Video Analysis

1592 words - 7 pages

Video Analysis

Through out the course we have been wrestling with how the media is made and who influences it. A lot of time there are underlying narratives to stories produced in the media. They use everything from lighting to shot angles to make a certain impression on the viewer. In this essay I will do a video analysis on Adele’s song “Someone like you. My goal is to illustrate my understanding of the many ways media producers make meaning and how we interpret that meaning. I will use narrative and semiotic analysis to see what strategies are being used to make the video. Through a careful analysis of how the video is being made we can see what type of meaning is trying to be ...view middle of the document...

When we make meaning it is important to remember that the meaning is located in the codes of the society. When we see the world we expect it to look like and behave the same way our codes say it should. These help us all make sense out of the world. We use them as maps to living our lives (Grossberg p. 145). As stated above, these maps or codes are constructed of signs. A sign is always about something else (Grossberg p.146). For example in the system of language if I ask you for a book the word book is simply just a sign referring to something else. The actual book itself is an object but the book is the symbol we use to represent the object. These signs are made up of a signifier and a signified. The signifier is directly connected to making meaning. But that meaning (signified) is also a signifier. These two are always intertwined with each other. For example, if I told you to describe the word computer you would have to use different words or signifiers to explain what is being signified. When analyzing videos it important to be able to understand relative codes.
When we watch TV we organize that meaning through the use of narratives. The narrative of the the show is the underlying story that the producer is trying to tell. Narratives are forms of codes because they are a system of meaning that help us understand the world (Grossberg p. 170). The mass media uses narratives all the time to sale us on a story that they want us to believe in and behave in. Narratives don’t only have to represent a fictional story. Narratives are also used for documentaries and reality shows. Thats why if you watch the credits of “The Real World” you would see that they hire writers to create a narrative for us to follow. Like-wise in the documentary “March of the Penguins” a narrative is used to grab the viewers attention( Barsam p. 4). The narrative is made up of a story and a discourse. The two are very different. “The story is the actual progression of events through time that make up the substance and the content of the narrative (Grossman p.172)”. The discourse is how the story is explained. A good story line will tie the viewer in. They usually have a beginning, middle, and end with some main objective. The way that story is told is by its discourse. It can cut back in time or go to the future. It can be told from the perspective of different people(narrator). When doing my video analysis I will refer back to these theories to illustrate how they relate to my video.


I stumbled across the video, “Someone Like You” by Adele, from a text message I received from an ex-girlfriend. She told me the video reminded her of our relationship. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to analyze the video and see if it had a narrative similar to ours. Before I listened to the video I found the lyrics and read them out loud to get a good feel of the story being told in the song. Then I watched the video repeatedly both with and without music to...

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