Videoclip is an audio-visual genre with specific characteristics, and it has a proper way of working images and sound, by following certain rules of construction that allows it to be identified.

There are certain features that are common to all videoclips, that are intrinsic of the genre and independent of the type of videoclip: it has a short duration[1], it has a clearly promotional goal, and it is intrinsically related to a specific song, and it must have in considerations its lyric and musical characteristics, giving it a new narrative dimension through images. However, there isn’t a concrete model of construction of videoclips, so this can be considered a very plastic art form, having always in mind that there are certain elements that must always be present. A videoclip can be seen as the “imagetization” of a song, since it is always based on a song that is previous to it, and that will be played along with the images.

What mainly distinguishes the videoclip from other audio-visual genres is the fact that it is precisely a set of images that are created from a song. The same cannot be said about, for example, television advertisements; even though they may share some common characteristics, since sometimes these are a set of images played along with a song, the main difference is that they are not based on the song, the song is a part of it. The same happens in movies or series, where there are segments when the images are passing along with some type of music, but in these cases, there is a defined goal for the utilization of music, it makes part of the narrative, and its objective is completely different from the one of the videoclip.

What is essential for a videoclip to be defined as such, is that it must create a visual layer over a song, and the images must be somehow connected to the lyrics and music. A videoclip can then be considered the visual operationalization of a song, and this form of construction of a short film over a specific song must follow some defined parameters in order to create an audio-visual product with its own characteristics, that allows it to be distinguished from other genres. In this sense, it is possible to say that videoclips’ construction is based on the intertextuality that is inherent to it.

Like in any other audio-visual genre, the form of construction of a videoclip may be subjected to alterations and different artistic and creative interpretations, and the only exception, as already mentioned is the connection it established between a song and images, creating a communication object, that can be perceived as artistic or not, and that is always a visual interpretation and a way of promoting a defined song.

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[1] There isn’t a specific length defined for the duration of a videoclip, and its duration doesn’t have to be the same as the song it corresponds to; however, normally a videoclip isn’t much longer or shorter that the song it is based on, so it is very rare that they pass the limit of 15 minutes.

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