Saturday, 30 June 2012

Album Artwork

Light-hearted relief in a bit of passive agressivism on my part (angry at delayed posts, oh here's something funny, angry at missing posts, oh look a kitten)  but this is about album artwork so worth sharing.

A couple are rude. There are breasts. And the authenticity of a couple is debatable. Though some definitely are genuine.

Bad album covers

I like 'All My Friends Are Dead' but mainly because it reminds me of my old Medulla Nocte t-shirt for the song 'All Our Friends Are Dead' which featured a picture of a dead body having its face being eaten by a crow and which is intentionally worn on inappropriate occasions. There's four of us who have decided whoever dies last gets cremated in it. Fun.

More bad album covers on The Guardian. Some duplication.

Media in the Online Age


YouTube begins making the own TV shows...very interstking for your A2 exam, question 2..

BBC'' 'CLICK' (video)
BBC 'CLICK' (article)

Abd further ones for you, all on the same topic...

Link One
Link Two


The closure of Word magazine


Clay Shirky

Friday, 29 June 2012

Franz Kafka - Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis by Franz kafka. Cool short story. Not sure why he reds it so slowly to make it last over 2 hours - probably something to do with the need to fit in the captions in multiple languages. Well worth reading if you get a chance, or just playing in the background as you do some media work.


All deadlines still apply, even if you missed the lesson unless you come to me and discuss the need for an extended deadline. 'But I wasn't in the lesson, how am I supposed to know the homework?' Because it is on my blog and has been since each piece was set. And you should be on here regularly checking back on the work and using it as a resource to do independent study.
If you want a recap on everything that is due in then use the label 'Homework' (linked there for your convenience).

Those of you who are up to speed or have arranged the extensions with me, you can stop reading (45% of posts - not counting those a-least-fortnightly independent posts I want - a minority). If you're behind in terms of homework or attendance I suggest you read on very carefully. (though I suspect that if you've read this post then the first comment probably applies to you... /sigh)

You may very well pick up from the tone of the following that I am getting concerned about the manner in which some of you have approached the start of the A2 course. Because I am. Because it is your marks that I can see slipping away from you if this is not nipped in the bud immediately.

You all have the mark schemes - both hard copy and on here. You know what you've got to do..


What is particularly galling is that even though you know your AS blogs are currently being moderated and know that at AS the moderator is the Chief Examiner who may very well be using this blog as a means of getting to your work that the notion that you are on public display here and there is clear evidence of your commitment to the course for the whole world to see doesn't seem to have still equated for some of you with your potential final mark.

See, it isn't a case of me being able to (or even willing to) fudge things. I will give you the mark I think you deserve. And it will be accurate. Yes, I want you to do as well as possible. I'm not going to just award marks to make ourselves look good. Imagine if someone who has worked much harder than you doesn't get their uni place because I've given you higher marks than you deserve? Now imagine it is you who misses out on a uni place because of some ridiculous marking? Your job is to make me give you as many marks as possible. To do this, the work needs to be completed on time.




Myself, your form tutors and, if the deadlines slip any further, your parents are going to be all over you for the next few weeks as I am concerned that things have slipped from the very first deadline for a lot of you in terms of deadlines being met / collaborative learning / organisation.

To reiterate an earlier post, if you're falling behind already you will HAVE to get back on track as soon as possible as otherwise you are psychologically and habitually setting yourself up to consistently deliver me work at level 2.

If you're stuck, I'm online most evenings if you can't find me during the day and will be on pretty much daily over the summer so if you need a hand - POST SO! I will help.

I am not a mind reader but I am reasonable. But if I don't KNOW you need a extension or some help, just not doing it is not going to get a positive response from me. Telling me, finding me, showing me you're on it will always get you a positive response. Break these habits. Realise that you're at A2 now. Think how much better you want to do at A2. Think what you need to do that.

The bar is being raised.

I can only show you how to clear it. Getting over it is up to you.

If it gets to it we can start micromanaging it and making you post the blogging equivalents of phone calls home to let me know you're okay and say that by x-o'clock every y-day you have to post a comment on z-post confirming you've at least logged in to your blog. But I don't want to treat you like children, because this is meant to be getting you ready for uni. Your professors aren't going to be doing this. They'll set a deadline, you don't hit it, you'll be getting a 3rd most places. Certainly what my department's policy was when I was a philosophy seminar leader. Didn't meet the deadline and didn't even ask for one? There's your deserve more...why ever do you think that?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Barthes and Adorno

For part of Thursday's lesson we looked at (or will have looked at) the 'grain of the voice' (and Adorno) and considered gesture, pulsion and grain.

Essay on Barthes' Musical Semiology

Adorno's Music Theory and the Social Implications Thereof

Above are essays on the both Barthes and Adorno. Ben, since you're a keen Lacanian, my initial (and underwhelming) research suggests that pulsion may be Lacanian in origin. Have a dig around and see if it is...

Further useful resources:

Homeworks (all 3 of 'em) 


Choose AT LEAST three music videos from your proposed / preferred genre and produce a detailed analysis of how they fit in to Goodwin. You can do this as one big piece or three individual pieces - your choice. Remember NOT AN ESSAY. DUE 17TH JULY

You MUST consider all the ideas I suggested for the conventions of hip hop post and, in addition, consider the following areas:
  • include a Barthesian analysis using AT LEAST ONE the terms GESTURE, PULSION and GRAIN;
  • inlcude Adorno's term 'PSEUDO-INDIVIDUALISATION''; and
  • EXTENSION: using the data you generated from your audience research consider which video would appeal to the majority of your audience the most and why.


Due as blog post by the end of the JULY (yes, 31st, even after school has finished). Choose a song of your choice from your proposed/preferred genre and as an individual create a storyboard for a unique music video, edited to the song. Don't forget to  include a new band name, track name, album title and record company name at the start of your video. LOADS OF YOU FORGOT FOR YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT. Make it really like a music video, even if you have to draw it - make sure it fits the genre conventions or intentionally subverts them. It must be clear to a viewer what happens in your video. Use Goodwin and your knowledge of the conventions of music videos to create something really effective.

(There were some really good videos of people who had done their storyboards on post-it notes and filmed that and edited it to the track but the YouTube account they were on is the one that got closed for copyright claims despite it having been a brillaint educational tool. You don't have to do it on post-its, just an idea if you're looking for something a bit different).


