Music videos

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ned c
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Music videos

Post by ned c » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:42 pm

A fascinating genre; one of my favorites that combines two art forms

ned


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John Roberts
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Re: Music videos

Post by John Roberts » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:32 pm

I like this Ned, really. But now imagine it with simply the music stripped away and a commentary added, and with very little change to the visual editing you would end up with a documentary about the artist. It tells a great story, has a beginning, middle and end, is beautifully shot and well edited, but it doesn't quite leave the shackles of the rules of other genres behind it, for me anyway.

Just my opinion, I know others will disagree, but it's too 'safe' :-)

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TimStannard
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Re: Music videos

Post by TimStannard » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:58 pm

I wouldn't consider the video ned posted a music video. By the same token, I wouldn't consider the "videos to music" often popular among clubs as music videos. But equally I don't see that a music video cannot conform to what John calls the rules of other genres.

So that got me thinking, "What do I think of when I think of a music video?" and more importantly, if we are to have a category "Music Videos" we probably need some specific criteria upon which to measure it or we could have three judges each with their own idea of what constitutes a music video.

I suppose my concept of a music video is something that doesn't just support the music, but something that promotes the music.

Some of you will remember Tudor Rap! from last year and this year I have a similar piece Tut Tut! Now both films are centered firmly around music which provides the whole narrative. More than that, every word that is sung is seen performed. Yet I've never considered these "music videos". Indeed, I tend to put down as the genre "music/comedy/educational". If I think about it (which until now I have not) I guess this is because I'm not trying to promote a song or a singer/band.

So, do you (any of you) think Tudor Rap! and Tut Tut! are music videos? (Can post links if required)
What about A lot of pictures of summer scenes set to an old recording of "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess?
How about a straighforward concert performance of a local band?
Tim
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John Roberts
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Re: Music videos

Post by John Roberts » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:07 pm

TimStannard wrote:I wouldn't consider the video ned posted a music video. By the same token, I wouldn't consider the "videos to music" often popular among clubs as music videos. But equally I don't see that a music video cannot conform to what John calls the rules of other genres.
This is true Tim, I wasn't suggesting that a music video should not conform to 'rules' of other genres, only that it might not. I have a particular dislike for the typical club '3-in-1' film, whereby someone might go on holiday for example and edit a holiday film, then re-jig the commentary slightly and call it a documentary about the location, then replace the soundtrack with suitable music and it then becomes a 'film to music.' A 'music video' that can be used for something else isn't trying hard enough.
TimStannard wrote:I suppose my concept of a music video is something that doesn't just support the music, but something that promotes the music.
I don't think you're too far out with that Tim, and the 'proper' name for a music video is a music promo. I too was thinking about concepts last night and by and large the questions: "What are they doing there? How did they get there? Why are they doing what they are doing?" whilst almost de-rigour for most other genres, can safely be ignored (if indeed they do arise) for music videos.

Music videos sometimes follow lyrics which don't tell a story, or like one's favourite scene from a favourite movie they might tell a small part of a longer story - but that story you might never hear the beginning or end of, just the middle. Often lyrics are repetitive, choruses are the same or similar, and a pop video maker must try and make something out of the sometimes inaccessible music to create entertainment! For this reason, I think many of the most successful music videos have an element of the unreal about them and involve fantastical situations or characters - sometimes just enough to lift them above normality and create an atmosphere that puts the viewer into a make-believe world for 5 minutes.

But above all the music/performance is the core element, everything else that surrounds it should be entertaining, whether it follows 'rules' or not. By that token, I think Ned's video does qualify as a music video, but it's a 'safe' one and doesn't push the boundaries the genre might allow it to. However, I fully concede that might be what the maker intended.

And for that reason I can guarantee one thing - nothing will polarise judges or critics with as much vehemence as a music video! :D

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Mike Shaw
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Re: Music videos

Post by Mike Shaw » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:25 pm

I wouldn't know what category to correctly place that video - which incidentally I think is absolutely superb. In fact, trying to categorize it at all probably does it an injustice. It is a moment captured in time. It tells a story, beginning to end, without need for words ... and the music is - to me - background, mood setting. I probably wouldn't call it a music video. Yes, the music - the song - is relevant. But for me, that is secondary to the images.

It reminded me of a story (true or apocryphal, I don't know) of someone who, many years ago, watched from a hill-top a young artist on an otherwise deserted beach doing a similar thing - drawing a simplistic cartoon sketch of a woman in the sand - and standing back watching as the incoming sea gently washed the image away. The artist was Picasso. There was no one else around to see the fruits of his labour.

