Saturday, 4 May 2013

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

This is the first evaluation question out of the four. The need to state this comes with the fact that I somehow managed to jumble all four of them up and post them in a strange order. So I am very sorry for that. In this question I am risking repeating a lot of the things that you, examiner, have already seen on my blog so apologies for that as well. This question will be focusing on the conventions of Pop music videos and how as a team (Sarah and I) we conformed or subverted these conventions.


Throughout the course of the music video there is a variation of lighting used however the convention in regards to this for Pop music videos is that the music video consists of high key lighting. High key lighting is shown in the following scenes of our music video: 
  1. Ben and I (Hannah) watching a film
  2. Sarah and Ben fighting
  3. The phone sequence
  4. The performance shots
  5. The conceptual shots

Instances where we have subverted the convention by using low key lighting is shown in the following:
  1. The photobooth scene 
  2. The confrontation
  3. Livvy and Ben walking down the street
This is partially due to the fact that the scenes involving high key lighting were shot outside but also to represent how Ben (the boyfriend) is the (tacky as it sounds) light of the three girl's lives. He is the only thing that makes them happy. It is when he is gone and they realise what he is doing to them that the lighting goes from bright to dark as they have seen his true nature of being 'a monster'. 

The dark shots could also be reference to the lyrics of 'daddy i'm falling for a monster' as a monster has the archetype of being a 'baddie' or an 'evil' character and thus in most television programs/films/books etc monsters are shown in the dark or surrounded by darkness. As Ben's role in the music video is to be 'the baddie' he too brings with him a darkness. 

Even shots that I have listed within the high key lighting section could be used to establish Ben as a 'dark' character. One in particular would be the scene where Ben and Sarah are arguing. While filming these shots Sarah and I chose to use artificial lighting as the darkness outside (due to it being Winter) was making the original shots blurry but this could also be a representation of Sarah's eyes being opened to Ben's deceiving or the light being turned on in her head about Ben's suspicious behaviour. It is only when he leaves that the shot becomes slightly darker because Sarah he has left her with his betrayal.


As mentioned in a previous post you will have noticed that the weather changes quite drastically from shot to shot. This is because our music video was filmed over a long period of time (it took around 4 months) and during those 4 months the weather could not decide between whether it wanted to snow, to rain or to be sunny. The shots that were filmed most recently were the performance shots that are set in the sun. It is now approaching Summer so this was to be expected. However we have found that the change in weather works quite well during our music video as it conforms to (much like our lighting) the conventions of narrative based pop music videos.
In the first scene where Livvy and Ben are walking down the street we can see behind them that it has been snowing. This could be symbolising how cold Ben is towards Livvy or the coldness of his heart as he is 'Black Heart'. This cold weather is then shown twice more. Once during Ben's date with my character and once during his fight with Sarah. Another way in which we can safely establish that it is Winter during these scenes is the use of mise-en-scene. In both shots there are glimpses of Christmas trees in the room. Christmas trees = Winter = Cold. So not only is it symbolic of Ben's disloyalty to Livvy but it is symbolic of Ben's disloyalty to all three of the girl's. 

During the performance shots (shown during the chorus) the weather has gone from being dark and gloomy to being sunny and bright. This is conforming to the conventions of Pop music videos as it has the same effect on the au

dience as the lighting would have. The bright lighting also represents how much brighter (happier) they feel without Ben and when they are together. This could also subvert the convention of Pop music videos as it may show the girl's as co-dependent of each other and of Ben rather than independent which is what girl bands tend to represent for their audience.

Trend aware (?)

I have no idea how to word this point so do bear with me while I come to grips with it. As most pop artists of this generation are of a young age they tend to wear what is considered as 'fashionable' clothing. Now this may sound like i'm bragging about how trendy we are and I would like to clarify here that I really am not however I wouldn't say that we were dressed ghastly at all. We did choose clothes that we felt were appropriate for our age that were contemporary (modern). 

Clothing worn by the band: 
  • 2 dresses (Sarah and I)
  • 2 graphic t shirts (Livvy)
  • 4 skirts (Livvy, Sarah and I)
  • 1 plaid shirt (Sarah)
  • 3 pairs of jeans (Livvy and Sarah)
  • 1 blouse (Myself)
  • 1 vest top (Livvy)
Clothing worn by Ben:
  • 5 jeans
  • 1 black jacket
  • 3 shirts
  • 1 blouse
These are all fairly fashionable items of clothing. Especially skater skirts as these are currently seen as the 'in thing' and we wore plenty of them between the three of us. Ben is obviously going to be dressed as stylish as he is the 'adonis' figure of the music video. Potentially used voyeuristically in order to reel the female audience in but there is no instances of Ben not wearing a shirt so I may be exaggerating.

Young actors

As the Pop music genre is dominated by young artists it would only make sense for the actors/models that they use within their music videos are young as well. This is a convention that we conformed to through our use of the actor Ben. Ben is 18 years old and therefore he classifies as a young male. The band themselves (Sarah, Livvy and I) are also classified as young females as two of us are 18 and one of us is 17. GUESS WHO?

Love Narratives (Or Narrative in general)

The narrative of our music video is very self explanatory but it does conform to this convention as it involves love. Three girls all in love with a boy who is cheating on all three of them. The cheating aspect of our music video is also commonly seen in music videos of the Pop genre as the artist's songs often involve some kind of heartbreak. An example of this would be the actual music video to 'Black Heart' by 'Stooshe' where one of the members is being cheated on during a production of a music video. Similarly all three members of our band are being cheated on.

The narrative is established without the need of speech. Shots that we used to establish the storyline are:

  • Two shots
  •  Over-the-shoulder shots
  • Tracking shots
  • Side shots
  • Cut in (of the texts)


Other examples of Pop music videos that conform to this convention are Taylor Swift - Love Story and Carly Rae Jepsen - Gettin' over you.

Reference to the Artist's name or Song Title.

Now this was one of the only conventions within Pop that we chose not to conform to. This is partially due to the fact that we needed something to talk about during the exam that we had subverted rather than conformed but also due to the fact that we found it less attractive and more tacky. However we do understand why it is used in music videos. It is used to establish how 'big' an artist is in the music industry as their name becomes something of a 'signifier' for good music. An example being Olly Murs - Troublemaker and/or Maroon 5 - Moves like Jagger. This is to attract more people into their fanbase and to also inform their current fanbase that they have released a new song without their needing to be a big publicity stunt.


We chose to conform to this convention during the greenery/sunny shots (where you see us running around with sticks) because not only did the lyrics go with the narrative of the piece but it also meant that we could bring more aspects into our music video than simply a narrative. We wanted to use narrative and conceptual (which we did end up doing) but found that performance would tie the whole piece together quite nicely and so ended up filming some last minute performance shots. This is seen in many Pop music videos including Destiny's Child - Say My Name and One Direction - That's what makes you beautiful.

Synchronised Dancing

Another subverted convention in our music video is that of synchronised dancing. We did originally intend to come up with a small dance in order to conform to this convention but it soon became apparent that this was a bad idea as none of us can dance and we looked ridiculous. I would screencap but i'd rather be serious thankyou very much. It also would have made our music video seem a bit jumbled as we do have many aspects to it as it already is. With playful shots, performance, narrative and conceptual it would have seemed out of place. This is however a convention many pop videos conform to such as One way or Another - One Direction.

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