This must be accompanied by an analysis (and this time I will allow a full on essay if you want but don't just resort to this as a default option. Only do it if you feel you have a sufficiently academic writing style to produce an excellent essay. Technical terminology will, as always, make me happy. Especially if it is used accurately) using the same stems as for the task above. In addition to these, above, you must also cover:
  • how this piece is more successful than your first storyboard in terms of creating a convincing music video;
  • what part you feel is most successful and why;
  • what part is least successful and why; and
  • what you have learnt about music videos in preparation for planning your coursework piece.
EXTENSION - you could also show this one to an audience and get feedback on what they think is successful and what needs to be changed and why.


Based on the intial audience feedback you have received, decide on your coursework groups (6 groups max and, this time, no more than 2 to a group - it'll make it easier for you to get loads of marks using the way we're going to make you work come September, that's why) and decide which genre you are going to make a music video for. Then as INDIVIDUALS, choose between 2 - 5 tracks each and share them with your audience and get them to give you feedback on what songs they prefer and why (and, if they want, make suggestions about what they think should happen in a video for the song).

You must have BEGUN to gather this data by 3RD JULY, Again, no need to be posting about it, just so long as you are generating the data and have the research underway.

One way you can do it (in addition to any other ways, and one I srongly recommend) is to use the blogspot poll gadget and add a poll to your blog asking people to give you feedback on your porposed tracks. Post explaining how to do this is here. You should ALSO, therefore, be going on to EACH OTHERS' BLOGS and completing the poll for each class member.




1. Use your knowledge of Adorno and Goodwin create your own Adornoan theory of music VIDEO. Give it a (sensible) name, make it clear it is inspired by Adorno and Goodwin and make it clear that it is a recontextualisation of Adorno's theory (taking something relating to products 80 years in the past to make it relevant for today). Post to your blog a detailed outline of your theory, supporting each point you make with reference to at least one music video. USE A RANGE OF VIDEOS TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR PREMISES AND MAKE YOUR THEORY CONVINCING.


2. Use your knowledge of Barthes and Goodwin create your own theory of the PHENO-VIDEO. Make it clear it is a combination of Barthes and Goodwin (and, if you're feeling kind, a short credit to me in the final slide acknowledging the inital idea came from your erstwhile Media teacher would be loverly - have conducted extensive research and can't find ANYTHING using the term PHENO-VIDEO so I think it is completely original, but then a couple of years ago one of my class thought she'd invented the 'female gaze' and I had to, sadly, let her know it already existed, so am prepared for some clever clogs to show me it is a theory that has been round for donkey's years). Post to your blog a detailed explanation of your theory. You may wish to give some real world examples of music videos you consider to be 'pheno-videos'.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A New Literacy

Impact of the web on audiences - useful for thinking about web2.0, web 3.0 and web 4.0 for the A2 exam.

For those of you thinking about getting some background reading under your belts ready for the exam, have a look at the above link. We haven't started thinking about this yet at all, I'm just making sure that those of you minded to can do some initial reading on things which may be useful for the exam.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Comments incoming...

...but very, very slowly. It has so far taken me 33 to minutes to post a comment on Jenay's blog. Virign did say to expect rubbishness for the next two weeks and to try and be patient but, man, as much as I love you all and enjoy looking at your blogs, 30 minutes a comment will see me sat here til midnight to just post one comment on each of your blogs!

If I don't post tonight there may be a delay in for a couple of days in getting comments up for you as the next few days  are looking like they'll be 12 hours solid on-site. Will get round all the blogs as soon as I physically have time and a vaguely working internet.

For those of you who have missed the deadline and not seen me about it, that'll be useful.

Due today were (1) the minute extracts (unless I'd cleared you for an extension due to technical issues / Year 7 trying to take the camera to you in form time but deciding you were called Ernie and in room 33 so you ended up cameraless for a couple of weeks etc) and (2) the animatics and storyboards.

Not too impressed at the level of failure to meet the first deadlines, for which you had over 30 days to complete. I'll use the deadlines for the next two pieces to decide how strong the home:school contact needs to be.

Real shame that the first posts for some of you will only give me evidence of level 2 time management.

Welcome to A2. Need to step up. 

Or you will fall behind very quickly.

Links between album artwork and video

One of the things you MUST ensure happens is that you create a direct link between the digipak and the music video. This doesn't, as we will see, have to be obvious (there will be some direct intertextual references, of course, but depending on your genre you may be operating in a state of 'differance' or subtle sign:signification using your active audience's intelligence to make the links). 


Front cover

Back cover

CD design

Music video 1

Music video 2


Front cover

Back cover

Inside front cover

CD design

Music Video 1

Music Video 2

Music Video 3

Monday, 25 June 2012

Your FIRST one minute extract


As a blog post (not an essay remember - keep it lively, inventive, original, and laden with technical terminology and expressed as formally as possible please!) DUE 5TH JULY you now need to take your first attempt at a one minute extract and evaluate how successful it was, consider what you have learnt and identify elements of this process which you might try to include / definitely won't be including in your coursework.

Your post should include consideration of the following areas using media terminology:

  • Cinematography;
  • Editing;
  • Sound;
  • Mise-en-scene;
  • Lighting;
  • Direction;
  • Organisation of location(s);
  • Organisation of cast;
  • Organisation of props;
  • What you found easy, based upon how you have developed as a Media student since AS;
  • What skills / areas in general you think you need to improve on,  based on your skills set developed at AS;
  • What elements of this video you are now considering including in your own music video (if any) and why;
  • What elements of this video do you think will not feature at all in your music video (if any) and why;
  • Overall, evaluate how successful your first attempt at a one minute extract is and why;
  • Overall, what are the five most important things you gained from this exercise.

(If you did this as a PowerPoint, for example, this would be 15 - 30 slides or as a Prezi at least 15 sections).


You now get to choose (completely free choice) a music video (if you have a preferred genre for your final coursework piece, or a likely genre, choose one that fits!) to recreate a one minute extract of it.


This time I want it as near perfect as possible. That means everything (within reason, no need for plastic surgery for example) must replicate as exactly as humanly possible the extract you are recreating. Everything. As close as possible. No fudging this time. The first attempt was a training exercise to get you thinking and using FCP quicker and identifying techniques you might want to use in your piece (every one had a specific genre element or interesting effect to it). This one is to be able to show a high level of technical competence.

You must produce and upload to your blog:
  1. The footage itself;
  2. Behind the scenes footage of you preparing the shoot; and
  3. A director's commentary (either text or recorded sound) of the final extract, using the stems provided for the analysis of the first minute extract. This time add an extra question - how is this minute extract better than your first minute extract and why?
Extract edited together first week back after the summer.


