A pop promo is any piece of work (of any length) which can be considered a music video. If the pop promo includes a storyline, than it becomes a Narrative pop-promo meaning that it has a story to tell. My group had the task of creating a narrative pop promo video. With this in mind, my group ensured that there wasn’t too much focus on the music itself but on the narration. We also ensured that the use of camera shots, angles, and techniques were correctly and professionally used for each scene in order to present the narration in a correct and professional manner. The same applied to the use of symbolism, representation, ideology, lighting, and also the mise-en-scene. We decided that we would create the video with the purpose of having a storyline pointing out an issue which occurs in reality.
The narrative structure of our music video is a nerd who gets regularly bullied by a gangster at school. We see how the nerd gets regularly hurt and beaten by the bully, but all of this is before we witness the scene when he gets his own back on the bully. At the end of the music video, we see how the bully considers becoming a better person now, and end all of the bullying he does. The ex-victim had attacked and beaten his ex-bully, but how did he do this considering that he used to be much weaker and frightened. This scene is an example of dramatic Irony which is commonly used in narrative pop promos as it is undoubtedly a great technique to shock and excite the viewer. Moreover, the ex-nerd wears short trousers causing his socks to be clearly exposed and visible.
He slowly walks around with no real control of his off balanced legs as he takes small footsteps reinforcing the point that he is a nerd. This is without the audience even having to be told. This stereotypically represents the fact that all nerds aren’t so good when it comes to dressing up and when it comes to walking in a neat and proper style. The ex-bully is a gangster who walks around wearing a large white jacket with a hood on his head. His particular walking style suggests that he is a very dangerous and ruthless person, as this is appropriate to imply to the audience that he is a gangster. This stereotypically represents the fact that all gangsters have this same type of clothing and also that they present themselves as “strong” and “tough”
In the middle of the video, we see how the nerd finally gets the confidence and determination to do something about the situation of getting bullied each day. He sees a poster advertising a karate club. From then on, we see nothing but extensive training from the nerd who increases his strength, speed, stamina, and karate ability in order to achieve one goal, to get the power he requires to defeat his long time bully. The end of the music video sees the long awaited final confrontation between the nerd and the bully. They look at each other eye to eye, which really seemed like a very strange moment because usually, the nerd wouldn’t dare to look at the bully in the eye. The bully looks surprised, but the nerd doesn’t because he had confidence that the strength that he worked hard for, will finally pay off, and as he knew that it was going to be the last time the bully ever bothered him again. The bully then starts the fight, but that was before the nerd ended it after using his karate moves. At one point, the bully even starts to get chased by the nerd who finally catches him and gives him one last beating he will never forget.
Narrative pop promos can be for entertainment, or informational purposes. Although our product was more focused on informing the audience of an everyday issue, it also included some entertainment. We think that this would mean that there would be more reason for the audience to watch and enjoy it, and also because it could possibly attract other niche audiences apart from the one which we are specifically attracting. One example of a narrative pop promo similar to ours is one called “Always” from the artist Bon Jovi. It is about a man called Jack who cheats on his girlfriend with another woman, and when her girlfriend finds out, she gets mad and runs out to the street. Meanwhile, she goes home with another man and sleeps with him.
Our narrative pop promo is similar as it also has a storyline which informs the viewer of an everyday situation in the lives of some people. The man called “Jack” has been used to represent “men in their 20s” whereas his girlfriend has been used to represent “women in their 20s”. The use of these characters has caused the video to form some social attitudes to the audience aswell as some stereotypical comments such as “Men cheat on their girlfriend first”. In addition, it also includes some humorous moments which results in more reason to believe that the audience would enjoy the video even more. There is also some use of dramatic irony for example when the woman ends up cheating on her boyfriend as he had been cheating on her. One difference in our videos is the storyline, however, as I previously stated, they are similar when it comes to informing the viewer of something inparticular.
