For this video they have used the ‘telephone’ as a metaphor for Gaga’s brain which has been involved within her costume as a head dress and the fact that she is not answering anyone and appears ‘disconnected’ from reality, this presentation is shown when Gaga stares blankly whilst the character played by Tyrese Gibson is eating a meal which she has covered in poison. An illustrative narrative involves a literal representation and a heightened meaning of a selected text.
Do it like a dude8 by Jessie J uses the concept of illustration narrative combined with a non-linear narrative as within the video she and the other girls who are performing in the video show literal gestures which are commonly scene within the young male dominated world such as with the lyric ‘grab my crotch, wear my hat low like you’. Each image is presented separately and placed within a non-chronological order. The setting of a ‘grotty’ underground club also adds to the effect of attempting to ‘do it like a dude’ as it is a common conception that men go to roughly places to emphasis their masculinity.
Although the music video is graphic in the gestures Jessie J and the other dancers do, this video can be said to be one of few that have been able to follow the narrative which has been set by the lyrics. The effect of this song’s lyrics as well as video on the audience can have various reactions, as some audience members may be offended by the material they are presented with whereas others, such as young females, may find the song liberating in some ways for another female to be able to present a song about gestures, which may be seen by some as inappropriate for females to do.
The target audience for a music video also has an influence upon the chosen narrative. The creation of a music video could be based around a certain theme such as a superhero or a sexual theme. You Belong with Me9 by Taylor Swift is an example of a music video which has been targeted a teenage audience pacifically at females within this age group. This narrative has a linear structure and shows the process of the two main characters home lives up to their lives at school showing their different backgrounds at school which the audience would be able to relate back to.
The fact that the music video is set within a ‘normal suburban’ town and a ‘normal high school’ also adds to the effectiveness of the narrative in attracting a younger female audience. This music video also has an aspect which young females could also relate to, which is longing for a guy to be with them whereas Alejandro10 by Lady Gaga can be said to have been targeted at an older audience, specifically those between their late teens to those in their 20’s as it contains graphic sexual scenes which people between this age group can be said to be enticed by.
Another area which can affect the narrative of a music video is the reasons behind the portrayal. Various music videos can be said to have a meaning behind it, whether that reason be for a political reason, mediated or just general controversies about the artist being either challenged or created or events of the world at the time. Since the 1980’s, sexual content in music videos seems to have become a common theme for artists and director’s to use due to ‘its commercial function’11.
Robbie Williams’ original video for Rock DJ12 had been censored by various music channels during it’s release due to the explicit content in which towards the end of the music video Williams starts to tear off his skin in order to get the attention of the female DJ in the video. This created various controversies within different countries such as the Dominican Republic where they did not show the video due to religious reasons claiming that the video was promoting Satanism. One final area which can be said to affect the narrative of a music video is through the artist or director’s impact upon the creation of a music video.
An article I found in NME13 on Cee Lo Green and his new album’s tracks ‘Fuck You’, ‘Wildflower’, ‘Fool for you’ and ‘Old Fashioned’, are based on his relationships. These influences of the relationships can be seen in his music videos styling especially of ‘Fuck You’, where the narrative of the video is based upon the girl which he has been after rejects him at every moment he approaches her, whether it be when she’s with another guy or just not being attracted to Green’s character as he didn’t have ‘the change in my pocket… to afford a Ferrari’.
To add to my research I conducted a questionnaire which I aimed at 15 to 25 year olds in order to get a clearer sense of the different preferences within these age groups but also the similarities. Before I constructed my questionnaire, I did various researches into the different forms of genre which have been popular with a mass audience during 2009 to 2010. I found that R’n’B dominated the ‘Number One Singles’14 charts especially in 2010 along with indie rock which to dominated the 200915 charts. The success of various songs can be said to have been down the music video created along with it.