Useful examples of digipak ideas

What are the codes and conventions of a digipak?
  1. What are the features of a digipak?
  2. What information is included in a digipak? Where? Why?
  3. How is information is conveyed in a digipak?
  4. How is the artist presented? Why?
  5. Are there any intertextual links? Why?
  6. How is colour used effectively?
  7. How are written codes used effectively?
  8. How big are they?
  9. What materials are or could be used?
  10. What is the overall purpose of a digipak (other than to store a CD safely)?

Remember, I don't just share top band work with you. I will share a range of approaches and a range of levels of detail so you can identify what is succesful and why.

Examples of templates
Example of a blog post
Another example blog
Broken Records

Audience Engagement and Research Tool

You'll be wanting to use these as an extra way of generating data soon.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

And on the fourteenth day he rested, gt up early and posted some completely unrelated music videos

Chose one music video then used the 'recommended' list to generate the next step to randomly generate 5 music videos. To paraphrase a great man, 'Avenged Sevenfold? Why? Even my most bitter enemies I might stop wreaking my vengeance upon after having avenged myself, what, three times. Seven is overkill.'

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Day Thirteen - Earthtone 9


You know what you're looking for by now. Get those tick lists ready...


What image of the band is trying to be created.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Cory Doctorow on the impact on the net

Article can be found here.

Useful pre-course reading on the impact of the internet on consumer / audience behaviour and sets up questions about the impact on institutions and the implications for the future.

DAY TWELVE - Ben Folds




Look at think how these are like what you'd expect from alternative music videos and how they differ.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Music Video Editing

A really interesting take on the must dos and common pitfalls of music video construction.

Reading this will prove very informative.

So you probably should.

Once you have, post a comment below letting me know you;ve read it.

And here is another media dictionary.


For next Tuesday's lesson (26th June) you must each bring in at least TWO CD digipaks of two different artists.

If you don't own any digipaks, please see me.

DAY ELEVEN - A couple of g's, an I and and e...

Mid 90's indie for you. You can thank me later.

A song about anti-ginger prejudice.

From your own knowledge of music video and the ones I have posted thus far you may be establishing a pattern between which of Goodwin's expectations certain genres conform to, which they subvert and which they ignore / omit.

From this, is there something about the likely audience of the genre which precludes or limits the potential impact of some of Goodwin's expectations which leads directors and record labels to put greater weight on certain Goodwinian elements?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lip Sync

Appearing here will be my lip syncing video. It is not intended to be a perfect piece in the slightest. It is a model for you to far, far exceed. It has some (*many*) intentional lapses. Interested in seeing how many you can spot.

Future of the Left, Polymers Are Forever. Filmed with the kind assistance of Mr E, Mr N, Mr S and several members of 7SAR.


Questions to consider:

1) What needs to be done to make the sync more effective?
2) What issues did I cause myself by filming it on 4 different types of camera?
3) How can you tell that there were also different camera operators?
4) Which section is most effectively executed and why/how?
5) Which section has the best idea rather than just being a close up shot of someone's face singing?
6) When you do your lip sync montage, how will you make sure your piece is way better than my humble offering?
7) How long do you think I spent filming? How long will you need to spend?
8) How long do you think it took me to edit it? How long will you need to spend to make something far better?

3+ songs of your choice in groups, lip synced by you and edited together into a 2-3 minute clip. DUE 12TH JULY.

None of your answers are allowed to include reference to getting beaten up by a chair.

DAY TEN - Eyehategod

Because after posting commercial hip hop and Carly Rae Jepsen I needed some light relief...

So, a sludge metal band. Unlikely to care about conventions? No way! The more sub your genre the more exact you get.

How about the rest of Goodwin? How will a sludge metal band fare with things like the voyeuristic treatment of the female form? Look, think, decide and feel free to independently post.

Lyrics? Indecipherable, and rarely printed in an easily readable format in their albums. Though they did have one of the greatest lyrics ever for one song along the lines of' 'See how much I love you? Look at all the empty chairs I invited to your birthday party' (would check, but think my wife has hidden the darker parts of my CD collection).

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


We obviously haven't started looking at the 'Media in the Online Age' question of the A2 exam as, well, it is a year away. But here is an interesting article. Read, independently. The more independent knowledge you can get about how the internet impacts on the main platforms the better your answer.

Rather than sending in a load of candidates who write the same thing, I like to send in candidates who write different things, because they've approached the course with intelligence and open-mindedness and developed the skills we're meant to be developing in you. Imagine you're an examiner who has read 60 answers near identical and then they get yours. Not a single one the same, not even close. You smile. You think 'someone's actually wanting to do this properly rather than filling them up to scrape the marks' and, lo and behold, the marks come flowing in. Or, if they don't, in rare cases this does happen, it is an accurate reflection of the grade you should have got.

DAY NINE - Okay then Maybe. Boom Tsh.

Whilst I render my glorious lip sync / chair headbutting video I'll do today's video post and mini sharing of thoughts..

Demands of the record label a la Goodwin.

"We need close ups of you, of recurring images and flesh. We need flesh".


CLOSE UPS OF THE ARTIST? Check. Loads of them. I'd counted 15 before I forgot how to count and had to stop.

  1. The Mills and Boon style romance novel - to not only make a clear link between the lyrics and the visuals but also appeal to the audience of pre-teen / early teen girls;
  2. Performance elements - to create an air of authenticity to the audience's understanding of the artist's ideology. This is supposed to be honest and artistically meritricious pop (such a thing can exist). This is, perhaps, undermined slightly by the garage band stylings of Jepsen's band, real life guitars and drums and the like, when the song itself is studio produced, computer generated, synth strings. So what we see isn't an accurate portrrayal of the actual process of recording the song. But then, in terms of performance conventions, watching someone in a studio layer sample and pre-recorded loops on to a song writing package just wouldn't have the same drive, verve or capacity for mini-moonwalking that the chosen performance element allows.  But we get regular close ups of this 'performance' to bring the audience into the world of the artist and begin to establish a relationship with her;
  3. The written code at 3:05 to reinforce the song title, making a direct link between lyrics and visuals;
  4. The male lead - appealing to the target audience, satisfying the label's need for flesh whilst also managing to allow the parents of the artist's audience to appreciate the slightly self-deprecating tone to the video and not fear that their children are being urged to strip off and grind as with the portrayal of many females in music videos. The artist is wholesome, and even the objectification of the male form is dealt with in an innocent manner rather than a wanton, lustful sexualisation of their teenage years.
LOTS OF FLESH? Check. His.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Sample blog

Useful and really good. Really good.. Yours will be better. Oh they will.

Day Eight - Like the G6, like the G6

"Like the G6, like the G6. They be acting like they drunk."

