A2 Music Video Deconstruction- Blink 182

BLINK 182- UP ALL NIGHT

Everyone wants to call it all around our life with a better name.
Everyone falls and spins and gets up again with a friend who does the same.
Everyone lies and cheats their wants and needs and still believes their heart.
And everyone gets the chills, the kind that kills when the pain begins to start.

Let me get this straight, do you want me here?
As I struggle through each and every year.
And all these demons, they keep me up all night.
They keep me up all night.
They keep me up all night.

Everyone’s cross to bears the crown they wear on endless holiday.
Everyone raises kids in a world that changes life to a bitter game.
Everyone works and fights, stays up all night to celebrate the day.
And everyone lives to tell the tale of how we die alone someday.

Let me get this straight, do you want me here?
As I struggle through each and every year.
And all these demons, they keep me up all night.
They keep me up all night
They keep me up all night
They keep me up all night
They keep me up all night

LYRICS AND NARRATIVE:
My interpretation of the lyrics is about the lead singer not being able to sleep or can’t stop thinking, which is a pain; he is talking about people’s goals in life, and what they go through to get there. From personal knowledge of the band he is referring to the bands recent reunion and in this song he appears to be expressing his uncertainty as to whether their fans want the band back. The demons that he’s referring to in the song are his problems and what’s on his mind. It seems to be affecting important people to him… he says ‘let me get this straight do you want me here’ this again is reflecting his doubt of being welcomed back by the bands fans after such a long split.

In the video the band members are conveying this message in a juxtaposed way; the actors included in the video are carefree and having a good time, though the song is serious and talking about thoughtful problems that the band are dealing with.

In this video the actors don’t particularly play and important role in the narrative of the song as they do not relate to the lyrics involved. They add a stylistic element to the video however and promote the bands ethos of being young and having a good time enjoying life.

The elements of abstraction in this song are that the lyrics could have more than one meaning, some people may be unsure as to who the song is about and whether it is a made up scenario or something the band have experienced them.

The themes in this video/song are doubt, confusion and insecurity; these themes are relevant to the lyrics as the themes are reflected and relate to the lyrics.

COSTUME/MAKEUP:
The costumes in the video are unique; at the start of the video the actor is wearing an astronaut helmet and a cape. This implies surrealist elements to the video or a dream like setting, which is reflected in the song ‘up all night’ as the dreams could be coming reality in the video. Other costumes in the video include a frog mask, tiara and tutu, Viking hat etc.

The elements of fancy dress/fantasy in the costumes used in the video express the bands free spirit and flippant attitude, this is a recurring theme in their songs and videos.

The costumes are relevant to the narrative of the song but in a contrasting way, the location of the video is in a desolate suburban area where chaos seems to have reigned and everything is ruined, smashed and on fire… this reflects the state of mind that the song is talking about and the location of the video is very relevant to the message and meaning of the song.

PERFORMANCE:
In the video the band perform live in the deserted suburban neighbourhood in abandoned houses and in the street, they also have minor roles as actors in the video. This suggests that the song is about the band and was written about their personal experiences as opposed to another person’s. It is a typical feature in their videos for them to perform their music. The emotions that are conveyed are apprehension, nervousness and excitement this is because the band are worried about how their fans will react to their new album and how they have musically progressed. These emotions are presented by the band member’s jumpy and restless performance in the video.
The actors in the video are having a good time, this is relevant to the artist because they aren’t a sombre band and they like to have fun. The emotions that the actors display in the video are happiness, untroubled and cheerful; this is shown by them laughing and smiling with each other.

CAMERA WORK/LIGHTING:
The handheld camera in the video at 00:20 suggests that the band members have been captured in a spontaneous performance and that it isn’t planned and organised. The canted shot at 00:55 implies that something is wrong, we can assume that the chaotic environment throughout the video is the reason for this element of camera work.

The camera styles are driven by the narrative and performance because at 01:45 the handheld tracking of the teenage boy skating inside a house shows that the whole concept of the video is impulsive chaos and anarchy, it gives the effect that someone just grabbed a camera and was filming random things.  

At the start of the video the location establishing shot of the boy riding a bike shows that he is in a suburban neighbourhood at night time, the next shot is a situation establishing shot of the same boy avoiding debris while the only light source is presumed to be from a helicopter spot light. This aids the style of the video because the video isn’t meant to be a tidy, choreographed circumstance… its intended to be a video based on turmoil and pandemonium, very much like the rock scene.

EDITING/SPECIAL FX:
At the start of the video there are non-musical elements of the boy riding his bike and a dog barking, this sets the scene in the video as we are expecting something to happen soon.

There is slow motion at 00:35 where there is a crowd of teenagers running down the debris filled street, there is smoke obscuring part of the crowd and the actors are holding objects but they don’t look threatening or menacing. The slow motion adds a sense of excitement to the video and it is there so that the audience has time to acknowledge the crowd.  

The pace of the editing is with the tempo of the song because while the songs tempo is fast the edit pace is also fast and when the tempo of the song decreases so does the edit pace.

