Choosing A Research Topic
For my final project I chose to work with a musician artist Poggy Hatton and promote her song ‘Memory’ by creating a contemporary music video. I have always been surrounded by music, music is a great passion of mine as a lot of my friends have a wide range of taste and perform their music at gigs. Working with music and creating a music video for my FMP idea, it is something I naturally have a passion for, therefore I am enthusiastic to engage in this project. I aim to use the music video to form part of my portfolio, which I will send out along with my CV to promote myself to artists and agencies, with a view of creating a new career pathway for myself.
Throughout this research, I will be looking at a wide range of contemporary music videos. I want to find out how they incorporate the style of music and visuals to create strong, powerful music videos. I am going to work with Poggy Hatton, a local contemporary artist, so this style of music relates to my project and will help me create a music video to suit the music of my artist. Below I have researched three artists who call themselves contemporary artists.
Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful
“It was released on April 23rd, 2013 by Interscope Records as the lead single from the record; Young&Beautiful. Was co-written by Del Rey and the track’s producer, Rick Nowels, (with an uncredited assist from director Baz Luhrmann). Contemporary music critics lauded the single, calling it ‘haunting’ and ‘somber’. Lyrically, Young&Beautiful follows a young lover’s apprehension about wether love can last. A music video, directed by Chris Sweeney and filmed by Sophie Muller, was released on May 10th,2013.”
I love this video. The beginning shot of Lana is very enchanting, as it makes her look innocent and elegant.
The cut of to the musicians, highlights the use of the contemporary style of music.
The video almost reminds me of film noir, yet with colour which add’s to the elegant style and suits the lyrics of the song.
I thought the change in background colours are very effective as they compliment the emotions, within the lyrics.
The close up shots make the viewer connect with Lana, because they display the emotion of the character. The beginning shots capture how her emotions changes, from safe, with extreme close up shots, to eventually showing her feelings of being unguarded about love. This is also done by doing mainly long shots towards the musicians, represents the caution Lana feels about falling in love, so basically there is a contrast of closeness and distance, this is mirrored in the shots.
As much as I liked the camera work and the style of the video. However, I think the video could be improved on with more saturation of colour, with more fast paced editing. It felt it dragged the song down in parts, to make it more contemporary.
Rick Nowels is the producer of the video. He and Lana both co-wrote and equally had an input on how the music should sound, and how the video should reflect Lana’s music. Rick Nowels is also renowned for his long career of writing and/or producing hits for John Legend, Madonna, Cee-Lo Green and many more.
The song is primarily aimed at young women 16-25, due to its story line on ‘young love ‘, as described by Lana. Demographic wise, Lana is an international artist, and so can appeal to a wide rang of audiences, from across numerous countries. A secondary audience would be aimed at a similar age of men.
The song follows a young lover being unsure of the concept of love. So rather than representing the world as such, it represents how young women can depend on themselves, but are unsure of whether it is to risky to allow a man to depend on them. I think this is a relatable story as many women go through questioning love, and letting go of their independence. Although the song could be viewed as having negative lyrics, it also could be viewed as being positive as she is telling women it is okay to earn your own money and stand on your own feet.
Indila – Love Story
“The album is produced by the French producer, Skalp. The album was released on February 24th, 2014. Once it was released it went to number one on the French iTunes chart.”
This song is not the most contemporary song, however the artist I am working with is French, so I wanted to listen to some music that would be close to home for Poggy, to give me more knowledge on where her sound may have come from. The video is not like anything I would see on the music videos I would watch. I watched it without translating the lyrics, to see if I would understand the video, without understanding the lyrics. I connected with the parts where the actors came into it, to show the beginning, middle and end of a typical human love story.
I was not keen on the parts where the singer was shown. I felt it did not ascetically match the rest of the video. Personally I would of cut back on the amount of effects used in the video.
The video was produced by Skalp. Skalp mainly is a DJ and producer for himself. He rarely works for others. So working with Indila is a new path for him. He took charge of he video. So everything seen was under his making.
I think this song is mainly aimed at women, however I think the plot line is also aimed for men, as it tells the story of love from a woman and males perspective. Age wise, would be from young adolescents to adults, 18-40. Demographically, the music is aimed at French people. I personally would never have come across this song if it was not for this project. Indila is a very popular, mainstream artist in France.
The song follows with a non-linear line. You see it start at the end with the couples future family line, picking up an air-loom. Which creates the passage way of telling the story of the lovers. It jumps between the beginning, middle and end throughout the song. This is a relatable story for many, as everyone finds love, enjoys it, creates their family, and eventually passes away, coming to an end.
St. Vincent – Cruel
“Strange Mercy (whole album) was written in Seattle, while Annie Clark (St. Vincent) spent time in isolation, an experience she described as loneliness experiment and a cleanse. This was to escape modern technology. ‘Cruel’ was the first music video to be released on August 25th,2011. The music video, featured St. Vincent being kidnapped by a motherless family, being forced to be a wife in the family and being buried alive.”