Oh, the satire. The satire. It burns!


So, in your head (and an extra blog post if you so wish or one to use in your conventions post), how does this video satisfy Goodwin's requirements?

1. Does it satisfy the conventions?
2. Is there a link between the image and the lyrics?
3. Is there a link between the music and the image?
4. Any reference to 'looking' and, in particular, a voyeuristic treatment of the female body (a clue, in case you were stuck on this, would be to count how many gratuitous cleavage shots there are)
5. Close ups of the artist and any key iconography?
6. Intertetxtual references?


...but I know why. As I was typing on Saturday and wondering why it was taking 45 minutes to open a page, Virgin were playing with the cables.

And managed to do something truly awful so now I have absolutely no internet access at home until they have done...whatever it is they need to do.

Allegedly somewhen between 4 and 7 pm today will see me back online.

We wait. With bated breath we wait.

Day 8 shall follow shortly.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

DAY SIX - Delayed

YouTube (and now Google Image Search..oh and Blogger...whhhhhyyyy? Have 5 bar connection. Booo!) is not playing fair with me and I am sulking.

I also have a forehead that resembles a battlefield after engaging in a spot of staff room brawling with a chair whilst making resources for YOU LOT. Therefore I blame YOU ALL* for my current predicament. Because I can.  (footage available once I've edited it together for your general amusement and/or derision).

Have a great weekend. Get working on the storyboards, animatics and one minute extracts. And if you've got all that done, use my blog post to get cracking on the hip hop conventions piece. Oh, and tell me your new blog addresses! So far I know Hannah, Harry, Jess and Sarah's.

* Unfair, you scream? Unwarranted, you assert? Uncalled-for, you opine? I'm mildly concussed, I can say what I like. Tintinabular codswollop. Minimal arboretum. Discharge corpulesence. Aviary rapscallion.


Friday, 15 June 2012

Day Five - Dance, dance, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Electronica Dancey Type Stuff said He

No writing, just videos today.




 SQUAREPUSHER - SQUAREPUSHER'S THEME (not a video but very cool once you realise he plays these bass lines live and since I know one of you likes good basslines have included it because it is brilliant).

UPDATE: Might be my speakers but the bass line seems to be quite low down in the mix, will check again at school and see if I can hear it clearer there before I change the post.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Media in the Online Age Revision

Now my computer is playing up too. Aaaargh.

Right, this has appeared on the media in the online age blog but I can't see it. However, the things that have been posted on the aforementioned blog have always been good so am going to assume it is also good and post the link

Have a look and see if you think it is useful.

What are the conventions of hip hop music videos?

To be posted to your blog IN DETAIL by TUESDAY 2ND JULY. You will get feedback on it and then get to improve it within a week of receiving feedback. Remember, I want you all on as close to 20/20 for R and P as humanly possible.

What are the conventions of hip hop music videos?

With reference to AT LEAST 6 different artists and, by the sheer irrefutable demands of the laws of maths, 6 different music videos.

FORM: NOT an essay. PowerPoint (not too text heavy, but succinct and clear text) or Prezi or Vlog post or a more traditional blogpost or video clips and still images edited together into a piece complete with text explaining. Hey, you could even chroma keyer in your head and make it float round the video as you talk if you want!

INCLUDE: Video, hyperlinks, images, tables if you wish...anything other than just page upon page of text. My blog posts aren't great, if you can't say 'my blog posts are way better than yours' to me, you need to look at what you can do to improve it. This blog post is not a good model.

TECHNICAL TERMINOLOGY - if there is a Media word for it, use it!

MAKE SURE YOU: explain everything clearly. Comment on what has been done and why as well as the effect of it. Maybe even how, depending on what you're thinking about.


Use Goodwin to develop your answer, using the 6 elements he identified. This will give you an effective structure to your response.

1. The video will conform to the conventions of the genre.

This is the main one, this will be the one that really helps you answer the question in detail. There are loads of things to consider. The following bullet pointed list contains ideas. There may be more you want to do, but these will cover lots. These should form a detailed section each.

  • Cinematography;
  • Editing;
  • Sound;
  • Mise-en-scene;
  • Representation (class and gender are probably the two main ones here, ethnicity seems like an obvious one too but you'll need to find a video with strong visual consideration of conflict/unity);
  • What image or message is given to the audience about the artist? How and why?;
  • What is included to appeal to the audience
  • Ideology (what particular world view / social message / values are held to be important and how is this transmitted to the viewer? This is a chance for you to work in your understanding of Audience theory such as Hypodermics, active audience, mode of addressMorley's dominant, negotiated, oppositional readings etc).
2. There will be a link between the lyrics and the visuals. What, why and how? Lots of examples. The word iconography might be useful. Use the 'genre' label to assist you.

3. There will be a link between the music and the visuals. What, why and how? Lots of examples. Use the 'genre' label to assist you.

4. Close ups of the artist and close ups of key uses of iconography.

5. Use of reference to the act of looking and voyeurism of the female form.

6. Intertextual references. What, why and how have they been used? Lots of examples. The word iconography is going to be important. Use the 'genre' label to assist you.

Looks a lot of work? Good. It is. But if you put as much effort as you can into this you will find that the impending posts I'm going to get you doing will be much, much easier. I cannot stress how much I want to be able to send you off to the A2 exam sat on a big, fat 20/20 of R&P. Do it, do it, do it.


As per the email I've sent, please find the link here too

Can I Hatez Wimmin?

I sincerely hope, if only so there appear to be four less utter...words fail the world, that this song and video are operating on several layers of very complex and thoughtful irony which I'm failing to appreciate.

It is nice to have hopeless and doomed thoughts.

Ladies, gentlemen, bots from Russia and beyond, if you were hitherto uninitiated I bring to you...Brokencyde. Watch it through bitten nails and shudder. Shudder.


The focus for today? What image are the band and their record label hoping to present about the featured artist? And how? (though 'why' is also a very pertinent question).

Question to consider: what sort of audience would watch this, listen to the lyrics and go 'oh, that's a good idea!'?

This post will use the phrase 'crude sexual boasts' rather repeatedly. Have done some internet research and cannot find anything to suggest this is in any way not meant to be taken seriously.

We are intended to look up to and aspire to be like Brokencyde. They have wealth, they have an array of natty hair-dos and wear what they want and look dead hard. They drink. They have a lot of sex (or think about having sex a lot), they are surrounded by scantily clad women and have a following of hangers-on willing to pop, lock, bounce and twirl along with them. They even have their own hand signal, like Batman but without any of the hidden darkness that makes his moral outrages understandable and Brokencydee's...not.

