Monday, 26 September 2011

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Evolution of a Star - Christina Aguilera

Born: December 18 1980, Staten Island, New York
American recording artist and actress
Record Label: RCA
Genres: Soul, Pop, R&B, Dance

    This is Christina Aguilera's first album Christina Aguilera which was released in 1999. The album consisted of her breakthrough hit single Genie in a Bottle which remained number one for five weeks becoming one of the most successful airplay only singles in history. The music video features Christina singing and dancing to the song. A little bit of narrative is involved in the video. The artist is dressed in short, tight fitting clothing, with her midriff exposed in some scenes. This created a little controversy with the press as they felt she was too young to wear such clothing. The other two hit singles in the album were What a girl wants and Come On Over Baby(All I Want Is You).  

    On the left is a shot from her music video What a Girl Wants. We see she has short layered hair.

     To the right is Christina in her video for Come On Over Baby(All I Want Is You). Here we see a her in clothing that exposes her body more. Her hair has grown longer and has red tips. She appears to be more confident than in her previous two videos.


    On the right is Christina's second album Mi Reflejo, which included five of her singles from her debut album Christina Aguilera, which are sung in Spanish. The album topped the 'Top Latin Album'.

    Stripped is Christina Aguilera's fourth album, which was released in 2002. It featured two UK hit singles Beautiful and Dirrty. Always compared to Britney Spears, Aguilera changed her style to her hair as dredlocks with streaks of black and wearing clothes that were very revealing. She transformed to 'dirtier' looks, which was also reflected in her music.

    Beautiful is a classic gentle and sombre ballad conveying a message that other people's opinions should not influence or disturb one's mind. It is Christina Aguilera's most successful and strongest tracks and hit number one is several countries when it came out. The video is narrative-based focusing on issues such as homosexuality, bullying and anorexia. It features actors and actresses playing these roles out, with cross-cuts of Christina singing. The mood is reflected in the lighting and locations, with low lighting being used. Many close-ups have been used of the artist to create a connection between her and the viewer, as though she is talking directly to them. In the video Aguilera wears dark clothing enhancing the darkened mood.

    In contrast, her video for Dirrty created controversy for its explicit content. In both the videos we see her with long dredlocks and her new piercings. In Dirrty she appears to be wearing very short, revealing clothing, which was also her new public image. There are many close-ups of her body such as her lips and bottom. Her dance moves are more sexual and she dances with both genders, which also created a lot of controversy.

    Aguilera's style constantly changed, with her hair changing from blonde to jet black. At first we see how she had braids and curles with highlights of pink. She then tried out black streaks in her hair. During 2004/2005 she decided to dye her long hair completely black, transforming into a more gothic fashion. This is reflected in her single Fighter in which she bears elements of rock.

    She changed her look once again for her new album Back to Basics which was released in 2006.  It had elements of jazz, blues, soul and R&B. Now engaged to Jordan Bratman she decided to change to having classic short, curly, blonde hair with red lips. Her clothing at this stage wasn't as revealing as it was during her album Stripped.

    Her most recent album Bionic is her sixth album and was released in 2010. In this album she returns to the genre of pop and R&B. Christina experiments, explores and mix's different styles and genres in ways she has never done before. This is also represented in her life as she is now a mother and also recently became an actress featuring in the movie Burlesque.This mood has slightly been reflected on her album cover,

    Wednesday, 14 September 2011

    Goodwin's Conventions Analysis: 'The Way I Are' Timbaland, Keri Hilson, DOE, Sebastian

    This video is primarily performance-based, featuring the four artists and three freestyle football players. The genre of the song is considered to be pop, hip/hop and electropop which is reflected in the beat and the costumes worn by the artists. 

    • There is a relationship between the lyrics and visuals 
    As the music video is performance-based, the lyrics don't particularly illustrate the visuals. However the video acts as a promotional tool for the artists. Performance-based video's are the easiest to do on a budget, providing a suitable location is found.

