Tuesday, 16 September 2014

RG - Music Video Deconstruction

 Drenge - Backwaters (2013)

In regards to institution and audience, this music video is most likely to be consumed in a focused viewing. The main reason for this being a narrative video, therefore, people are more likely to pay attention to the storyline that is occurring in the video. However, it is also possible that it could be consumed as an ambient viewing, this is because it could just be used as a piece of background video, for example, in a bar. This is because the narrative in the video isn't particularly complex, and the narrative is very simple as it just shows youth being rebellious by drinking and driving.
In terms of institutional context of this video, the genre is alternative rock, and Drenge are a fairly indie band, as currently they aren't very popular, but are growing as they performed at big festivals such as Reading and Glastonbury this year. The record label may of possibly played a hegemonic role in this music video however. This is due to the fact it has been released through the YouTube channel of 'Noisey' rather than Drenge's own channel. This would of been arranged by the record label because Noisey is a well known YouTube music channel that achieves high numbers of views. This strategy would of been employed by Drenge's record label to increase the popularity of Drenge, with the hope that more people would watch the music video as it has been released through a YouTube channel with great awareness and respect online.
Kid Cudi - Just What I Am (2012)

In terms of media language, in this music video, I do not believe there is much of a social message, however, the artists image is being constructed. The music video is a performance and conceptual based music video, as the artist is performing the song to the camera, however, the video features a lot of special effects completed in post-production.

The artist is represented as being rebellious, and showing to be enjoying partying. The aspect of rebellion is reflected in Dyer's star theory. Therefore, this may be enforced as part of attempting to create an image of Kid Cudi as a star. The heavy use of special effects aims to create a concept of Kid Cudi being in a separate place to the rest of us. For example, in the party scene, a sense of depth is created as the artists are over the top of the on going party in the background, which often becomes blurred. This separates Kid Cudi from everyone else, and was most likely completed by filming on a green screen then adding the footage behind in post-production.

Close ups of Kid Cudi are often used to show his emotion, which is often joyful and happy, and in the majority of all shots featuring him he is either holding a red cup which hold connotations of either alcohol or the drug 'Purple Drank' which is heavily consumed by American rap artists or he is smoking and with Kid Cudi's reputation from other songs, and videos, it can be assumed that he is smoking marijuana. This yet again creates a representation of rebellion for the artist.

Handicam is also present throughout this music video, especially the scenes in which Kid Cudi and King Chip are shown to be at a party. The effect of this places us with the artists, and creates a present mood for the audience. It creates the effect of them being at the party themselves with the artist. This therefore creates a sense of a relationship between the artist and the audience, and enables them to feel as though they can relate with the artist also.

Finally, the use of editing the lighting in the video via post-production, creates an effect of a strobe over the party scenes. This also creates a sense of presence for the audience as it is shown through the point of view as if the viewer of the video was at the part in the music video. Rather than distancing the artist from the audience, this creates a close relationship, in doing this, even though Kid Cudi would be viewed as 'untouchable' by Dyer (relating to his Star Theory), this music video allows the viewers to feel as though they are closer with the artist.
Childish Gambino - 3005 (2013) 

In terms of genre and narrative, the music video is a conceptual and performance based video. An identifiable element of the music video is the fact that the video only features two shots, with the majority of the time the camera being static, apart from the chorus, which it spins in sequence with the Ferris wheel which Childish Gambino is on. The visuals do not at all link with the music, however, the conceptual bear which features throughout the video does link with the lyrics. The teddy bear is possibly there to represent time passing as the song chorus lyric is "I'll be right by your side till 3005" because as the video progresses the bear gets in a worse state, and these 4 minutes of the video are possibly meant to represent years passing and that he'll be there with her no matter what the situation.  It could also be a link with artist, as at a younger point in his life Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) suffered from depression, and the bear could be a link back to this, showing how he felt torn apart as time went on.  Although, the artist has never been fully clear on the meaning of the bear in the music video as during different interviews he gave different explanations. However, it narrows down to two main possibilities.
The first being that it represents that when he is intoxicated with either drugs or alcohol the bear and himself are always together as this is his happy moment, but when he becomes sober he beats up the bear, with the bear representing a woman. Hence why the bear gets into a worse state. The second being, as quoted by Childish Gambino,  "It's kind of an existential thing. I'm just really scared of being alone. When I was little, there was a big dog down the street. I was really scared of it. But when I was with my sister, when I knew I had to protect her, I wasn't afraid of the dog as much because somebody was there. I had a purpose...I kind of feel lost. I kind of lost that, I feel." Therefore, just a symbol of somebody always being there to support you. In my opinion, I would refer to this music video as a piece of art, due to the conceptual idea that is hidden behind the video, as some would see it as ridiculous, but, it's deeper meaning represents love, and therefore, this is not an advert for the song.
In regards of representation, the artist keeps it reasonably hidden in this music video. He does not construct much of a star persona, as he keeps an emotionless face during the video. However, he does obey to some of the common values of music stardom created by the theorist Dyer. The two most identifiable ones are originality and creativity/talent. This music video is the first kind that I have seen with this form of concept. Therefore, it creates a persona of Gambino being original and creative. Especially, as from my own knowledge, Childish Gambino is a stage name for Donald Glover who is in fact an actor and director, and therefore, may of had an input into the idea for this video of how he wants ro represent himself. After also watching other videos by the same director Hiro Murai, such as Earl Sweatshirt - Chum, Childish Gambino - Sweatshirt and Chet Faker - Gold, this music video obeys the conceptual style which he keeps persistent throughout his videos. Personally, I see these music videos as being brilliant, and the style is one that I enjoy watching as the video always hides a deeper conceptual meaning that represents both the artist and the song.
Then, in terms of ideological discourse, the discourse depends on the reading of the concept of the music video. In my opinion, the bear represents an object that removes loneliness, to ensure that the artist is never alone. Therefore it represents an emergent ideology of gender, as stereotypically, males are represented to be able to fend for themselves and be the strong figure in comparison with women who are usually the emotional ones. This video breaks that convention as the male is the emotional one as heard in the lyrics, and seen from the video, he needs another person with him and hates the idea of being lonely.


  1. Really good analysis and deconstruction, Ross. I think the Drenge video is particularly helpful to au as it is within our genre of music. This will help us a lot when it comes to planning our video.

    1. I agree Dan, after watching the video I thought that our narrative could be of a similar format. Especially the use of colour grading in this video to darken the footage, if we combined this style of narrative with a performance based sequence, this would be brilliant.

  2. A very detailed deconstruction Ross. Your analysis of genre and narrative is particularly detailed. Good job.

  3. Well done Ross, this is excellent. Your section on media language is undeveloped though and is letting the overall standard down. You should include two more detailed examples of visual styles or camera/editing techniques in this section and then I will give you a final grade for this. email me when you have done so.