Narrative Essay

For my A-Level media music video i chose the song Stop The Rock by Apollo 440. My concept for this song was to have some “rocks” in my video with goggly eyes and then have a narrative where the rocks are on the run for some reason and then being chased by some similarly sized objects. I thought about using other rocks but decided on using toys to add a humorous nature to my music video.

For my video i though about having a narrative and a performance however when i was editing my video the performance just didn’t fit therefore i decided to focus on the narrative of the story and make the narrative as clear as possible to the viewer rather than jumping between the performance and the narrative. The main reason for the performance being out of place was that the difference in size from the Rocks and the toys to the People performing as the band. It didn’t look correct to be jumping between the different sizes and aspect ratios.

For inspiration for my music video i saw many animation videos on youtube but very few were done as a music video. But the one that inspired me the most was Delta Heavy – Get By. In this video they used animation of toys, boardgames and other objects to display the music visually. For instance they made a music Equaliser out of Connect Four boardgames. This inspired me to do animation but more importantly use children’s toys and other objects.

The two Narrative Theories that best fit my Music video are Propp and Todorov. My music video has used Propp’s theory because there is a representation of The Hero (Lego Indiana Jones), The Villain (The Rocks), The donor (The lego Horse), The Dispatcher (Grommet), The Helper (lego army characters, Police car, News Van). These are all shown within my music video and therefore this narrative theory is an appropriate theory to use for my music video. However The Princess and The Father are not in my video because at the end of the video the “Hero” does not receive a reward.

My music video has used Todorov’s theory because throughout my music video there are the five stages that are stated in Todorov’s theory. Firstly he says that there is equilibrium between all of the forces. Which in my music video is true, the characters are introduced one by one but equally and there is a sense of peace until the rocks are introduced. Then my video shows that disruption stage within todorov’s theory when the rocks and indian jones between to conflict with one another. Then the chase begins. This is then followed by each of the other characters realising that there is something wrong which is the Realisation stage of Todorov’s theory. The next stage that s in Todorov’s theory is attempt to repair. This is shown in my video when the characters are in the chase and the “good guys” and trying to “stop the rocks”. Then at the end of my music video there is a New Equilibrium which is the final stage of Todorov’s theory. This is shown at the end of my music video when the “rocks” are stopped.

My music video also represent the theory of Barthes. He says that every meaning in the video has a mystery behind it. So for my music video the mystery is whether the “rocks” will be stopped. in they end they are stopped but throughout the video the viewers are querying whether or not they will be stopped.

My music video does not represent the theory of Levi Strauss because my music video does not show opposites in a strong and obvious form. My video does show good and evil but other than those it doesn’t show many other opposing ideas. therefore my video does not represent Levi Strauss’s theory very well.

Propp’s theory best fits the music video of Sugar, We’re Going down by Fall Out Boy. The music video shows many of the characters listed in Propp’s Theory. The video has a hero, a princess and a Villain/Father. the story line is about the hero and princess falling in love but the father doesn’t approve at first until he turns into the villain figure and attempts to kill the hero but ends up revealing his secret which then means that he will approve the relationship of the hero and princess.

Todorov’s theory is best represented by the music video by Pink called Please Don’t Leave Me. Within this music video it includes every stage within Todorov’s theory. so it includes the Equilibrium, Disruption, Realisation, Repair and New Equilibrium stages of his Theory.

Barthes Theory best fits the music video of Just by Radiohead. Within this video there is a man who lies down on the street pavement and wont be moved or helped by any passers by. The mystery is all about why he is led there and why he wont except any help. By the end of the music video there is still a mystery of why he is led there because anybody who tried to help him ended up also lying down with him. the video end on this cliff hanger and leaves the viewer still wondering who is he and why is he and the other people led on the floor.

For Levi Strauss’s theory the music video that best fits his theory is If I Were A Boy by Beyonce. In this video it shows Beyonce working as a man and doing what men typically do. Within the music video there are many opposing ideas like male and female, Reality and Fantasy, Love and Hate and many others. It is a very strong and empowering video that makes the viewers think about what they do from day to day life.

When planning and constructing my video i was not fully aware of the narrative structures. I knew that certain videos had certain structures but i wasn’t aware of the exact narrative structures of Propp, Todorov, Barthes and Levi Strauss. However looking back at my music video i can see that i used parts of Propp’s, Todorov’s and Barthes theories. I think that because i knew of most of the standard theories in a very vague way i was able to improve my music video because if i did not have the same strong story line the final product would not have been as strong and as good as what it was.


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