (found music on website, Jamendo). For inspiration and ideas I have researched a lot of 80s pop and New Jack Swing music videos from artists such as Bobby Brown, Jane Child, Rick Astley and many more.

Bobby Brown was a very good dancer and in his early music videos, he does a lot of stylish and well choreographed dance routines. I have been looking at his dancing and I myself have started choreographing my own routine inspired by his moves. A typical late 80s/early 90s move was The Running Man (a running action on the spot), which Bobby Brown performs several times in his music video, Every Little Step I Take. Not only do I like Bobby’s moves in the video but I also like the triangle formation he and his dancers are in. I may use this formation in my music video.

I really like how Bobby occasionally comes out from the main dance routine and does some improvised moves, whilst the other two dancers carry on with the routine. I like this because it seems more relaxed then all three of them performing the same routine move by move. It also makes the shot more interesting, otherwise the movement may get a bit boring to watch without Bobby putting his own spin on it.

The editing is very quick and there are a series of shots showing Bobby singing without anyone else on camera. I have noticed that with this footage that the shots vary between this mid-shot of him:-


And this close up shot of him:-

Both are very simple shots, yet the quick editing makes them effective. This is something I that I would probably like to experiment with when it comes to making my music video. It would be good if I could get a variety of close-up, mid and long shots of  lip-syncer, as this will give me a lot to work and experiment with.
I also have been watching Jane Child’s music video for I Don’t Want to Fall in Love. A lot of the shots show her walking through the streets of New York in the evening. Though it looks really effective and is a good idea, I want to try and avoid shooting outdoors mainly because of the context of the song. The song I am using is called, Summer Love and because now summer is over, I think shooting outside in the autumn/winter season will look a bit odd and ruin the effect. Therefore, I am perhaps going to have more symbolic references to summer, such as somebody drinking a colourful cocktail or someone chilling in a deck chair wearing shades and a Hawaiian shirt, or I may not need to symbolise summer at all, I will see what I think is appropriate when the time comes.

Towards the beginning of this video, there are some moving shots of a percussionist:-


I think shots similar to this one would be good for my music video, particularly as the song, Summer Love has a good beat to it. I play the drums and own an electric drum kit (which is very 80s), so to have some shots of myself playing the electric drum kit would be really good. I have also imagined some good close-up shots of a single drum being hit by one of the sticks.  

Ricky Astley was a very popular artist in the 80s and I have watched several of his music videos. The video I liked in particular was, Together Forever. Similar to the Bobby Brown video, there are a variety of shots showing Rick Astley singing. In between these shots however there are other random people dancing (and not singing), which creates a bit more variety. I like this idea and for my music video I think I will get some people or a person to do a bit of improvised dancing in front of the camera. This will create a good range of shots for me to edit as well as variety amongst the shots of me lip syncing.

I also had the idea of doing some silhouette work for my video. I imagine that I will create both dancer silhouettes and silhouettes of lip-syncing. This was partly inspired by the video I analysed in my earlier post, Trust In Me by Az-1. In this video there are short shots of street dancer silhouettes. However most of my inspiration for making silhouettes has in fact come from Michael Jackson’s music videos. There are several videos of his, where either he and/or others are dancing or lip-syncing to the music in a silhouette. Here are some examples:-

 Screen shot from The Way You Make Me Feel (1987)

 Screen shot from Jam (1992)

Screen Shot from In The Closet (1992)

Paula Abdul’s video Opposites Attract, shows a reltionship between Paula Abdul and a male cat cartoon character. How the cat is animated in the frame with Paula is clever and it is quite convincing that she is actually reacting and singing with the cartoon figure.

I like the idea of introducing some kind of cartoon element into my video. I would like to make this video quite crazy, off the wall and good fun, so I think introducing cartoon would be quite appropriate to the theme. However if I do show cartoon elements, it would be best to keep it simple. I think trying to create a cartoon character to interact with real people in the video may be quite complex to create.


Above is an amateur video I found on YouTube of someone paying his tributes to Bobby Brown and imitating his moves. This is the style of dancing I want in my music video as it is upbeat and good fun to perform. The style of dance is typical of the late 80s and early 90s (New Jack Swing), which is appropriate for my music video.
I have been watching this video closely and have taught myself some of the movements. I have tried out some of them along with the song, Summer Love and the moves work well.

I loved the use of the neon light environment in Ray Jay Parker’s Ghostbusters music video, as one really gets the sense of the 'artifical 80s.' It would be great if I could add some kind of effect to my footage, that also suggested of an artificial world.

The neon light effect in Ghostbusters music video by Ray Jay Parker (1984)
Below is a New Jack Swing music video, Always Thinking by the short lived band, Aftershock. There are several moments when the lyrics quickly flash up and scroll across the screen. I think this is really effective and I may use this in my own music video if I can.

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