Codes and Conventions of Pop Music Videos

Image result for lady gaga music video

Pop is a genre that I used to listen to a lot of is probably the genre I know most about as I used to watch a lot of pop music videos when I was younger. After researching more into the conventions of a pop music video I learnt more about the genre and I’m considering choosing this genre for when I create my own music video. Below is what I learnt;


Camera – After watching around five pop music videos I could see that the majority of them used the same types of shots. For example lots of close ups are used on the artists face to show passion and add emphasis on the lyrics. For example in John Newman’s video for ‘Love Me Again’ lots of close ups are use on his face. Furthermore lots of camera movements like panning and tracking are incorporated in a pop music video. In ‘Counting Stars’ by One Republic the majority of the shots are filmed on a hand held camera making the audience feel disoriented as its not crammed properly. However this also can create a more personal and laid back atmosphere for the audience that is enjoyable to watch as it’s less staged. If the artist is a pop band wide angled shots are used to show the whole band performing but will equally have close ups focusing on them too. Lastly some music videos are just movement and dance routines and therefore consists of lots of long shots. A good example of this is Justin Bieber ‘Love Yourself’.


Mise En Scene – The majority of up beat pop music videos have brightly coloured costumes and vibrant makeup. However when looking into costumes I came across a theory by Laura Mulvey which implied that women are  seen as sexual objects and wear extravagant and revealing clothing in their videos. For example Lady Gaga wears minimal clothing in all of her videos that give off a huge sex appeal. Due to the advancing of technology location has changed dramatically as now you can use a green screen to produce beautiful scenery. One video I am using as inspiration for when I film mine is ‘Happy Little Pill’ by you-tuber Troye Sivan  as his backgrounds are very simplistic but effective. Lighting can vary depending on what mood the artist is trying to create. Adele uses low key lighting in her ‘Hello’ music video to create strong shadows and emphasis the dramatic mood. Props are either used to dress the scene or as a symbol to represent something important, this could be a photo a phone. In the video for ‘Chandelier’ the props are very dull so all the attention is on the music and the dance movement.


Editing – This is a big part of any music video as it transforms the music and creates the finished product. Traditionally the editing of the footage matches the music or the beat. This can be accomplished in many ways including cuts, jump cuts, dissolve and cross cutting. Editing also makes lip syncing look real by matching it to the music at the right tempo. Furthermore if the music video is in the style of a narrative it might include a voice over which has to be edited over the top of the rest of the footage.One convention  discovered that I would like to incorporate into my music is they layer tints and filters over the top of footage to boost colours and make everything crisps and look more professional. It also makes the artists look airbrushed which is never a bad thing!


Sound – Similar to my post about the codes and conventions of rock music videos mostly the sound used in the video is the actual music. However some will have a bit of dialogue to introduce the story and the concept of the music video and what the artists is trying to get across to the audience. For example in Chris Brown’s song ‘Wake Me Up’ he has narration over the top at the beginning to introduce the concept.


Examples of pop music videos:





I gathered all this information from various slides on slide share.


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