    • There is a relationship between the music and visuals
    Throughout the music video we can see a clear relationship between the music and the visuals. At the beginning of the video, the spotlights flash to the beat. The editing is fast and consists of jump cuts between the different frames. At the start and very end of the video the editing becomes slower as the song slows. The camera is also slightly jerky and unsteady. 
    • Particular music genres might have their own music video style and iconography 

    Throughout the video, Keri Hilson is dressed in short, tight fitting outfits which highlight her figure attracting the male audiences. The male artists wear accessories such as rings, hats and glasses and are dressed in suits and recognised brands and clothing. These all relate to conventions of hip/hop music videos.

    • There is a demand on the part of the record company for lots of close ups of the main artist and to sustain the established star-text
    Mostly all the shots in the video are close-ups or mid-shots, focusing on the artists' faces or actions. This allows the artists' to be the main focus in the video. The close-ups help make the viewer get a feel of the atmosphere and connect better with the artists'.

      • The artist may develop their own star iconography, in and out of their videos which over time becomes their star image

      In the video we see Timbaland dressed in a suit. Similarly in most his videos he is dressed in a suit, which makes him look smart and respected.

      • There is likely to be a reference to voyeurism, particularly in the treatment of women, but also in terms 'in looking' e.g. screens within screens
      There are many shots in the video, which focus on Keri Hilson's body, such as her lips and figure, and at some points moving around. She is also surrounded by male artists, and interacts with some of them too.

        Possible Track - 'Better Together' Jack Johnson

        There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
        No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart
        Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
        Like a, shoebox of photographs
        With sepia-toned loving
        Love is the answer,
        At least for most of the questions in my heart
        Like why are we here? And where do we go?
        And how come it's so hard?
        It's not always easy and
        Sometimes life can be deceiving
        I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together

        Mmm, it's always better when we're together
        Yeah, we'll look at the stars when we're together
        Well, it's always better when we're together
        Yeah, it's always better when we're together

        And all of these moments
        Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
        But I know that they'll be gone
        When the morning light sings
        And brings new things
        For tomorrow night you see
        That they'll be gone too
        Too many things I have to do
        But if all of these dreams might find their way
        Into my day to day scene
        I'd be under the impression
        I was somewhere in between
        With only two
        Just me and you
        Not so many things we got to do
        Or places we got to be
        We'll sit beneath the mango tree now

        Yeah, it's always better when we're together
        Mmm, we're somewhere in between together
        Well, it's always better when we're together
        Yeah, it's always better when we're together

        Mmm, mmm, mmm

        I believe in memories
        They look so, so pretty when I sleep
        Hey now, and when I wake up,
        You look so pretty sleeping next to me
        But there is not enough time,
        And there is no, no song I could sing
        And there is no combination of words I could say
        But I will still tell you one thing
        We're better together.

        After listening to this song, we knew this would be a really good song to create a music video for. Although it sounded a little like an advert song, we have decided to pick this as our song to make a music video on. We would be also be able to create a little narrative in the song with a couple. The only instrument we would need in the video is a guitar which we will be able to find.

        Wednesday, 7 September 2011

        Ideas for Tracks - 'No Diggity' Blackstreet ft Dr. Dre, Queen Pen

        We really liked the vibe of this song, however a video had already been made to it. For us to have created a successful music video to this song we would have needed many actors and actresses. The video would have been filmed in many different locations.

        Ideas for Tracks - 'Go To Sleep' Lupe Fiasco

        Whilst going through my playlist I found this song and really liked it. The song was just a year old and did not have a music video to it. The rapping parts of the song are not fast either, therefore not being difficult to lip sync to. However we found it very difficult to think of what we would film for the song, as the lyrics did not consist of a story. Some of the lyrics were not suitable either.

