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Publication Date

Fall 2008

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Television, Radio, Film and Theatre


David Kahn

Subject Areas

American Studies; Theater; Mass Communications


The title, Making the Video, could imply that the television program primarily demystifies filmmaking "tricks of the trade" utilized to create a music video. However, research reveals that this MTV behind-the-scenes, docudrama hybrid's main objective lies in telling the stories of its featured artists in the midst of their video-making adventures. Applying a content analysis as its methodology, this thesis examines how the show adheres to Aristotelian narrative tenets and classic dramatic storytelling principles as it transforms pop stars into protagonists who drive the plot and overcome obstacles that threaten the achievement of a single, salient goal---the completion of a successful music video.Additionally, this study explores Making the Video's employment of particular production strategies that fuel its artist-centric script, enhance the viewers' sense of participation in the artists' journeys and depict the artists' humanness as well as heroism, thereby facilitating audience identification with the stars.