Monday, 30 September 2013

6. Concept


For our main concept we have decided to focus on colour and how they should be continuously bright and 'blocky'. An example of this will be seen in our costume, our locations and especially when we use the green screens which are going to be cross-cut throughout the whole music video. Some ideas for shots that we are going to include in our video are the three of us waking up in the morning in separate locations this is where they will get ready and we are going to make sure that they are bright and colourful locations, we are also going to film the girls meeting on a bridge at sunrise. After this we are going to be filming in both London and Brighton because they are both locations that we associate with happiness and where we imagine the 'perfect day' would be spent. When at these locations, we are going to be filming normal shots and cutaways, which would adhere to our genre and further emphasise the idea of happiness in the pop genre.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

1. Initial Ideas

5. Image Annotation

3. Song Details

We decided to choose the song 'Feels So Good' by Atomic Kitten because we think it is a very stereotypical representation of the pop genre and we will be able to convey the conventions in an exciting and adventurous way. We have lots of ideas and interpretations of the song already and these ideas will be successfully transferred into shot types. Some of our ideas include: 

  • Bright, syncronised costumes
  • Choreography 
  • Bright colours 
  • A busy, exciting location 
  • A wide variety of shot types 

2. Roles

We decided that I should be in charge of: 

  • Hair/make up/costume: This is because I am interested in this area and would ensure that all three of these areas are relevant to our genre and adhere with the narrative/visuals that we are viewing on screen.
  • Mise en Scene: I am in charge of ensuring that the mise en scene is interesting, eye catching, exciting, but most of all meaningful throughout our entire music video.
  • Performing: I am one of the two main performers in the video. This is because our song choice was originally sung by a girl band so we decided having the two girls in the group to perform would make the most sense.

We decided that Charlie should be in charge of:

  • Editing: We will all contribute to editing, but Charlie will be in charge of ensuring that all cuts are cut to the beat and that lip syncing is all in time. He will also be in charge of making sure our style of editing is relevant to our genre:
  • Camera: Charlie will mainly be in charge of the camera because he is the only one in our group that is not going to be performing within the video. This means he will have to individually set up many shots. 
  • Directing: Charlie will be the director of the video because he will have to distribute instructions to myself and Amie in order to frame shots and make them look professional.

We decided that Amie should be in charge of:

  • Lighting: Amie will be in charge of analysing where we are going to shoot and thinking about whether the lighting is going to be relevant for that specific shot and our genre.
  • Sound: Amie is also going to be in charge of sound and making sure that the music is of the correct volume for our video. She will also be in charge of making sure the timing of the music is correct for the shots/choreography. 
  • Performing: Amie is the other main performer in the video. As I said before the song is being sung by a girl band so it makes sense for me and Amie to be the main performers. Also, Amie and I can adhere our styles to the genre of the song and take inspiration from the band themselves.

4. Lyrics Annotation

First Verse: Establishes the mood of the entire song. The lyrics 'It feels so good, I knew that it would suggests a happy, upbeat mood. If we were imagining a music videos the ideas of summer and bright colours would be connotated. The repetition of the line 'nothing's gonna take this day away' suggests optimism and reinforces the upbeat tempo.

Second Verse: The second verse shows the start of the message that the band are trying to convey. We can imagine that something has happened to make them very happy and now they are singing in celebration. The lyrics: 'now my feet can hardly touch the ground' links with the idea of happiness and dancing.

Third Verse: This is when we really begin to establish the concept behind the lyrics. The lines 'Cos the sun is shining, holiday timing' allow us to associate the location which the band would be in, which is somewhere bright, busy and fun.

Fourth Verse: This is the chorus that the rest of the lyrics have been building up too. In the video that we create this would be the perfect time for choreography. We can imagine the band in sychronised costume smiling straight into the camera.

Fifth Verse: Here we learn that the problem that had previously arisen is now 'out of sight and out of mind' which is why the song is so focused on being happy because it wants to show contrast to this. Furthermore, this is a slower part of the song so this point of the video could have some establishing shots or close ups.

Sixth Verse: This verse is building up to the next chorus. This would also be a good time for either an establishing shots or a close up before it goes straight back to the choreography.

Seventh Verse: The chorus repeats itself for the second time in the song.

Eight Verse: This verse is just as optimistic and upbeat as the rest of the song. At this point the energy could begin to die down and we coulod perhaps change locations for a verse. This will make the video interesting and exciting continously throughout.

Ninth Verse: The chorus repeats itself for the third time in the song.

