Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 28 February 2011

CD-burning on Macs

See the guide at: (for Mac OS 9)
see (for Mac OS X)
For burning VCDs we have purchased 1 license of Roxio Toast, installed on (need to check this) Mac 8

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Eval Q1 Use of conventions

Take a moment to consider carefully the question, and the very specific terms selected:
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • its identical to a Q you answered for AS cwk!
  • you will need to make detailed comparisons between each of your productions and existing vids, digipaks, ads (and any TV shows etc you've also referenced as influences)
  • BUT its not just how you've reflected these conventions; you may have chosen to change, undermine, flip round some of these (perhaps countertypes in place of stereotypes for example) ... maybe even seek to take an established genre in a new direction
  • the word 'rules' is NOT used. 'Conventions' means commonly occurring; frequently seen - elements which when combined help an audience to identify the genre or type of media text. Many books + articles will discuss 'rules' of a genre; what they really mean is 'conventions' - if a genre stays completely rigid it will be doomed
  • lots of opportunity to apply exam theory: intertextuality + postmodernism more widely (media language, semiotics); feminist and queer representation theories (Mulvey, Butler etc); genre... you could apply any of the 1b theories here!
So, this Q boils down to:
(i) demonstrating your knowledge of conventions;
(ii) providing denotation of each of your own texts;
(iii) analysing how your choices reflected or challenged conventions
As is the case in the exam, it is crucial that you provide very precise, specific examples, using specific, precise terminology as you do so (you are marked on this in the exam, so practise using it now!).

As is the case for the Evaluation overall, you should aim to use some combination of hyperlinks, images, video and audio to ensure your post on this is multimedia and well illustrated.
You have to consider whether you'll tackle all 3 texts in a unified way, or perhaps discuss each separately.

I set out a lengthier structure below, but you may find it works better to condense this (in retrospect, this simpler structure makes more sense to me). I have added more detailed notes to the longer version below.

  1. Sum up key findings of research into conventions, splitting this between general format conventions and more specific genre/artist (and/or director if appropriate) conventions. Make direct comparisons to your work as you go. E.g.: lipsynching, which is also one of Goodwin's defining features - show a short clip from an example you used in your blog then follow with - or use splitscreen to put both side by side - a clip from your work. Try to incorporate theory: narrative structure, the media language of videos (Goodwin v Vernallis + Dyer's star system; intertextuality + postmodernism), audience (uses and gratifications, web 2.0), feminist/queer critiques  (Mulvey, Butler), obviously genre, including subcultures (Hebdige and Bourdieu's cultural capital linked to costume/hair + intertextualities) ... etc
  2. repeat this for mag ad ...
  3. and digipak
  4. Sum up; Negus' breakdown of generecist, pastichist or synthesist would be really useful here. You could also throw in your take on Vernallis v Goodwin; Baudrillard's simulacra, and any more exam theory (having such visual material to work from will help with exam prep!). The 1a topic of Creativity is also useful to briefly consider here

You can browse through all past examples here.
The 2014 answers were generally high level.
The Atomic Kitten group of Tilly, Millie, Poppy and Kate provided a strong video on video conventions as well as additional material (including a Prezi) for the two print texts. They also provided a transcript of their video, which was extremely helpful (to themselves as well as to the marker), though this needed more attractive presentation with sub-headings and some imagery to break up the text.
Faithless group Dec, Jake and Curt provide fairly good illustrations and don't neglect the print texts. Again, their transcript is very useful but lets down the presentation without clear sub-headings and imagery! The exam board don't like such identikit responses: this is meant to be the key individual part of the (usually group) coursework, and the downside of the script approach is also seen with the sometimes dreadful vocal delivery.
Both groups make use of theory. The girls' discussion of the male gaze theory and how they partially objectified themselves with the older, male end of the audience in mind ... but limited this with the younger end of their audience in mind, is nicely done, and clearly personalising abstract theory.

Here's how I suggest you work on this Q:

The words format and genre aren't used in the question, but its useful to tackle both. by format I mean music vid/digipak/mag ad [hereafter: MV/D/Ad] - the type of text/part of a text. Never mind specific genres, what do we expect to see from MV/D/Ads generally?
What I'm saying here is DON'T START WITH A FOCUS ON GENRE.
In any combination (work across groups!) or by yourself, list the relevant features of any 5-10 MV/D/Ads from genres other than the one you're working in! Simply list the features, don't waste time analysing their meaning (connotations). From this, create a list (perhaps the top 5 or 10) of the key conventions of MV/D/Ads.