REPRESENTATION:
The voyeurism included in this veide is at 01:26 where the couple are kissing, there is nobody around at this point so the assumption is that what the camera is seeing nobody else is meant to see.

The video has not intended or designed for either the ‘male gaze’ or the ‘female gaze’ because it is simply telling a story from a neutral point of view and the band doesn’t want to isolate a specific gender.

The band are represented as being one of the teenage actors in the video, they are dressed the same and at one point 01:51 the lead guitarist is stood posing on top of a moving car. However they are isolated in their locations throughout the video so they aren’t directly joining in with the destruction of the neighbourhood.

The target audience is represented as being reckless, wild and carefree because the video is endorsing the behaviour of the actors and showing them having a good time and presumably the target audience wouldn’t be offended or shocked by what they are seeing.   

TARGET AUDIENCE:
The rebellious activity of the band in the video will attract the target audience because in the rock genre it is presumed that nobody follows rules and having a good time is more important that being good.

The clothing worn by the band is similar to what the target audience will be wearing, this could also influence them to agree with the bands actions and attract them to watch the video and share it with friends. The morals of the actors and band members in the video are probably the same as the intended target audience’s morals; do what you want if you want to do it.

INTER-TEXT-UALITY:
Throughout the video there are references to the band members clothing line, in the video the lead singer Tom Delonge is wearing a top that says on it ‘Macbeth’ at 01:02  this is the name of his clothing line and it is an item from his clothing line. During the scenes where the teenage boys are skateboarding in the house at 01:01 some of them are wearing tops from the ‘Famous Stars and Straps’ clothing line which belongs to the band’s drummer Travis Barker.

These references do not aid the narrative or performance of the band, but it may aid the sales of these clothing items. The only people who will get the references are fans of the band who know about their clothing lines. The reference isn’t there to attract a target audience or suggest a way of life or attitude towards something; it is solely there to support the band and clothing lines.

Advertisements

A2 Music Video Deconstruction – Rise Against

RISE AGAINST- PRAYER OF A REFUGEE

Warm yourself by the fire, son,
And the morning will come soon.
I’ll tell you stories of a better time,
In a place that we once knew.

Before we packed our bags
And left all this behind us in the dust,
We had a place that we could call home,
And a life no one could touch.

Don’t hold me up now,
I can stand my own ground,
I don’t need your help now,
You will let me down, down, down!

Don’t hold me up now,
I can stand my own ground,
I don’t need your help now,
You will let me down, down, down!

Down!

We are the angry and the desperate,
The hungry, and the cold,
We are the ones who kept quiet,
And always did what we were told.

But we’ve been sweating while you slept so calm,
In the safety of your home.
We’ve been pulling out the nails that hold up
Everything you’ve known.

Don’t hold me up now,
I can stand my own ground,
I don’t need your help now,
You will let me down, down, down!

Don’t hold me up now,
I can stand my own ground,
I don’t need your help now,
You will let me down, down, down!

So open your eyes child,
Let’s be on our way.
Broken windows and ashes
Are guiding the way.

Keep quiet no longer,
We’ll sing through the day,
Of the lives that we’ve lost,
And the lives we’ve reclaimed.

Go!

Don’t hold me up now,
I can stand my own ground,
I don’t need your help now,
You will let me down, down, down!

Don’t hold me up now,
I can stand my own ground,
I don’t need your help now,
You will let me down, down, down!

Don’t hold me up…
(I don’t need your help, I’ll stand my ground)
Don’t hold me up…
(I don’t need your help)
No! No! No!
Don’t hold me up!
(I don’t need your help, I’ll stand my ground)
Don’t hold me up!
(I don’t need your help, I’ll stand my ground)
Don’t let me down, down, down, down, down!

 

LYRICS AND NARRATIVE:
The song begins with a conversation between a refugee and his son. The refugee talks about the good life he, and his people, once had, but no longer do. The chorus is the refugee calling out; saying not to help him, as carrying himself is all he has left. He says that all those who have tried to “help” in the past have merely let him down again.
The next verse is about how these refugees are quietly trying to change the world in the background, in subtle ways. In the final verse, he tells the son to step out and change the world for the better. The song is against many practices used as a result of capitalism in the United States. It depicts workers of all ages and nationalities creating or packaging items in foreign lands, then placing stickers that say “Made in USA” and/or American flag stickers.

In the video there are scenes of young children and foreign people making and packaging goods such as shoes, bananas, jeans, and remote controlled cars. It ends with scenes of the foreign people placing ‘Made In USA’ and American flag labels on packaged boxes, this acting is conveying the message of fair trade, this however doesn’t relate directly to the lyrics or song meaning.

In this particular video the actors play an important role because without them the bands message about fair trade and equal rights wouldn’t be illustrated accurately.

The elements of abstraction in this song is that the lyrics could have more than one meaning, some may perceive the narrative as a refugee talking to his son while others may think it is the lead singers personal experiences.

