Monday, 20 September 2010

Nirvana Music Video Research

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit. This song is in the “Grunge” genre, we can tell this by the distortion in guitars, and relatively large contrast in dynamics and the “dirty” sounding vocals, that almost sound unsung and/or “shouty”.


The beginning of the music video we see the band, in a Smokey hall, with cheer-leaders at the front doing a routine in front of a teenaged audience in a school/ college style concert- already making a link with the song to the visual. “Teen Spirit” is generally regarded to be a teen revolution – not following examples set by adults as they should. This song expresses the anger and confusion within a society. This video clearly shows this in a few ways, one mainly is at the beginning we see teens sitting at a concert performed by Nivana and as the song progresses the teens become more and more riotous as they begin to break and destroy things and become increasingly uncivilised. We also see a caretaker start to “dance” and / or revolt as if he still remember times when he would rebel against the system as the teens do now, which portrays Cobain’s interpretation of the song as him and his friends still rather do things their own way. Throughout the video it cuts to the band focussing more on Cobain - the singer. 
As well as this live performance video portraying the Grunge genre, it portrays feelings that the song holds for viewers / listeners to understand.  But the dirtiness of the dark yellow colouration of the video give a “grungy / dirty feel” feel but with the cheer leaders in the background portrays a typical American almost “happiness” – everything is fine, which is contrasted with the fact they are wearing all black and an Anarchy sign which is symbolising the message of the song about teenaged rebellion.
The video changes and cuts very quickly as this song is a fast tempo keeping that sense of excitement and/or panic and often cutting in time with the music and as the song progresses and as the teenagers become more and more rebellious the video cuts more and more and closer and closer together.
At the end of the music video we see the caretaker sweeping upafter the teenaged revolt, with a teacher tied up to a pole looking s if the teens have had their way and succeded in their revolt as the song come to a close.

Some Research...

Thriller – genre:  Horror, this is a linier story based music video/ short film about all the night-time creatures that come out at night “who terrify their victims.” And is the first hit song that was accepted all year round unlike many songs that were only really popular/ universal around the time of Halloween. Making it very popular for people into pop music, horror films etc.

I chose the music video to Thriller because I believe it to be one of the best music video of all time, being able to turn a simple song into practically a short horror film, appealing to a wide audience, lovers of Michael Jackson/ pop music in general and horror/ horror spoofs. Costing around $500,000 its one of the most expensive and longest music videos ever made. It has succeeded in being able to relate the words to the action on the video (for example on the lyrics “door slam” we hear what we believe to represent a door slamming and the action by Michael Jackson of slamming a door.) and the music video’s ability to not make zombies a joke, as they move/ dance not like cliché zombies, where the audience is forced more into taking the music video seriously. The idea of making this music video into a short film, giving it a clear structure, trying to communicate to its audience

Set in the 1950’s where a couple of teens are out in the forest on a date. And as the teen Michael Jackson give her the ring and tries to tell his girlfriend something “different” about himself, he turns into a ware-cat and starts chasing his girlfriend. It then cuts to the inside of the cinema- where it’s all just a film, and as Michael Jackson and his girlfriend leave the cinema and only at this point does the song start at 02:58 as we see an establishing shot of the outside of the cinema. So far the video has given more of an impression of a horror movie with use of tensions building shots, each getting closer to the characters. And by using natural diegetic sounds of the area the characters are in at the beginning helps create an insecure atmosphere. Also the mise-en-scene of the first section in a cliché setting, in a dark scary forest with the odd bit of mist for a “spooky” atmosphere. 41 seconds quiet orchestral music starts to build, adding to the tension and becomes a lot louder when we see view of the full moon.

The song maintains a horror aspect throughout. After Michael Jackson has finished singing the verses, whist he’s walking/ dancing alongside his girlfriend it cuts to a grave-yard where we see a mixture of long and close shots of the dead coming to life and over the top we hear a man’s voice the tone/ depth of the voice adds a dis-comfort to the listener/ viewer:

“Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y'alls neighbourhood

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom

And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller”

There are lots of quick cutting shots during the dance sequence and close ups and general camera movement mainly focussing on Michael Jackson, cutting to the beat of the music and keeping in sinc with the dancing zombies and as the chorus starts the cameral is nearly always on Michael Jackson (still in view of surrounding living dead) this is mainly to keep interest on the singer, to keep the record labels happy, create an image that people will then become familiar and interested in.

To conclude for the moment (until my teacher gives me some more feedback on this etc.) I like this music video for its use of techniques to create its intended “spooky” horror atmosphere; set in a dark misty night, the use of orchestral music at the beginning, crescendoing t build tension. And we as the audience are almost lead into false security several times by the way it cuts to different shots like the cinema, and at the very end of the video when the girlfriend wakes up all of it. And by using a series of close shots and moving and focusing on Michael Jackson it portrays to us his pop image.

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

My Proposal

I would like to do a music video for my A2 coursework, because I think I might have a good idea of the different formats for a music video, for example, a linier narrative, where a song can be portrayed as a story, or a live performance where important themes of the songs can be cut to/from in the same area/ shot/ scene.
I propose to do a music video for a band in our school that have several recorded songs, in which I would like to make a music video for them, making them self’s the main feature of the video along with the theme of the song its self.
I would like to do a live performance based video of the bands most recent song “Hologram” with a theme tied in with it possible to do with holograms, and/ or make some effects to look as if the performance is a hologram. However I’ll have to meet with the band/ band leader to discuss other ideas etc.