Genres and Forms – Music Videos

The White Stripes – ‘Fell in Love With a Girl’:

Gotye – ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’:

Stop motion animation is a very popular filmmaking technique when it comes to music videos. It can be a very artistic way of getting the director’s and artist’s view across. Lots of artists and bands nowadays try to appeal to the more ‘indie’ style of consumer, and so will try to make videos a bit more edgy and out there. Stop motion is the perfect way to do this.

Whilst it is a very popular technique in modern times, I am looking to the past for my first example of stop motion. In the White Stripes’ ‘Fell in Love With a Girl’, lego is used in stop motion so that it looks like a band of people. Each lego person has their own instrument and is shown ‘playing’ their instrument when you can hear said instrument being played in the song. Used in time with the music, it creates the illusion that the lego people are actually making the music. This animation technique works very will with the fast paced style of the music as it adds a level of interesting imagery that the music also creates. This implementation of stop motion works well with the music as it is completely in time and cuts to the beat. A slight disadvantage to how this video uses stop motion is that you cannot see any of the band members’ faces, meaning that they will not be able to gain any sort of recognition for who they are as people. This might not matter for the White Stripes, however, as they are a very famous band.

imgresA screenshot from ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’. You can see the lego pieces that have been made to resemble the roles of the band members.

Stop motion animation is also used in a more modern example, Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. In this video, paint appears to move across the room and colour in Gotye’s body. This works well as it gives the video a clunky, arty feel as it slowly moves across him. It also works well with the theme of the song, which involves adaptability and change. The animation of the paint is a good metaphor for the idea of Gotye changing and adapting to his new state as a single man. From a production standpoint, lots of photos would need to be taken of the paint slowly being drawn onto Gotye. This will create the image of the painting moving or growing by itself. This makes the painting and the video itself appear to be alive and in synch with the singing. The genre of the song would probably be indie and the painting animation compliments this by fitting the pastel trend that is associated with indie living. imgres-1A screenshot from ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. You can see the paint which has made it across the singers’ bodies.


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