Predominant audience? Teenage heterosexual boys.


Range Rover, no licence plate - connotations of wealth.

Centre of shot hugging women in the boot - they are powerful and in control ans they are predominant in the framing of the shot and the use of proxemics, despite the bloke looking like he is probably about a foot shorter than the women he is hugging, indicate this is all about male power.

'Versace, Rolex watches' - conspicuous consumption is, for this band, their label and their audience, directly proportional to worth as a human being.

His 'grill' (no, it isn't a rude hand gesture, he is indicating his desire to replace his teeth with gold or platinum as if he is a Middle Ages merchant in need of securing his wealth securely in the absence of any form of trustworthy banking system) - conspicuous consumption again.

HA HA HA HA HA! BANDANNA! HA HA HA HA HA! He is one dangerous man who none of us want to mess with. Oh no. 1:30 and... somewhen else which I can't locate and can't watch this travesty again.


Band costume - urbanly outfitted du jour with bright colours, styles reminiscent of 'the street' - all utterly in keeping with what we might expect from this genre.

Dance routine including simulating crude sexual boasts and driving invisible cars. Again, adds to the performance element, ticking off boxes in terms of conventions being conformed to and giving the audience what they expect.

Bottles of hooch - a key image in lots of rap music, the consumption of strong liquor. Usually brand named.


Women here are objects to be ground against, like one might do in the club if one was particularly moronic, dressed in skimpy clothing and being called liars. The males in the band have the power, the women are objects. This is Male Gaze, though a very particular and specific form of male.

1:53 - deeply unsettling. Not just for the screaming in a woman's face for no discernible reason (cover that late) but the mimed strangulation is really just...wrong...

Love the woman's face at 2:00 in her sheer contempt for them and, hopefully, all they stand for.

The pig - could be there for light comic relief but is more likelty to be a symbol of Brokencyde's rampant sexuality and the dirtiness they perceive in anyone female.


'Sexy now'' - seems less like a literal representation of the actual words and some kind of sexual imperative once you've watched the video a couple of times. Also accompanied by the 'I shout at women' part. Shouting "liar" at every woman in the video, nice boys, not got issues at all.

'Messy girl' - crude sexual boast? A general attitude to women? The power to turn a verb into an adjective in a poorly constructed sentence?

'Pants off' - yeah, you tell those messy girls who you are insisting give you sexy now.

'Let's get freaky' - hey, at least it appears to be a suggestion!

'Bitches Get Stitches' on his t-shirt. Misogyny.


"Let's get messy girl"...means one of several things, each one as increasingly stomach churning a prospect as the former.

Swearing. Because it is big, hard and clever. Well, when Malcolm Tucker does it it is, when Brokencyde do it it is lamentable.

"You don't want me. Come and get me".

(i) likely (ii) so you can shout at her that she's a liar whilst pretending to strangle her and keeping her locked up in the boot of your Range Rover...tempting.

"I saw these shorties in the corner /they started making out / they pulled their panties down (the one in the 'Bitches Get Stitches' t-shirt seems particularly pleased with this as he gives it both a screamy 'yeah' AND a thumbs-up type gesture, good on the lad, nice to be happy) take their pants off / and then they started getting freaky on the dancefloor (this appears to make Stitches very upset as he now has to shout "liar" in the face of a lady). 

''cause I don't waste my time with lesbians"... 

...and're annoyed because you tried to pull a couple of gay women and that made you feel like less of a man? Or you are annoyed that you're not going to be able to 'convert' them? Ah, the end of the song, it is because he has been dumped and has decided to go on an all out bout of woman hating. Mature reaction there. What is deeply worrying about this, obvious things aside, is that a record company have gone 'yes, that's the one, we'll release that a single because there's a massive audience out there for this exact subject matter. Hey, I've got a great idea for the video? You, Stitches, do you like the power and dominance signified by the act of sexual strangulation?'

"baby we don't have to (ahem) / And bring your friend along, maybe we can have some fun." 

Like playing 'Risk'. Having established at least a level of homosexuality in the objects of your affection one does have to wonder why he'd pursue this course of action and then be so annoyed when his great conquest fails to occur. See, I don't think it ends up the way he wants it, but the song doesn't tell us, it just really heavily implies what he'd like us to think had happened, his ultimate triumph is forever...delayed.

"I got these bitches all tipsy trying to sex me / I know they want it, alcoholics are some sex freaks."

Neatly undermining his previous assertion that they did not, indeed, have to all have sex, presumably. Intrigued by the phrasing of them trying to 'sex him' for reasons the link will elucidate. Now, legally, where does intentionally getting people drunk so you can have sex with them fall? Fairly certain it has t least elements of what you need for a sexual assault charge. Or is it just poor grammar and he means 'I have got these...' as if he is currently in a stituation with some drunken women rather than he is the initiator of the drunkeness?


Need the lyrics written out for them to highlight essential stages of the narrative. In the club...on the dancefloor.

Aspirers maybe? What do you think?

My reading? Oppositional.


Started off thinking he was the 4th member of Brokencyde but am not convinced that at 1:15 - 1:18 it isn't just one of their weird uncles / that mate who really is in a world of their own who has insisted on coming along to show off his moves.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Excuse me, I am interested in learning about how magnets operate...


Just what are the conventions of a hip hop video?

Yes, there will be swearing, sexual references, probably some fire arms and a potentially deeply misogynistic over tone for lots. The daily music video post is going to be on a rather disturbing world view of an Australian group (EDIT: Alburquerquian) who profess to be hip hop (EDIT: interesting sub/hybrid genre of crunkcore) but are, perhaps unintentionally, more akin to a very low rent Screamo band with a deep-seated love for autotuned pop. It is deeply wrong...


I Am The Least of Your Music Video Problems - Day 3


The embed code off Rolling Stone is not one Blogspot likes, it seems. Sad face.

UPDATE: Interesting, it appears to have embedded. Didn't appear to have worked when I checked in the 'compose' tab. Apologies about size of video.

FURTHER UPDATE: Interesting that Walmart are sponsoring something advertised by Slash given their usual treatment of any artist that might not be considered completely pure or innocent.

This is 'I Am the Least of Your Problems' by Future of the Left. I hope to be getting the album for Fathers' Day, incidentally, oh dear wife who is looking over my shoulder as I type. You'll let my daughter know? That's great but we're not using her university account to fund my obsession, you'd better buy it for her to give to me.

The lyrics are here.

Far less wordy this time. This time it is just a 'things I like about it' post.


Sideburns. We know this.

The use of the flashing light in the main character's eyeballs at the start.

