Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Evaluation Question 1B - Social Issues

Overall the evaluation question 1 is: "How do your products use or challenge conventions and how do they represent social groups or issues?". However I have decided to split the question into 2 parts, because I thought it would give a better overview. Therefore part 1A will be: "How do your products use or challenge conventions?" and 1B will be: "How do your products represent social groups or issues?"

1B: "How do your products represent social groups or issues?" 

SR and KO
The main social groups in the media are: 
  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Sexuality 
These points we addressed in a Radio Interview, where Kristian is playing the interviewer and I am playing the director of the music video "Throne", Plastic Kid. Below the video you can also find the full script that I created of the radio interview. 

Radio Interview Script (SR): 

Interviewer: That was Bring Me The Horizon's new song Throne, check out their new music video on YouTube now. Today in the studio I'd like to welcome the director of the musc video for Throne, Plastic Kid. Welcome to our study! 

Plastic Kid: Hi

Interviewer: So let's talk a bit about your music video, I mean I absolutely loved it and I am also a huge fan of both alternative rock and metal core so this is just my type of music, but still I have several questions about the social groups and issues in this music video that I wanted to ask you about. 

Plastic Kid: Sure, go ahead. 

Interviewer: Well first I wanted to ask where you got your inspiration from? 

Plastic Kid: Well, I mean as Kristeva would argue you never really get an idea just like that, you are inspired by other music video's that you have seen before and directed before. So together with Sykes I checked out a lot of music videos and we based our ideas around some of them. 
Ofcourse we also wanted to create a link between visuals and lyrics, because that's what a music video is all about according to Goodwin you know? 

Interviewer: Yes, I have read a lot about those two theorists. And what is the song actually about then? 

Plastic Kid: Well it's about a guy who is drowning in his sorrows and doesn't know what to do with his life anymore after having lost his girlfriend, so we portrayed that through having Sykes underwater when he is singing "I was an ocean lost in the open" and him running through the woods. 


Interviewer: Well seems to me as if you definitely got the preferred reading accross there, cause most of your fans wrote on YouTube that they could relate to this heartbreak. 
Moving on to the next question, why did you decide on only using male band members in your music video? Because there are other rock bands such as Paramore and Angel At My Table who have a female lead singer, so why not go for that? 

Plastic Kid: Well we are really just conforming to the stereotype that rock music is just for men,  it has become a norm to society due to the long history of bands such as AC/DC, Rolling Stones and Queen only consisting of males. Therefore we are only conforming to this stereotype, and ofcourse Bring Me The Horizon consists only of males, so some argue it would be odd to have a female lip syncing with a male voice as voiceover such as in the fan made music video for Sail by Awolnation. 

Interviewer: Yes that does make sense, but staying focuse on the female side of things, why would you only have one female in your music video and not more like in the video from Fall Out Boy for their song "My songs know what you did in the dark". Then it could also be more appealing to a male audience or not? 

Plastic Kid: Well yeah it would be more appealing to a male audience, but I mean males already listen quite a lot to our music in general. They are our target audience because they are just generally more interested in rock than women. I mean Bring me the Horizon have featured on the cover of AP (Alternative Press) many times and they have also been on the cover of Rock Sound a few times.  Rock Sounds average readers are aged 15-24 and around 72% or so of their audience are males. So males generally already listen to our music and follow us. 


Interviewer: Yes, but why would more females then be interested in this video by just having one female instead of two? 

Plastic Kid: In most music videos where there is more than one female, they are the dancers or just there to make the singer and male protagonist look good. This is the case of the song from Fall Out Boy. It is easy to assume that a feminist would not like to see an objectified female in the music video showing cleavage and being the female that the male breaks up with and being the stereotype of the female cooking. Therefore, we did the exact opposite, we have the female breaking up with the guy, the guy cooking and the female burning the pictures and wearing a bit more appropriate clothing, not showing as much cleavage. And it turns out we were right, we found a bigger female audience being attracted to this video.

Interviewer: I noticed that even though you didn't have the female objectified there were still a few elements of male gaze in the music video, would you like to comment on that? 

Plastic Kid: Yes, I mean Mulvey would argue that several videos have male gaze. One of the main reasons for this is of course to attract a male audience. Mulvey argues that the woman is objectified through clothing and make-up and of course the editing that is used when showing the woman on screen. So as mentioned,  we wanted to try and appeal to a bigger female audience with this video, hence we focused less on having females in our music video. However, our female protagonist is still wearing make-up, has the typical long hair and is skinny and good looking, therefore there still is that little element of male gaze. 

Interviewer: Are there ways through cinematography that you specifically showed that the female had more power in this video? 

Plastic Kid: If I have to think about one scene it would be when she slaps him, this is really when she is the more dominating figure, and I decided to emphasise on this by adding a key frame that then zooms in on the moment she slaps him. Also, our female actor played it out really well so the moment after the slap she had a very powerful look on her face, which I had asked her to do so that the audience would be left there thinking "Woah". 

Interviewer: Well that was a very detailed answer, thank you for that. In a bunch of music videos you can see that there are the typical stereotypes or counter stereotypes, which ones did you include in Throne? 

Plastic Kid: Well as mentioned we have the counter stereotype of the male cooking instead of the female, because we wanted to challenge the common stereotype and make our video a bit more interesting and our female audience actually noticed it and liked the fact that the male was cooking, because it was breaking the stereotype so through this we attracted a female audience.

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