Star Image – The Performer

Above is our moodboard we made of Frank Ocean and how we feel he best represents himself.

A star image is essential to any artists career and success, it allows them to build a brand and can ensure that when people see for example Frank Oceans ‘Blond’ merch they automatically think of and associate it with him. Our star image is very important as it can change the meaning of the music video entirely, if the voice of the performer does not match the voice of our artist it can mess up the whole image. Star image helps to construct an audiences idea of an artist, this can incorporate their values, attitudes and beliefs.

The key idea of a music video is to promote the star and their music, it allows their song to be put onto another platform and also have an illustrated, amplified or disjunctive meaning added to a song. Richard Dyer’s theory, the paradox of the star, talks about a star being present and ordinary yet also absent and unusual. It creates a desire for the star from their fans but also allows listeners to feel connected to them in some way. The star will always feel just out of reach to the audience and this only encourages fans love of them.

Frank Ocean is a very strong figure in the LGBTQ+ community, not afraid of question typical masculinity and also talking widely about his bisexuality in his music. He is happy to wear make up and dresses yet also wear a suit and this may be why his audience is mainly a younger fan base. People feel as though they can identify with him and actually relate to the music he writes, yet he only has one social media platform which is on Instagram so he still feels strange and absent.

Describe Your Audience

Knowing your audience is essential to the success of your music video, following conventions of the genre may be good however impressing your audience and creating your video around their tastes is really important. Blumler and Katz’s uses and gratifications theory supports the idea that and audience has an active role in how they view and use their media. Audience profiling is also connected to Stuart Hall’s Reception Theory which suggests that all media has different hidden messages that the audience decode in order to have a deeper meaning to a video or program. However all of these hidden messages can be interpreted in different ways depending on the audience members surrounding or upbringing.

The targeted audience for our music video is millennials, I also found that Frank Oceans music is more popular amongst girls than boys. The general trend for appearance amongst them is slightly on the edgier side wearing generally brighter colours and experimenting with their looks. This includes bright or pastel hair dye, bold outfit statements and colourful patterns. Stereotypically his main audience lives in America, so enjoy the hot weather, roadtripping and concerts. Frank also talks widely about his bisexuality and has become a strong figure for the LGBTQ+ community which is something a large number of young people can reside in. Using elements of all of these characteristics will help me to produce a video that typical Frank Ocean fans would enjoy and find a comfort in.

Visual Shot List For Shoot 1

As we will be doing our first test shoot this week it was important for us to get a feel for what a typical R&B video would look like, especially for artists who are similar to Frank Ocean. We also need to create a star image and audience profile in order for our music video to be authentic to the genre. R&B features more handheld work as the music is spontaneous and relaxed. Mid shots and close ups are also very typical of the genre to build a deeper connection with the artist and have it visible that what they’re singing means something to them.

In our music video we will use these conventions but also add some of our own different shots to test the waters. We aim to follow the conventions pretty closely but contrast is a big part of our video so maybe incorporating this into a variety of our shots will enforce this idea.

Made with Padlet

 

Pitch and Feedback

We discussed our pitch with Mrs Cobb to ensure our music video had a creative enough vision to be interesting and fresh to an audience. It helped us to come up with new ideas and confirm that our other ideas for the video work.

Positives:

  • The image of the Father becoming more and more absent to the boys life
  • The grey, dull mise-en-scene to create a cage like atmosphere allowing the video to feel claustrophobic
  • The contrasting ideas between the warm, vibrant childhood memories to how the boy is living now
  • How minimalistic the room will be with just a bed and bedside table
  • The use of low and high key lighting to represent a difference in time

Negatives:

  • Dave is performing in the video so we have to find ways and scenes for him to film
  • We have to work around child protection issues with Dave’s brother
  • We need to ensure the lighting and feel of the video is prominent enough to represent a difference
  • We have to think outside of the box on how the father will be represented and exactly how we want to do so
  • We need to finalise what shots we want to take of Dave’s younger brother

Final Song Choice

We chose Ivy by Frank Ocean for the following reasons:

  • We both felt that we could take the meaning of the song and amplify the relationship aspect of it rather than illustrate it, we both thought that we would rather not do a music video about a boyfriend/girlfriend situation etc
  • We feel that we can create an interesting narrative with the song that will be eye catching for an audience and effective in its message
  • Although we struggled at first with our different music tastes we eventually came to an agreement and actually felt the ideas flowed straight away so we thought it was a great fit
  • The song has multiple messages in it that can all be taken in different directions, there is a lot of room for creating different narratives.

Perfect Group Production

This is my group agreement for the production of our music video. This group agreement is crucial as it means we have set boundaries and ways to fix problems or issues within the group before they may occur. The more organised we can be for the worst to happen the better.

