Analysis of Product 3Music VideoFoo Fighters - Wheels
Conventions I will use 7 specific shots I’ve chosen from this music video as examples for conventions of music videos.
CameraworkClose ups/extreme close-ups.
(Extreme) Close ups are shots that are used all the time in music videos (especially in the alternative rock ones that I’ve researched) so can been seen as a convention. The close ups usually focus on the lead singer (if he/she is present in the video, as in this one I researched) more than any other member of the band, due to the fact they are the one singing. Showing these close ups emphasise the emotion when they are singing, depending on what the lyrics mean (expressing anger, happiness) via their facial expressions.
Panning is also a popular convention within music videos. In this case, the shot starts off to the right of the room the band are performing in, then it moves to the left, until a lamp blocks the view of the room. Panning simply tries to act as an establishing shot, showing where the band are, what the room is like (what’s mise-en-scene like; the props, costumes, settings, low-key light, etc.). The shot successfully shows the settings/location of the room, shows there is low-key lighting and shows the costumes the band members are wearing, and in doing so also shows that the band are the only people in the room. Odd props such as street lights/lamps are also in the room, indicating that the band aren’t in a normal room, which also seems to have padded/soundproof walls. This could be a studio that the band practice in.
This convention is from the technical area editing. I’ve seen it be used quite a few times, and quite often linking to the lyrics of the video. The singer will originally not be in the first shot, then fade in (or sometimes out). The lyrics usually relate to this by talking about not feeling like you belong somewhere (hence fading out) or feeling like you’ve found somewhere new (fading in). This works quite well in low-key lighting, better than in high-key lighting, because it seems to have a better effect due to the background light not affecting the way the person fades in/out (sometimes with high-key lighting, fade ins/out just don’t look right).
Cutting is another convention from editing which is always used in music videos.It simply cuts from one shot to another, keeping the video flowing. In this example that I’ve given, the camera cuts from the lead singers playing guitar and singing to the drummer of the band. Both people are shown used a type of mid shot; so even though the camera has cut to someone else, they still share the same camera shot which just creates as sense of continuity in the camerawork.
As the lead singer says “looked into to the sky”, the shot cuts away from a close up of him to this high angle which is accompanied by a change from higher-key lighting to a lower-key lighting. This high angle goes well with the lyrics of the song, with the low key lighting that appears emphasising the feeling of being forgotten (which some lyrics in the song insinuate). High angles are used a lot in music videos, usually to show superiority or inferiority, but in this case it’s used to show something else, which is good as it shows this one shot can represent different things.
Pace of editing
As the song picks up and reaches to the solo towards the end of the song, the editing speeds up from a slower pace to a faster one. This is due to the heavier/faster part of the song kicking in, forcing the editing to keep up with this change of pace. When this happens, the shots sometimes become blurry or distorted which can be a good thing because it emphasises a heavier/faster side to the song. This change in the pace of editing is common in the music videos I’ve seen so can be classed as a convention as it has been present in music videos for years now, not just something that has only started being used.
The ending shot is a long shot which is accompanied by panning and a fade out, two conventions that I’ve mentioned before.
As in the opening scenes, a mid/long shot is used to establish the settings for the music video while the ending scene ends in a similar way. The camera pans from left to right and fades out the further it moves, while showing a long shot to show where the band were. This type of ending is a popular one used to end a music video, especially when the last note of the song is held and dragged out until you can’t hear it anymore.