Actors, Locations and Props

ALP from Iain McCallum on Vimeo.

Actors, Locations and Props


As my music video will be in the genre of Alternative/Indie/Pop, I have decided to use a variety of locations for my music video. The main location, for the beginning of my music video especially, will be in my house. I will use my dining room (as the area where my main character looks at old pictures and memories), a bathroom and two different bedrooms within my house. Although the protagonists within my video are actually meant to be in two completely different locations, due to the variety of modernised and traditional architectural sections within my house, I will be filming both parts in two different rooms within the one house (the rooms don’t look similar). As you can see within these clips, I asked my female actress to sit within the shot in order to gain a better idea of what the audience should expect to see and what I was planning on doing within my final production. This gave me a visual impression on what she looks like when put in the specific situation and how her specific character fits to the location around her. I believe that using this location will be incredibly effective in appealing to my specific target audience, as it is a place renowned for its personal comfort, assurance and security. I think this works perfectly with the song as it shows how both actors have moved on and how their homes are the only place where their true emotions and inner feelings can be let loose. Additionally, as well as benefitting the narrative of the video, this location will be easy to film in and will enable flexibility (no problems with limited time and access).

I have also chosen my local beach, Green Island as another location within my video. Reflecting on the results of my target audience survey, this location distinctly demonstrates that of what my specific target audience would expect to see in a pop/alternative music video. As I have the flexibility of being able to film in land and at sea, I will be able to incorporate an alternative touch on the adventurous, bright atmosphere that is Jersey. This ambience will resonate the style of the music, complementing the genre as well as the lyrics. On shooting day, it would ideally be slightly cloudy with an iconic ocean breeze. This type of weather will work best for my music video as the lyrics and narrative portray an emotional heart-wrenching relationship (darker clouds and wind generally depict a bluer, poignant atmosphere in comparison to sunshine and blue skies). Additionally, similarly to my previous location, the beach is just two minutes’ walk down the round and is one of Jerseys’ quieter beaches making it convenient and easily accessible.

These locations will allow for a range of shots — from establishing shots, to extreme close ups — consequently ensuring that my music video fits the conventions of an industry-standard product. For these reasons, they are also ideal locations for my photoshoot; these photos will be used to create a successful final website and digipak for my artist.

I gained this inspiration from a variety of different music videos. One music video that gave me the idea to utilise a variety of locations throughout the narrative is ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ by Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez. Just like my intended video, it begins inside the protagonists’ bedrooms and develops into the outside world. I think this is extremely effective as it not only shows general development but also symbolises the way in which the individuals are trying new experiences and moving on. Another inspirational music video from a similar genre of R&B/slow pop is ‘All of Me’ by John Legend. This video uses only one location throughout which is a family home. I think this is extremely effective and is an example of what I’ll be looking to recreate within my video.


To play the main parts within my music video, I have chosen my sister and my sister’s boyfriend. I wanted slightly older individuals, in comparison to people my age, to star within my video because I think that it will be most effective this way. As well as looking more professional with slightly older actors (doesn’t look cringey), it also makes the narrative more believe and relatable as many young couples go through similar situations. I thought that this choice would also reflect the results of my target audience survey and my intended demographic of younger parties. My sister, Kate, is 22 and her boyfriend, Nick, is also 22, making the relationship look more realistic and convincing on screen. Nick will be my main protagonist within the narrative of my video as my chosen song is sung by a male, making the sad, depressing situation more relatable to him rather than a girl. My choice of family orientated characters was due to the benefits of their greater availability, effort and accessibility. Ultimately, I believed that their help in comparison to individuals my age would be much more effective and useful. Katy Perry’s ‘The One That Got Away’ utilises characters of a similar age. They portray and illustrate similar emotions to what I what my characters to present. Furthermore, ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ by Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez, the same song as previously mentioned before, also demonstrates very similar emotions using individuals of the same age as my chosen characters. After watching this, I’m confident that my character choice will suit the narrative of the video and fulfil the audiences’ expectation of an expressive love song.

In terms of their outfits, I want my characters to change costumes in relation to the change in day and time. Obviously, in real life, people don’t wear the same clothes more than once every couple days and therefore the costume changes will make the video more realistic and relevant. My characters will be wearing normal, casual everyday clothing throughout my music video. I think that their clothing won’t really influence the effectiveness of the narrative and the lyrics. An example of this, and a video where I gained inspiration from, is Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’. As you can see, the characters within this video are wearing ordinary, routine clothes. If they were to wear suits, for example, it would not complement the lyrics and narrative of the indie/pop music video. Additionally, other videos such as ‘Closer’ by the Chainsmokers feature a couple wearing everyday summer clothing. This not only complements the location and scenery of the video (a beach) but also supports the style of song. I will get my characters to wear darker tones of clothing with little colour in order to symbolise and represent the emotions and feelings of the character and song.


There are a number of props that will be used throughout my music video. The use of props will enliven and give some physical substance to my story, whilst effectively becoming a ‘physical metaphor’ symbolising the important moments situated within my video. One constantly reoccurring prop within my video will be a mobile phone. This relates to the repeated line within the chorus of my song, ‘Somebody Else’, which says ‘I’m looking through you while you’re looking through your phone’. So not only will this act as a normal, everyday item, the phone will symbolise the barricade between the two main characters’ communicational relationship (the phone keeps them distant). One music video that effectively utilises the same prop is ‘Hello’ by Adele. The phone is the main prop within the video and is used to fit with the lyrics of the song.

Another prop I intend to use is a dating leaflet. This dating leaflet will be situated in one of the main moments within the music video i.e. when the girl picks up and reads the poster from the floor before subsequently applying to the dating website where she finds a new man. Additionally, a photo album filled with pictures of them (when they were once a couple) will proliferate the emotional aspect of the video and will act as an item to make the males’ emotions visible and come out. An example of this, where the emotional value that a photograph holds is obvious, is within Nickelback’s song ‘Photograph’. The song relates to previous memories he had and how they all come back when he looks at old photos. A photo album is an item that is seen as a memorable folder, holding memories of good and bad moments. Obviously, it is a well-known item, making it obvious to the audience that he is upset and emotional because of the old pictures of them together (audience then have an understanding of that they were once together and how much he still loves her).

Actors, Locations and Props

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