Thursday, 30 September 2010

Laura Marling - My Manic and I Video Analysis

Laura Marling - My Manic and I

The Reason I chose this video to analyse is because, I like how the director has managed to mix, live action and animation together. Also how the video plays along with the lyrics well and tells a story almost. The grainy effect that the video has is almost like what you get on a film when it is starting wear, which I think is quite effective and different to modern day music videos. Her genre of music is folk rock/ alternative, which is why she is playing a guitar as a bit of live action and to put emphasis on the genre by including it. As it is vital in most videos set to this sort of genre . The live action part of the video looks to be set in an old house which goes with the style of the video, as I think what they were going for was sort of an old English look. The animation I think brings the quirkiness into the video, as of like mixing up the old with the new, which will never be out dated as it has all the elements a music video, for this type of genre needs, I like how it has also been kept to be quite simple, as it makes it easier to follow the narrative of the lyrics she is singing. The video reminds me of a fairytale as it has that feeling about it, with hoe the animation is and telling a little melodic story. Looking at her other music they all mostly follow key element of putting links from the lyrics into visual, guitar or other instrumental playing and lead singer, in a basic and diverse way.

The styling of the video is very much distinguishable with it's old English style. The effects of an old film add the authenticity of it as well. The dress that she is wearing is very feminine and almost 18th century like. The animation style follows up on the live action, with how the framing of it is like a Punch and Judy theatre box, that adds quirkiness and authenticity of that style and era that she is trying to capture in the video.

The opening of the song i really like, as it gets you straight into the song with how she is sitting in that grand chair and playing the guitar, is the first contact with the artist that grabs you. I think this it is a good way to start the video. Also straight in with the authentic film effects. Five seconds in the video you are introduced to the animation side of it and the beginning lyrics, ' He wants to die in a lake in Geneva, the mountains can cover the shape of his nose', the visuals are already visualising the lyrics making that connection between the two, which follows up on Andrew Goodwins theory.

I like it at 1:01 when she steps out of the room and into the animation. The way that they have mixed up the real and animation is a real strong point of the video, as it does grab you in. All the way through the video you can see clear connections between the visuals and lyrics. Also the instrumental connection of the guitar. You can see that Goodwins theory is strong in this video.

Music and Visuals
Like I mentioned before there are real deep connections between the music and visuals of the video, be it the way the narrative of the video tells a story with the lyrics, making a strong connection or the guitar playing. in any sort of folk/indie/rock video there will be a live performance with instruments and the singers as it gives that real feel to the artist and video. The animation in the video is really effective and is well balanced with the realistic footage of the video. The video flows well even with the animation in it as it all makes sense with the lyrics . Though if you were to mute it you would most likely be able to tell that the is a strong narrative with it.


The genre of the music, that I have mentioned before is folk rock. I think that the way that it has been represented in this video is by how they have included live performance of her playing a guitar, like in most of her videos she is seen playing a instrument, mostly a acoustic guitar. The video is slow paste with the way it cuts between each clip, which goes with this sort of folk style as a quite mellow style which is similar to indie.

Shot Type/ Iconography

The camera movement/ shots are pretty simple. There isn't a lot of close up shots but they aren't really needed as she is the only person in the video, so there isn't any need to have close ups. There is use of a crane shot, when she is laying in the bath, which i like as it gives you a different perspective from the normal. In the animation there is a lot more close ups of the characters. I like how they have mixed together the real body on the singer and put her animated head over, as it's like she wants to be in her fairytale world but she can't as she says in the lyrics, 'i don't believe in fairytale end'

There is no voyeurism in this video as it a folk genre and isn't desired in that sort of way. Also it is pretty serious and has a strong narrative to it. It's representation of both genders is well balanced I think as there is a male character in the animation. The lyrics and video itself tie into together really well.  

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ellie Goulding - Guns and Horses Video Analysis

Ellie Goulding - Guns and Horses

I chose this video because I like the palette of colours, greens,blues and whites. Also I think that the video has made good use of the song lyrics and the narrative of it. There is a range of slow and fast past cuts which goes well with the music. There is a range of different camera movement and angles also, which include establishing shots, close ups, medium, long and tacking, are just some of the shots that have been used in this video. Close ups are a key point to the video, particully of the lead singer as she is put in the spot light more, which takes the importance of the dancers out of the equation. The way that the dancers are dressed in military uniforms is similar to 18th century based costumes, also the horse at the start and the guns have a relation to the lyrics of '' we've got our guns and horses''. Though because it is more of a pop track there are no musical or live performance, but the dancers perform a routine to the music, which amplifies it in a way with  how it has been choreographed to the music it isn't any random dance. I like the effects of the mist, it is sort of like smoke from a fire which again can relate to the lyrics. ''I know you've been burnt, but every fire is a lesson learnt''. The lighting is quite dim with lots of high contrast, though the singer is highlighted at times to bring her out more. Again relating to the lyrics '' cause I'm standing in the dark''.The lighting is quite dark in a manner of some areas of the video, which does relate back to the lyrics and at that point of time her surroundings are black/navy colours, which are dark.