This film is very reminiscent of that occasion - if it ever really happened, so perhaps I watched it in a different light. Music video? For me, much more than that!

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TimStannard
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Re: Music videos

Post by TimStannard » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:55 pm

John Roberts wrote: And for that reason I can guarantee one thing - nothing will polarise judges or critics with as much vehemence as a music video! :D
Indeed. You're just causing problems with your new-fangled music videos :lol:
Tim
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TimStannard
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Re: Music videos

Post by TimStannard » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:11 pm

Mike Shaw wrote:I probably wouldn't call it a music video. Yes, the music - the song - is relevant. But for me, that is secondary to the images.
Yes, that's exactly how I feel about it.
Tim
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John Roberts
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Re: Music videos

Post by John Roberts » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:11 pm

TimStannard wrote:
John Roberts wrote: And for that reason I can guarantee one thing - nothing will polarise judges or critics with as much vehemence as a music video! :D
Indeed. You're just causing problems with your new-fangled music videos :lol:
Don't I know it! :wink:

Bob Lorrimer
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Re: Music videos

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:17 pm

How interesting....the genre does need some defining but by it's very nature it can be very loose......in the example posted by NED the "song" has a very tenuous, if any, connection to the beautiful and roving imagery.

For me it works well as a meld of music and photography......however rather, as in a 'hand of cards', this type of Music Vid will lose out to a higher 'hand' such as a music video where, band or artist, story, editing and photography ALL come together in a fully satisfying 3 minutes.

I don't believe that one should 'overthink' the genre...particularly at the outset. There are categories into which the genre can be distinctly broke. Indeed for the Industry itself the Music Video is about selling Music. Within the contraints of our own Competition for example BIAFF......the Music promotional aspect of the genre might be subordinate but it would still be valid.

Here is an example which is a superb example of 5D photography, tub thumping storyline, edit and musicality. Indeed the editing of most Music Videos like this or John Roberts's shortly to be screened ACID RAIN is a serious wake up call to fiction film makers within the IAC......because this IS how to edit. (Subject matter permitting.)

TIM's Music Videos such as TUDOR RAP would fall into the Music Video appropriate category......but my own LIP DUBs would not..however erotic my co-star.



and

A.K. Williams
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Re: Music videos

Post by A.K. Williams » Thu May 07, 2015 12:27 pm

Thought the video Ned C posted was good, but I'd call it a film set to music rather than a 'music video'. I see such styles as Neds' something like AV, but with moving images instead of stills.

'Music Video' to me is quite easy to define i.e. it is a piece of film which as Bob Lorrimer says promotes a piece of music in order to generate revenue, the most obvious indication is the 'lip-sync' which shows the artiste(s) lips moving to the lyrics, in the case of band performers body language also gives the game away. The Ned C video is far better as far as I'm concerned because it displays a greater sense of creativity whereas 'Music Video' as above tend to follow a fundamental set of rules, the only distinguishing feature being the creative use of the latest technology which might be available in order to 'wow' - let's face it - the younger generations who are particularly prone to such things. I know this because I was one once upon a time.

In my view.

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TimStannard
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Re: Music videos

Post by TimStannard » Thu May 07, 2015 5:46 pm

A.K. Williams wrote: 'Music Video' as above tend to follow a fundamental set of rules, the only distinguishing feature being the creative use of the latest technology which might be available in order to 'wow'
This may be the case with some - and those would likely not do well among well informed judges. But the genre still has the scope for such imaginative videos as Michael Jackson's "Thriller", Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", Ah-hah's "Take me on" (which, whilst you could argue had technical novelty, this was used in a creative way to show people being transported between different worlds - as seen in "The Matrix" and going right back to "The Wizard of Oz". I'm not sure any of those had lip sync either, but they were clearly music videos.
I'm not really a fan of the genre, but every once in a while something "special" breaks through.
Tim
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A.K. Williams
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Re: Music videos

Post by A.K. Williams » Fri May 08, 2015 1:15 pm

You're right of course Tim, but for 'tend to' in this case read 'generally'.