I chose this as my final video for research, as I feel St.Vincent has a very similar voice to
Poggy. The video follows narrative story telling conventions. It clearly tells the story of the trapped housewife. The colors of the video as well as the mise-en-scene of the video are very 60’s. This is evident from the design of the house, clothes they are wearing, car etc.
However, due to some of the odd emotionless acting, it does make the video seem humorous in some aspects. I think that was purposely done, to make the video stand out and be quirky. The video reminds of Black comedy films.
The video was produced with John Congleton who Vincent has worked with on her other albums. He is an award winning producer, been in a band and writes many theme tunes for programs. John and Vincent worked on the project together. Vincent is known for putting her stamp on her work.
Her target audience would be women, from an age of fourteen, above. She is quite a known singer, to those who like the contemporary genre. So demographically, she is known globally, as she is mainstream yet indie.
The songs plot follows a woman being kidnapped and forced to be a mother, of a motherless family. When she does not prove to be a worthy mother, the family get rid of her by burying her alive. The plot has a very Step Ford House Wife feel. It is probably quite a controversial thing to use in her music, as it showing how women are supposed to be this perfect mother who only lives for husband and children rather than herself. The story would relate to many women who agree with this topic.
Comparison and Final Point
All three of the videos I chose have similar conventions when it comes to the story lines. They all focus around women, being strong and love. “Young and Beautiful”, uses a lot of close ups and full on angles. Where as “Love Story” and “Cruel”, use longs shots throughout as their stories have more of a plot, and more acting to focus on. Colour schemes within the videos vary. “Young and Beautiful”, uses purples, blues, black and white, as it is a film noir styled video. “Love Story”, uses more vibrant and pastel blues, whites and oranges. As the video is more mainstream and to aim to a wider audience. “Cruel” uses gloomy pastel yellows and brown, as it is a retro styled video. Even though all the songs are contemporary, the videos represent them in different ways. Which shows that the contemporary style is such a wide market to work with.
Researching these three videos helped as it showed me how contemporary music is portrayed in videos, in various ways. Which is useful as it is not a typical genre of music that I would listen to or watch. I have ended up finding a new genre I like, which has given me excitement to work with my chosen musician. It also helps me think of good ideas for my video, in order to please the musician and its target audience.
Text Research “Make Your Own Music Video with Adobe Premiere ~ Pete&Maura Kennedy”
My tutor found me a book to help with my research. The book was useful as it gave me information on how to make a video look professional through Adobe Premiere. The knowledge from the book will refine me editing skills on Adobe Premiere.
Single Camera Production
A single camera production is simply a film or television show that uses one camera to film. Typically used in low budget productions or ones that use a lot of editing. Advantages of multi camera production, is you don’t have to worry about other cameras and only have to focus on one position of the camera. Meaning it will have higher quality images. As well as saving money, due to less equipment and crew. As well as the director can get more involved with the production. The disadvantages are that it is more of a longer process when filming. Having to adjust lighting more often between scenes and there is more risk of continuity errors.
Multi Camera Productions
A multi camera production uses more than one camera. This will typically be used in live shows, gaming shows, sports and concerts. The advantage of multi camera productions is that you have loads of angles and shots to chose from. All the shots will be filmed at the same time, meaning nothing will be out of place. Disadvantages of multi camera productions are it will take longer to set up and more crew will be needed, meaning more money is spent.
Researching these two methods of production is helpful to my FMP, as it gives me an idea of how I want my contemporary music video to look. Fortunately, I am able to use multi camera production, which I will take advantage of to get the best angles for my video.
- What gender are you?
- How old are you?
- What is your personal style of music?
- What comes to mind when you hear ‘contemporary music’?
- Do you listen to contemporary music, if so name some artists?
- Would you rather watch a music video with a story line, or contemporary dancing, and why?
- Watch the following links, out of the two what video/song did you prefer, if nether, explain why?
- Would you recommend the style to your friends?
- After taking this survey what are your thoughts now on contemporary music?
- Finally, when you hear the title ‘Memory’, what would you expect to see in a video based around that title?
Through this survey I have learnt it is not a popular/ well known genre of music. Which gives me a pathway to bring forward contemporary music and make it more popular to a younger generation. Although I can see through my responses that people have an understanding of what contemporary music is about, which gives me confidence I can break peoples choices of music and open them up to contemporary music. Poggy has a sophisticated tone to her voice, which attracts a maturer audience. More people age 18-25 answered my survey, showing social media is a good platform to brand my video, meaning I could get 18-25 year old’s into Poggy’s music.
My beginning question for my research was “how they incorporate the style of music and visuals to create strong, powerful music videos”; Overall I think my research has accomplished this question. Researching three different videos, gave me inspiration for my own video, in which will fit the style of contemporary music.
Doing my questionnaire on Survey Monkey, accompanied this to give me ideas on what my audience would like to see in my videos, as well as the fact my video will get more people to listen and watch contemporary music.
My secondary research was also helpful, as the book was factual and encouraged me how to make my final video look like a professional music video. Using the secondary research gave me other aspects to my research, within my project.
Overall, my research went to success, meaning I can create a contemporary music video, that will suit my artist, Poggy Hatton, ad will suit my audience. As well as giving me experience in other aspects of media, such as my music video.