Archive for the ‘ 105MC Key Concepts ’ Category

72 hour challenge

D1’s 72 hour challenge. This was probably the most stressful thing I have ever been through. We got the project on November 8th at 3 pm. Our project was to make a music video to one of Ghostpoet’s songs.

My group met up on Wednesday 9th to work out a narrative to our music video. We decided that it was going to be about a man who doesn’t do anything other than writing songs instead of spending time with his girlfriend and we had chosen the song “Liiines”.

On Thursday, our filming day, I recieved a message from someone in my group telling me that they couldn’t find a man to act in video. We met up and had to come up with a completely new idea….and then the others in the group decided to change the song to ‘Garden Path’. We came up with a girl that had mental health problems and because the song is called Garden Path we thought that there should be elements of nature in the video.

I was the only person in the group that does media production (the other girl left to go to her Add+vantage course) so I had to edit it using Adobe Premire, which I’d never used before so it was just a bit stressful. I started editing at 5pm and finished at 9pm. With little help from my group, because they didn’t know how to use the software (but then again, niether did I), it was stressful.

It was an interesting project but I’m glad its over!


Theories about music videos

Alf Björnberg, Structural relationships of music and images in music video

In the course of the last decade, the body of writing on music video has grown to sizeable proportions. The reason for the present addition to this bulk of literature, in spite of the subject seemingly approaching the state of exhaustion, is that musical semiotics are still rarely applied to the field. It is a fact that pop and rock music have always been heavily infused with socially determined meaning such that an autonomous musical aesthetics appears clearly insufficient to explain their significance; however, to what extent and how this significance is linked in with particular musical structures as such is still largely uninvestigated. In my view, music video may perhaps be less interesting as a phenomenon in itself than as source material for an ‘empirical semiotics’ of popular music, shedding light on signification processes of a more general applicability. Furthermore, the distinctive features of music video may arguably be better explained on the basis of an understanding of the syntactical characteristics of popular music than by prevalent theories of postmodernism; the latter appear problematic not only due to their speculative and unsubstantiated nature with regard to media reception processes (cf. Frith and Horne 1987, p. 11), but their explanatory value as regards syntactic features of music video also seems to be limited (cf. Frith 1988, p. 207).

Popular Music (1998), 17 : pp 153-185

  • Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1998:

This article provides both a description of the ways that musical and visual codes operate in a music video, and an indepth analysis that shows these operations at work in a temporal flow.

Because a music video must – above all – sell the artist and a particular song,
the degree of self-restraint demanded of its director can be considerable. A director
must usually abandon hope of creating a traditional narrative, even one which the
song’s lyrics relate. Moreover, he or she will often find that the pressure exerted
by the song prevents the accurate representation of fixed objects: objects in music
video will tend to shimmer, change continually, and threaten to fade away. Some
directors, including Ritts, have developed strategies better suited to the conventional
requirements of music video. What Ritts’ work on ‘Cherish’ suggests, and
what is shown by other videos, is that music video image can relinquish qualities
traditionally associated with vision and adopt those that resemble the experiential
qualities of sound. Walter Ong’s characterisation of the differences between sonic
and visual perception can provide a useful basis for comparison:
“Sight isolates, sound incorporates. Whereas sight situates the observer outside what he
views, at a distance, sound pours into the hearer. Vision dissects … When I hear, however,
I gather sound simultaneously from every direction at once: I am at the centre of my auditory
world, which envelops me, establishing me at a kind of core of sensation and existence . . .
By contrast with vision, the dissecting sense, sound is thus a unifying sense . . . The auditory
ideal, by contrast, is harmony, a putting together.” (1985, p. 32)
Ong’s description of sound reveals perfectly the qualities of the image in a music
video like ‘Cherish’. In ‘Cherish’, the image reflects sonic properties through its
continuity of motion, most clearly in the imagery of the ocean.

Sound and vision: the music video reader By Simon Frith, Andrew Goodwin, Lawrence Grossberg:

Writing on music video has had two distinctive moments in its brief history.The first wave of treatments tended to come from the culture surrounding rock music and from those who were primarily interested in music video as something which produced effects on that music.Here, two claims were most common, and generally expressed in the terms and contexts of rock jurnalism:

1. that music video had made “image” more important than the experience of music itself, with effects which were to be feared (for example, the potential difficulties for artists with poor “images”, the risk that theatricality and spectacle would take precedence over intrinsically “musical” values, etc.)

2. that music video would result in a diminishing of the interpretive liberty of the individual music listener, who would now have visual or narrative interpretations of song lyrics imposed on him or her, in what would amount to a semantic and affective impoverishment of the popular music experience.

In retrospect, these fears seem to have been rooted, less in a specific concern about possible new relationships between sound and image, than in a longstanding coution about the relationship between rock music as a culture of presumed resistance and television as the embodiment of mainstream show business and commercial culture.