For digipaks/ads, this is straightforward, and you should be able to draw upon prior research to set out the common conventions of these formats. Illustrate your points with images of actual examples.
For music vid you should be noting (and discussing, where appropriate the absences of) aspects such as:
  • diegetic intro/outros
  • titles (rare, other than info added by TV channels?)
  • is there an equivalent to the establishing shot (typically ELS) which opens many films/TV shows?
  • likewise, any notable trend for the final, closiong shot? (fade out?)final shot of opening sequence (do more titles/main title follow? fade out?)
  • shot types + variation
  • continuity editing (eg following 180degree rule?)?
  • focus on a main character ['mode of address']? (pro/antagonist?) PoVs?
  • mise-en-scene + verisimilitude
  • sound/music (non-/diegetic)
  • editing
  • narrative (which part/s of Todorov's structure: equilibrium, dis-equilibrium, new equilibrium?); use of binary opposition; exposition (dialogue, titles on screen, mise-en-scene etc); stereo/arche/counter-typical characters
Work through your examples and note the commonly recurring aspects (ie conventions) - these might be seen in some, but not all (again, not 'rules'). Its advisable to limit this to a top 10 (or other number).

You could do this in a table ... or podcast, video...
Stills/video/audio of existing text/your text will definitely help (you can easily import and work with stills in iMovie to create impressive vids; simply record a voiceover and edit in!).
Basically, work through the conventions you've noted, and discuss how and why your text does(n't) match up to these conventions. A brief summary would be useful.

This should be easy as it should already be covered within your R+P!!!!
A list of bullet points, with 1+ specific eg for each one, would be an idea.
You might want to get into the concept of genre; there is a links list on this, and plenty of useful material in various books (not least the official OCR AS Media Studies student book) in F6/Lib.
Again, you could do a simple table to compare yours to these, but perhaps better is to...

You could use each listed convention as a sub-heading (or section in a video).
Just discuss why you have opted against using some features (you might conclude that you should have; being honest will not lose you marks!).
Remember: specific, precise well-illustrated examples using specific, precise media language!

Again, do be honest! As there's a specific question on this later, be brief.
Did test audiences respond in the way you'd hoped? Did they follow your encoded meaning, what Stuart Hall describes as the preferred reading?

Summarise your findings, but also answer this:
what challenges or limitations did you face as a student filmmaker, and from working within a (small!) group? If you had greater time + resources, is there anything you'd change (explain why if so)?

Further notes follow from a previous handout on the Eval; its worth reading through these for additional pointers

Joy Division's Control via S.Africa

Interesting vid; cheaply made, the vid relies on getting the most from the monochrome/B+W look, with a strange concept approach fitting the detuned dance track. The track itself is Joy Division filtered through Depeche Mode, which may partially explain the loudhailer (a common leitmotif in DMode vids and covers, both shot by Corbijn, whose influence on this vid is stark and strong), though described here as 'darkwave township house', adding a specifically S.African touch to two widely known genres within this hybrid. I'd read it as a play on race, with the white suit and whitening flour (black liquid is also applied) key signifiers, but could be entirely wrong!
The track, and vid, are featured on the website for the achingly hip mag Dazed and Confused.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


A little light relief/insight into the burgeoning impact of the postmodern aesthetic and the growth of new media brands outside the old media networks...
The 1st of these gets a little crude towards the end; sev examples here of another growing trend, building on the tradition developed by Weird Al Yankovich, but in 2011 operated as en entirely online operation - spoof/parody vids, in this case from the 'barelypolitical' YouTube channel, which uploads weekly comedy updates.
If you happened to be doing a Backstreet Boys vid, you might be interested in the BB ref in the Bieber spoof...