The opening scene is 3 clips, establishing the location of a forest and of course a horse, the first visual that relates to the title of the song. I like how each clip changes at the change of the guitar playing, it puts emphasis on the transition between the clips. Which then a sharp transition into a clip that is an opening were the artist is standing, that is an establishing shot, slowly moving towards her, which the movement of the camera is in time of the music. The slow movement of the camera emphasis the lyrics ''you move so fast, makes me feel lazy'' .

I like how in some of the video it looks like she is looking for something which builds up to this big climax were suddenly she finds what she is looking for and then the flowers start to rise. Which makes it magical in a scene. '' its time that we found out who we are'', The visual relates to her searching about in the forest, like she is trying to find herself metaphorically. When it comes to the climax, the camera angle is tilting up which makes her seem more important, also the way that she is holding her hands up and her tilting her head up emphasises the music.

There are a lot more close ups of the singer than the dancers, this is the iconography of the singer. Also she is lip syncing quite a lot through the video which shows a lot of her passion through the video. Also she does it in most of her videos so this is a main concept  for the singer. Because she is quite a indie pop genre of music so can dance to it but not as mental as you would be if it was a dance/electro track. I like the tracking shots of the singer as you can see is trying to look for something.

This video has been quite stylised with the dancers wearing 18th century like military uniforms and shots with them with guns and swords in some clips in the video. Also they have white skin and quite dark eyes like they are dead but come back alive. They start dancing at the chorus which is when the song really kicks in. There are clips were a dancer does a solo piece with a sward/gun which puts emphasis on the whole military style of the video to make it a bit old fashioned. The first time the chorus is sung the female group dance, a second time is just the males and then at the end they all come together, which balances it out nicely, as it represents both genders as a whole to be aimed at the audience. The way that the singer is styled is different and more modern to now, which makes her stand out. The checked shirt, black leggings and boots, is rather a representation of the indie style. As she is dressed differently it shows that she is more of the key point of the video.

The last point I want to make is the whole lighting as it does look quite natural. At the start when we first see the singer, there are rays of sun light coming through the trees, almost creating a spotlight for the singer. Also adds to the nice forest landscape, which creates an almost eerie feeling. When the camera is tracking is like the light is following her as she is stepping through the forest. Also in the dancing scenes the light shining through the trees does create nice spotlights on the ground which do highlight them. Another point in the video  that i think is important value for the whole lighting of the video is when the climax happens, you can see the sun beaming through and creating a direct spotlight on her which does emphasis the moment.

Music and Visuals
I like how the video has been stylised in a way to the 18th century military, like I have mentioned before as it does link in a way to the lyrics by it being guns and horses and how she is fighting for someone back. The cuts of each clip goes in time with the music, some clips are fast than others which is effective. Especially when going backward and forwards from each clip, which I find effective.At the beginning there is a white horse and it pops up again at 1:28 reminding us that it has relevance to the video, but it is disguised by the white mist.

They have done a good job in mixing the two styles together which are indie and pop, though indie is more mellow than what pop is when the artists are more jumping about and have a choreographed dance for them selves. But with this video the singer does her own thing, getting really into the heart of the song, as she looks like she is putting everything into it. Whilst the dancers are dancing a well choreographed dance, which looks to me that they are trying to tell the lyrics through the dancing as well, which I think is effective as it doesn't make the dancing seem pointless and only there for show to make the video more appealing to it's audience. 


Like I have mentioned a couple times, the genre is Indie Pop and I think it is represented well in this video. The forest is quite mellow, which make it calm in a relaxing way but there is added quirkyness to the video with the dancers and the singer doing there own thing. The singer is dress in an indie style manner so it fits in with her own singing style. Green, blues, blacks and whites is the sort of colour palette of an indie style. There isn't any instruments as they are rather irrelevant with how they wouldn't fit in with the pop side of it.The dancing is quite contemporary as the movements try to imitate the lyrics of the song, so it isn't full on jumping about fast paste movements, though does give that pop element to it.

Shot types and Iconography

The close up shots of the singer is really good way of communicating her to the viewer as a way of advertising the song. I like the use of the tracking shots when it looks like she is trying to find something and is wondering about the forest, which gives the video that eerie feeling, with the effect of the fog lurking about. When the dancers come in, the camera is still focusing on the singer, keeping her central to the composition of the shot. There are scenes were the angle of the camera changes. An important angle is when it is at a low angle from the floor, making the singer look more powerful and important. I also like how the camera circles around as I think it is a good way of emphasising the shot.
There is partially some voyeurism in this video. Just the female dancers are wearing short shorts which shows off a lot of leg, which would grab a males attention to the video certainly. Apart from that it is all clean and pretty serious in a way that the video has been shot. Also the dancing between the two genders at the end is pretty much clean as there is no booty shaking just contemporary dancing, almost imitating the 18th century way of dancing.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

City and Colour - The Girl Video Analysis

City and Colour - The Girl

The reason I chose this music video is because it is quite different to an ordinary video. This is because it is split into two sections. The first half of the song is filmed footage, going along with a narrative, and the second half is a live performance, though the first part looks like a live performance too but has more of a narrative behind it. The first part of the video I like how he is changing places but is still sitting in the same sort of position as he was to start off with but in a different location. This could be a reference to the song lyrics, of like places of memories he could of had with this 'girl' he is singing about. Also the line ' Where I'm off chasing my own dreams', could be referring to his guitar and career in music and that is why he is always playing in the video as to make a point. Also another thing with the guitar is a lot of the time the camera is focusing on him playing it, which backs up the idea of music being his dream. In this half the guitar is the key point that the director is trying to emphasis on mostly, but does keep to the relevance of the actual song.