Media audience task

Stage one

The Hypodermic Needle model (also known as the Hypodermic-syringe model, Transmission-belt model, or magic bullet theory) is a model of communications suggesting that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver. The model is rooted in 1930s behaviorism and is largely considered obsolete today. The “Magic Bullet” or “Hypodermic Needle Theory” of direct influence effects was not as widely accepted by scholars as many books on mass communication indicate. The magic bullet theory was not based on empirical findings from research but rather on assumptions of the time about human nature. People were assumed to be “uniformly controlled by their biologically based ‘instincts’ and that they react more or less uniformly to whatever ‘stimuli’ came along” (Lowery & De Fleur, 1995, p. 400). The “Magic Bullet” theory graphically assumes that the media’s message is a bullet fired from the “media gun” into the viewer’s “head” (Berger 1995). Similarly, the “Hypodermic Needle Model” uses the same idea of the “shooting” paradigm. It suggests that the media injects its messages straight into the passive audience (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). This passive audience is immediately affected by these messages. The public essentially cannot escape from the media’s influence, and is therefore considered a “sitting duck” (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). Both models suggest that the public is vulnerable to the messages shot at them because of the limited communication tools and the studies of the media’s effects on the masses at the time (Davis, Baron 1981).

Stage two

The cartoon “Winnie the Pooh”:


The chosen media has a specific format in order to entertain young children. It is aimed at them regardless of their gender, class, etc. As you can see it is a cartoon. A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional visual art that refers to a drawing intended for satire, caricature or humor. It simultaneously entertains and educates children. The characters are drawn in a very colourful and funny way but they also carry certain values that emphasise on the relationship between humans and animals. It teaches children the secret of friendship, loyalty, bonding together and having respect for the others. Even though they are all from different species such as rabbit, bear, tiger, pig, kangaroo, donkey, etc. there is no difference between them when it comes to their friendship. One of the characters is human so the cartoon stress on the fact that human and animals can and have to have a peaceful relationship as well. Moreover, the main character is the bear Winnie, which is honey-addicted, fact that conveys the idea for a healthy life.

The Hypodermic model can be found in “Winnie the Pooh” in both above-mentioned messages. The notions of friendship, respectful attitude and healthy life are directly perceived by the audience. Taking the fact that the audience consists of young children, it is highly likely that it will copy the seen in its behaviour straight out as that kind of reaction is common for this group.

Stage three

Beyonce’s blog:

The chosen media is Beyonce’s blog. She is an American R&B recording artist, actress and fashion designer. She is mainly famous for her career of a singer.

The media is aimed at the Beyonce’s fans all over the world regardless of their gender, class, etc. It builds up a link between them and the celebrity as well as within her audience. Through the blog the fans constantly receive and share information concerning their favourite celebrity even if at the time she does has neither performances, nor any other kind of public appearance. This is important and entertaining for the blog’s audience as only listening to her music or watching her records is not enough to satisfy the need of their fandom.

The blog can also be a two-way source of information. Not only do her fans get to know their idol better but Beyonce herself may find some useful information concerning her audience’s taste, preferences and expectations through their comments, for instance.

The Internet and the blogs play the role of the new and unique way in Media Communication. Through it the audience is given the opportunity to be an active media consumer which used to be impossible with the old fashion media.

Viral marketing

42 Entertainment began a viral marketing campaign utilizing the film’s “Why So Serious?” tagline with the launch of a website featuring the fictional political campaign of Harvey Dent, with the caption, “I Believe in Harvey Dent.”

The site aimed to interest fans by having them try to earn what they wanted to see and, on behalf of Warner Bros.

42 Entertainment also established a “vandalised” version of I Believe in Harvey Dent, called “I believe in Harvey Dent too,” where e-mails sent by fans slowly removed pixels, revealing the first official image of the Joker; it was ultimately replaced with many “Haha”s and a hidden message that said “see you in December.”

42 Entertainment launched, sending fans on a scavenger hunt to unlock a teaser trailer and a new photo of the Joker. On October 31, 2007, the film’s website morphed into another scavenger hunt with hidden messages, instructing fans to uncover clues at certain locations in major cities throughout the United States, and to take photographs of their discoveries.

The Blair Witch Project

Making a crime/comedy out of Titanic

Titanic: Better later than never?

The biggest ever ship, called Titanic, was created. As its first voyage was set up, it drew not only the attention of the rich and adventurous people, but that of a group of thieves as well. Their boss ordered Jack, a young thief a special mission:

It seemed that Jack was performing the task just according to the plan…

Everything was going so smoothly that Jack decided he could indulge himself in his hobby – playing card games…

Obviously he was so self-confident that he did not even notice how a wonderful opportunity slipped through his fingers…

After noticing his inferior playing card games already a couple of days and not doing anything else, the thief boss started to get nervous…


While the bored lady was lying lonely in her bed with her precious jewels on and Jack was still indulging himself in his hobby, a sudden alarm broke the silence…

But some people were not feeling like paying attention, thinking of their safety, running and so on… What dull things to do…

Eventually, after SOME time, Jack decided that he is ready to take the matters in hand. But by then some obstacles had emerged…

Somehow his admirer was still waiting for him… But as it was already said there were certain obstacles…

Was Jack really not convinced that time matters?