Tenth Verse: The chorus repeats itself for the fourth time in the song. These two repetitions would be exciting if they were edited at a very fast pace and fill with performance/choreography.

Eleventh Verse: The chorus is repeated for the final time. This needs to be made clear that it is the end of the song so we could do several things such as dimming the lights, filming it at night time so it looks like the end of the day and we could also die the volume out so that we are just left with the performers on screen. 

These are the annotations we decided on together as a group:

Monday, 23 September 2013

16. Audience Research 1

This is the questionnaire that our group created in order to distribute and find out the demographic of our audience. We managed to collectively receive 60 responses of various genders and ages. All of these people also had very different opinions on music and what they classify the pop genre to contain. The main purpose of this questionnaire however, was to discover what people thought would be a good pop music video, so we can take the information on board and then use it to create a music video that will be interesting and exciting for audiences to consume. Some examples of the questions that we asked were: 'What do you expect to see in a music video?' which is a very open question and 'How many music videos do you watch per week?' which is a closed question. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

17. Audience Research 2

We decided to analyse half of our questionnaire results by rounding up the majority or the most popular result and filming ourselves saying them. This was easier and clearer than presenting it in a chart or graph. We discovered that through asking sixty people an open question, we got six results that were the most popular. For example, for the 'favourite pop artist' question the most popular answers were Jason Derulo, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. We also discovered that the most popular way of watching music videos is through YouTube. I think filming half of the results instead of presenting them all in one way makes it more interesting and supervisual. 

We analysed the remainder of the results using pie charts. We can clearly see the results and it is a quick way of consuming the information. We can see that exactly half of our audience preferred American pop music and the other half preferred English. We can also see that the answers are not biased according to gender because there were almost exactly half and half male and female responses. Furthermore, the majority of people that we asked were in the 16-24 age bracket which is the target audience that we are going to be aiming for when we create our music video of the pop genre.

These results were very beneficial for our group because based on our findings we were able to decide what we are going to include in our music video.Firstly, it will make more sense for our artist to come from Britain rather than America. We are also going to aim our video at a target audience of 16 to 24 year olds because the most positive and knowledgeable results came from this age group. We are also going to challenge ourselves and include all of what people expect to see in music videos that adhere to the pop genre. This will ensure our video will be as exciting and interesting as possible.

Through carrying out this research we discovered some specific features that we are going to include in our work. Some of these specifics are bright colours, a change in location, a change of costume, lip syncing, performing and dancing,. These are all things that are generally expected of a pop music video, therefore we will adhere to the conventions ourselves.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

15. Advertisement Research

Mise en Scene

In the advert I can see a photograph of Katy Perry standing in outside in a garden. The sky is blue, the fence is perfectly white and their is a paddling pool behind her. Katy is dressed provocatively in bright colours (pink and purple) which connotate her being a stereotypical girl. The pink and white font also emphasises this. The advert also contains the name of the artist, the name of the album and when the album is being released which are all conventions of adverts.


Katy is standing tall and confident whilst looking directly into the camera, which suggests to us that she is a strong female figure within the music industry. The advert shows us her full body length and shows us that she has an athletic figure. Again, the setting of the advert suggests that Katy's album is going to be upbeat and energetic because it shows strong links to the Summer season.


The piece of text that we are immediately drawn too on the advert is Katy Perry's name because it has been placed at the top in a large font in a bright colour. The name of the artist is a crucial convention when it comes to magazine adverts because even if the audience read nothing else, they will notice her name and she will therefore be more recognisable to a broader audience. The fact the font is in pink and white connotate the sterotypical female within the music indsutry.


The entire advert is a long shot. This is usually done so as much information as possible can be contained. For example, from just looking at the advert we can see that Katy is the artist and her album is being released on the 22nd September, we can also see that she is dressed according to the hot weather and the paddling pool suggests that she wants to make the most of the sunshine. Furthermore, the photograph has been taken using the Rule of Thirds so it seems natural for the audience to look at and is simple rather than abstract.

Mise en Scene

In the advert we can see Jessie J looking into the camera. The background has been kept simple and is just a plain white background which I think is because Jessie J's image is so bold that we are immediately drawn to her. Jessie is wearing black clothing, big hoop earrings, black nail varnish and even black lipstick. This makes the audience feel weary of Jessie because her appearance is quite threatening.


As I said before, Jessie is looking directly into the camera which highlights that she is confident and is a strong character. The advert only shows us the upper half of Jessie's body so we are able to get a closer view of her face and make up, Jessie J's appearance defines her and makes her unique as a pop artist.


