Monday, 9 December 2013

Music Video Genre

Conventions of Music Genres

  • Normally black and white with random bits of scenery that has been coloured in. 
  • Can show a story, but mostly not. Generally just the singers coming close to the camera and singing.  

(Two Door Cinema Club - SUN)

This a perfect example of an indie music video. The conventions of this are the use of dull colours such as black and white. But it usually has the odd splash of colours, which is shown in the screenshot lower from the music video

(Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work.)

In that it is mainly dull and bland, but it also has a coloured panel behind the band to show a contrast and make it stand out. This changes the focal point of the music video to the panel or 

  • Mostly uses girls and portrays them as sexual objects to make the male singer look manlier and more, 'hip'.
  • There is generally bling, expensive cars and girls in bikini's. This is to show the wealth of the singers and how they are interested in females. 

(Jay-Z Big Pimpin')
In this example there are the prime example of Hip Hop genre conventions. Females, used to attract the male audience. Also lots of references to wealth, pouring away what could be a very expensive bottle of champagne. 

(Kanye West Diamonds from Sierra Leone)
Flash car in the background. Kanye West is wearing expensive glasses. Both of these show his wealth and make the audience want to be him.


  • Bright flashing colours, to make it seem warmer and happier.
  • Filters over the screen, distorts the image.
  • Out of the ordinary story telling videos.

(Ellie Goulding Goodness Gracious) 

Here you can see the use of bright colours. All around her are blue and pinks, making it seem happier and more joyful. Also Ellie Goulding's face is very joyful which adds to the happy feeling of the music video.

(Katy Perry Roar)

In this you can tell that this story is not very normal, she is crawling along the jungle floor. There is a story line to this video, which makes the audience want to get to the end to see what happens, therefor making them want to buy the track.


  • Usually shows the musicians playing their respective instruments.
  • Dark and dusky effects (smoke) and dark lighting.

(Arctic Monkeys Brianstorm)

Use of smoke which distorts the view and adds an effect of darkness. This makes it seem more 'grungy' which appeals to the audience of the music itself. Also, the musicians are visible throughout the video, showing off their talents while playing their instruments.

(Guns n Roses Sweet Child O' Mine)

The black and white filter reinfoces the dark theme behind rock music videos. This also appeals to the stereotypical Rock genre fan base, which are those who prefer the darker side of life, lack of colours and very monotone.

Music Video Directors

Music Directors
Hype Williams

Hype Williams began directing music videos in 1991 with his debut being BWP - "We Want Money" he then followed with Main Source - "Just Hanging Out" finishing his 1991 directing. From that year on he started directing more and more music videos. In 1995 he directed a huge 33 music videos, all successful. Hype Williams was influenced by Basquait and Keith Haring, his words were, "I wanted to be the Basquait and Keith Haring of the streets"

A signature style used by Williams throuought the vast majority of his videos was the Fisheye lens which distorted the camera view around the central focus. For example, this was used in the music video Gimme Some More. This was used to give the effect of making the audience feel as though it was from their point of view. Another signature style he used in the majority of his music video's was having shots in a widescreen ratio, while a second shot is cut in either to the side or below. For example, the music video, "Diamonds on My Neck" uses this split screen effect through the whole video. This creates an illusion effect and makes you try to focus on two parts of the screen, making you focus on it more. It also allows the video to be more dynamic and multi-dimensional and atmospheric instead of having single camera angles. One of his more recent signature techniques is combining a centre camera focus on the artists chest and upward with a solid colour background and fading off to a different colour when it comes to the edges and corners. As displayed in the music video Gold Digger. This is to give the effect of illumination of the background and foreground subject.

Hype Williams generally stayed with the music genre of Hip-Hop throughout all his music video directions. The conventions of hip-hop is mainly girls and expensive jewelry, this is reflected in a large majority of his music videos so Williams follows the hip-hop vibe. An example of a music video of which he follows the hip-hop conventions is Kanye West - Diamonds From Sierra Leone, in this there are lots of references to expensive things like cars and designer clothing.

He mostly works with artists that base their music on rap or RnB. Meaning he is seen as a "specialist" in those genres of music. A more recent artist that he works with regularly is Busta Rhymes. He specialises in the rap genre, so Williams can work with his music video and use the generic conventions that appear in that genre.

Music videos that Hype Williams directs can be easily distinguished due to their signature filming techniques. For example, the over use of fisheye lens or where the shot is at a widescreen ratio, where the screen has 3 sections either on the side of each other or the top. The final way that his videos are different from others is the use of contrasted background colours, merging two colours, making the focal point more noticeable.