        Ideas for Tracks - 'Pumped Up Kicks' Foster The People

        Whilst looking for a track for our music video, we came across this song. We really liked the mood of the song as it was pretty chilled. However when thinking of ideas for the music video, we found that we would have needed a lot of actors and equipment, as the artists of the song were a group. For the video to be successful we would need to make sure the actors were able to play the instruments. 

        However if we did choose to make a video for this song we would have been apply many different effects to the video making it exciting.

        Ideas for Tracks- 'Beautiful People' Chris Brown & Benny Benassi

        We chose this as a possible sound track for a music video as song generally has a positive vibe to it. The song was meant to inspire people with dance music and bring people together to enjoy life without negativity. We really like the melody of the song.

        However we could not use this song to make a music video as one had already been made which consisted of footage from Chris Brown's everyday life. The video features many famous artist's such as T Pain and Diddy. The video was also very successful with the song being top 10 in many different countries.

        Ideas for Tracks - 'Photographs' Rihanna ft

        We really liked the mood and pace of this song. Our plan would have been to have a narrative of a couple, with the scenes jump cutting into the actress performing the song. The song does not have a video to it either which would give us an advantage.

        Album Cover Collage

        Tuesday, 6 September 2011

        Ideas for Tracks - 'My Love' Justin Timberlake

        We chose this as a possible track to make a music video for, as the song is very upbeat therefore the video would have a fast flow with many shots. We had a idea of the video consisting of a dance routine. We could make use of the effects of Final Cut to make the video exciting. 

        However as the video consists of two artists, we would need to find actors to play the parts and perform well. We would also need dancers and have a dance routine. As the music is very upbeat we would need a lot of footage and it would take quite a long time to film. The song also already has a video made for it.

        Saturday, 3 September 2011

        Past Students Work - 'A-ha! Imogen Heap' Greg Bernstein and Joshua Moss

        This video has been shot in a studio and consists of a vast range of editing. It is primarily performance-based. The main colours used are red, white and black suggesting themes of danger, innocence and mystery. As many effect have been experimented with in this video, it is really successful.

        The video begins with this black and white shot of a silhouette figure behind broken branches. There is a slight glow of light around her, setting a eerie atmosphere. 

        I really liked the way this frame was edited. It is of two hands being tied up together with a rope by themselves. This may have been created by taking an image of the hands being tied up at different stages and putting the images altogether in a sequence.

        I really liked the effects that were applied on this shot. It shows the camera being very unsteady, giving a jerky effect. Fast pace cutting has been used.

        In this shot a violin was being played. An effect has been put on the shot to make it look blurred and stretched out. It has been used a few times in the video and I would like to apply this in my own music video.

        Past Students Work - 'I Kissed A Boy by Boy Interrupted' Max and Mike

        This video has been shot in a studio and is primarily performance-based. It has been filmed in black and white although there quick shots in which the frame changes into colour. It uses a range of different effects and along with the lighting I feel this is a really successful video, due to its simplicity.

        I really liked the way in which this frame was a little broken and blurred. This may have been created by putting the same two images together but slowing the other down. This can be done using the pen tool in Final Cut.

        Throughout the video there are frames which change from black and white into colour. This may have been done to show two personalities in the actor. It keeps the viewer focused on the video. 

        This frame used a blur effect which I really liked and may consider using in my own music video.

        Throughout the video the lighting plays a key role. In this shot the source of light is being shone from below the actor, as the bottom half of his face glows. There are also three shadows behind him. I want to apply the way they used their lighting similarly into my music video.

        Thursday, 1 September 2011


        This music video has been shot in a studio and is performance-based, featuring the artist and a group of male dancers. The lighting plays a key role in the video, creating shadows and making the artist the main focus of the video.

        I feel the video is successful due to the use of lighting. The way they were able to keep the video completely performance-based without any narrative and still enjoyable to watch is incredible. If we decide to shoot our video in studio, we will use this video as inspiration and try and recreate some of the shots and the lighting.