The results from my questionnaire showed that a narrative structure was a key essential; however a comedic element to a music video was also wanted by the audience as ‘It tells the story in an amusing way and keeps you interested. ‘ The results I gained I used to help construct a focus group of 17 people, who were involved within the questionnaire, to analyse three videos with different themes. For a narrative theme I chose Janie Got A Gun16 by Aerosmith, for a comedic theme Goodbye Mr A17 by the Hoosiers and for a sensual theme Leavin’18 by Jesse McCartney.
I found that the majority preferred a comedic element of The Hoosier’s in comparison to the sensuality of Jesse McCartney’s music video as, for some of them, it made them uncomfortable viewing the music video however the majority liked the narrative of Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got A Gun but would have preferred if it was ‘a bit more upbeat’. They keep you interestedThey keep you interested In relation to the lyrics, I have found that music videos tend to not completely follow the narrative set out by the lyrics however they do follow it loosely.
A narrative can never fully be portrayed due to the structure being ‘fragmented in music video cuts between performance and narrative’19An artist or director will find it hard to contain a complete narrative throughout the duration of a music video and may only amplify certain meanings and effects within the songs repeatedly to manipulate the audience emotionally or mentally.
Word Count: 1,800Bibliography: Book: Carol Vernallis, Experiencing Music Videos: Aesthetic and Cultural Context (2004) Peter Fraser, Teaching Music Videos (2004) Websites/Links:
Claude Levis-Strauss http://www. slideshare. net/ehcgaz/claude-levi-strauss-5467916 List of number-one singles from the 2010s (UK) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_number-one_singles_from_the_2010s_(UK) List of the top 10 singles in 2009 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_top_10_singles_in_2009_(UK) You Belong with Me- Wikipeida http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/You_Belong_with_Me#Music_video The Scientist, Coldplay http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=bxNJHuM0Js0 .
Telephone, Lady Gaga http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=EVBsypHzF3U Paparazzi, Lady Gaga http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=d2smz_1L2_0 Do It Like A Dude, Jessie J http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=pOf3kYtwASo You Belong With Me, Taylor Swift http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=VuNIsY6JdUw Alejandro, Lady Gaga http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=niqrrmev4mA Sexuality in music videos http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sexuality_in_music_videos Rock DJ (Uncut), Robbie Williams http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=TGelsMOIJZY Goodbye Mr A.
The Hoosiers http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=iELKqNIevAU Leavin’, Jesse McCartney http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=zR5_KkxgGqE Janie Got A Gun, Aerosmith http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=RqQn2ADZE1A Magazine/Newspaper/Articles * NME article, Date: 30th October 2010, Issue Number: Not present on magazine Steve Archer, narrative and performance (2004) 1 Telephone, Lady Gaga http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=EVBsypHzF3U 2Claude Levis-Strauss http://www. slideshare. net/ehcgaz/claude-levi-strauss-5467916 3 Steve Archer, narrative and performance, (2004) 4 Carol Vernallis, Experiencing Music Videos: Aesthetics and cultural context, (2004)
5 The Scientist, Coldplay http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=bxNJHuM0Js0 6 Telephone, Lady Gaga http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=EVBsypHzF3U 7 Paparazzi, Lady Gaga http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=d2smz_1L2_0 8Do It Like A Dude, Jessie J http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=pOf3kYtwASo 9 You Belong With Me, Taylor Swift http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=VuNIsY6JdUw 10 Alejandro, Lady Gaga http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=niqrrmev4mA 11Sexuality in music videos http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sexuality_in_music_videos 12Rock DJ (Uncut), Robbie Williams http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=TGelsMOIJZY.
13 NME article, Date: 30th October 2010, Issue Number: Not present on magazine 14List of number-one singles from the 2010s (UK) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_number-one_singles_from_the_2010s_(UK) 15 List of the top 10 singles in 2009 http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_top_10_singles_in_2009_(UK) 16 Janie Got A Gun, Aerosmith http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=RqQn2ADZE1A 17 Goodbye Mr A, The Hoosiers http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=iELKqNIevAU 18 Leavin’, Jesse McCartney http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=zR5_KkxgGqE 19 Steve Archer, narrative and performance, (2004).