Black and white. Not usually a massive fan, but works really well in this video to create the mood.

Strobe lights. I have asked to buy some for you for next year by the way.

The way the faces change in time with the strobing, especially Jack the drummer's unmasked/masked face. Really good.

Crazed smile at 1:30

Cutting between band members, matching the eye positions c.1:55

Julia throwing / punching / doing something aggressive at the camera c. 2:35


The zoom into the eyeball to show going into his head...

The wide shots of the whole band performing c 0:53. It seems to undercut the pace of the piece, decreasing the intensity they've tried to create through everything else, whilst the one's at 1:24 seem to work fine.

The fact I recognise the actor in it and can't work out who he is.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Blimey! Posting Rampage

When you come to design your digipaks and magazine advertising campaigns typography is going to be really important.

I clicked the 'next blog' button and, lo and behold, came across this. Some interesting ideas which might be worth having a look at.

I Can't Stop Catching Them All

Thanks to HM for bringing this song to my attention.

and a behind the scenes look at the production


actually their YouTube channel has lots of good things about making videos, techniques to use, equipment...lots of really interesting ideas. Worth having a look. He is predominantly a photographer but there is still an awful lot that is interesting on this to do with moving image as well.

Day Two of the Immense Music Video Sharing Exercise

Some thoughts...

Okay, two today (tempted by three because Future of the Left have a new single out featuring a video with heavy use of strobe lights but realise the FotL fanboyisms need to take a back seat for a while, but it will be posted about. Oh it will. UPDATE: three seem to have crept in as I ended up looking at 'Sweet Escape' by Gwen Stefani as well).

Above is a very low budget video for the band Grandaddy. Not a great video, but quite sweet. And makes me sad as they split up soon after having spent a couple of decades getting nowhere near as much acclaim as they deserved.

This next one is vastly more polished. 'The Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Song' by the Flaming Lips. For reference the lead singer is called Wayne Coyne.

Today we looked predominantly at iconography so it'd seem a very sensible thing to focus on. There'll also be a bit on ideology and context as, remember, the context in which a music video is read is vital and needs to be something you consider in your own music videos.


This will not be an all encompassing analysis of everything. That'd turn in to several thousand words, so there may be lots of uses of iconography which are not commented on. Just going to post about a few of the things, otherwise it'll just snowball.

I suppose on of the things that needs considering is the oriental fetishism or, for a less overtly Marxist approach , as Said termed it, orientalism.

There's quite a few artists who have adopted in some way a strong visual use of oriental females. In Gwen Stefani's case it was a major piece of iconographic marketing as the Harajuku girls accompanied her everywhere (carrying with it uneasy connotations of colonialism, slavery, sexual fetishim and objectification). It terms of your thinkng of your digipaks and marketing campaigns it is a really useful case study which you might wish to look into and post about independently (hint hint). But, for a basic and brief account, the four girls appeared in her videos, were turned into perfume bottles and appeared in a raft of the promotional material for the album. So there was a strong link between the videos Stefani was producing, the album it was promoting, and the synergetic marketing which accompanied it. Wonder why she did that, eh?

Here, however, in the Flaming Lips' video, it is something far more mocking. Rather than an overt bout of objectification and exploitation, this video takes this representational trope and subverts it. Instead of being mindless objects of visual pleasure the three female characters are active agents in the demise of the oppressors (this'll be covered in more detail in the ideology and context section, though since it is one of the first main images we the viewer are presented with it felt a little lop-sided to not at least acknowledge its presence).

The three doors are also presented immediately and, in terms of both lighting and their actual appearance, thematically moded to suggest intertextual links to many a film or literary setting.  Three industrial doors carry with them connotations of choice and imply some kind of salvation/destruction, for one example, the use in 'Alien' of airlocks. The list is actually probably as close to endless as hyperbole will allow before collapsing in on itself. Essentially we are psychologically prepared to consider doors as portals to uncertain futures when presented to us in terms of symbolism. And that is what we have here. When coupled with the fondling of tools this clearly establishes for the audience a further element of torture / twisted fate.

Communist iconography is also prevalent, with the bearskin hat reminiscent of Russian head gear post October Revolution and the images of Korean propaganda establishing the understanding of the artist as both powerful within the narrative but also in opposition to the society he inhabits in the real world. Coyne's distinct command gestures also create our understanding of his power as the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on your reading).

The setting, with high walls and barbed wire and filled with guards with truncheons and men restrained by ropes helps us further understand the power hierarchy in the narrative and, from there, using our contextual understanding, can begin to shape a reading of the text and our response to it.

The sticking of burgers to the businessman is also important. His face is rendered that of a pig, and therefore establishing the ideas of greed and filth, and also to replicate breasts and accentuate the groin - perhaps just crude scatology for the sake of humour, or perhaps a reference to the notion of the use of sexualisation to sell products. That all three victims in the three Acts are symbolically blinded could also show the victims have ignored the consequences of their actions and their fates are deserved. On an unrelated editing note I really liked how the stapling of the bacon to Coyne coincided with the stick clicks (or is it a rim shot?) of the drummer. Whilst the first two Acts occur within the confines of the dictator's stronghold, the dictator's fate is played out in the streets, with those who has used turning against him - a clear message for those in power.


As an alternative band, the impression the artist will want to convey is one of nonconformity, outsiders or in opposition to societal norms. We've seen Wayne Coyne leading the implicit (but ultimately not) torture of the wealthy, privileged and/or corrupt (possibly a distinction which the band might not make themselves?)

As an alternative band it is likely, statistically likely, really strongly statistically likely, that the groups' political views will be more inclined to be left wing. Until they get to be really successful or are Keane. 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song' was released during the GW Bush administration and is, as you can probably acertain from the lyrics, a criticism of his foreign and domestic policy. As mentioned above the iconography of Communist dictatorships is redolent in the piece and shows the front man taking on the mantle of the opposition to Bush and the Republican right wing. As with the Harajuku girls subversion this isn't to be taken too literally, Coyne is not equating himself with or necessarily praising Kim Jong-Il, but using the imagery associated with Communist dictatorships to:

1) oppose the main focus of his ire;
2) lampoon all forms of abuse of power, of which Communist dictators are particularly adept; and
3) highlight the inability for the rhetorical question in the chorus to be honestly answered by anyone. We know how we'd all like to answer it, but can't say for definite. None of us can, truly. And that is why Coyne faces the same fate as all his enemies in the third Act of the video. It is a deeply moral music video, which is nice. Think too about the link between the visuals and the lyrics, it is "a very dangerous thing to do exactly what you want" and this is highlighted not only by the fates faced by the fat cat and the socialite archetypes, but also by anyone who fails to think of the ramifications of their actions and just acts as they please. To mess with Nietzsche's maxim, what doesn't kill you just makes you more convinced of your own immortality and, therefore, more prone to acts of hubris. I think Nietzsche forgot about Achilles in all honesty. But then there's his idea about the abyss staring into you when you stare into the abyss which suggests our capacity for intolerable cruelty to our fellows in perhaps innate. Grrr, that's the problem with Nietzsche, massive contrarian, you have to be really careful to work out when he's got his tongue in his philosophical cheek, when he's just being moody or when he's being serious. EDIT: and what was the product of mental illness brought about by syphillis. But anyway...

