Joe Cooper Music Video

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Characteristcs of a Music Video

By watching music videos from a range of genres I have found that there are three main types:

  • Performance
  • Narrative
  • Conceptual

Performance videos are where it is the artist playing to a group of fans which creates an in concert feel. In the video for the song ‘Twenty Seven Million’ by LZ7 it was filmed at the Passion Confrence at Atlanta, Georgia. I think that the video is good becasue it is does not focus on the performance only.

Narrative videos are videos that tell any kind of story. The most common narrative mode is the love story, often with the action dominated by males and females who passively react or wait for something to happen. In the video for ‘Grenade’ by Bruno Mars, the story is that he is showing his love to his ex by pushing a piano to her house all the while saying what he’ll do for her. When he sees her with her new boyfriend he is do distraught he goes to a train track and then the video ends with the train about to hit him. I think that the video is good because the storyline is clear and easy to understand.

Conceptual videos rely on poetic form or the metaphor. They do not tell a story in linear fashion but create a mood or a feeling for the viewer which enhances the viewing experience. The video ‘Everybody Hurts’ by R.E.M. is a concept video because it does not follow a story like a narrative video but it does create a feeling for the viewer.

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Before making my music video I decided to research music videos to find out different codes and conventions used by professional music videos

I started to research different music video directors and their works by taking an auteur approach by focusing more on the directors rather than bands or genres.

One director I researched was nathan Glazer. I did this by watching parts of the MTV documentary ‘Mirrorball’ which interviews him about his life and his work. This will help me get a better understanding of famous music video directors and their works


I also watched his video to Jamiroquai’s ‘Virtual Insanity’ in which he describes how it was made and the problems that he had to adress. This will help me in my planning because it will help me to understand about how music videos are made.

I also researched different music videos by watching ‘Pop-up videos’. These are music videos that have messages that pop up during the video which have information about how the video was made. This source is good as it gives some information about how the video was made but most of the information is about different things unrelated to the actual directors vision for the video

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What are Music Videos?

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

Before I researched different music video directors and videos I thought it was important to define what a music video is. By doing this I think that I will have a better understanding of what to do.

A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes

(Wikipedia Article on Music videos)

I found that the most important part of that quote was “integrating a song and imagery” becasue if the imagery and song are in sync the overall experience for the viewer will be good becauase a good video cant make a bad song good but it can make a good song better.

Also In ‘Sound & Vision: a Music Video Reader’ Simon Frith gives some interesting views on what modern music videos are by saying

Music videos are the ultimate expression of various trends in modern culture coming together

(Sound & Vision: a Music Video Reader’ by Simon Frith)

Also, in the book ‘Dancing in the Distraction factory’ by Andrew Goodwin  he says that

A good music video is “a clip that responds to the pleasures of music, and in which that music is made visual, either in new ways or in ways that accentuate existing visual associations

(Dancing in the Distraction factory’ by Andrew Goodwin)