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Why do pop music videos from the 90s and early 2000s look so different from those in later times?


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#1 Rui Padraig Phillips

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 12:16 AM

 

 

 

The videos I've listed have that oversaturated, air brushed with tones of gold look.

 

They look so different from todays videos...

 

 

 
Any idea why?

 


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#2 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:15 AM

I think most of all it has to do with trends in cinematography — what directors/cinematographers have come to see as appealing has changed. Also, on the whole, the 80s/90s/early 00’s era of music video production was one of very high budgets, all being done on film. Today, $100K is considered a very high budget music video, whereas in the peak of the MTV era that was considered average. This has a lot of impact on the final look and what the creators can do from a technical standpoint. There have been some other discussions on this forum of this topic (one worth recalling is how many of these videos never went to HD delivery and also carry a telecine look). 

 

It’s sort of like why anything else has changed over time in terms of style. Right now, cold and flat is en vogue in music videos. What it will look like tomorrow is another story. 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 06 September 2015 - 02:17 AM.

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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 08:14 AM

The show Pop-up Video can often provide a wealth of information about old music videos.  Some were shot in an amazingly simple ( and cheap) manner.


Edited by JD Hartman, 06 September 2015 - 08:14 AM.

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#4 Scott Herford

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 08:24 AM


Two reasons
1) most of the money I. Music is yesterday's news
2) these pieces are begun and completed digitally.
Thanks
Scott.


https://www.youtube....h?v=4vvBAONkYwI
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=g2gy1Evb1Kg
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=0habxsuXW4g
 
The videos I've listed have that oversaturated, air brushed with tones of gold look.
 
They look so different from todays videos...
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=2vjPBrBU-TM
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=e-ORhEE9VVg
 

Any idea why?
 


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#5 Hrishikesh Jha

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 11:36 AM

 

 

 

The videos I've listed have that oversaturated, air brushed with tones of gold look.

 

They look so different from todays videos...

 

 

 
Any idea why?

 

 

They were shot on celluloid...maybe>

and now the majority are shot on reds and alexas?


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:09 PM

Acquisition format, in this case, has little to do with it . Budget is partly the cause-- but in truth what you're seeing is moreso a reflection of the overall trend in "look" these days-- which ebbs and changes on a constant basis based on what's "hot" right now.


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#7 jldp

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 06:34 PM

There is one reason and one reason only, Telecine.

This was the time that telecine, transfer and color from film to digital beta came into a cost effective medium.

The same 5 telecine colorists did almost every video of that period.

As well there was about the same 10 DPs shooting them all, but still the telecine process of the time was the main factor.


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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 08:12 PM

It's the lighting mostly. The 90's videos linked here are all lit to a higher key, using tungsten sources that are generally harder in quality. Look at the falloff on the fill side of Mariah Carey's close ups versus Chris Probst's work on Taylor Swift for example. That comes from lighting to a higher stop so that the ambient fill reads less thus adding greater contrast in the image. The latter with big soft sources is more naturalistic, but doesn't pop as much.

I think the 90's videos in general were more interested in creating slick fashion magazine-style images than in recreating naturalistic environmental light. Of course, some current artists like Lady Gaga are more interested in the older style.

Color treatment is also a big one. Both modern videos are quite monochromatic both in design and grading which is the current fashion. The Sia video is very different from others, as it is intended to appear as if lit only by natural light (other than the visible snooted top light hard source in the hallway).
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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 12:06 PM

I agree that there is so much chroma key in the earlier videos that they might as well have been shot digitally anyway almost!

 

The big difference I notice between the two sets of video's however is that the earlier ones seem to be warmer and possibly lit with tungsten sources whereas the two more recent videos are both lit with a colder colour pallete. There is a lot of blue instead of those warmer colours.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 08 September 2015 - 12:06 PM.

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