The pioneers get shot: music video, independent production and cultural hierarchy in Britain

Caston, Emily ORCID: (2019) The pioneers get shot: music video, independent production and cultural hierarchy in Britain. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 16 (4). pp. 545-570. ISSN 1743-4521

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This article identifies and summarises the main findings of the AHRC research project ‘Fifty Years of British Music Video, 1966–2016’. It contextualises the history of music video as a film practice within an unspoken cultural hierarchy of screen arts widely shared in universities, policy circles and the British Film Institute. The article documents the main stages in the development of the music video industry and highlights the extent to which the pioneers served as early adopters of new technologies in videotape, telecine and digital film-making. The ACTT consistently lobbied against music video producers, as did the Musicians’ Union, and consequently music video producers emerged from the 1980s with virtually no protection of their rights. The ACTT's issue was new video technology which it opposed. It also opposed offline editing on video tape because it would lead to redundancies of film editors and potentially required fewer post-production crew. The MU's issue was royalty payments to session musicians and lip synch. The music video industry has functioned as a crucial R&D sector and incubator for new talent and new technologies in the British film and television industries as a whole, without experiencing any of the financial rewards, cultural status or copyright protections of the more esteemed ‘screen arts’.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.3366/jbctv.2019.0498
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in the Journal of British Cinema and Television. The Version of Record is available online at:
Subjects: Film and television
Depositing User: Users 3908 not found.
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 14:04
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:01


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