Music Video Analysis and Comparison.
The music video Taylor Swift I knew you were trouble opens with a two minute narrative which briefly indicates what the song is going to be about; a heart break, so it’s following the a main convention of pop music. It begins with an opening shot of the artist lay on the dusty floor in the middle of nowhere, alone where she tells a story accompanied by many shots edited together which move at a where she is perceived to be isolated and lonely. The artist has a voice over quick pace almost like a montage of memories or flashbacks. These shots reappear later in the video where they are explained and expressed in more detail.
Comparing this to the opening scenes of Katy Perry’s ‘Hot N Cold’ it also follows the idea of a pre music introduction; long, high angle crane shot of a wedding ceremony, however it’s much shorter and differs from the monologue style in Taylor swift music video where her aim is to produce something that is personal and realistic, and Katy Perry’s tend s to be more of a façade type of performance where she creates something that is very much of fantasy story. Taylor wants you the audience to sympathise and understand her story, as Katy wants you to enjoy it, have fun with it but also relate to it because again the song is about relationships and love.
Applying Andrew Goodwin’s theory to the pre introduction which features in both music video would be categorised both Amplifying and disjunctive. Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold would be stronger disjunctive video compared to Taylors as she sings about love and the lyrics match with some of the visuals.
Katy Perry’s video the camera shots seem to be motivated by the moment and dancing which is in sync with the song beat and tempo and this links with the idea about sound and visuals matching. Taylor Swift’s music video also follows the idea of the movement of the camera in sync with the tempo, however it’s motivated by song and the fast change of shots. In both of the video the music and visuals don’t tend to be a match when it comes to viewing instruments in the video, however both videos include a match of music beats and pace matching the visual as both contain parts where the cuts of shot are in sync with the music. They contains a mixture of editing shot with the music pace and ignoring this idea of a match.
In Taylor Swift video a close up reveals the male causes trouble by knocking a snooker ball in result of masculine men approaching him and violent acts taking place, which links to back to the song lyrics ‘ I knew you were trouble’. The role that the male plays here we could say is dominate ideology the fact that they are manly, leader and an active role, whereas in Perry’s video her role is a lot more it active and it would be more emergent ideology because we see her interrogating the male
Taylors video features three shots of the artist performing the buildup to the climax of the song, which is a various mixture of a long shot, a medium shot and a close up shot of the artist singing, which reveals to the audience that she is unhappy and miserable. We then go on to find out that Taylor begins to realise that her partner doesn’t feel the same way for her as she does for him which is also suggested through her performance and lyrics. This is a conventional narrative in a pop video, as in normally features a relationship that are facing problems, and the female is singing about her feelings and emotions in result of this.
In Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold the broken hearted brides are seen through close ups and longs shots where we see synchronised dancing which is very conventional in pop music videos. The baseball bats the brides are holding are emphasised through close ups and extreme close ups which express heart break and anger towards the guy. The groom is then viewed through high angle to indicate his loss of power and weakness against the other brides have united. The scene changes again, however the shots remain the same and we return choreographed dancing.
Andrew Goodwin says that we create our own personal interpretation of the ‘story’ of the song which is strongly supported in both theses video. Both videos suffer emotional and heartbreak which they communicate with the audience in hope they take the basic message and relate to it personally. Each video follows Goodwin’s belief of the narrative and performance holding the audience interest Andrew explains that miming is a popular element and that the artist appearing as a singer and an actor used to be quiet original however in previous years however it’s more current and now a trend which we can see is used in both these music videos.
Andrew Goodwin talks about Star image and it’s very important to both artist as it’s how the audience perceive them. In Taylor swift’s video we see a changed her image from the usual innocent country girl to a heart broken rebel chick. She reveals this through her clothing new haircut and video visuals. With this video we see a change Taylor’s star image and persona. However Katy’s video has expanded on her star image compared to her first video ‘I kissed a girl’ where she came across as the normal pop star. With this video she has created her own fantasy world and enhancing her star image as someone who is almost lost in a fairy-tale which is shown to the audience in her later videos. Hot N Cold was just the beginning of what was to come for Katy’s star image.
In the two music videos we don’t tend to see the females through a male gaze, it contains shot reverse shots and we see the cameras gaze however the females aren’t really portrayed as sexual objects or in provocative way, so it wouldn’t really support Mulvey theory.
Looking at the closing scene both video end with a short narrative after the song has ended. However they tells different stories Katy gets her man and Taylor is still dwelling on her heartbreak. Looking at Taylor other videos such as ‘You belong with me’ or ‘22’this one is very different as it tends to be more personal and intense rather than upbeat and fun.
Both songs are redundant and follow the typical generic material for a pop video as they include dancing, relationships and love and upbeat and normally content with life, however you could say that Taylor Swift ‘I knew you were trouble’ challenges the idea slightly as she doesn’t end up with her happy ending and the idea of flashbacks and troubled love life leaving her depressed could fall into the typical indie conventions, Or maybe slightly entropic especially referring to the montage and narrative at the start. However they both contain conventions of pop but Katy Perry tends to stick within the pop genre compared to Taylor.
In conclusion the music videos follow a lot of Andrew Goodwin’s theory. We can see that it’s the backbone of all music videos and they tend to follow Goodwin’s conventions of a music video, However they challenge parts of the theory. On the other hand looking at Mulvey’s theory, we see the male gaze doesn’t appear in either of the videos and we most definitely are not transforming ourselves into the mind-set of a male, it’s much rather the opposite as I would say that both videos are aimed for the female audience and their experiences with heart break and love.