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Music in film and television Essay: "Pop videos no longer attempt to 'Visualise' the lyrics as they did in their infancy". Agree or Disagree?

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Music in film and television Essay: "Pop videos no longer attempt to 'Visualise' the lyrics as they did in their infancy". Agree or Disagree? Imagine the scene. You've heard that you're favourite band are releasing your favourite song on their new album as a single. The big premiere is on MTV that night. You go round to a friend's house (you haven't got MTV - you're a poor student), anticipation flowing through you like adrenaline, and then you see the video... and it's the most boring, irrelevant crap you've ever seen. You turn the TV off in frustration and curse whoever commissioned the video. Three months later it wins a Brit Award for Best video. Now this story may not necessarily be true (it is - "Wonderwall" Oasis) but illustrates well the capacity for music videos to cause a wide range of emotions from the public. Music Videos are something of an enigma in today's society. They have launched the careers of some of today's biggest artists - Radiohead, Missy Elliot, Nirvana, strengthened the careers of other established artists - Michael Jackson, Madonna, George Michael, not to mention making names of directors such as Michael Bay, Spike Jonze and David Fincher as well as actors such as Jack Black, Courtney Cox and Liv Tyler, all of whom have gone on to great success within the movie industry. ...read more.


And then I realised, if I want people to pay attention to my record, I've got to do better than that!" The video was re-shot, at a fairground with lots of colour and excitement, and the song went on to reach Number One and the video received a Brit Award nomination. As the medium was revolutionised, a new breed of directors came to the fore - ambitious, fearless and thinking in more cinematic terms than any of their predecessors. People like Akerlund, Jonze, Hype Williams, Walter Stern, and Mark Romanek, and duos like Hammer and Tongs and Dom and Nick. Any artists looking to create a memorable promo clip - From The Chemical Brothers to Busta Rhymes to Nine Inch Nails - knew that these were the guys to call. As the directors were becoming as famous as the artists, having a certain Director for your video became a status symbol, almost more important than the video itself. Hip-Hop star Missy Elliot proves this when she describes how she chose Hype Williams for her first video, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)": "There was no debate... it had to be Hype. In the hip-hop world, if Hype Williams is directing your video, then you know you've made it, and so does everybody else". ...read more.


All in all, videos no longer attempt to visualise the lyrics because the song itself is no longer the most important part. People are far more interested in using their videos as a signifier to their specific audience. A debut video by any act can instantly tell you what kind of act they are, who they are aiming at and what, if anything, they are trying to say, without even needing to hear the song. Videos are commercials for the artists, and there are conventions for every genre of music, to the point where if a certain artist like the Prodigy were to make a simplistic video, it would cause more of a stir than if they were to make a shocking one. If an artist is clever enough, they can use this to their advantage. Both Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears used explicit, sexually orientated videos to mark their shift to a more adult audience (" Dirrrty" and "I'm A Slave 4 U" respectively), and Michael Jackson's poignant line from thriller " I'm not like other guys" has taken on all new meaning. There is still a place for visualisation of lyrics wi5thin videos, it just depends what you want from them. ...read more.

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