So, after the post about… something recently… what the fuck was it? Years & Years? Yes, after that post, I had a brief discussion without someone about the intro to the video. I had issues with the length of time before they got to the song. I’m now going to expand on why I thought it was a problem and then offer up some examples of videos that don’t instantly start with the song!
My issues with the 83 second intro on the Years & Years are 3 fold, but they all kind of take points from each other. Firstly, it’s to do with whether or not it’s actually adding to the video, which in this case, I don’t think it does. It’s some nonsense to give a feeling of importance, like they’re telling a meaningful story, which they aren’t. Secondly, it’s to do with stature. They’re not really established, huge artists at the point. If I see there’s a new video out by a big name, I’ll happily sit through a long intro. If you’re still rising, then don’t mess about, get your music out there. There’s also a stop in the middle of the song, which again, is another sin. Don’t stop the flow once you get going. For me it’s a big no no and rarely works. See Michael Jackson for details. An outro without music is fine. You’ve already advertised your song, you can do what you like after that. Let’s not forget that these are adverts. Imagine seeing a toothpaste advert on TV where you had to sit through 20 seconds of absolutely nothing to do with toothpaste first. You wouldn’t buy it. Thirdly, it’s to do with percentages. 83 seconds of a 315 second video. Let’s forget about the outro for a minute, there’s also 30 seconds of gap in the middle. So, of the 315 second video, 113 seconds of it aren’t the song. Which means that only 64% of the video is the music. Not even two thirds. That’s a crappy percentage. You should be hitting at least 75% in my opinion. That was quite the paragraph and I totally lost track of what I was saying half way through, so I apologise if it didn’t make sense at all, yo!
Now, the video that breaks all these rules pretty much, is Thriller. However, chum, you’ve got a problem at that point because Thriller isn’t a music video. It’s a short film. Obvs I can provide you with another example though, I’m clever innit.
Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal! Whilst the song was for the Moonwalker movie, the video is still a promo for the song, and stands as a music video. 66 second intro followed by a 77 second interlude. The difference is that it works. The intro builds the tension of the narrative. The interlude is weird, sure, but, you know, it’s Michael Jackson, therefore he can do what he likes. He understood that if you’re gonna have a long video or need more time to get your vision across, just extend the song and remix it. Percentage wise, a total of 143 seconds is not music. Which, out of a total length of 565 seconds, is.. haha, 25%, which means 75% song. I totally did not plan that.
We shall take a look at some other videos in another post soon. I really can’t be bothered to do that tonight. I’ve got some examples ready but I’d have to like talk and be chatty and stuff, and I don’t want to do that. Ha.