The use of the colours black and white are very simple but very effective. Because of the lack of colours everywhere else in the advert, we are immediately drawn to the gold font which connotates royalty, wealth and power. Furthermore, the name of the artist, the name of the album (Who You Are) and an image of the artist are all included on the advert which adhere to the conventions expected.


The advert is a close up of the artists face which allows us to feel as if we have a personal connection with the artist. This is especially important to Jessie J's fans because they want to feel connected to her because this will help them understand her better.

Mise en Scene

In the advert we can see six photographs of Olly Murs standing in different positions. Because the album being advertised is self titled (and it was his first album) it is important that Olly's fans begin to understand him as an artist. The use of the colour red isn't stereotypical for a male artist, but works well against the plain white background and makes the artists name stand out. 


In some of the photos Olly is looking directly into the camera and in some he is looking away. This could be a representation of his personality and the songs on the album. We can tell from Olly's body language that he is confident and has a fun, lively personality and this is important because it will be reflected in his music.


The use of the colours black and white are simple but effective and prove to be a popular choice for pop artists. The use of the colour red, however, is what draws the audience in. The name of the artist, name of the album and several photos of the artist have been used on the advert, adhering to the conventions that we expect of pop music album covers. 


The photos that have been used of Olly are all long shots which allow us to view his body language and the clothes that he is wearing. As his career has developed over the recent years, Olly's bowler hat has become his trademark as an artist and it is how some audiences may recognise him, so it is important that this has been included right from the beginning. The fact that six different photographs have been used make the advert seem even and in balance which is important because pop isn't about abstraction.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

12. Genre Research 3: Conventions of Pop Music Video

There are various conventions of Pop Music Videos:

1. There is usually a link between the lyrics being sung, and the visuals that we see on screen. 

2. There is usually a link between the editing and the visuals, like when a music video is cut to the beat of the song. 

3. There is usually high key lighting and bright colours. This attracts attention and drags the audience in. 

4. The costume in the video will be whatever is currently fashionable. This attracts a younger and stereotypically 'cooler' audience. 

5. The artists in the video are usually young, this is so their audience can relate to them. 

6. Most pop music videos contain a concept/narrative based on love. 

7. There are often references to both the artist and the name of the song to remind the audience of what they are about. 

8. The artist is often shown performing at at least one point during the video. 

9. There are often close ups of the artists face in pop video, this is so the audience gets a real connection with the artist.

10. Artists sometimes feature a recurring motif in their videos which makes them recognisable. This could be an item of clothing or a physical feature. 

11. Genre Research 2: Music Videos from the Pop Genre

The video opens showing us the band instrumentally playing the beginning of their song in a stereotypical band set up. They are based on the top of a building overlooking a city at either sunrise or sunset. The lighting is low key and we cannot see the bands faces immediately which makes them seem mysterious and interesting. The camerawork is very simple: a long shot and the editing is very slow paced at this point, however this could change at the video progresses.

As I guessed, the video progresses and the editing speeds up. We also begin to see a range of camera shots including, long shots, mid shots and close ups. This makes the video more aesthetically pleasing for the audience. Furthermore, the mise en scene develops in the video and the setting is revealed: a dark and dingy flat in a tower block, also we get to see how the band members are dressed, which is how I expected and adheres to the genre of alternative rock: dark skinny clothing and messy hair.

Location change is very conventional for any music video and this is what we begin to see here as the band members go from being in a bedroom into being in a bar. The cinematography in the video is very clever because it slides from shot to shot rather than cutting and because the band are in a domestic environment it seems as if we are 'looking through the keyhole' and getting an insight into their lives. The fact that the video flicks between being in black and white and in colour makes it more interesting for the audience.

As the video begins to draw to a close, we are shown for longer periods of time the band lip syncing, gesturing, dancing and playing their instruments. This gives the audience a clear idea about the band and their image/the genre they are trying to portray. The clothes that they wear when performing are either black or very dark colours and give connotations of sadness, betrayal and link with the lyrics they are singing about. Furthermore, this is the final position that we see the band in therefore it is made the most memorable and gives the clearest representation of alternative rock music.

This is the opening for the 'Pompeii' video by Bastille. We immediately see an extreme long shot of one of the band members standing on the top of a large wall or building. They are in the middle of what seems like it should be a busy place but he is standing and staring into space before the music even starts. After about 10 seconds, the video cuts to a close up of his face and the name of the song and band appear on screen. This is a very good way to remind the audience of the band and they are already begin to establish themselves before the song even starts.