 What were you trying to do, and why? 
In this assignment we had to choose a famouse piece of media (e.g. a film, a book, a news piece etc).
We had to categorise it in terms of genre and change it into a completely different genre. So in our case we
chose the epic romance movie Titanic and tried to change it into a crime comedy.
We singled out Titanic because it is a classic film which is recognised by everyone and we wanted to put a different
twist on it. In order to show an opposite genre in it we decided to do a crime comedy.

How did you go about doing it?
This type of task is quite challenging, as we have  a stereotyped oppinion about all famous movie scripts or books
and which genre they fit in. So it's difficult to imagine the storyline of such a movie as Titanic being in another
genre. However, like any other challenging task it was interesting to work on.

What have you learnt about genre from this exercise?
We learnt that every genre has some specific characteristics and special effects. In order to produce a script on a
particular genre or to change a ready piece you have to use these conventions, as we did in our task. 

Do you think differently about genre now, and in which ways?
Now we do think about it in a different way, as we learnt more about different concepts that certain genres have.
Also, now we can categorise genres in a narrower way. Genre plays a big role in differentiating movies and books. It may
make up people choice of reading or watching a certain piece of work, depending on their preferences. The choice of
genre is also one of the starting points of creating any type of media piece. So,it is a vital part of media production.

What are the links between genre and narrative?
Genre and narrative have an inevitable link between each other. Every narrative can be categorised by the genre, and
every genre cannot be created without a narrative. These two terms complete each other in every way.

Narrative for a music piece

A young teenager sadly packs his life away into boxes to leave home for university. Before leaving his mother and father had a talk with him about all the ‘terrible evils’ in the world, like drugs and certain people. After arriving at university, unpacking his things and saying goodbye to his tearful mother, he sits alone in his new home not looking forward to his new found independence. A few weeks pass and he starts to get used to the university life style of lectures and going out. The opportunity to take drugs had not arisen until now when one of his friends asked if he wanted a splif. Taking it from his friend he vaguely remembered the conversation he had with his parents about not taking drugs but he ignored the memory and did it anyway. He liked the experience and thought his parents were over reacting. At first it was just for fun but soon enough he was doing drugs more frequently and then he was onto harder drugs.

By the time he was home for Christmas he was doing heroine regularly and was running low on money. His parents noticed a change in his behaviour but thought that university had just changed his attitude. Over Christmas break the young teenager was running out of money and needed to buy more drugs to feed his habit so he took some of his mother’s jewellery to pawn to get more money. After his mother was oblivious to the fact that her son had stolen from her, her son decided to steal her money from her bank account. It worked a few times but then the young teenager’s mother caught him out as she checked her bank account online. His mother was shocked and tried to confront him about it. This confrontation soon turned into an argument soon turned violent as the young teenager swung for his mother, she fell to the floor and began to cry. The young teenager stood over his mother with rage in his eyes. While he was still yelling at his mother his father got home, walked into the house and heard the shouting and burst into the living room. The father was his wife crying on the floor while his son was standing over her. The father threw his son out the house and decided not to give him anymore money.

The teenagers had enough of adults telling him what to do and how to act so he left university and tried his luck elsewhere. First he tried to stay with friends but soon enough his friends grow tired of him and kick him out, so he moved out of his friend’s house and went to the only place left…the streets. His parents found out that their son had quit university and they realised that things were worse than they first seemed. They decided to go out and look for their son. After looking for him for several days they finally found him sleeping underneath a cardboard box. They forced him to make a decision, either to come with them and get into a rehab program or to stay on the streets. The young teenager went with his parents, who took him back into their home and set him up in a rehab clinic. At the clinic they had the young teenager go ‘cold turnkey’ and this challenged him mentally and physically. After months of fighting the addiction he finally overcame his dependence to drugs. After proving to his parents that he could kick the habit he returned home to his loving family and his old life.


Are you stupid? (lecture)

The Media – “Medium of communication as being a conduit through which messages are challenged and pass between one person and another or from one to another” – Long and Wall.

Why study media?

  • Its there
  • economic importance
  • matters to us
  • production and concepts are complex.

Ask these questions to yourself about any media text:

Why? – Why was the text produced? Why in that way?

How? – How was it produced?

When? – When was it produced? What was happening at the time of production?

What? – What are the effects of the text on the audience?

Visual literacy – Able to glean information about meaning from the smallest of clues within a text.