Genre Distinctions of the Music Videos “Do or Die” by 30 Seconds to Mars and “This is How We Do” by Katy Perry
Music videos as part of the mass culture have giant popularity nowadays. Music sounds from all kinds of gadgets. According to Julian Cespedes-Guevara, music is “much more than an object of entertainment, it has also become an important tool for the regulation of our affective states” (Cespedes-Guevara 3). Such applications as YouTube make them available for people around the world and contribute to their popularity. Music tastes vary from one person to another. However, there are also those who believe that there is one pure music style, namely classical. Moreover, there are others who are convinced that country and western are the only styles. New styles of music appear because of extraordinary combinations of the existing ones and the constant creation of the new ones. Similarly, there are different kinds of video clips according to their genre facilities. This paper is aimed to examine the main style features of two video clips, “Do or Die” by 30 Seconds to Mars and “This is How We Do” by Katy Perry, based on their style distinctions and the ways of expression.
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Before comparing the music videos, it is essential to take into consideration the general features of the styles as they will provide clear understanding of their structure. The analyzed styles are considered to be the most popular and widespread direction in music. However, they are often opposed due to a variety of sub-styles. Besides, the styles are different, because they represent various angles of problems which they try to demonstrate and solve. At the same time, the music videos convey different topics to the audience. Moreover, their styles have different social functions. From the beginning, the rock style was an appeal to the fight against injustice and inequality. The musicians tried to provide the freedom of choice in every detail for people without any fear for social thought and condemnation. The music video of the pop culture was created with an aim to entertain the audience. It does not raise ethical problematic issues but helps to get aesthetic pleasure. The important meaning of pop music deals with sharing personal emotions such as sadness, love, and happiness (Rentflow 5). Due to these distinctions of topics and social missions, music videos of rock and pop styles differ in many things, such as instrumental preferences, vocal, and filming.
As an example of the rock style, it was decided on the music video to the song “Do or Die” by 30 Seconds to Mars. This song was released on 1 July in 2013 in Europe. It got approving responses from critics and listeners. Furthermore, the clip got recognition of the public as well because of its simple and pleasurable atmosphere. The second music video is the clip of the singer Katy Perry on her song “This is How We Do.” This single was released on 11 August in 2014. It ingratiated itself with the audience and, as a part of Katy Perry’s album “Prism,” got several awards, such as “Grammy,” “American Music Awards,” and “Billboard Music Awards.”
Due to the specifics of the rock genre, the video by 30 Seconds to Mars has clearly expressed semantic load, which is not typical for the pop style. There is no narrative story in the clip. However, its creators managed to convey the main idea to their listeners. The video consists of the frames which change each other fast. In particular, these are interviews with the fans, scenes from the stadium concerts, and views of picturesque natural landscapes. Every of this section has own destination. The fans’ interviews create sensual and confident atmosphere, because young people share their intimate stories and dreams, which cannot leave one indifferent. Their genuine emotions make one empathize with their thoughts. Furthermore, this section is aimed to express the main ideas of the video. They believe that music is powerful enough to support everyone in complicated life troubles. Besides, due to the transience of life, it is important to enjoy every moment of it. Similarly, the second video does not have a narrative story either. However, unlike the first clip, it does not have semantic load. There is not any main idea or any moral lesson. Nonetheless, it successfully deals with the main function of the pop culture, which is entertaining for the public. This musical video consists of bright fast-moving frames of the pleasurable and non-provoking content.
Moreover, the choice of costumes and stylistic precedencies are dictated by the style facilities, too. The costumes, which the viewer observes in the first clip, match the style of the modern youth. The heroes of the first music video are young people from different countries. They are bright representatives of the subculture. They have bright catchy appearance with piercings, colorful hair, and tattoos. The variety of the accessories, make-up, and clothes underlines their meaning in self-expression for the rock lovers. The triad, which is considered as the symbol of the Echelon community, often appears in the video because of its important meaning to the fans. At the same time, designers of the second video choose for its heroes colorful clothes, which perfectly suit surrounding conditions. From some scenes, the observer gets the feeling that the characters are part of the environment. There are many accessories that catch the eye. The short dresses and swimming suits worn by the heroines are called to emphasize on their attraction and to grab viewers’ attention. In such a way, the costumes of characters from the second video do not determine their social status but serve for creating the flamboyant and catchy picture.
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According to the features of filming and expression means, the audience may get various impressions after watching these two videos. Music compositions and videos of the rock genre are characterized by the importance of the brightly expressed rhythm beats. Musicians reach that effect using drums and the rhythm guitar. These two instruments are the necessary detail of every rock band. The frames from the stadium performances in the first video are bright and memorable because of the fireworks and the active dancing of the fans. All of these methods, instrumental and visual, keep viewers’ attention. While watching the video, one gets a great burst of energy and desire to act. Likewise, the rhythm section plays a significant role in pop compositions, too. The second video is full of energy. Nonetheless, it is not the aggressive energy which is typical for the rock style. This video provokes the viewer to dance and enjoy time but not to fight the injustice of the world.
The lighting is another means of expression. In the first video, different brightness and saturation of the lighting help to divide it into the notional sections. The scenes of the interviews with fans and natural landscapes have bright and tranquil illumination, which creates a peaceful setting. Another part of the video, which shows the frames from the performances, has expressive lighting, which resembles camera flashes. It changes the setting and makes it more dynamic and expressive. Like in the first video, lighting has an important meaning for the creation of the necessary atmosphere. However, it does not divide the video into several parts. Throughout the musical clip, the lighting does not change, and the shooting area is evenly illuminated, which provides deep sterling colors.
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Due to the genre facilities, the short music videos are similar to feature-length films. Furthermore, the musical videos originate from movies during their development process. The videos with a plot can be considered as a short movie with all necessary elements, such as exposition, development, climax, and denouement. The actors’ play in such kind of videos has a significant meaning as in real films. Furthermore, directors of musical clips pay close attention to the lighting, costumes, and stylistic choices. However, there are many distinctions. Mostly these distinctions are produced by the great difference of length between movies and short videos. Clips have just about five minutes to tell a story and to bring sense to the viewers. Therefore, directors prefer fast-moving scenes to slowly unfolding stories. Modern videos are full of visual and sound effects for grabbing viewers’ attention. A movie is an independent work of art, whereas the clips are mostly created to support and promote the single. Nonetheless, there are cases when the songs became famous only after the successful release of the music video.
In conclusion, the features of the musical clips are dictated by the genre facilities, which they belong to. Creators of the clips find many ways to convey the message to the population. They impress public with the help of visual and sound effects. The distinctions appear in details, which determine what means of expression are used for creating the music videos. Rock video clips try to call for the fight with the ruling part of the society and give the audience the great burst of energy, which is managed by the usage of the bright lighting, rhythm instrumentals, and active dances of the fans with extraordinary appearance. The entertaining function of pop videos is reached with the help of the colorful costumes, uniform illumination, and the non-provoking content of the scenes.