Furthermore, our narrative pop promo had background music which we decided to use after brainstorming and coming up with a list of many other ones. We also had to make sure that we did the pre production very well as everything we planned had to be relevant and appropriate to the actual subject. This includes the setting, the clothing, the dialogue, and the background music. We firstly created a storyboard to plan what will be happening in each scene. We also created a shooting script to plan which camera angles, camera shots, and lighting to use for each scene. Our background music is called “Heart of a champion” from an artist called Nelly. It is from the Hip Hop genre. It is a relevant song to have as it symbolises the commitment and determination of the hardworking nerd who has the “Heart of a champion” whilst he attempts to get bigger, stronger, and fitter. This is also a reference being made to something else from a popular movie called “Rocky” where something similar happens. This is when the boxer (Rocky) also goes through hard work and commitment in order get bigger, stronger, and fitter for an upcoming boxing match. The term for the use of this type of reference is called “Intertextual”.
We have used many camera techniques when filming our music video. We have made sure that each one was appropriate, suitable, and relevant to what is actually being filmed in the scene. The beginning of the video begins with the gangster speaking to the camera. The camera shot is a close-up of the face. This is so that the emotions of the gangster can be clearly visible to the viewers who get to understand the emotion of anger which he is feeling. His facial expressions suggest this emotion.
His eyes look evil as they are looking fixed straight towards the camera, meaning that he is very desperate to send out a message to the viewer watching. He speaks with an angry tone of voice, which is also violent. We filmed this scene in a dark room with a little bit of lighting being focused on the gangster because he is the person where your focus should be on. The viewer can realise that it is a dark room by looking at the dark background behind the gangster. The dark room is included in the mise-en-scene meaning that it’s visible within the frame. We used a dark room because it symbolises death, danger, and damage. This is related to the narration of the scene as the gangster is giving out a message of death, danger, and damage. The colour black is also used for the scarf wrapped around the gangsters face. The colour black was specifically used because of the associations we make with the colour black such as danger, and aggression. These are some connotations of the colour black.
The music video can form social attitudes to the people watching. It can also act as a message and represent the fact that bullying is going on today in schools around the country. It may suggest that most bullies are gangsters, and that most of their victims are nerds. It also suggests and informs of the way that the bullies beat their victims as it is clearly shown that they punch and kick them in the abdomen where it would hurt the most. This also reinforces the point that bullies are very ruthless and wouldn’t care how much the victim is hurt. The music video can also be a message to any bullying victims who may be watching. The message is “Stand up for yourself”. This happens in the music video when the nerd stands up for himself as it worked implying that it can also work for the viewer.
My group decided that our target audience would be male teenagers because they would be the most interested in this kind of music video. The storyline would interest them and so would the music as it is from the Hip Hop genre which is popular to male teenagers. We know this because everyone in our group are male teenagers. One thing that we wouldn’t like would be the lack of more actors. We couldn’t get too many other people because they were also focused on their GCSE studies too. Moreover, we would market our video on internet sites such as Facebook, and MySpace.
This is because as we are male teenagers, we also know that male teenagers visit and spend most of their time on them websites. Our group consisted of me, Jason, and my 2 production mates, Gardash, and Tabindra. I did all of the pre production work whereas Gardash and Tabindra were the 2 actors in the production whilst I was the camera man. It was appropriate to use Gardash as the nerd because he is skinny compared to Tabindra who is bigger and therefore appropriate to be used as the gangster. The constraints when filming our video included no swearing, and no nudity. This didn’t really bother us too much because we didn’t really plan to include either; However, we couldn’t include too much violence, which could have been quite disturbing to the Niche audience, but we overcame this by including a eye-to-eye confrontation rather than a long fighting scene which we had wanted to use.
In conclusion I have realised that it isn’t very easy to create a narrative pop promo as pre production is very important. I found out that if everything isn’t ready, such as the camera, and the script, then it would be very difficult to do the production in order to create a successful video. We however, coped quite well as we got some excellent comments from our feedback.