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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Theory Application

Devlin ft Ed Sheeran - Watchtower (Hip-Hop/Rap)

Narrative - Propp's Theory 

Propp's theory suggests that each character in the narrative has a specific functions that backs up the text. In terms the music video for Watchtower, these character narrative functions can be applied to the artists and actors within the narrative of the video. To begin with, the main character of the narrative is obviously the singer of the song, Devlin. Devlin's role in the narrative of Watchtower is 'The Hero', although he is a criminal escaping the police, in terms of the narrative he is the hero because he is the character who is seeking something which in his case is to escape the police. 

'The villain' of Watchtower would be the detectives and other members of police who raid Devlin's home because they are a opposing and actively blocking the hero's quest. 
Ed Sheeran's role in the music video is that of 'The Helper'. This is because he is the character who is attempting to aid the hero on his quest by being the get away driver from the hero's house - escaping from the police. 

Propp's theory also suggests set actions as functions of the narrative which are story lines that Propp believes all narratives follow. The action as function of narrative for Watchtower would be the 'Transference' story line.  

The hero leaves home
The hero is tested or attacked/ he meets the test and is given a magical gift or helper
The hero reacts to the donor
The hero arrives at the place he can fulfill his quest'

Watchtower applies to this action as function of narrative best as the music video initiates with Devlin gathering his possessions and saying goodbye to his family members as he, the hero, leaves his home in order to flee from the police. The hero is then tested, which in terms of Watchtower would be when the police approach his house and raid it meaning he has to get away to the helper where he can get away. However, the next plot states that there is a donor in the narrative where in Watchtower there isn't, although the helper aids the hero as apposed to the donor. Finally, the hero arrives at the place where he can fulfill his quest which from what we see in the Watchtower music video is the car driving down a quiet road meaning that he has successfully evaded the police where his quest to get away from trouble is fulfilled. 

The Hero                                                                

The Donor

The Villains

Representation - Stereotypes

Dyer had often argued that stereotypes are only used to reinforce peoples differences and singling people out as this stereotype. He also argued that stereotypes are used to represent peoples differences as natural. 

Stereotype could be used in Watchtower as both Devlin and Ed Sheeran are young, therefore the stereotype of 'youth culture' could be used against them. Generally, youth culture is very negative and it is very rare that peoples representations of youth are positive.  

Watchtower portrays the negative stereotypes of youth culture due to the narrative being that Devlin and Ed Sheeran having committed a crime and being hunted down by the police as they try to escape. This abides by the youth culture stereotype by their characters having been extremely irresponsible in  that they have committed a serious crime and have also been very naive in to thinking they can get away with what they have done. 

The Function Of Genre - Audience

‘The attraction of genre to the industry is closely linked to its presumed appeal to viewers.  Filmgoers generally like to have a broad idea of what to expect from any individual picture.  Genres are constituted not just by bodies of films but also by the established expectations of viewers.’ King (2002)

Devlin has already made himself and established rapper with his album 'Bud, Sweat and Beers' having been fairly successful considering he was as popular and mainstream as he is now and with general collaborations with other big artists. Alike Devlin, Ed Sheeran has made his name in mainstream music with his most recent album gaining a lot of popularity and becoming very reputable. 

Ed + Devlin are both established music artists with a large fan base meaning when this song was produced there was already a high expectation of any music they produce. Not only do they have their own reputations, Watchtower is a remake of Jimmy Hendrix's big hitting track meaning there is a high standard that these two artists are to meet to gain any success from this song. Overall, Ed + Devlin have a lot of expectation with Watchtower due to its previous popularity created by Jimmy Hendrix and their own reputations on the line for making a cover of his song. 

Audience Theories - The Hypodermic Needle

  • Developed by Frankfurt School of academics (Adorno and Horkheimer)
  • They worked in Germany in 1930s and were influenced by the success of Nazi propaganda
  • The media ‘injects’ its message directly into the audience
  •  This model sees the audience as passive
  • Mass audience model
The hypodermic needle theory suggests that the media injects a message directly in to the audience with the use of the narrative in the music video for Watchtower. Considering that the narrative in watch tower is about two criminals who have performed a robbery and are on the run from the police, it would be suggested that the message in the music video for Watchtower would be that crime is not the way forward.

 The message is shown quite strongly on an emotional level as it shows how Devlin has to leave his family behind because of the stupid things he has done and Ed Sheeran dies from a gun wound. This message is meant to have a strong emphasis on the consequences of committing serious crimes and trying to evade from the police showing the audience what would happen if they were to relate themselves to the video and put themselves in the shoes of the characters in the narrative. 

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