9 Key Shots – ‘The Car Song’ – The Cat Empire

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This song is from the same genre as Miss America, the song that Altos Music is doing for our music video.

The first key shot is from the beginning

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This medium shot is key to this video because it establishes the narrative, resolving previous guilt of the protagonist/star. The basketball in the center of the shot shows the setting, in tandem with the ‘cup’ text, as a basketball game.

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This medium long shot establishes the band, The Cat Empire are an Australian band focusing on jazz-rock music. This shot is key because it sets up the star image (center) as well as advance the narrative of one of the basketball teams.

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This medium long shot comes immediately after the prior one, advancing the narrative further by presenting the opposing team.

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The above medium close up shows the star’s father, this shot is key due to it being the first shot where anyone is lip-syncing. Here the ‘father’ says “…think about your future”. This shot is also key due to the possible intertextual aspect, taking on the idea of an American school comedy.

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This shot is key due to it confirming the setting for this music video, it also syncs with the lyric: “It’s hard to concentrate when there’s a basketball game on…”. This then advances the narrative of the basketball game by the game actually starting.

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This medium shot advances the narrative by syncing with the end of the line “Harry, you’re going to be a lawyer one day”, advancing the narrative by having the past (particularly the father) win the first point in the game, showing the teenage struggle of the star/band.

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The above medium shot is particularly key because it’s the first shot the viewer sees of the star actually singing and syncing with the lyrics of the song, this is key because it follows Goodwin’s theory of projecting the star image, having him sing to the camera, as well as having him in a fairly close shot presenting him as the protagonist of the narrative.

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This medium shot is also key due to it advancing the narrative, like most of them, this shot does this by showing the past version of his nemesis’ girlfriend, whom he had a crush on. In which a fight ensues.

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Finally, this medium close up is key to the music video because it almost completes the narrative, the fight that ensues due to Peter Parsons bragging, this fight ensues, before The Cat Empire ultimately lose the match. The mise-en-scene of this shot shows the chaos and fighting, possibly showing the struggle of The Cat Empire, but mostly just because they thought it was fun.

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Social Distortion – ‘Machine Gun Blues’ – Analysis

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Social Distortion are a punk rock band consisting of: ‘Mike Ness’ lead guitar and vocals, ‘Jonny Wikersham’ rhythm guitar and backing vocals, ‘Brent Harding’ bass and backing vocals, ‘David Hidalgo Jr.’ on drums and ‘David Kalish’ keyboard. However they have had a non stop rotation of members with Ness being the only consistent.

This video is shot out like a miniature film, set in “1934” with the band members being gangsters, named the ‘Blood & Sorrow Gang’, with their own nicknames: ‘Michael “Sick Boy” Ness’, ‘Jonny “Two Bags” Wikersham’, ‘Brent “Rock” Harding’, Dave “The Hammer” Hidalgo’ and ‘Dan “Knuckles” McGough’. We are introduced to the characters in the standard gangster manner, two getting their shoes shined, one waiting outside, one distracting others and one cleaning a car (most likely the getaway vehicle). The song doesn’t start until 1:51 but the build up is presented as a coordinated attack on a bank. The camera in this video is mostly handheld, making it shake reflecting the chaos towards the end of the video.

The video is primarily narrative based with intertwined performance parts, for example at 2:19 Ness is stood on top of the booths singing whilst holding a gun, intertwining the narrative and performance. The narrative is a stereotypical gangster film premise. Gangsters rob a bank (one has second thoughts but it’s too late for that) and run from the police, pay someone to stay quite and inevitably get caught and up dead.

Intertextuality is the basis for this video, due to the basis being that of gangster films, following Goodwin’s ‘Dancing in the Distraction Factory’ the gangster themes, mise-en-scene etc. focus on the repeat-ability despite this video being a short film, and allow the audience to notice similarities between this and ‘Goodfellas’ (as an example). On the other hand, symbolism isn’t used within this video, it’s very straightforward, it’s a miniature movie about gangster.

The camera at 1:34-1:39 shows a woman at the bank laying cash on the booth, then Ness pays ‘Johnny Rio-Ness’ for shining his shoes. Before the main sequence of events occur within this video, the viewer is shown this; giving them an idea that Ness will make that money back shortly, giving them an idea of what this video is about.1

At 1:57 there is a close up of Ness’ guitar case, this a gain links to the intertextuality/stereotypes of gangsters and parodies them, i.e. how they used violin cases to hold their guns, the parody is the guitar case.2

The editing throughout this video is fairly standard.

In terms of correlation between the music and the video, the diagetic sounds from the video transfer into the music video, for example the gunshots and screams are evident within the video.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Brendan’s Death Song’ – Analysis

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Red Hot Chili Peppers are an alternative rock band possibly most notable for their song ‘Californication’. The band consists of: Anthony Kiedis (Vocals), Chad Smith (Drums), Josh Klinghoffer (Guitar) and Flea (Bass). In an interview with FM, Anthony said that this song originates from a friend of the band’s who passed away, named Brendan (who’s surprised?) when they started with their new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.

The video itself, directed by Marc Clasfeld, is filmed in a Jazz Funeral style with an old camera style edit, making the video look as though it’s older than it is (being filmed in 2012) In the video there appears to be an entire village (shot in New Orleans) ravished with culture at the funeral, with the band leading the crowd, with some village members (all of which were played by fans)playing instruments (not heard).

