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.