The band are clearly criticising the dominant Western hegemony, not just Bush. The Bush criticisms are implicit and dependent on contextual understanding (see later) but what are clearly attacked are capitalist society in the form of the businessman and celebrity culture / style over substance in the form of the 'It Really Isn't Paris Hilton' character. The tools used by Coyne to pursue these targets could be interpreted in two ways too.

The obsese might be criticised for greed (obviously stereotypical here, not everyone who is fat is greedy), but also the criticism may be on society for how it treats and controls the appetites of the obese (or everyone, ultimately) and members of society at large in a consumer society where the act of consumption can be used to undermine ones individuality. (Go and look back at Harry's presentation of Althusser, or Hannah's on Marcuse on their AS blogs). Oh and Veblen too. Don't forget Veblen.

The police are criticised for being lazy using the well-worn stereotype used in so many different texts of having an insatiable appetite for doughnuts, but their reaction to the doughnuts also highlights the power of the power of the state and that there is a thin line between the police being able to operate as an actual force of law and order and the police being an extension of the power of the state. Coyne's dictator used them to destroy his enemy and they become the arm of the state.


Well, this is all so inextricably linked isn't it? Making the same point again and again though slightly different prisms.

This video was released during the Iraq war, the war of the '45 minutes to nuke the world claims' and my mates and I at uni taking it turns to phone up Richard and Judy during their Channel 4 afternoon show to accuse them of jingoism and getting Monsieur Madeley rather annoyed about one phone call we'd had with one of the production team (one of many, we absolutely bombarded them, the pair of apologists /rant) with the assertion that 'not supporting the war' wasn't, as they had said and accused one guest of, a synonym for 'wanting British soldiers to die' that he actually had a couple of minutes vent about how he thought anyone even questioning the validity of the war was not "supporting our troops" and should be ashamed of themselves and wanted to know what we'd say to the relatives of Britain's war dead (we weren't sure, but figured 'sorry for your loss' would be appropriate). So an audience, thinking about what you think of a stereotypical indie audience member to be like, would be well versed in the contemporary political debates of the time and know the issues surrounding the opposition to the invasion. This political stance will inevitably impact upon the reading of the text by an active audience. My reading of it is a dominant one, I do not oppose it nor do I feel the need to negotiate, it is one I am keen to whole heatedly accept. My reading is informed by my own contextual understanding and has had an impact on everything I have written about iconography and context. How about yours? Your understanding might be markedly different to mine. You may have taken an oppositional or negotiated stance to the reading of the text.

Have a good time, people.

Other things which have been making me think today: (i) why are the Ray Winstone bet-in-play adverts so annoying, (ii) does Kyriakos Papadopolous the Greek centre back look like 1980s kids TV character King Rolo, (iii) is the 'McDonalds' - proud provider of the official player escorts' tag line before the ITV matches really quite sinister in a remarkably startling number of ways and (iv) reckon Saints will buy Gebre Salassie?


An introduction to genre theory



Monday, 11 June 2012


Notes on the following in prep for section 1.

Cultural competencies
Mode of address
Income / socio-econmic grouping
Young and Rubicum
UK Tribe ( for the test itself)
Hypodermic Needle Theory
Uses and Gratification Theory
Active audiences
Dominant / oppositional / negotiated readings.

Media in the Online Age

A video on the history and possible future of the online age.

A re-post, apologies.

A Music Video a Day Keeps the Doctor...ummm...informed of the goings on in the 'Hit Parade'.

Every day from now there will be a different music video appearing. Some will be accompanied by a really detailed write up, others will have one particular focus, others might just be the video and my feelings about it expressed succinctly in a single (and hopefully not rude) word.

And so, we begin. With Kelly Clarkson which you have to watch on YouTube (though initially it was because it was on Vevo, but now it is saying the video player is too small - either way, it wants you on YouTube) because it is annoyingly catchy and it makes me lose Punk Points (TM) as, try as I might, I can't hate it. And, by all that is good in the world, do I want to hate it. The world is a bad / mellower / odd combination of the two place.


This is just a taster, a brief one. There'll be much more detailed one along one weekend. But on a different video. One which doesn't make me feel compelled to shoe horn in references to 1960s comic books, ideally. Having watched the video repeatedly all interest in the song has, indeed, passed. This is a good thing.


So, narrative - the way in which the storyline is imparted to the viewer and how it is constructed. This is not the same as 'what happens'. Remember, I am going to be pushing very strongly for your music videos at A2 to have a narrative element to it, it doesn't have to be wholly or predominantly narrative, but if the section 1 question pulls out narrative and as the thing you have to write about then you'll be stuck writing about AS or, worse, making stuff up - so make sure your coursework has a narrative element to it.

There are loads of narrative theories, some of which we've already looked at at AS. This will try to apply a slimmed down version of Todorov's narrative theory to the video. NOTE: Todorov's theory is about NARRATIVE and not music video itself. It is being applied to music videos but can also be applied to any other narrative. Just throwing that out there.

The video comprises of many mini stories using conceptual symbolism to develop the narrative told in the space of around 5 seconds each. This makes applying a range of theories to this in any depth silly. However, they do show the three most important stages of Todorov's narrative theory quite well.

Todorov' narrative theory splits the structure of a story into five stages:
Disruption of equilibrium;
Recognition of disruption;
Repair attempt;
New equilibrium.

For the purposes of this we'll split it into three:
New equilibirum.

The equilibrium (balance, order of things at the start) is an implicit utopia of the light side of the characters' lives before the video begins. It is clear that things have gone wrong and, as the development of the piece intends to show an audience that things can and will and do get better (especially if you gratify your needs by downloading this track from iTunes).
Then the video subverts our expectations of a traditionally structured narrative and launches straight into the disequilibrium. The cause of each character's disequilibrium is shown thrown a series of conceptual images which the audience interprets and applies to the characters they have seen (unhappy lady, black and white images of shadows arguing, newspaper advert for a divorce lawyer, shot of suitcase for example).
A new equilibrium is achieved through a Clarkson-inspired epiphany whereby each character's dark side is accepted as a part of their pasts / their characters / their experiences / the idea which people really seem to struggle with that we are not all beautiful and unique snowflakes....