Throughout the majority of the video, there is reference to symbolism. For example up until 2:27 Anthony is holding a can with a crow on it, a bird that has throughout time been linked to death. The flaming ‘Death Song’ could be linked to a cremation, and at 0:42 there is a mid shot of a child wearing clown makeup, in which the clown appears to be crying, representing the sadness of the village through the narrative and in actuality the sadness of the band.

At 1:58, the video breaks from its traditional funeral style and goes into the alt rock RHCP we love, in which the band members become manic in their movements (along with some of the ‘village members’).

1 At 2:27 the viewer can clearly see a burning ‘Death Song’ which portrays even greater that this song is in fact an homage to their friend.2.pngAnd then at 2:29 Anthony and Flea go shirtless, a common convention of their videos and style. 3The video then ends with a shot of the ‘village members’ sat with the band, suggesting a community strive with celebration of a friend. 

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The camera work in this video uses a large amount of close ups of either sad or emotionless ‘villagers’ ranging from the clown girl to an old man etc. At 0:50 the viewer sees a low angle shot of an old drummer along with a masked woman with a fan, which would have been common in the time it’s set. The low angle shot itself shows the contrast of the black of the funeral to the brightness of the sun, sad versus happy. At 1:05 there is a high angle shot of the coffin with graffiti on it, along with some villagers, this high angle shot can show that despite the graffiti Brendan was held highly in the community, this is suggested through the entire community walking next to/with the coffin.

In terms of editing, the video is rather plain, just regular cuts whenever they need to. However, at 1:08 there is a fade in to a close up of a woman with an umbrella which is a variation of most of the other cuts. This fade in could be seen as a sense of clarity, how mourning Brendan’s death won’t solve anything, leading to the manic session later in the video. However, at 2:29, the editing becomes quicker cutting between zooms of the members of the band being their ‘manic’ selves.

In terms of correlation between the music and the video, it’s about death and they’re at a funeral. So there’s that. When Anthony sings; ‘When the drummer drums he’s gonna play my song to carry me along’, when he sings ‘carry’ he says it cuts to a shot of the band riding a truck, presumably the one with the coffin on. Also when the lyrics say ‘Let me live, so when it’s time to die even the reaper cries’ there is an old man dancing, living life to the fullest.

The video for this song is primarily performance based, the members playing throughout, following a narrative. The narrative being someone in a community died and their funeral is taking place.

Gorillaz – ‘Clint Eastwood’ Analysis

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Gorillaz are an Indie Rock band. This is evident from the music video for their single ‘Clint Eastwood’. Gorillaz revolutionized the music video industry by, not only animating it, but giving their animated characters names, which are continuous throughout all of their songs. In the band there is the lead singer: ‘2-D’, the bassist and secondary singer ‘Noodles’, the drummer ‘Russel’ and the guitarist ‘Murdoc’. This music video is evidence that they are an Indie Rock band due to the fact that the animated characters show the fact that this video is a performance-based, a long with, in contradiction to ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, a very evident narrative.

In this music video, in which there are a bunch of prime apes dancing, there is no real link between the lyrics and the video, this is the same with the music.

The video for ‘Clint Eastwood’ does not include any voyeurism due to the fact that there is just the band, and the gorilla’s. This video also does not contain any intertextual references.

The use of the ‘camera’ in this video is used in such a way that shows the main theme of the video itself, as there is no real correlation between the music and visuals. The theme of the video is supposed to be comedic with an essence of gothic. The camera shows this by slowly zooming out when the grave’s appear. This gives the viewer a clear sense of the gothic and the bad that is about to happen to these characters.

Editing…

Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine analysis

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Guns N’ Roses are a Hard Rock band, you can tell this by, in the music video for ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ the fact that band are performing more than anything else, there is also fairly dark lighting when the video isn’t black and white. You can also tell that GNR are a Hard Rock band by the fact that they are in leather clothing, plus Axl has a head band.

This music video is mostly a performance based video, along with a hint of narrative. The video is performance-based due to the fact that we majority of what we see is the band performing. There is however a sense of narrative where, when talking about his ‘Sweet Child’ we see the woman that he is singing about.

The camera and editing in this music video is simplistic. The video cuts to the beat, so when the beat gets faster, the edits go with it. The most used type of edit in this video is a shot reverse shot. These cuts mostly go from Axl to Slash, and vise versa.

In this video, there isn’t much of a link between the video itself and the lyrics. This is mostly due to the video being performance-based. However, despite this there are two cases where the narrative is represented through the lyrics. This is where Axl sings “…break down and cry”, he makes a crying action on his face with his fingers. The other case is when he sings “She’s got eyes like the bluest skies”, the viewer sees the woman’s who he is singing about eyes.

The only relationship between the music and the video is where the edits get faster, when faster music is being played. IThey are cutting to the beat.

The motifs presented in this particular video are Slash’s top hat, shown whenever we see the guitarist, as well as Axl’s signature ‘dance’. In this video there is also reference to the fact that the viewer is supposed to be looking at this performance, this is due to a different camera being in shot to the one that is filming at that moment in time. This shows that the band is being watched. In this video there are not any intertextual references.

This particular music video is a performance-based video, along with a hint of narrative-based visuals.