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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Technical Codes + Conventions

Music Video Conventions

Sound/Meaning/Showcasing Stars:

  • Music is priority
  • Some aspects of narrative
  • Star is the focus of the music video 
  • Sound + visuals matched
  • Lip synchronisation 
  • Actors important to narrative - support the star
  • Lyrics match the video 


  • Matches the beat of the song
  • Doesn't have to be continuous 
  • Cut is common transition
  • Fade in/out is often used
  • Short/long takes
  • Jump Cuts


  • Matches theme, tone + genre of music video
  • Dance routines
  • Parties / Clubs
  • Professional 
  • Expensive
  • Clothing:
    • Marks boundaries between performer, supporting characters and band.
    • Costume complements the set
    • Colour is important - Connotations in relation to mood/lyrics of song. 
    • Costume of star important - stand out from the crowd / individuality 

  • Wide shot for dance scenes
  • Low angles of star
  • Close ups 
  • Camera movements - Dolly, tracking, crane etc.
Typical Settings:
  • Arenas
  • Barren Spaces eg Desert 
  • Hallways
  • Studios 
  • Fashion Shows 
  • Classrooms 
  • Nightclubs 
  • Inside cars 
(Influenced by the stars status eg Rappers flaunt their wealth by having expensive cars in setting)

In class, we watched the music videos for Lady Gaga - Pokerface and Plan B - She Said and looked at the technical codes and conventions of them. 

  • Wide shots - dogs + dance routines 
  • Close ups of face 
  • Parties / Clubs 
  • Zoom in / out 
  • Professional + Expensive
  • Actions matched lyrics
  • Jump cuts - continuity doesn't matter. 
  • Expensive house - Party 

  • Smart suits/shirt - emphasises wealth 
    • Complements formal features of the setting
    • shows difference between security guards, judges etc
  • Setting mirrors Plan B's personality  
  • Short takes
  • Panning - tracks star
  • Continuity less common - used parts for narrative
  • Jump cuts - sparks interest, forces equilibrium.
  • 180 degree rule - continuity 
  • Editing closely connected to song - in time with beat 
  • Wide range of cinematography used:
    • Close ups - objects, facial expressions (supports narrative)
    • High angles - characters power 
    • Track + Pan 
    • Crane, pan + tilt used (narrative) 
    • Wide shots 
    • Two shots - woman in witness box - adds history to narrative- actors important to narrative - supports star
  • Sounds + visuals matched
  • Lip synchronisation 
  • Lyrics match video 

In our music video, we will be taking a completely different approach as to these two songs which were both predominantly performances all for the camera such as the lip synchronisation and dancers which I personally dislike. For our song we will be aiming to use a lot of quick edits and point of view shots to reflect the pace of the music and make the audience as if they were in the video themselves. 

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