Andrew Goodwin in his book Dancing in the Distraction Factory writes about what he defines as the characteristics of music videos…
1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics
(e.g. stage performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band)
In order for my music video to fit in with the 80s genre, I know from researching other pop music videos of the 80s, that my video needed energetic choreography, ‘cheesy’ moments and a very weak or no narrative at all. The 80s decade is now looked upon as a decade of vibrancy and enthusiasm; I want my music video to represent this and have done so by making every shot colourful (and a different colour to the shot beforehand) and using quick edits to keep the energy and pace alive. I have included no narrative; just colourful and entertaining footage which are typical of other music videos of the 80s.
2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals
(either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting)
The visuals in my music video both illustrate and amplify the lyrics. An example of when the visuals illustrate, is in the first verse of the song and the lyrics say, “And I was bouncing on my feet,” whilst the visuals show Heidi doing the ‘running in a very bouncy motion. When storyboarding my music video, I knew I wanted a ‘bouncy’ dance move of some sort to go with these lyrics.
There are also moments when the lyrics say, “Summer Love,” and heart shaped hand gestures are made by the protagonists of the video or an image of a heart appears on screen. Towards the end of the song, the lyrics say, “Kissing my baby, driving me crazy,” at which point, Heidi blows a kiss to the camera and does a crazy dance, literally illustrating the lyrics. This was also planned in my storyboard.
Also, a lot of the lyrics in my music video appear as if they are being sung by either me or Heidi. So, I suppose this is a way of amplifying lyrics, as they are not only being heard but also being seen by the audience. Because the song is very rhythmical, there usually is an edit after every phrase sung in the song, so not only is there a relationship between the visuals and lyrics but also with the rhythm as well.
3. There is a relationship between the music and visuals
The visuals in my music video are either illustrating or amplifying the music. For example, there is a very distinctive bass line in the song “Summer Love” I have listened to the bass line carefully at the start of the second verse and have edited footage of Heidi’s silhouette according to the beat of the bass. Different coloured shots of Heidi appear on screen at the same time a note is played on the bass, amplifying its rhythm.
A similar moment, when I have made the visuals amplify the music is once again during the second verse and there is a frantic synth motif on a keyboard. During this musical motif, I have used the same shot and repetitively ‘horizontally flipped’ it back and forth and when the keyboard motif has ended, the shot goes back to its original position. I particularly appreciate it when music videos do this, as sometimes when listening to a song, you do not always pick up on some of the instruments playing. I have become very familiar with the song ‘Summer Love’ as I have been working with it for several months and it was only recently during the editing process of my music video that I noticed the short and frequent keyboard motif. It seemed so subtle at the time, but now I am glad I have recognised it because this has effected my editing positively.
In the song, there is also a distinctive drum beat and guitar motif. There are shots in my music video showing myself playing the drums and guitar in sync with the music. I have also created a little cartoon character playing the horns when the horn solo starts. These shots are literally illustrating the music as they show the instruments used in the song.
4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artists and the artist may develop motifs which reoccur across their work (a visual style)
There are certainly a lot of shots (all close up, mid and long shots) of myself, who is representing the figure of Michael Jameson (the artist).
Looking at my magazine cover and album digipack with my music video, the vibrant colours and silhouette figures in dance poses are both reoccurring motifs across my three pieces of work. When making each of these it was important that they all linked together in some way so my target audience can recognise my visual style immediately. If I were to be a successful and popular music artist, my colourful visual style and silhouette imagery would probably become iconic to my name.
5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes etc and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body)
Heidi wears big sunglasses in my music video which refers to the notion of looking. The sunglasses perhaps could symbolise the idea of taking a closer at things, such as the meaning of the video, the moves of the female dancer and the clothes in which the female protagonists wear. However there are no sexually suggestive shots of the female body as this does not really fit in with the genre of the music video. There are moments when Heidi also pulls down her shades and looks directly at the camera creating a more intimate relationship with the audience.
There is also a lot of symmetry and colours within the music video, some people may interpret this as looking through a kaleidoscope, as these elements of the video are not dissimilar from kaleidoscope imagery.
6. There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc)
The costumes used in my music video have reference both to 80s and New Jack Swing artists such as MC Hammer, Abba, Madonna, TLC, Michael Jackson, Rick Astley, Guy etc. The dance moves are typical of Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson whereas the colourful and vibrant themes of the music video is a big reference to the 80s decade in general.