A Detailed Comparison of Two Music Videos

A Detailed Comparison of Two Music Videos

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A Detailed Comparison of Two Music Videos

The video's I have chosen to analyse are from different eras. I am
using Ashanti's 'Rain on me' video, which was made in 2003 and is in
the category narrative. I am comparing this with Shanni Holiday's
'Locomotion', made in 1962 and is in the performance category,
although it has a theme of trains in the video.

The story of 'Rain on me', Ashanti plays herself; her boyfriend, who
is jealous of her success, physically assaults her when they have
arguments. Ashanti finds her boyfriend cheating on her with another
women, and finally leaves him for good. The video reflects current
issues in society such as domestic violence, fame, recreational drug
taking, casual sex and affairs.

In comparison, the 'Locomotion' video has a completely different style
and impact, and shows Shanni dancing throughout, having a train theme
linking to the title. The video shows how dated it has become by the
clothes worn, and the style of dancing.

There are only 3 different edits used in Shanni's video, whereas
Ashanti's video has 200 edits, showing us how technology had changed
over the years and can be used to create dramatic impact. The editing
fits in with the pace of Ashanti's music, as the music speeds up, so
does the edits. When there is tension in the video, short sharp edits
are used; an example of this is when Ashanti finds her boyfriend
cheating on her. The director used many 'dissolve' edits, which added
drama, this is just one of many special effects used. 'Dissolve' edits
have been chosen to add variety to the video, as the audience today
will expect more than they did in 1962. 'Locomotion' used simple edits
where you can see the dancers' feet, then the director goes straight
onto Shanni dancing again, there is no special effects used

In both videos the images tie into the lyrics, an example of this is
when a pillow is used as a prop and as Ashanti sings 'hug my pillow'
she does the action.

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This shows that the director reference to the
lyrics in this scene. A hat was used as a prop in 'Locomotion'; this
was to enhance the dancing sequence. The moods of the videos are very
different. In 'Rain on me' it is stormy and dark and depressing
throughout the video, reflecting the stormy relationship between
Ashanti and her boyfriend. However in 'Locomotion' is a very cheerful
song. The facial expressions link with the mood of the video, as in
'Rain on me', they help convey the saddening atmosphere that is
present in the video. The director shows a close-up of Ashanti's
facial expression, where she can sense that something is wrong. The
director also used an extreme close-up of Ashanti's tears, showing the
drama and sadness, this is also an example of camera framing. Unlike
Shanni's video, where her facial expressions were happy throughout,
showing that it was a light-hearted song.

In 'Locomotion' there is a strong reference to trains, as a dance
makes a reference to a tunnel and the movements of the dancers feet
are like the shuffling movements of a train, helping to get across the
theme of trains to the audience. The video shows stereotypical
businessmen waiting for the train; all the commuters are male, because
it is an era where men are the classical dominant sex, who are
successful compared to Ashanti's video where she is successful.

The 'Locomotion' video is short 2:15min; it has no narrative and is
not interesting enough to engage the audience for a longer period, it
is also only set in one location. The technology was not so advanced,
so no special effects were used. 'Rain on me' video is much longer,
5:20minand used a range of edits, different locations and there is a
narrative throughout, which makes the video interesting enough to go
no for a longer period.

Another example of camera framing is highlighted in 'Rain on me' when
Ashanti's boyfriend is in the dark, all you can see is his silhouette,
this is effective as it makes him seem 'evil', dark and menacing, and
adds atmosphere to the scene and links effectively with the song.
There is a variety of different camera framing in 'Rain on me', but in
'Locomotion' there are few camera angles, as the use of the available
technology was poor. A further example of basic camera framing
techniques used in the video 'Locomotion' is an unimaginative close-up
of one on the dancers, showing you her movements.

In 'Rain on me' the fights between Ashanti and her boyfriend are
choreographed. An example of this is when you see Ashanti's boyfriend
kicking down her bedroom door, the fight looks authentic but each move
is choreographed, this links with the category 'narrative', as the
fights tell the story. Shanni's video had a dance routine, which the
audience could copy, which again links to the category, as it is a
performance video.

Overall I preferred Ashanti's 'Rain on me' video, as it was more
sophisticated and interesting to watch. Shanni's video had no physical
contact with others, as social standards of that era were very
conservative. Shanni wore unrevealing clothes because of public
expectations. Unlike Ashanti who wore revealing clothes and had a lot
of physical contact with the opposite sex, showing us how social
standards have changed. There is some competition in Shanni's video,
as the dance routine could be coped, this was a popular feature in
videos of that era causing competition between other videos. There is
more competition with videos made today people expect to be
entertained by the videos, not with just music and dance but with
special effects and good use of technology. 'Narrative' videos hold
people interest, so most videos today are 'narrative'. Videos have to
grasp the audience's attention to sell and make money from them. In
conclusion because social standards have changed, this reflects the
music videos. Technology has advanced over the years, making videos
more entertaining for the viewers at home.
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