Monday, 30 September 2013

Analysis of Andrew Goodwin's Theory - Planning

Andrew Goodwin, in his book Dancing in the Distraction Factory, theorised what he defines as the six main characteristics of a music video. They are

1 The music video must demonstrate genre characteristics, i.e. stage performance in a
    rock/metal band, money and aspiration in a hip-hop video, and so on.

2 There is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals; the lyrics are
    represented with images. He categorised this into three different groups: illustrative,
    amplifying and disjunctive - 'illustrative' being a direct link between the lyrics and
    what is shown on screen; 'disjunctive' being just about no link between them, and
    'amplifying' being somewhere in the middle.

3 There is a relationship between the music and the visuals. There is a tone and
    atmosphere to the visual that reflects that of the music (pathetic fallacy?), which is also
    grouped as illustrative, amplifying or disjunctive. This is linked to the concept of
    synaesthesia - seeing the sound. This is crucial as it reinforces appropriate clich├ęs and
    confirms pre-existing ideas that we all associate with a certain image-sound
    combination, and example of this being high-pitched spiralling synth sounds with aliens.

4 Close ups of the artist/band/performer. This is due to demands from record labels to
    show off as much of the performer as possible, for purposes of brand image and
    memorability, as well as motifs the artist may develop which recur across their work (a
    visual style that reflects their star image/persona)

5 There is a frequent reference to the notion of looking, such as screens within screens;
    mirrors; stages, and so on. This also includes voyeuristic treatment of the female body

6 This last one isn't essential, and isn't always included, but there are often intertextual
    references within the music video to films, television programmes, other 'classic' music
    videos, and so on. A particular example of this is Madonna's video for her 1984 single
    'Material Girl', which strongly references Marilyn
    Monroe's performance of 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend' from the 1953 film
    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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