The second part, is unusual for a music video, but I think that is what gives its originality to it. It still sticks to the live performance. Though I like how the colour has been changed to black and white, which splits it up , but carries on the song, which is in a more of an up beat rhythm than what the first section was. Also there is an actual audience and more people playing instruments. It is almost like the credits of a movie were they play out takes whilst scrolling the names of actors and people who helped put it together. Which makes it look like he was telling a narrative to the song.
 The first opening shot focuses on the guitar, which goes straight to the key point of the video. The way the camera slowly pulls away to show more of the guitar and then moves to the right. And then instead of moving further back it goes straight to another shot of were they are, which is a forest area it seems. The it goes back to the guitar but does reveal the singer, which is also times to when he starts singing. The way that he is sitting there playing his guitar and singing is like he is playing in front of an audience. When the woman walks past there is no direct connection between him playing and her walking as she doesn't look at him nor does he look up. Which symbolises in the video that he's away chasing his dream and she is there on her own. Also is like he's not really there singing and playing his guitar. Though as the video goes on he is still in the same sort of position through out, which could be that he is somewhere else but we can just seem him in these places.

There are only two major close ups that keep appearing as I've said before the guitar and also the main singer, as trying to communicate the lead singer with the audience. Though the video is quite repetitive which makes it simple, which gives a clear representation of the message that the video is putting out with its narrative. As the first part of the video is the most repetitive of how it's composition of each shot is quite similar to each other. Which makes you pay more attention to the lyrics that are being sung. With the close ups, it focuses on the object then pans out with an establishing shot on like everything is moving away from him.
The lines ' If you were to leave, full fill someone else's dreams, I think I might totally be lost' Which were the camera moves down into shot of the singer again but is not as close to the normal shots, which refers to the lyrics in a way as he is on his own in a room but only has a mirror to reflect himself. The mirror could also symbolise the way that he is reflection on his own love and in places of memory like I have mentioned earlier. Also the clips towards the end of the first section, how they move in, instead of out, which is like revisiting were he has been before.

The last point I want to make is the second part of the video were it picks up the pace more. This part is a lot more informal to what the first part was. As is like a gathering but still there are odd parts were clips earlier in the video are shown as well along side the black and white clips. This breaks the conventions of music videos as a whole, which makes it unique amongst the rest. The way that it is shot as well is a lot more cheerful, as it is a more of a live performance to an actual audience. There are still close ups of the main singer which still puts him in the spot light of the video. This finishes the video nicely as a climax to the song.

Music and Visuals
 The way that the video is set out is effective. Although there isn't much of a narrative to it, the lyrics and the video do work together to tell something. The live performance on his own in the first section of the video is more formal and thought about. And the second section is complete different yet still a live performance. The guitar and the switching of places really are the key points of the video.

For the first half of the video the way that each scene is cut goes in time with the music and is slow past so it is more of a flow. Although few of the clips have a graduated transition between them which is over layering, this is quite effective as it slowly introduces the next clip. When it comes to the second half it is a more fast pace so the cut between clips is a lot faster which works as well.

It defiantly has an acoustic feel to it, because of the way he is sitting there with a guitar and singing and in the same position all the way through the first section of the song. Which goes well with the slow pace of that section of the song. Also the way that there isn't anyone else a part from two short clips, gives the main focus on the artist. The second section he is though, with other people which totally changes the feel of the song as it is more fast temp and he is also standing up too with a bit more movement.


Like I said before you can defiantly tell that this is an acoustic song, because of the guitar is a major point in the video and there isn't any more instruments until the second section of the song. Also as the first section is slow paste, and he is sitting down, which normally during live performance if it is an acoustic set you are normally sat down, to put more effort into the piece. Close up of the guitar and him playing put emphasis on to the genre. Normally in other genres such as club and pop this element is irrelevant to it, how ever it does has a lot of significance on an a acoustic or rock sort of video.

Shot types/ Iconography

There are a lot of close up shots used in all of the video, mainly on the singer and guitar playing, as it is important that the singer is communicated and is shown the most. Another shot used a lot is the establishing shot either moving in or out of shot emphasising the scene a lot more. The way that the camera does move away from the singer, having relevance to the lyrics, 'While I'm off chasing my own dreams' is like he is.

The is no voyeurism in this song as it's a pretty serious video and any sort of dancing and girls half naked would totally ruin it anyway. There is no need for there to be any attention but put on the artist.