A few posts ago I mentioned I was doing music videos with my film class. The kids are really into this project, needless to say! I've never seen them quite so eager to do their storyboards. I'm a bit clueless on this myself, as I don't know all that much about music videos, and the few books I've seen are for the professional, not the high school teacher! Online lesson plans have been more basic than I wanted, too.
You can download my handouts here, and I'll describe my tentative phases below.
Because I wanted this to be very much about translating words into visual images in order to create an overall mood or tone, I wanted students thinking more critically about music videos than they tend to, normally. I handed out the assignment sheet, discussed the requirements, then fired up the LCD projector for a little whole-class viewing.
We started by comparing Marilyn Monroe in "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" with Madonna's "Material Girl" and discussing the use of imagery, costuming, etc. (i.e. mise en scene) to create the idea of wealth and luxury. With the Madonna video, we also looked at the contrasting story lines or story within a story--the chanteuse singing a song about material desires, while in real life choosing a "regular guy" as her boyfriend over the high-powered director. Both videos also use great camera work (close-ups, tight framing) to focus the viewer on specific elements.
We then switched to Uncle Kracker's "Follow Me," which has an interesting story line, makes good use of a recurring motif (the truck travels through the different story lines) and has nice little fantasy segments with an easy-t0-recreate special effect.
Finally, we ended with 3 Doors Down and "Loser." The kids were bothered by its rather depressing message, but did a great job of analyzing the use of camera angles and mise-en-scene to create the feeling of loneliness and isolation. The video also is good for discussing the use of establishing shots.
I might add that, in my continuing effort to try to be more copyright-responsible, I bought the music videos on iTunes (except for the Marilyn Monroe clip).
This seems like a good place to close for now. I'll post tomorrow about the next step: having students analyze their lyrics.