Thursday, 19 September 2013

Redundancy & Entropy

Redundancy -
Redundancy is when a conventional or predictable meaning is created.

Entropy is the opposite of this, the introduction of new meanings that can be seen as unpredictable.

The artist 'Taylor Swift' has a very high level of redundancy, this is due to her genre and also her target audience expectations. She is represented as a very normal, almost 'safe' artist, she keeps within the guidelines of redundancy and doesn't create meanings that connote entropy. Her fan base consists of mostly teenage girls therefore if she were to introduce more entropic elements her fans may react badly.

Madonna has always been seen as a controversial artist. In her video 'Like a Prayer' she challenged society greatly by including an actor of an African ethnicity to play Jesus. This is a very entropic approach as nobody would have expected it. However Madonna was aware that her target audience are quite mature, therefore she knew the reaction would not be that severe.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Andrew Goodwin Research 6

6. Intertextual References

 Madonna chose to remake Marilyn Monroe's video 'Diamonds are a girls best friend'. She copied the red setting, stage location and exact costumes. She also included similarly chroegraphy. Madonna made the video an obvious representation of Monroe's old video. I believe she did this as she wanted to create the same image that Monroe had originally created. The idea that all the men are yearning for the one girl.

Marilyn Monroe

This original video created for Marilyn Monroe's song 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' is very predictable of the era it was created in. The men included are wearing suits, it is located in a theatre setting and the choreography  is a basic yet prominent part. The video portrays Monroe in a very classy way and connotes her to have power over all of the men.

Robert Palmer 

This video by Robert Palmer was very controversial, as when it was created it was not socially acceptable to view women in a sexualised way. This is one of the first videos where the Male Gaze was included in a very obvious way. There are many close ups of the women's legs in the short skirts.

This type of video would not be seen as bad nowadays as Male Gaze is something society have began to accept as we witness it in a lot of media products. However due to the time the video was made it created an issue.

Shania Twain

Shania Twain decided to recreate this video, however she used males and therefore created a queer gaze. Shania did this because she wanted to challenge the original views from Robert Palmer's video, her video shows her as the dominant figure and the male band as inferior. Although she wanted to portray the opposite view than Robert Palmer, she didn't do this successfully, as she begins to undress herself in the video revealing a Male Gaze.

Andrew Goodwin Research 5

5. Notion of looking
There is frequent reference to the notion of looking eg. using mirrors, screens within screens and stages. There is also a particular voyeuristic treatment of the female body.


The concept of the Gaze deals with how the audiences views the ideas (or people) presented. Feminists see this is 3 different ways:
How Men look at Women
How Women look at themselves
How Women look at other Women

Theorist Laura Mulvey created the term 'Male Gaze' in 1975. She believed that in film, the audience was encouraged to view characters from the perspective of a Heterosexual Male.

How Male Gaze is shown:
The camera usually focuses on the curves of the female's body and there are many close ups of this. Also events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a man's reaction to these events. Usually the female character must experience the narrative from a secondary position, by identification with the male.

Candy Shop Video:

In this video the Male Gaze plays an important part; the females included are represented in a seductive manor. There are a number of close up shots of the male's face, revealing that his focus is on the women. The overall representation of women perceived from the looking notion is that they are seen as a 'prize'.

Lady Gaga Video:

Lady Gaga is a very controversial artist and she is not afraid to be a little 'out there' with her video ideas. In this video she completely disregards Laura Mulvey's theory and instead represents the male actors as inferior. She has challenged the typical view of women as she shows herself as the dominant, powerful figure. It is also interesting that in parts of the video she is in fact not wearing much clothes, however the audience's gaze is not drawn to this due to the unpredictable use of male actors. Lady Gaga's target audience consists mostly of females, however she is also very popular with homosexual males and therefore including explicit views of men (the queer gaze) is ideal for her audience.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Andrew Goodwin Research 4

4. The demands from the Record Label will include a visual style
Music Videos are essentially promotional devices, they were mainly created to sell the artist to the audience.In addition to this, they show the 'brand' image the artist would like to give. Ultimately they are commercialised to show and sell the star to the target audience.

In Miley Cyrus' video 'We Can't Stop' she is supporting a well known brand that her target audience would be aware of. By doing this she is showing she has a similar view to her target audience.

The main idea of this video is based on EXACTLY what the target audience are interested in. Miley's audience consist of mostly teenage girls, from the age of 12 onwards; this is also the age of the majority of people that use the online blog 'Tumblr'. It is clear to see the connection between this video and the popular images found on Tumblr, the use of fashion and partying is a big deal for the target audience.

There are certain elements or motifs that occur in a lot of Miley's recent videos. This creates an image of the artist and essentially represents them as a brand that would attract their target audience. Miley Cyrus has become quite a controversial artist, however this appeals greatly to her audience as they consist of teenagers which are likely to have a rebellious attitude also.