Friday, 18 February 2011

Call sheet + production logs

You can download and modify these, or simply print off

Sample Call Sheet2                                                            

Db Production Log Details of Shots Taken Quality of Outcome and Follow-ups                                                            

Thursday, 17 February 2011


have added a number of rough cuts, vodcasts and behind-the-scenes from both AS and A2 today to playlists on the IGSMediaStudies channel
I'll try to arrange some feedback from students elsewhere in the UK for the week back after half term, but it would be good to see you commenting on each other's work!
For curious AS, you can get a snapshot of what A2 folk have been working on, and for curious A2 you can compare the crop of 2010-11 to your prestigious selves (and maybe pass on some tips from your own experience filming for AS)!
There are many, many examples of top-notch work; two are embedded below:

There are more rough cuts etc on music vids for Gorillaz, Doors, We Are the Ocean and more, plus a range of material on the AS slashers, psychological thriller, zombie and rom-com productions!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

AF task

1. Make notes individually on the following then discuss answers with someone from a different production group:

o Give one specific (use precise media language) example where AF has reinforced your idea/plan

o Give one specific (use precise media language) example where AF has changed your idea/plan

o Before showing any text for AF, what steps should you take? (NB: this extends to YouTube uploads!!!) [context is key, but also testing files and having any vid equip set up ready to go]

o In general, what do you think you've gained from AF?

o [If finished early, also consider this:] How important is AF in the media industry you're looking at?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Dance, sexism and (postmodern) irony

Two examples here of dance vids (the sub-genre 'house' might be more accurate). On the surface, both are 'blokey' and crudely sexist, framed blatantly around the male gaze.
That seems problematic for the type of music though; intended to be experienced in a club setting as well as on home/personal hi-fi/music player, alienating half an audience would seem boneheaded commercial suicide.
The Danzel vid could be argued to fall between two stools: centred around conventionally galmorous young women BUT with a rather camp chap presenting it all (a judgement well reflected in the comments the vid has attrated on YouTube).
The Alex Gaudino feat. Shena is again a feast of eye candy ... BUT serves this up whilst lampooning the couch potato gamer gents, the very (stereo)type such material conventionally targets. These two are rendered as moronic Beavis and Butthead (returning to our screens after 14 years) facsimiles.
The issue of control is also more subtle, or polysemic, than at first glance. To what extent are our pair of buffoons really in control? Clearly the video employs some of the media language of pornography, but the players are notably skilled, aggressive and competitive; countertypical of the representation we might expect. The referee, far from an alpha male reinforcing any reading of this text as misogynistic or patriarchal, is again made to look foolish, and is a familiar comedy trope (seen often through the career of Bert Kwouk, not least with C4's late-night show Banzai - see the clip below). The whole precept of female players as lads mag 'babes' rather than sportspeople is a further satire of FIFA president Sepp Blatter's notorious suggestion that the women's game should learn from beach volleyball and play in tight hotpants to increase audience interest!
So, are these music videos slices of postmodern irony and satire - with the conventional gaze rendered ridiculous - or just blatant old school sexism with a postmodern fig leaf?
Its notable that there are a good number of 'dislikes' along with the 'likes' on the YouTube pages.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

your blog vids

Lots of excellent vids appearing on blogs - alas, many of them are through vimeo or divshare, and few of them have been passed on to me as I keep requesting you do!
I'd like to be adding these to the IGSMedia channel as you complete these; I've added a few I can access to a new playlist.
Here's one of many good egs:

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Short filmic vid-ChrisCunningham-censorship

Can't really embed the vid I'll touch on here given its 147 uses of the f-word and more, but with this in mind you can watch it at
Directed by Chris Cunningham (rem, a comp. DVD of his vids is available for loan) for the Warp dance act Aphex Twin, the video for Windowlicker is an edgy satire of contemporary US urban, hip-hop cultural tropes and cliches; the far end of the spectrum from Michael Jackson's comparatively effete streetscapes in Bad or Billie Jean.

Clocking in at 10:34, this goes beyond the typical brief diegetic intro we get in many vids - again, a useful comparison would be Jackson (the John Landis-directed Thriller).
Aphex Twin play with gender identity
There's a nice, and not too complicated (the sort of thing you have the facilities as Media students to replicate), effect to create a 38-window streeeetch limo (look for the telltale repeat of light moving across the two women to see the join). The vid also sees gender identity played with (a nod to Judith Butler's 'performativity of gender' theory?), something the band have done in live performances/artshows.
Unsurprisingly, the vid was the subject of censorship - with an equally common response in that 'clean' versions were created, though MTV did receive a fine for airing an uncut version before 9pm.
I've copied in below the informative blurb from the YouTube uploader below, but put this behind a 'read more' rather than remove the swear words contained in this. But first...
Consider this: is there an issue with censoring satire of sweary, misogynistic cultural forms and behaviour, which surely requires the use of swearing and images of misogyny to function with some level of verisimilitude?
There's another useful web feature on this, and Cunninghmam's work:

Now the YouTube text:

Friday, 4 February 2011


I've realised there IS a way to change the publication dates of posts; its a little cheeky but...

