Thursday, 8 November 2012

Video analysis: Say my name by Destiny's child.

There are many similarities between the music video for 'Say my name' by Destiny's child and 'Black heart' by Stooshe which we have been given permission to use for the purposes of our coursework. I should also add that the comparisons I will be making between the two will be based off of the music video we are creating as opposed to the actual video for the song. So essentially I shall be discussing these two bands and their music videos: Destiny's child and The Machine Ate Florence.

Let's start with the similarities between the two shall we?
1. Destiny's child is an all girl band. The Machine Ate Florence are also an all girl band. This means that both music videos should (if one of the most common stereotypes of girl band's is correct) have some symbolic representation of girl power or feminism. This could be shown through use of narrative, Claude Levi-Strauss's binary oppositions, Barthes mythologies or Sassure's theory of symbolism. Symbollically the fact that within the music video for 'Say my name' the three girls stick together in each room is to show how girl power is still dominant within the shots despite the fact that the man is clearly controlling all three of them. Similarily this will be shown in our music video with use of the performance shots including all three members of the band. These will come up within the music video at purposeful moments to foreshadow the fact that even though the male has been in control for the majority of the music video girl power will PREVAIL.

Here is an example to two all girl bands: Little Mix and Stooshe.

2. Destiny's child includes three band members. The Machine Ate Florence includes three band members. Generally there will be different roles allocated to each of the band members - an example being that there will always be one soul sister (the one who sings the long and/or high notes), one front woman and one who sings during obscure moments such as the bridge. During our music video we have allocated these parts to a certain member of the group based on where in the song they sing. Sarah has become our resident soul singer, Livvy is shown as the front woman of the band by taking the lead at the beginning of the song and I will be shown singing the obscure moments in between the chorus and the verses. There is a slight difference however with Destiny's child as there is clash between the soul singer and the front woman. This woman is Beyonce and she has taken the lead within the music video for 'Say my name' and sung all the high strung notes. In this particular music video (as it is quite an early music video) there are four members to the band of Destiny's child but shortly after this song was released the fourth member left. So I don't consider her a member of the band.

3. The song of choice in this particular music video by Destiny's child is about the band's suspicions that their boyfriend/s is cheating on them with someone else. This is demonstrated through the use of the lyric: "Could it be that you are at the crib with another lady?". This links in with the theme of our music video of three girls claiming that the man they are in love with is a monster: "Daddy i'm falling for a monster. Somehow he's scaring me to death". And also links in with the narrative that we are trying to display within our music video that the man is infact dating all three of them. This is shown through use of various shots of Ben (the actor we hired to play the monster who is actually lovely and FAB) spending time in romantic situations such as going on a walk, watching a scary film and his first meeting with one of the girls with each girl at seperate intervals within the song. The purpose of the song 'Say my name' is also reiterated throughout the music video as we see multiple shots of the man in question dancing (symbolically manipulating) with one of the band members while two of the other girls are within the shot with their gaze averted.
How does this music video demonstrate the conventions of pop music videos? 

Here is a list of the expected conventions of most music videos within the Pop genre:
  • Colourful
  • Close up of artists to establish innocence
  • Fun and up beat
  • Appeals to a younger target audience though will include some mature aspects
  • Shows the artist/s/band involved in some form of dance routine
  • Leaves audience member in a good mood through use of location, mise-en-scene, cinematography etc
  • Scenarios tend to be based around love
  • Videos usually have a narrative
This particular music video conforms to practically all of these conventions which was one of the reasons why I chose to analyse it. I can only see one convention on the list that isn't displayed within the music video.

 'Say my name' uses a variation of colours - red, white, orange and blue to differentiate between shots. As the music video progresses the bright colours begin to indisperse with each other to represent how the girl's are being forced together by the realisation that they're boyfriend is seeing all four/three of them.

 Another use of the colour changing rooms is to give each member of the band an equal amount of time on camera. With every shot we see a new line up of the band. Each girl is spread evenly between shots with the exception of Beyonce who gets her own seperate shot every time she sings on the track as she dominates a vast majority of the song.
The use of colours could also be a symbolic representation of their emotions on the situation. White could be the shock because of their naivety and innocence. Blue could be the sadness they feel. Red could be the anger at how foolish they may feel and orange could be the paranoia or the feeling of impending doom on their relationships. I don't know. I could be wrong.

Close ups of the artist to establish innocence.

Here are three screencaps of some of the close ups featured in this music video. Out of the three of them Beyonce has the most because of her overall dominance within the song. The use of these close ups is to establish the artist as the wronged party. This is done by placing the close ups at the appropriate moments within the song. This would usually be to show the importance of the lyric to the person singing it however I could not find an example of this in this music video.
The most common lyric used in the close ups of this music video is: "Say my name" which could suggest the desperation the band feel for their loved one to essentially look them in the eye and say they love them.

In this screencap Kelly Rowland's hair matches the background behind her. This could be to represent that she feels blue about having been cheated on or at the prospect of losing this person she loves so much.

Shows some form of dance routine.

It goes without saying that their is definately a performance/dance element to this music video. The bridge which is mainly music orientated is opened onto a dance performed by the band members and other dancers behind them. The dance doesn't particularly consist of much other than bending and spinning but the fact that it is in sync leads to me to believe that it has been choreographed. The purpose of this dance routine is to keep the audience interested during the moments where there are no lyrics to preoccupy them. This may also be in order to appeal to a larger audience through use of the male gaze. By wearing skimpy tops and tight, leather trousers they are attracting audience members who wouldn't usually have listened to this genre of music because of the voyeuristic treament of women in this particular scene.
Although there are aspects of each convention in this music video it is hard to explain them through my analysis. I shall post some more tommorow in regards to the rest.

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