The themes in this video/song are society, government, power, loss, pride… these themes are relevant to the lyrics as the themes are reflected and relate to the lyrics. The band commonly sing about important political issues including war, fair trade, the government etc. but they themselves haven’t experienced any discrimination, judgement or mistreatment.

COSTUME/MAKEUP:
The band members and actors costume in the video aren’t any branded or designer expensive clothes, this illustrates the narrative of the video about the fair trade message. It also shows that the band isn’t concerned with image and their lyrics and music are what’s important.

This expresses the meaning of the artist because it shows that they aren’t solely concerned with themselves and that they care about others. They want to make songs that have a deeper meaning to them and others.

The costumes are relevant to the narrative because refugees don’t go round wearing designer clothes, they have the bare necessities to wear; just like people in less economically developed countries.

PERFORMANCE:
In the video the band is performing live in an empty grocery store, this is a typical feature for the rock genre as the music is the most important element for the artists. This performance is relevant to the lyrics because the lead singer is talking directly to someone, so having him physically singing in the video is vital.
The actors are relevant to the theme and narrative of the video because the videos message is about fair trade and how America take credit for the work other countries do. The actors are acting out the lives of people in third world countries who are working hard though they put ‘made in the USA’ stickers on the items they are making/packaging for other countries to consume.

CAMERA WORK/LIGHTING:
The video includes low angle camera shots to intensify what the song lyrics are about and make them visually more important as well as lyrically more important and meaningful. At the point 01:59 in the video the editor has rotated the low angle wide shot of the lead singer performing while walking down the isle of the supermarket, the reason for this is to make the audience notice that the rotation of the shot wasn’t right and hopefully link it to the meaning of the video that things aren’t right with society and global affairs. During the video there are also shots where the camera is bouncing around at 00:44, this is to emphasize the style of music the band create as it matches the tempo and rhythm.

The camera styles are driven by the performance and narrative in the video, at the point 02:43 there is arching camera movement to emphasise the speed and pace of the song, it is also reflected in the lyrics because the singer is repeating himself and shouting louder as if he is frustrated that no one is listening to his message. The sped up arching shot adds excitement and makes the audience feel dizzy due to the speed and style of the song, this could have been driven by the artist and their musical genre/style.

The camera work aids the style of the video as there is a fast pace to the cuts when the music picks up, this matches the speed of the song and the excited enthusiastic performance of the band. The stop edit zooming at 00:55 used in the video, when the camera is focusing on the products in the shop, enhances the style of music because rock music is very loud and jumpy. This style of zooming would not look as effective in a slow soft pop song because it isn’t relevant to the sound of the music.

EDITING/SPECIAL FX:
In the video there are slight colourization changes in the shots where the camera is looking at the actors who are supposed to be in other countries, this heightened contrast is adding a surreal element to the video that suggests a different situation from the world we know.

These same scenes are also in slow motion, this again reinforces the idea of a surreal element being included in the video because not only are these countries far away from us physically but the way they operate is far away from countries like Britain and the USA.

This aids the narrative because it defines the distinction between the actors in dark factories and warehouses and the band members performing in a clean, shiny store.

The pace of the editing is with the tempo of the song because while the songs tempo is fast the edit pace is also fast and when the tempo of the song decreases so does the edit pace.

REPRESENTATION:
There is voyeurism in the video because usually the actors representing foreign workers would not be filmed because the conditions and lack of recognition for their work is not something companies want to be publicized.

The video isn’t designed for either the ‘male gaze’ or the ‘female gaze’ because it is simply telling a story from a neutral point of view and the band doesn’t want to isolate a specific gender.

The band are represented as concerned for the foreigners working abroad who aren’t getting the acknowledgment that they deserve because their performance and attitude in the video is destructive and implies that they are frustrated. The props in the video are hit, thrown around and smashed to again reinforce the idea that the band members are aggravated and annoyed due to the ill-treatment of the foreign actors in the video, this is supported by the props being made to spell out ‘fair trade’ at the end of the video.

The target audience isn’t represented in the video but we assume that the band expect the target audience to agree with them.

TARGET AUDIENCE:
The rebellious activity of the band in the video will attract the target audience because in the rock genre it is presumed that nobody follows rules and having a good time is more important that being good.

The clothing worn by the band is similar to what the target audience will be wearing, this could also influence them to agree with the bands actions and attract them to watch the video and share it with friends. The location of the video could be somewhere like ‘Wal-Mart’ which is somewhere that all of the target audience will be familiar with and this implies that the band are just like their fans going to the same places.

INTER-TEXT-UALITY:
The American flag patterned jumper in the video and the huge American flag backdrop is a clear reference to America.

It suggests that in the narrative the country they are blaming is America because their flag is the only one included in the video. This is reinforced when the ‘Made in USA’ stickers are put on the boxes of items made by the foreign actors in the video.

The particular audience that will get this reference is most likely Americans because they will notice if they see the flag of their country.

It could be seen that the band are attempting to get Americans to agree with their views of American society and government systems.