Record companies will usually choose to include a large amount of close up/extreme close ups of the artists so that the audience can identify them. This just enables the artist's image to become more well known and essentially provides both the record company and artist with more advertising potential.

Andrew Goodwin Research 3

3. Relationship between Music & Visuals
According to Andrew Goodwin, 'Synaesthesia' is a process by which different senses carry an impression to another. For example, when listening to music you immediately create images in your mind linked to the music.

This again links to the idea that there are 3 key elements to the visuals; illustrative, amplifying or disjunctive. Also when considering the video in addition to the music, the producer must think carefully about the technical elements; mis en scene, editing etc. and whether these link well with the sounds.

I have discovered that the use of the editing element is very important when creating a successful video. Ensuring that the cuts of the visuals match the music is needed. If the music is very fast paced, it is likely that the cuts will be too. 

This also links to the structure of each part of a video, obviously if the pace and mood of the music is quite slow it would make sense for the cuts to be less rapid. Leading on from this, the structure of the overall video, for example visuals used within the chorus and then the verses is important to consider too.

This music video is by Rihanna, Rihanna is an RnB artist and therefore her general style of music is quite fast paced. The music starts slow then speeds up, this is reflected in the way the cuts have been put together. Also there is a large amount of hand held camera use which again links with the fast paced tempo. During the verses there is not much lip syncing included and the overall speed is quite slow, also the verses tend to consist of Rihanna being on her own. Whereas in the chorus there is a lot more going on and narrative becomes a bit more serious.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Andrew Goodwin research 2

2.Relationship between Lyrics & Visuals
There is a direct link between the lyrics and the actions within the video.
This image is from the music video to 'Ugly' by the Sugababes. I decided to use this as an example of Illustrative visuals because the important lyrics are clearly written out for the audience to read. This gets the message of the song across in a strong and definitive way.

Introduces meanings that do not challenge the lyrics but reinforce layers of meaning.
This image is taken from the 'Foundations' video. The overall idea within the lyrics is about breaking up, this particular image shows a fictional relationship between two toothbrushes, however the connotation is the relationship between a couple. Therefore this shows an amplifying meaning as it is not shown literally but is still following the meaning.

There is no direct relationship between the lyrics and the events within the video.
This music video is from a dance genre, videos within this genre tend to not show a narrative that links with the lyrics, they mainly focus on the visuals linking with the sound. As you can tell from the two smaller images, there is a lot of movement involved within these types of videos.

Andrew Goodwin research 1

1.Genre Characteristics
Classifying your genre:
  • Narrative
  • Theme
  • Location
  • Representations
  • Costume
  • Props
  • Lighting
  • Cinematography
  • Editing

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Research into Music Videos

Andrew Goodwin's features of Music Videos

1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.

2. The relationship between lyrics & visuals; the lyrics are represented with images.

3. The relationship between music & visuals. The tone & atmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music.

4. The demands of the Record Label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist (a visual style which reflects their persona)

5. Frequently reference to notion of looking.

6. Intertextual references (to films, music videos etc.)



Friday, 13 September 2013

Skills Diary



  • Ensure set is dark
  • main light behind subject
  • Capture from directly in front of subject
  • mid close up - extreme close up
Coloured Gels:

  • Enables you to create a cool atmosphere (blue gel) or a warmer atmosphere (orange gel)
  • Overlaying different gels can create different colours
  • You can create the affect of somebody watching TV by moving the gels around
  • Usually use gels over the key light
  • Scrims are used to soften the lighting
  • They work best for slower videos
  • They allow you to control the harshness of the lights and take the edge off
  • However when using a scrim you need to ensure that there is still enough light on set

  • Using reflectors enables you to redirect light
  • With this you can control where the lighting hits the subject the strongest
  • Using different coloured reflectors can also allow you to change the mood of the set slightly
  • You have to ensure the reflector is placed carefully so that it can redirect the light accordingly

  • Using a backdrop can immediately transform a set
  • A plain backdrop can make the subject stand out 
  • It will make the video look more professional

Low Key Lighting:
  • When using Low Key Lighting, you need to ensure that it fits with the genre
  • Also it is important to make sure the little amount of lighting is directed appropriately

Post Production:

Using Photoshop to create an Album Cover:

In today's lesson I learnt how to use the text tool in Photoshop in a less amateur way. By using the tool called the 'Freefrom pen tool' this allowed me to write the text following certain lines/shapes I had created.

While capturing my images for the post production I decided to take a side profile image of the model for the advertisement. When opening this on Photoshop at  first the image did not seem very eye catching at all even though it was a good image. I then realised that the composition of the image was very important in order to capture the audience's attention. I cropped the image so that the face (the most striking part) was the focal point. I think overall this made the whole advertisement look better because the main image is strong.