I have to say that I'm not a fan of the style either, I hesitate to call it a 'genre' in fact because I see it as inhabiting a world of its' own, the inclusion of a 'film-track' supports the music in my view, but does little to attract new-comers to the world of film-making again in my view. With reference to the examples you mention, Michael Jacksons' 'Thriller' to me was more film oriented in order to make the album 'stick' in the mind so that people would remember to buy it next time they were out shopping, I thought it was very good by the way, but I didn't buy it. Pink Floyd were one of the first, I believe, to employ visuals in order to promote their particular brand of popular music using much animation to begin with and although a life-long 'Floyd' fan, can't say that I was ever inspired to buy any of their stuff because of it.

Is it possible to buy either the video or plain CD versions to-day?

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Bob Lorrimer
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Re: Music videos

Post by Bob Lorrimer » Fri May 08, 2015 4:43 pm

I agree that Music Videos have a tendency to follow a 'fundamental set of rules'......John Roberts ACID RAIN is a classic example of "storyline intercut with band". The formula works well......some naturally can go an extra mile in terms of creativity when given an increased budget. IE:

https://vimeo.com/127053285

However I have to say that, for me, when it comes to creativity and bravura editing and photography films such as "Acid Rain" or the above example are in a different league to many of the BIAFF entries which are exhaustingly formulaic in themselves.

Evidently...it is each to his own but my feeling is that there are a great many Directors or 'would be Directors' out there who have cut their teeth on the Music Vid or Video advertising industries.

One of the essential lessons in both Genre is how to convey ' a full and meaningful story or dialogue' in the time it takes most amateur videographers to say...."Leaving DOVER on the morning Ferry we are soon bound for CALAIS.........!"

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John Roberts
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Re: Music videos

Post by John Roberts » Fri May 08, 2015 5:11 pm

I think this discussion highlights the fact that 'music promos' are perhaps one of the most contentious and polarising genres that we might be presented with or wish to attempt, as filmmakers. I have no hesitation placing music promos as a genre - possibly supported by the the fact that they do have elements that place them 'in a world of their own' as many other film genres do too, and as is that case with all categories or styles, including music promos, there are sometimes crossover elements into other categories or styles. How far a particular film explores a style that is not it's primary one might redefine that film's category, although in the case of a music promo, there really are very few limits, as evidenced by the examples given.

I don't believe music promos need to adhere to any fundamental set of rules. Lip-sync and filmed live performances (aside from being technically quite difficult to achieve convincingly and generally with an enhanced pace and greater variation of shots than most other styles of film) are not de-rigour for music promos. In fact, if all music promos followed the same set of rules then the genre would have died out years ago through sheer boredom. In much the same vein as 'The Whistle Test' a local firm offers a multi-camera edit of up to 3 songs performed by up and coming bands, who play live. There are no effects, no props, just a simple warehouse setting which is the same for all the bands. This is a great product that local bands can use to promote themselves (i.e. "this is how we really look and sound") but utterly boring to anyone other than die-hard fans of the band, a promoter, a potential venue and the band themselves. Entertainment value is marginally greater than nil.

It is perhaps because of this that music promos often 'crossover' into other genres or categories, and certainly the reason why a great many of them push the boundaries of editing, technology and special effects, simply because they have to. The sheer number of original pieces of music and bands emanating from a reasonably sized city such as Sheffield in one year far outstrips the number of original staged works (such as films, theatre etc) from the same city during the same period. Music promo producers are constantly seeking to create something new, something different, something 'special' as Tim puts it, that places their product in the memory above the many others competing with it. The fact that we have been talking about 'Thriller' and 'Pink Floyd's' legendary attempts at pushing boundaries with epic light shows and entire musicals, without anyone saying "what are you on about, I don't remember that" illustrates the point exactly. We remember the music promos that are special.

Above all, a music video should promote the music in any way it sees fit, although as a filmmaker I always prefer to see boundaries pushed (whether technical or artistic) and a definite link between the music the images are supposed to be supporting. Ned's video would be more fitting against Belinda Carlisle's 'Circle In The Sand' in a very obvious way, but I still stand by my original comment that if you strip away the music and add a commentary about the artist then the edit is equally valid, so as a music video it's nothing 'special.'

Again, just my opinion :D

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Re: Music videos

Post by A.K. Williams » Fri May 08, 2015 7:14 pm

Yep, I understand where you're coming from John and would not disagree with what you say and have seen many music videos which
I have enjoyed from a purely personal point of view, but as far as amateur film-making is concerned would not include them within the 'amateur film-making world' as I know it, this is not intended to 'reduce' music videos to a 'lower' category, but to a 'category' of their own, entirely valid as I see it.

Tony Williams

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