Narrative in music videos1
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Narrative in music videos1
Narrative in MusicVideosKaty Perry – Hot AN Cold
Summary of Music VideoThe music video begins with the bride (played by artist) about to exchangevows with her fiancé, Alexander. Everything appears to be running smoothlyas Katy says ‘I do’. However, when Alexander is asked, he appears shifty anddoes not respond immediately, leaving everyone feeling uncomfortable andon edge.The music begins as he then runs away from the alter and Katy chases afterhim. He ends up being trapped by Katy in different places and different outfitssuch as a crying run away bride, club singer in leather and in bright streetclothes. She appears to be angry, upset and happy at the same time whichshows a conflict in emotions.At the end, they are back in the church, resuming at the point in whichAlexander is about to take his vows before the music had previously started. Itis implied that the chase could have been a fantasy in the heads of eithercharacters. (Imagination running wild)
Todorov• He suggested that stories begin at equilibriumwhere opposing forces are in balance. This isthen disrupted by an event or events.• This is then fixed in order to achieveequilibrium againEQUILIBRIUM > DISRUPTION > RECOGNITION > ATTEMPT TO REPAIR > RE-EQUILIBRIUM
Structure of Music Video – Equilibrium• The music video starts off in a churchduring a wedding ceremony. Everyone ishappy and waiting for the couple to bemarried. We also know that the focus in onKaty Perry (bride).• Lots of short reverse shots are used inorder to show the expression of thecharacters as one is being addressed. Thereis also a shift of power between them andallows the audience to instantly see theconflict just by the facial expressions. Thisis done through the use of MCU and CUshots.• The girl is shown to be in brighter, high-keylighting with exaggerated happiness incontrast to the boy who has a much duller,low-key lighting despite being in the sameplace. This could be reflective of their innerfeelings. They are not on the same page.
Structure of Music Video - Disruption• This happens after the vows asAlexander does not respond. We see ashot of the people at the weddingwho are looking on nervously at hisfailure to answer. This is the disruptionas it shocks the viewers, putting themon edge. This creates suspensebecause it is not how the weddingceremony should have panned out.• Comparing it to the lyrics, despite thesong not starting, the ‘hot and cold’suggests that the groom cannot makehis mind up as Hot is the polaropposite of Cold.• Plenty of straight cuts are used here inorder to create suspense and showhow everyone is reacting to thegroom not responding.
Structure of Music Video – Recognitionof Disruption• Katy realises the potentialproblem. We can tell this becauseof the use of a CU shot whichshows her rolling her eyes as shelooks away. Perhaps this issomething she is used to.• The CU shot is powerful as wedon’t even need speech/lyrics toexpress how she is feeling.• At this point, the music also startsand tells us that the narrative isabout to reach a much moreengaging and intense stage.
Structure of Music Video – Attempt torepair disruption• In most narratives, the attempt torepair disruption is what creates themost of the engaging plot line. In thismusic video, the attempt to repair iswhen the bride chases her groom outof the church and to different places.• There are various scenes and settingsused such as a crying Katy in a car parkwho is shown to be everywhere thehusband is. This perhaps symbolisesthat Katy is constantly on Alexandersmind and he cannot escape it.• There is the use of a group of dancersdressed as crying run away brides. Thisis used to target the audience whowould potentially be able to relate andthis could also be seen as a way toshow girl power as they are allsupporting each other. This would thenappeal to the target audience.
Structure of Music Video – Attempt torepair disruption• In this clip, Katy is seen to havemascara around her eyes, showing thatshe has been crying.• She is singing along to her song andher facial expressions do not seem tobe reflective of her being upset. This isintriguing for the viewers as they canstart to question why she doesn’t seemas upset as she should be.• In her song, she directly refers to theboy throughout. She refers to herrelationship through words such as“you” and “we”. This can also beshown through the clip where shedirectly sings to the boy in such anaggressive way to try and remind himof their relationship.
Structure of Music Video –Re-equilibrium• Here we are back at the church as bride andgroom are getting married. It resumes at thepoint in which the priest asks Alexander if hewould take Katy to be his wife. The editinghere is almost like an action match in whichthe ending at Equilibrium picks up where Re-equilibrium starts.• This suggests that the bride was performingthe song in her head due to the fear that herfiancé would say no as he has been indecisive.• The clip ends with the married couple runningdown the aisle, out of the church. This iswhere equilibrium is restored as it has endedhow the scene at the start should have.(Wedding = Marriage)• The editing used to end the video is atransition which circles into a black screensuggesting the end of the story. This has acatoon-esque feel to it, reflective of theexaggerated narrative in imagination of thecharacter(s).
Binary Opposition• Is a theory by Levi-Strauss. He believed that theway we understand the meaning of words is notthe actual meaning but the difference betweenthat and its polar opposite.e.g. GOOD vs. BADVILLIAN vs. HEROIn a narrative, we know a character is goodbecause of the contrast with a bad character.
Binary Opposition• The two opposing forces are balanced out in this narrativethrough the male and female character. A clear reference ofbinary opposition has been made through out the song.Male : Untrustworthy, a ‘let-down’Female : ReliableHOWEVER…Male : scared/ nervous (cold-feet)Female: shocked as she thinks everything is okay. She is readyto be married
How does the narrative link to thesong?• Lyrics are reflective of the train of thought of the bride as she sings to herhusband.• At the start, “You change your mind, like a girl changes clothes” suggeststhat she is used to the fact that her fiance is indeviviv and once again haslet her down after proposing as he gets cold feel and has doubts aboutbeing married.• The lyrics in the song uses plenty of binary opposition to felect the statusof their relationship and also the narrative. There is plenty of conflictingissues which are addressed.“You’re yes then you’re no”“You’re wrong when it’s right”“It’s black and it’s white”“You don’t really wanna stay, no. But you, don’t really wanna go”