361MC: – Development of FMP idea & the history of music video

Following on from the themes and ideas generation process during 360mc, I decided to settle on an idea to create three music videos for three different rock bands. This idea was altered and tweaked multiple times before the final form of the idea was set. During the idea generation and research stage, I decided to look at things I was incredibly passionate about in order to be completely invested in whatever I would be producing. The 1980s is my favourite decade of all time in terms of all types of media; film, television and of course music. More specifically glam metal, heavy metal and rock. The attitude, adrenaline and overall visual style of the music of this decade is incredibly inspiring to me and also caused much controversy due to the material and images depicted in these music videos or music ‘short films’ in some cases. With the 1980s being an incredibly stylish and visual generation, this was the decade in which the music video was born, with MTV being the driving force behind this commercial giant of an artistic outlet. In 1981, MTV aired its first ever music video; Video Killed the Radio Star, ushering in an age of 24 hour music coverage, making its debut song very prophetic.

With music videos now well within the mainstream, music videos continued to grow and become more and more ambitious throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with MTV listing directors for music videos, such as Spike Jonze, who after starting their careers in music video would go onto produce feature-length films years later. 1995 would also see the most expensive music video of all time be produced; Michael and Janet Jackson’s Scream, directed by Mark Romanek.

Since this boom in music video popularity, the industry continues to be very successful today and has moved more towards an online basis (more on this in the next blog post) where they are marketed and distributed.

With this concept in mind, my initial idea was to travel up to York in order to help write and record an original song with one of my friends who wished to put together a heavy metal band and then produce a video for this song. The music scene in York is incredibly impressive with many local bands trying to make a name for themselves, with most of them being metal and rock orientated, which would have been perfect when finding bands to film. However, this idea for my FMP was quickly changed after the logistics and time of production were taken into account. Because of the amount of equipment that would be needed for the three shoots, a decision was made to search for three local bands in order to increase the ease of travel. Because of this change in approach to my FMP idea, this left creating ideas for three videos impossible until I had acquired the bands and had listened to the songs they wished to put forward for a video in order to get a sense of the mood and craft some form of narrative.

A month or so after I had settled on my new angle for my idea, I had managed to find two of the three bands I would be using, Leicester band Six Broken Sticks and Borderline; a local pub band who play close to where I live, . As soon as I had listened to the two songs that had been put forward, Little Rag Doll and Juliet respectively, I immediately realised that although I would be producing music videos under the same genre of music, their moods and tone would be entirely different from each other. One has a particularly slow pace to it, dealing with fairly macabre vibes and themes of control and manipulation, whilst the other is a much more loud and chorus driven song which is made to get people singing along to its repetitive hook.

In early January, I had managed to find my final band, Bad Mouth Men, who are a student band in Coventry, who have elements of punk, rock, metal and comedy.

With all three bands confirmed and all of their songs put forward, I was able to start my ideas for narratives and the tone for each of these pieces; thinking ahead to both production and post-production. As editing is my chosen field of media, music videos more than anything rely on precise editing in order to produce an effective mood and pace, which allows the music to really come alive and add a visual flare. This will result in me having to use a significant multi-camera set up for when I comes to shooting my first video for Six Broken Sticks over the weekend of 25th – 26th January. I have two people in my crew who will be helping me film the three videos who have all worked on music video shoots for people before.

In conclusion, this shows how quickly my FMP idea and original concept developed over such a short span of time. Whilst I was greatly influenced by the decade of the 1980s in its attitude in music videos and the revolution of MTV birthing such an industry, this concept was shifted to fit much more contemporary themes and with the angle of being an effective way to distribute on an online basis, as well as for the bands to publicise on their own individual social media pages. It is important for each video to be unique yet keeping to the style and tone of each band, which is something I am going to continue to develop in the remaining few days before my first shoot on the 25th January in Leicester.

Unknown. 2010. The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star. Available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=W8r-tXRLazs [Accessed: 14 January 2014].


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