Wednesday, 25 April 2012

1b Representation

I am going to look at representation in relation to my advanced portfolio for which I created a music video for using Jack Johnson’s acoustic rock song ‘Better Together'. However we renamed our artist as Nathan Vega who is of Asian ethnicity. 

One way we used representation in our video was in the way that we portrayed our artist. We did this by looking at similar rock artists and their conventions such as playing a guitar and dressing casually with a laid back attitude. We applied these conventions to our artist and dressed him casually with accessories such as a hat and sunglasses. We also dressed him in this costume to give off a positive attitude and show that he is not consumed by fame. When creating a digipak and magazine advert we made sure that the guitar was main thing we would focus within the images to hint the genre to the audience. Our artist represented the genre of acoustic/folk rock well through his costume and props. 

However one way in which we challenged simplistic representation of ethnicity in our genre, by using an artist from an Asian ethnicity, which is contrasting from all the other artists that are signed to the record company. This enables our artist to reach out to a wider audience and different people from ethnicities. Representations can become familiar through constant re-use which means that audiences of this record label/genre may find it new to listen to and watch an artist who is slightly different.

We also challenged representations of a male artist by creating an artist that is laid back and not as dominating as a stereotypical male. He is casual and playful which is shown through various shots of the artist laughing and just generally having fun. Our behind the scene shots and some of the close-ups of the artist were able to portray his humorous character away from acting out the song. This may attract a feminist audience as he does not fit the stereotype of a normal male artist and is more sympathetic and loving. He doesn’t take things too seriously either which may increase his appeal. On the other hand the male audience may not accept this character as he is not as masculine and serious about things. For example a distinctive artist to ours, but from a similar genre would be Michael BublĂ© who is more masculine, attractive and charming, fitting more to a stereotype of a male artist. 

However our female character does not challenge representations of females so much as we still see her depending on him for her happiness. This is seen through shots of her gazing at photographs of the male artist. This is an example of John Berger’s theory of ‘Men act, Women appear’, with the male acting away and the girl just appearing at the end of the video to make it all better. 

Representations in music video are often made simplistic to enable audiences to understand the texts and make sense of them. We have done this successfully in our music video by using certain representations that would relate our artist to the particular genre, as well as challenge certain representations such as male stereotypes.

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