Two different performance venues - in front of the blackened wall (the significance of which is probably obvious but will be discussed later) which serves as the back drop to both Clarkson's more hopeful performances and also the introduction of the characters in the video.

The second performance occurs under a bridge. There is a long tradition of using the underneaths of bridges in pieces to indicate some kind of outsider status / confer upon the subject a notion of isolation. And that is what has been done here. The contrast between the use of the two settings is striking, the bridge setting is to introduce Clarkson's dark side and so separate the darker image of the performer necessary for the audience to accept for the development of the video from the more hopeful image. It also helps to establish the development of the narrative in the scenes set against the blackened wall aside from the bridge performance parts which are designed to set up the impending new equilibrium, occurring in the other performance setting which will happen because of Clarkson's light side, and not the dark side which languishes under the bridge with an air machine making her hair all blowy

And as a postmodern remix at varying degrees of intertextuality (Kelly Clarkson is well into all that, apparentlly) I give you two additional interpretationss. The first is based on a graphic novel. The second a piece of 500 year old metaphysics. You lucky people.

Kelly Clarkson as omniscient narrator - possessed of god-like powers but, ultimately, forbidden from intervening directly in human affairs until 3:26 when she forgets the vow she made after inadvertently sparking the total nuclear destruction of the planet of Prosilicus and just goes wild with all the hugging and smiling and patting and soothing and the hope, oh the stench of the hope.

Or Clarkson as arch solipsist who is the only person who exists, everything else is a figment of her imagination and the power of her lyrics conjure these people into existence for her to then mend their ruined lives (which she created in the first place, lest we forget and, therefore, is responsible for the ruination thereof in the first place) through the power of the lyrics. Talk about having your cake and eating it.


See narrative, basically. But I'll briefly pick apart some of the symbolism here in two sentences or less to reduce the urge to go all tangential and weird.

Written codes - the word "No!" appears. No is a negative word. It is superimposed on the man's face. He is clearly feeling sad and struggling. It all ties in to having a dark side. That was four sentences, now five technically, but they were short so it counts.

The barbed wire below the motel sign - carries with it both the connotations of Motels providing acommodation for those fallen on hard times as well as the contrasting notion of a place of safety which is, in turn, juxtaposed with the harshness of the barbed wire.

The abandoned yoyo is so truly naff and reminiscent of really hammering home the point to the viewer in case we'd missed it that any attempt at analysis will turn in to a rant, and this must be avoided at all costs. Naff.

The falling pink beauty sash links the events occurring to the characters with Clarkson herself through colour matching, the fact it is falling is immediately a reference to the despair of the lyrics (and also, possibly but unlikely, Heidgegger's notion of dasein). Juxtaposition at work again, the positivity of 'beauty' contrasting with the way in which the image is presented as well as the set of images which together make up this mini narrative section. Sign / Signification / Saussure.


The blooming pink flower, followed by the pink filter and then the rapid cut to the sun coming out from behind a cloud. Oh, and then the seagulls take off. And then there are pink hearts.


After 3:00 everyone starts smiling.

Kissing and butterflies.


Other than her real name is Uatu?

Innocence / trustworthy / force for good is shown through the use of a bright pink costume which sets her apart from her background as well as the dark side Clarkson (or Nega Clarkson to put it in the terms of late 1990's Japanese role playing games) versus having a dark side.

La Clarkson is just like you, just like all of us. She is homely but also has a dark side (be aware, if not already, this phrase will be appearing rather a lot throughout this piece but will have endeavoured to come up with original and entertaining ways in which to express this lack of light to the side).

With the importance of religious belief in America's 'heartland' (the landlocked bits) it is unsurprising to see some religious references as well. It may very well be a reflection of Clarkson's own beliefs, I don't know, but it certainly is also included to make sure she is established with a large portion of her target audience as wholesome, all-American and moral.

And plays invisible netball.


Soft blur filter - does this suggest it is all imaginary, or all a potential set of events rather than a concrete path set in stone by a harsh unfeeling universe (which Clarkson can help you beat if only you'd download this blasted song, damn you)? Or it might suggest the softness of Clarkson, hint at hope...something soppy positive at any rate.

Blink /Fade out - Fade in creates a sense of immediacy as the viewer is more directly involved in the lives of the characters to which they are introduced. It could also, and contrastingly, be the same as my first suggestion for the use of the blur.


In an effort to try and slim down the mise-en-scene-heavy focus some people fall into, this will be very brief.

Black wall = dark.
Pink shirt = hope.
Black dress = dark.
Shadow = dark.
Under a bridge = isolation


Could be here hours, so just a couple...

"It reminds me who I really am..." Ooooh, dark (fitting, albeit laid on with the Massive Trowel of Symbolism (patent pending)). Who this bloke is is a mentally scarred, amputee war veteran. Ah Kelly, you are so posi. Well, you become so at the end. It grates a little.

"Everybody has a darkside" and we see a lot of peoples' dark sides, a lot of very different people. If you took the 7 exam focuses of the AS representation question you'd probably cover all of them. With the notable exception of sexuality in terms explicitly relating to homosexuality (unless I've missed something), presumably in relation to the need to appeal to the heartland again? Or just me being overtly PC.

Also, no representation of regional identity which I can see from a UK audience's perspective and I'm not getting het up by that. Hypocrite. However, I did get het up by ITV's Ireland v Croatia commentary which included the description of the Irish fans as being there or up for some form of "craic" twice not five minutes after I'd predicted to my wife they'd do just that. It was a wonder they didn't call them leprechaun botherers, laugh about alcoholism or adopt an Alan Partrige approach to Anglo:Irish relations...


The Kelly Clarkson:Uatu, the Watcher comparison is lifted almost wholesale from a Stewart Lee routine only  it replaces Stuart Maconie with Kelly Clarkson. Like one might do if you were a football manager and needed a better right back.

Posi - pronounced 'pozzi', but not in an Italian way nor in one informed by Waiting for Godot. Let's throw in a few extra zeds to make it clear. Pozzzzzi. Short for positive / positive hardcore (or posicore for short) - a sub genre of hardcore punk dealing mainly with being positive role models. the importance of community and helping old ladies across the road*.

*possibly, though not inevitably, whilst moshing.

Hop becomes Hope with magic, magic E.

Inevitable Fight Club reference to snowflakes.