Gothic Council's Guide To A Better Music Video
The last time the Gothic Council discussed which videos best expressed the goth subculture. We quickly ran out of column space, but one observation by DJ Martin Oldgoth got us thinking...
Martin Oldgoth: I think I might have stumbled across the perfect formula from studying a few videos.
You have to shoot in black and white, grainy if possible, and at some point you need some people staring into the middle distance. one of these people at some point needs to do a dramatic hand gestuire, palm upwards as if throwing an invisible ball in slow motion while tipping his head back, he should wear a suit.
The singer, if female, should spend at least the length of one chorus laying on a chaise longue, or sitting on a throne. If the singer is male, he needs to be shot from a low angle. The bass player is only ever seen in the distance, with his bass, and the drummer, if there is one, gets to pull a funny face while hitting the toms a bit for the three seconds he is allowed to be on film.
At some stage some people should wave some flags, and possibly drive an old car around. There needs to be fog, at night, in an empty street and some running about for no apparent reason. It might help if there is a quick shot of a crucifix that flashes up precisely five times throughout the whole thing, and a cat at the end gets off a chair and walks away as it fades to black.
Is this the best way to make a goth music video? We put it to the Council. Joining us this week is the aforementioned Martin Oldgoth, living historian Morrighanne Burns, stylist Carol Daeumer, spooky dessertier Lynda Rouner, fashion designer Batty, Sarah Fanning, blogger at Night's Plutonian Shore, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, Jvstin Whitney of the band Church ov Melkarth, and DJ Regen Robinson of Space Radio.
Gothtopia: What other ingredients are needed to build a better gothic music video?
Martin Oldgoth: I think I may have missed out the bit where someone peers round a corner wearing a top hat, and a close-up of a stiletto boot!
Morrighanne Burns: Fat woman wailing, preferably an exotic fat woman, dust, cobwebs (Miss Haversham's table-esque), more dust, singer looking upwards/sideways/down, flowing water, dust, insects, dust and did I mention dust?
Carol Daeumer: For the love of goth! Don't forget the "flaming windmills" dance moves.
Lynda Rouner: I am also a big fan of the eyeball close-up, the best example being the video for Siouxsie's "The Last Beat of My Heart."
Batty: Don't forget the "water running down a window" or "underwater" effect layered over the singer's face to make it look more ethereal or to disguise that they are not that good-looking....
Sarah Fanning: And clips from classic horror films. Or shots of clouds passing over a full moon - either over a cemetery or body of water. Also, someone walking down a narrow, dark hall with a candelabra.
Batty: Oh also did anyone mention, someone running in slow motion (usually a girl) through a wooded path or cemetery or a row of hedges, flowing white dress, looking behind themselves every few seconds, hair flowing over the shoulders, being chased by a invisible something?
Sarah Fanning: And seemingly wholesome scenes falling into shadow and decay.
Let it never be said Gothtopia can't laugh at ourselves
Batty: Yes! Children laughing and playing on a playground that then fades into a lone swing swinging by itself and a dirty doll dropped on the ground and the playground old and abandoned.
Morrighanne Burns: Shadow profiles, fire, combat/biker boots shot while stomping, dust, ravens or crows and backwards clouds.
Lynda Rouner: Have we mentioned the close-up of a (preferably) old headstone, or crumbling statue yet?
Morrighanne Burns: Nope.
Jvstin Whitney: Has anyone mentioned medieval weapons yet? They should be in there somewhere too.
Alethea Carr: And miserably lovesick men mooning about in damp places. That's my favorite.
Regen Robinson: I think part of the perfect formula is lots of quick strobe light-like shots to cover up poor production costs. Or even better don't make one at all and hope a fan makes one in YouTube using Gears of War or some such video game footage.
Gothtopia: You guys sound like the boardroom of Full Moon Entertainment if they were huffing paint.
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