Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Comparison of three music videos

I have decided to compare three music videos, which have completely different genres. A music video is a short, moving image product, shot for the express purpose of accompanying a pre-existing music track and usually in order to encourage sales of the music in another format (generally CDs).

Firstly, I decided to looked at Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette” video and Taylor Swifts “we are never ever getting back together” Rihanna is known for R&B or soul genres whereas Taylor preforms more country pop.

Although the music videos were completely different, they both had the singer speaking to the audience, which is ‘direct address’. In Taylor Swift’s video she is constantly keeping eye contact with the audience, however, in Rihanna’s we only get glimpses of eye contact.

The camera shots for Taylor’s video are very simple. The story is linked together using a tracking shot and she is mainly in a mid shot. There are a few group shots with her and the dancers, but there aren’t any high or low angles of the camera. There is also a split screen between Taylor on the phone at her house and the boyfriend in a club on the phone.
Rihanna’s music video has more mixed camera shots, the shots consist of high angles to make Rihanna look powerless. The long shots also make Rihanna look vulnerable, as she appears smaller. There are also close ups between Rihanna and the man she is playing Russian Roulette with. Even though the camera angle is even between them, the reaction of Rihanna makes her the weaker character.

The speed of editing is also completely different between the videos. In Taylor Swift’s video the editing is very slow as it is a country pop song. However in Rihanna’s music video the editing it very quick in the flash backs but slows with the scenes when she is alone or with the man, which add tension between the characters.

The beginning of “We are never ever getting back together” starts with a asynchronous car honk and an establishing shot of the New York City apartment, which sets the scene. The music video also ends with the same shot of the apartment and the same car honk. In “Russian Roulette” there are a lot of extra sound effects especially in the beginning of the video. The hyperbolic sounds of the banging footsteps, the heavy breathing, the beeping of the machines and the noise of the cylinder spinning inside the revolver create an eerie and dangerous mood to the video.

Taylor Swifts music video has very simple lighting, however Rihanna’s music video has lights that flash to the beat of the music. When Rihanna sings ‘flashes before my eyes” the lights flash to the beat.  The music video mainly consists of top lighting. This use of lighting creates an eerie and dark atmosphere. There are also special effects in the music video where images of Rihanna move around in a circle just like the cylinder of a gun.

Unlike Taylor Swift’s music video which has a lot of locations, Rihanna’s music video only has three different locations; outside in the car, the jail cell and the scene where she in the sea.

After comparing these music videos I decided to compare Justin Bieber’s music video “As long as you love me”.  The music for this music video is a mixture of pop and rap from the artist Big Sean. There is a non-diegetic rumbling base sound, which becomes louder as the music video progresses. The asynchronous sound of the telephone is heard through the beginning sequence of scenes and finished just before the music starts when Justin is at the telephone booth. The footsteps of the dad walking are hyperbolic to exaggerate the danger of the character.

The widescreen shots of the music video give a cinematic effect, these shots have a mixture of close ups of the singer, telephone booth and the girlfriend. There are also mid-shots of the dialogue screens and long shots of the dance sequence. These shots are used in a standard music video. Justin also uses direct address in this music video, which is when the singer talks or sings to the camera and makes eye contact with the audience; this keeps them interested and makes them feel part of the video.

The fast cuts are meant to imply the memories of the couple together as they move through his head. The cuts are between the romantic flash backs of them together, the dance sequence and the fight scene between Justin and the father.

From the Romeo and Juliet storyline this music video is targeting teenage girls. The Island and Def Jam music group made the music video.

The lighting in the music video is very dark with the exception of the romantic clips between Justin and the girlfriend, where pastel lighting is used. The lights flash in time to the music and the fast cuts add tension to the story.
In conclusion, looking at Godwin’s Theory, Taylor Swift’s music video uses parody to mock herself in the video. She does this by talking to the audience in-between the song and using direct address whilst singing. ”Russian Roulette” doesn’t seem to parody anything, as it is a serious and dark music video. Taylor’s music video also uses pastiche, which is visual imitation; she does this by using props such as the cardboard car to imitate a real car. Justin Bieber’s music video uses intertextual referencing by creating a modern day Romeo and Juliet love story. In all the music videos the artist are hyperconscious as they all dress in a particular way. All the artist dress to appeal to their target audience. For example, Taylor dresses in typical teenage girl clothes, Rihanna dresses in dark and grey clothes to suit her music and R&B genre and Justin dresses in stylish outfits for his cinematic music video. 

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