Here's how: if I clicked PUBLISH now on this post its date would be 3rd Feb 2011. For ever!
BUT ... I can click in POST OPTIONS and change the default setting at POST DATE AND TIME to SCHEDULED AT and type in the ideal date!

See pic below

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Record request + a must-watch show

We will now be working on the Media Regulation question for Section B of your A2 exam, NOT Media and Collective Identity (the topic A2 did last year).
With this in mind there is a show you really should watch - and I'd be grateful if someone could record it for me: see for details
(The observant amongst you will have noticed thats a link for a new blog; I suggest you become followers asap - I'll be adding material of regulation as regards music vids for one thing, and have begun adding links lists)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


 Several additional links follow at the end. 

Sentence-Mixed YouTube Poop Music Videos, also called "YTP songs" or "YTP karaoke", are videos in which the words of a character are sentence-mixed to match the background music, usually being an instrumental (karaoke) track of an existing song. Unlike using parts of ready sentences uttered by those characters, however, emphasis is put on creating completely new words or meanings, precisely matching the lyrics of a song - a process of focused word splicing. Poopers that have created more than one of those include: TheChewanater, Moto200, HarterStuhligan.

YouTube Poop is a Neo-Dada art form consisting of video remixes that are edited from a large array of video clips in order to confuse, stun or entertain the viewer. The source material can be mashed all together into a nonsensical Cross Over story, or just repeat footage of the characters gesticulating oddly or apparently saying something dirty over and over and over again. There are also well-known phrases such as "PINGAS" or "Do a Barrel Roll!".
YouTube Poop started with SuperYoshi testing out Windows Movie Maker, a new piece of software he found in his newly installed Windows XP, using the episode "Recycled Koopa" from The Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon. The result was a video containing a few clips from the episode repeated and used in a random manner. Later he put this video as The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 Remixed on December 22, 2004, up on his SheezyArt page. The video was well received and SuperYoshi together with his friend RetroJape made similiar remixes using The Megaman Cartoon and later Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. A few more of SuperYoshi's friends joined and started putting their videos on You Tube in order to confuse and anger people who were otherwise looking for regular Super Mario or Sonic The Hedgehog videos. The first three Poops have been brought to YouTube later as I'D SAY HE'S HOT ON OUR TAIL, Dr. Light's Guidance System Show and Robotnik's Sodomy Fest of 2005, respectively.
[SOURCE: excerpt from long feature at]
SOURCE for the following (which is just an excerpt from a long feature + user comments), including this definition of 'YTPMVs':


A YTPMV, or Youtube Poop Music Video, put simply is a musical Youtube poop and a western equivalent to a [MAD] video. Like a Youtube Poop, they feature various clips from tv shows, movies, commercials, and other video sources, but the clips are sequenced to fit to a beat. Often, they are set to the tune of a song from a video game soundtrack or keygen music. Other times, original compositions are created. Much like “Trolling” YTPMV is often considered “a art”.
The Urban Dictionary defines YTPMV as:
a music video featuring various clips from tv shows, movies, commercials, etc. repeated or sped up/slowed down to fit to a beat, usually techno.

Concept Origin

The term “YTPMV” first originated on Youtube in 2008 and stems from the video YTPMV: Dr. Octagonapus uploaded by Youtube user MrRoboto113:“”; on January 29 of 2008.


And here's the YouTube how-to (linked above) to finish:

Researching vid conventions - metal eg

Easy enough to find analysis and egs of conventions of most major genres - a google search such as "[genre] music video conventions" (try other variations too) will get relevant results, including several from A2 students elsewhere!

UPDATE: FEB 22ND 2011 - these are some useful egs of the glam metal genre, with many useful additional vids on the sidebar when you click through:
Parody, highlighting the dubious morality of the genre:
Montage of vid clips:
80s Glam A-Z part3:
Quirky 80s+now pics of singers:
Best 80s hair metal bands:
Skid Row - typical 'power ballad' - lots of other bands/vids in sidebar:
Silly, overdone, retrospectively very camp but foregrounding rebellion for their teen aud to relate to - Ratt were US kings of the 80s scene before Motley Crue:
High notes by singers:

An example follows: detailed breakdown, with clear egs, of conventions of metal vids, including an historical perspective on their evolution and changes

