Andrew Goodwin

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by 09throwerseb
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Andrew Goodwin

Andrew Goodwin - Theory

The "genre" element dictates that a music video will adopt iconographic, narrative and stylistic facets from an established genre, particularly with regard to its aesthetic design. This allows the creator/producer to instantly convey meaning and messaging in an immediate fashion due to the audience's pre-existing expectations of the genre on display. For instance, rap music has key icons such as gold and money that prominently feature to inform the audience of the genre.

Goodwin had several theories made from observing the trends present in music videos, documented in his book "Dancing in the Distraction Factory", which he broke down into several elements.- Genre - Thought Beats - Technical Codes- Narrative/Performance - Voyerurism- Lyrics translation to Visuals

The concept of "Thought Beats" is Goodwin's means of expressing how the visuals of the video match the audio, allowing the audience to "see the music". This can be done using the structure (varying footage/vignettes between the chorus and verses), the editing (matching the tempo with the rate of cutting or a myriad of additional ways. This allows the audience to sensorily connect to the on-screen action. Additionally, Roland Barthes' concept of "Grain of Voice" - that each voice has a signature with its own connotations - figures into this, informing the style and texture of the video due to the unique qualities of each voice.

Narrative and performance work in tandem together to advertise the track and the artist, as well as accompanying or telling the story of the lyrics. These elements should have a repeatability to them that encourages the viewer to return to the video time and time again. Using the artist as a narrator allows an audience to remain engaged without losing interest. The artist is often featured as a narrator and participant simultaneously with lip-syncing and other performance elements remaining the foremost reason for their presence, advertisting them effectively. This idea of "Star Image" increases awareness and reception of the track/video and their involvement is frequently and prominently advertised with idealised portrayals in close-ups designated "Money Shots".

The technical codes refers to how the constructive elements of a music video - the camerawork, editing, lighting and visual effects - all contribute to the meaning, atmosphere and tone of each music video. The use of colour and settings are crucial in portraying a particular time or emotional state. Setting in particular, is essential in immersing the audience in the video, demanding it be engaging and believeable enough to warrant attention. Certain elements are common, such as the matching of editing to the tempo, and widely used as basic audio/visual language.

The translation of lyrics to visuals manifests in several different fashions:Disjuncture - Where the lyrics have no relation to the visuals and do not relate to the lyrical meaning at all.Amplify - When the lyrical meaning is amplified and exaggerated through the visuals.Illustrate - The meaning of the song is clearly portrayed through the visuals, conveying a story or narrative through the imagery that connects directly to the lyrics

Voyeurism, the sense of looking at something potentially illicit, plays heavily into music video, particularly pop videos and the high degree of sexualisation that they depict female artists with (though male artists are also subjected to this portrayal, though to a lesser extent). These pleasures gratify by creating a sense of a "forbidden fruit" that makes consuming such content more satisfying. Additionally, this concept is often depicted visually with a focus on close-ups, screens within screens, glasses and other reflective objects.

Intertextuality has pervaded music videos in the modern era of popular culture and many videos frequently reference other music videos as well as cinema, TV texts or iconic imagery. The Foo Fighter's track "Walk" is an obvious homage/reference to the Michael Douglas film "Falling Down".


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