As the music starts we begin to understand the narrative that is being portrayed. We see the man look over across into the city but he is in a derelict building, which emphasises the idea of being alone. The cinematography begins to vary from this point onwards and we see long shots, extreme long shots, over the shoulder shots and close ups. Furthermore, we also notice that the editing isn't as fast paced as, for example, a pop music video and this could be because of the speed of the song and the more laid back mood that it has.

It is a bit unusual that everywhere this man goes is empty when he is visiting places that are usually filled with people. This conveys a eerie and scary mood. However, we begin to understand why is in such a panic to get away from all these places (which we are able to tell from the fast paced editing) when we see the two women look up at him in the arcade. The fact that the women are alive but it seems like they are not actually within their bodies could be a reflection of the lyric: 'If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all'.

Location change is vital in order to make a music video both gripping and interesting and this video manages to show this brilliantly. However, what makes it even better is that they decide to flick between day and night to show how threatening the location looks at night and how normal it looks during the day. The costume that the man is wearing is very simple and doesn't draw any immediate attention, which adheres to the genre of video that has been created.

According to Goodwin's theory, Charlie Brown by Coldplay would be an illustration video because there isn't actually a clear concept or narrative that runs through to create meaning. However, something we do notice is the extreme close ups of actions being made by the people in the video (such as opening windows and putting on shoes) alongside the immediate fast paced editing which lets us know the song is going to be upbeat and the video exciting for the audience to watch. This video matches very well to the Mylo Xyloto album cover where this song originated from. 

45 seconds into the video is when the artist appears for the first time, this could have been confusing for the audience. Furthermore, the mise en scene is always gripping and interesting because of the setting of the music video (which is a nightclub, full of people and colour) which is consistently cross cut between a concept that we are not yet aware of as the audience. Unusually, the lyrics are not the main focus for the video and it is more about the music behind the lyrics which is constantly made to be the main focus.

This part of the video is very important for the audience because it is what it has been building up too. We wonder as the audience where the girl with the curly hair is heading for the first two minutes of the video and when it is finally revealed it is as if the audience can  relax and be at ease with the situation. Furthermore, the setting for the video is not exactly conventional of the genre but it works really well. Again, the costume that the band and characters are wearing do not draw immediate attention, but still manage to show their personalities. Finally, I think it is a good representation of an alternative rock music video.

14. Record Label Research

Island Records:

History: Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell and Graeme Goodall in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music GroupThe company relocated to the UK in May 1962. Graeme Goodall left to start Doctor Bird (another record label) in 1965. Until Blackwell sold the label to PolyGram in 1989, Island was the largest indie record label in history. Island had a major influence on the progressive music scene of the UK in the early 1970s.
Artists: Jessie J, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, The Wanted, Disclosure and McFly. 
Promotional material: Island Records uses various promotional advertisement materials to ensure their consistent success, this is even more important since they have grown in size and media publicity over the last decade. 
Location: Kensington High Street (London) and New York (America). 
Division: Island Def Jam Music Group. 
Year established: 1959
Parent company: Universal Music. 

Island Records would be a good choice for my artist because they are a well established and popular record label that musicians aspire to be signed too. Because Island Records are not specific to genre, a pop artist would be good for them to broaden their horizons and they would definitely do well being signed to Island Records.

XL Recordings:

History: XL Recordings is a British independent record label owned by Richard Russell. It originated as a 1989 offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records. The label was released in 1989 mainly to work with rave, dance and rock music. 
Artists: Adele, The XX, Friendly Fires, Radiohead, Jack Penate and Vampire Weekend. 
Promotional material: As they are an independent label they do not really feel the need to advertise, however they have become more well-known due to the success of Adele which has led to widespread publication in the media. Adele is their most well known and successful artist to this date.
Location: They have bases in both London and New York. 
Year established: 1989
Parent company: Independent. 

XL Recordings would be a good choice of record label for my artist because they are independent, which means they know that they have to work hard to get artists out there and correctly publicised. Furthermore, XL Recordings have had dealings with Adele, one of the most successful pop artists in the world.

Syco Entertainment:

History: Syco Entertainment is a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music. It does not only focus on music, but television, film and digital content. Cowell and Sony each own 50% of the business. Syco Entertainment is primarily operate in the United Kingdom and feeds from artists off of The X Factor and Got Talent, which are two of the largest television formats in the world. Key people behind Syco are Simon Cowell, Charles Garland and Nigel Hall. 

