Introduction to Film
Paper Assignment #5
English 2450/Communications 2010, section 5
Paper due on Monday, December 12, 2011.
For this paper, you need to put together what we have learned in the course of the semester about film form, in order to analyze a music video. Choose a music video to analyse; the only constraint is that it must be currently available on youtube, or elsewhere online, so that I can see the video if I have not done so already.
The paper should be 2-3 pages long. In the course of your analysis, you should consider the following factors:
- How does the video work visually? Consider the uses of mise-en-scène, cinematography, and editing. What visual styles does the video employ, in terms of color, lighting, and montage? What sorts of special effects are used (if any)? How big a role does digital technology play?
- Some music videos are narrative-based, and others are not. Does the video tell a story? Does it present a mood or a situation, without having an explicit storyline? Does it center on dancing? Does it depict a performance?
- Does the video relate to, appropriate, or parody some previous source (another music video, a television show, a movie, a fashion photo, etc.)? And if so, what is the effect of this reference?
- What is the role of the artist (singer or musician) in the video? How is he/she presented? Do we see the performer in one location, and wearing one particular outfit, or is there a combination of shots of the performer in different locations and in different clothes? How does the video's presentation of the performer relate to what we know about him/her from other sources (i.e. as a celebrity)? Is the video totally centered on the artist, or does it also depict other things (e.g., audience reaction, other performers, street scenes or nature scenes, etc.)?
- How do the video's visuals relate to the music? Does the video directly illustrate the music, or not? Does the editing rhythm of the video relate to the structure of the music? (e.g., do the visuals mark different portions of the song, like verse vs. chorus?) Does the dancing in the video (if there is any) relate meaningfully to the music?