Please Click For a PDF Of The Whole Document

 

Initial Song Ideas For The Video

I looked into 5 different songs that I could potentially use for my music video. They are all around 4 minutes and I think have the same kind of feeling to them in regard to the story they are telling about love and loss. In the end I came to the conclusion that I wanted to use ‘Can I call you tonight’ by Dayglow. The song is about how just a persons voice can change how your day has gone and not feeling confident or sure enough of yourself to tell them how you feel.

My video narrative would mainly feature a male and be more amplification of the song. I would like to go to different phone boxes all over the island and get shots of him picking up the phone for the main chorus section. I would also feature a girl preferably in a relationship with my main character outside of the video already. I feel that they don’t however end up together in this song.

My video would mainly be performance that illustrative and not follow a strict narrative. It would be more of a montage of clips to do with the song whilst also featuring lip syncing.

 

“Can I Call You Tonight?”

I feel close
Well maybe I’m not, heaven knows
It’s a spotlight stuck on the ceiling
Why are these the things that I’m feeling?
There’s so much time
For me to speak up, but I keep quiet
I’ll complicate the most of the mantra
The power’s out and I can’t turn the fan on

So can I call you tonight?
I’m trying to make up my mind
Just how I feel
Could you tell me what’s real?
I hear your voice on the phone
Now I’m no longer alone
Just how I feel
Could you tell me what’s real anymore?
Cause I wouldn’t know

Voice so low
Sneaking around, so it goes
I always try my best to listen
Picking up things that I can fidget
Circle speed
Pacing around, watching my feet
Batteries drain, I get the memo
“I think that I might have to let you go”

So can I call you tonight?
I’m trying to make up my mind
Just how I feel
Could you tell me what’s real?
I hear your voice on the phone
Now I’m no longer alone
Just how I feel
Could you tell me what’s real anymore?
Cause I wouldn’t know

(We’re sorry; you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service)
(If you feel you have reached this recording in error please check the number and try your call again)
Don’t go, don’t go so easy
Don’t go, don’t go and leave me
Don’t go, don’t go so easy
Don’t go, don’t go and leave me
Don’t go, don’t go so easy
Don’t go, don’t go and leave me
Don’t go, don’t go so easy
Don’t go, don’t go and leave me

So can I call you tonight?
I’m trying to make up my mind
Just how I feel
Could you tell me what’s real?
I hear your voice on the phone
Now I’m no longer alone
Just how I feel
Could you tell me what’s real anymore?
Cause I wouldn’t know

I made a WordArt filled with words and themes I feel fit this song.

Favourite Music Video From A Former Student

Personally my favourite video from a past student is this interpretation of Bellyache. The music video amplifies the song following a clear narrative. It follows the story of a teenage couple and the girl almost loses her mind. She can’t handle that her boyfriends attention has been swayed and things go really wrong from that point on. The acting in the video especially from Marg who is the main star in the video fits the psychopathic image that the song portrays. One of my favourite shots is the mid shot when she is looking at herself in the mirror and then makes eye contact with the camera. It is chilling especially after you know what she has done. The different splashes of colour used especially in the low shots where there is party rings covering her eyes makes the music video feel sharp in places and its almost unnerving.

The video isn’t only lip syncing and has a large element of performance to it, the framing is mostly mid shots but the relationship shots are closer to long shots where we see the whole body. The contrast of the low shots when there are bright colours and she is covering her eyes bring in a nice range and it sticks out from the rest of the music video. I would say the video is 30% performance and 70% illustration. The video amplifies the song and adds a new meaning showing a girl losing her mind and losing control of her relationship. The star is presented as out of control and close to psychotic. She wears brightly block coloured clothes and the pilot style goggles to force the star to seem odd and out of place against the real world. Like the star is desperate for attention and dresses and acts like this to desperately try to recapture her boyfriends attention. The close ups filmed where the star is lip syncing directly to the camera make the audience feel personally attached and slightly manipulated by the star.

Detailed Music Video Analysis

We analysed 2 music videos in detail for this task to understand how to deconstruct a music video and analyse technical conventions, narrative, star image and performance and how all of these aspects help to make the music video.

Please Click For A Clearer PDF

Please Click For A Clearer PDF

By doing this I have learnt that a large majority of music videos are ones that amplify the song however they still hold a clear narrative. I have learnt that the way you cut the music video, how the camera moves and what the star wears all contribute to how people view the music video. It has helped me in my decision of whether my music video will be illustrative, amplifying or disjunctive. It has shown me that even a slight detail of your video being off or not matching the mood you are going for can mess up the whole narrative.