Artists: Olly Murs, JLS, One Direction, Cher Lloyd and Labrinth. 

Promotional material: As the majority of their artists are already well known when they are signed because of either The X Factor or Got Talent. Syco choose to promote their artists when their careers have developed and people need to be reminded of the material that they are releasing. 

Location: They are mainly based in London but have bases in Los Angeles as well. 

Year established: 2002 

Parent company: Sony

Syco Entertainment would be a good choice of record label for my artist because most of their artists work revolve around the pop genre therefore they are experts on target audiences and what makes an artist individual yet successful. 

10. Genre Research 1: Mood Board

These are two different mood boards that my group put together that show our interpretations of pop music. The first mood board shows pop artists that people wouldn't necessarily associate with pop such as Panic! At The Disco, Coldplay and Ellie Goulding. The second mood board, however shows us artists that we would immediately associate with pop such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. The second mood board is more relevant to our chosen genre and is what we are going to focus on because the conventions will be easier to follow. Some specific conventions of the pop genre that we are going to follow in our own pop music video are cutting to the beat, looking into the camera, using bright colours and most important of all, making sure that our video is exciting, upbeat and consistently interesting throughout. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

13. CD Cover Research (Pop)

The generic features of all CD covers are:
  • The name of the album
  • The name of the artist/band 
  • A photograph of the artist/band 
  • A bar code 
  • A spine (which also often has the name of the artist and album again) 
These are some individual analysis' that I done of Coldplay: 'Mylo Xyloto, The Wanted 'Battleground' and The Fray 'Scars and Stories' and their album covers: 

Monday, 9 September 2013

9. Theory Two- Andrew Goodwin: Dancing in the Distraction Factory (1992)

Andrew Goodwin had a theory that pop music videos were either one of three possible types. Illustration, amplification or disjuncture.


Music: Always cut on the beat.

Lyrics: Images illustrate the literal meaning or feelings of the lyrics, often the band sings and dances.

Image: The band will often sing, dance, play instruments and wear costume that is expected of them.

For example: The Way (Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller):

  • The artist sings (lip syncs), gestures and dances during the video
  • The video is cut to the beat. 
  • The artists are dressed just as we expect them to be dressed.


Music: Film cuts on the beat but also off to emphasise specific features.

Lyrics: Images amplify the lyrics, a specific narrative may be used that wouldn't be picked up from the lyrics only.

Image: The band will probably take on fictional roles/characters that adhere to the concept or narrative.

For example: Last Friday Night (Katy Perry):

  • Fictional characters are taken on in the video
  • The actions in the video amplify the lyrics that they are lip syncing too. 
  • The concept/narrative that runs through could be interpreted in different ways. 


Music: Film cuts off the beat. Sometimes the sign of a bad music video.

Lyrics: Images which do not relate to the lyrics used, this is sometimes used by bands who are well established and can afford to take risks within their work.

Image: An image that is completely unrelated is taken on by the band/artist.

For example: Da Funk (Daft Punk):

  • The video is not cut to the beat. 
  • The artists do not appear in the video (and if they do, this is not made clear).
  • There is only dialogue throughout the video, no singing or lip syncing. 

8. Theory One- Carol Vernallis: The Kindest Cut (Function and Meaning in Music Video Editing)

Vernallis analysed editing in music video and Hollywood Film and the differences between them.

Music Videos:

  • The concepts/narrative intertwine and obscure paths. 
  • The order of the shots is unconventional. They shift more freely and there is no 'typical order'. 
  • Time, space and character are revealed completely.
  • Discontinuity: Pop video usually draws us away from the narrative by foregrounding other structures.
  • Visual hooks create continuity. Non-continuous shots are linked by a single feature, unified by shape,   setting, colour, etc.
  • Sometimes all visual hooks are equal but sometimes one is dominant. 
Shots of the artist will encourage us to piece a phantasmagorical body (a body made up in our mind of all the bits that we see). An example of this is seen in Jessie J's video 'Domino', as when the camera focuses on certain parts of her (such as her arms, legs and nails) this isn't necessarily her, we just imagine it to be.
Hollywood Film:
  • There is a clear narrative running throughout. 
  • The order of the shots is conventional. There is a typical order and at times you can predict what is going to happen.
  • Time, space and character aren't always immediately revealed. 
  • Continuity: Hollywood Film usually draws into the narrative. 
  • Sometimes all visual hooks are equal but sometimes one is dominant.