SOURCE for article below:

Bibliography » MTV and the "Live" Metal Concert Video
These sources were viewed or referenced as part of a discussion about the depiction of "live" concert imagery in music video primarily related to the Heavy Metal genre. Heavy Metal is used loosely here to include the widest number of sources within this genre of music.
The term "live" (used in quotes) denotes a video production that attempts to capture or simulate the visual experience of a rock concert. Most of these sources are studio or sound-stage productions. Some were shot on location in an arena with an invited audience. A few appear to contain footage from actual concerts. Many of these sources mix concept footage with "live" footage in different ways.
No attempt is made her to create a definitive list. Some videos were selected because of specific content, themes, or images presented. Others were selected at random.
This page is under development
[add classification notes]
[add chronology notes]

Historical Sources
MTV News and Specials. "It Came from the 80's II: Metal Goes Pop" Dir: Abbie Kearse. Writ/Narr: Chris Connelly. MTV Networks 1996.

Produced for MTV this special program is structured around a series of interviews with metal band-members about the transition of metal into the mainstream and it's sudden abandonment by the record labels. There are many short clips of music videos demonstrating the height of ridiculousness of the genre. A couple of those interviewed express anger or resentment about the experience of being launched into the pop-metal genre and then quickly dropped. Most of those interviewed, however, are able to joke about their unlikely short ride into the pop music spotlight.
Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister on the transition of heavy metal into pop music:
There was Twisted, and we were …street urchins, bad boys, ugly, angry--but other bands were starting to smile. And the biggie with that of course was Bon Jovi—you know—the birth of happy metal. Suddenly everybody found out …that some of the bands had teeth… Instead of everybody scowling and being pissed off, they were saying hey, what are we pissed off about, we’re making millions of dollars, we’re playing happy metal now.

Genre in music vids

[see links list on this]
The following is from a Word doc uploaded to slideshare:
When I incessantly harp on about citing sources, I apply the principle myself too!!!

Using genre theory in an essay

Perhaps these paragraphs could be the opening paragraphs for an essay about Genre for Question 1B of G325, or perhaps they could be used part way through the essay. In each case, the theorist/ quotation/ theory provides a way of introducing/ developing the argument.

1. As a concept, genre needs to be applied differently to music videos than to, say, film or television programmes. Whereas genres such as sci-fi or thriller are found across different media forms (film/ TV/ radio drama…), it is rare for a music video to use genre in this way (except, perhaps, as an intertextual device, such as REM’s use of the Western in the video for ‘Man on the Moon’). However, an alternative and more useful way of considering genre is to look at musical genres. Andrew Goodwin’s theory that there are conventions that exist within music videos according to musical genre (performances in rock videos; choreography in pop) is a useful way of understanding my video.

2. Nicholas Abercrombie identifies the use of genre for media producers when he writes “Television producers set out to exploit genre conventions”. His argument is that media producers can re-use conventions, creating formulaic and conventional products that are familiar and appeal to the audience, but that are also likely to succeed and therefore are less risky for the producer. In my production of a music video, I looked to exploit conventions of the rock music video, creating a conventional video that, whilst not entirely formulaic, is familiar to the audience and likely to succeed.

3. According to Katie Wales, 'genre is... an intertextual concept', and nowhere is this more appropriate than with music videos. Music videos often revel in intertextuality, using nods to other texts as a way of creating meaning and appeal to the audience. Wales’ statement suggests that genre exists in the relationship between texts rather than in the actual text itself, and in my music video production I used references to other texts and conventions of other music videos to establish familiarity for the audience and to help them understand the meanings and representations of my video.

4. “Genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change.” David Buckingham
It is important to recognise that genres shift and change over time, and Buckingham’s statement above acknowledges this. I would argue that this is vital to understanding music videos, where in order to appeal to the audience and seem cutting-edge and new, the producers have to reinvent and revise generic conventions to create a fresh and appealing but recognisably packageable product.

5. In creating my music video I was keen to draw upon familiar generic conventions of the rock performance video, but to also try to develop some of these conventions. In this way, my video can be understood in terms of Christian Metz’s theory that genres go through stages: the Experimental/ the Classic/ the Parody/ the Deconstruction. I would argue that my video utilises enough classic conventions of the genre so as to be recognisable as belonging to the rock genre, but that it also seeks to deconstruct and take apart some of these conventions, and in doing so develops the genre.