Music to My Ears

Our first project has officially been assigned. We are required to strap on our producer boots and get our hands dirty in the music video business. Because I am only in my second year of college, I have not mastered the skills of creating a music video (yet…or probably never, but hey I like to look on the bright side. Here is an example of an interview I attempted to edit for a minor audio assignment. Watch if you dare). Lucky for me, and other students in my position, we have the work of others to draw inspiration from. I picked two music videos that not only caught my eye as easily as the tune it is representing did, but also will be my muses for this project:

1. Diane Young, Vampire Weekend


I am a huge Vampire Weekend fan. In my eyes, they can do no wrong. They especially do no wrong when it comes to bringing their lyrics to life in music videos. This music video is my favorite out of all the ones I have spent hours replaying on my laptop when I should be doing something else.

For starters, I love the use of color. In my publication and design class, we learned about the different qualities of color that are used by directors to produce films that are both aesthetically pleasing and metaphorical. In this music video, a pastel palette that is bit on the duller side graces the screen. I find this stylistic choice effective because it creates a contrast between the scenes of the people sitting at the table like statues and the scenes of pure explosion- from both the emotions of the people and their actions- where the color in the scenes of pure explosion are explosive themselves.

2. Mind Over Matter, Young the Giant


There are so many things that make this music video awesome in the simplest ways. For starters, you get to see the band perform. Whether it’s live or not, you can’t beat seeing one of your favorite singers belt while his bandmates get lost in the music with him. It brings an authenticity to it that is incomparable.

Secondly, I love that a majority of the scene changes throughout the video that we see are actually not scene changes at all. A screen in the background behind the subject of the shot, whether it is the band or that mysterious woman, provide the locations throughout the video. It is something that is not impossible to mimic and is also suitable for the music video without trying too hard. It’s purely whimsical.

Lastly, I love the the transitions throughout the music video. The camera moves closer to the clothes on the performers and then is drawn out, revealing a different subject for the scene or a different scene altogether. It is that little and simple detail that makes the music video stand out from what I used to watch on the VH1 top 40 countdown when I was in third grade.

Overall, simplicity is key and this could not have been a more successful visual adaptation of this song. I hope I can mimic this clean yet complex simplicity in my own music video.


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