Monday, 23 September 2013

MJ: Music Video Technical Analysis

Avril Lavigne - Rock N Roll (Piliero, 2013)
Song begins at 40 seconds
Time frame: 0:40-1:20
Duration: 3secs
Techniques: Handicam glides in towards Lavigne as she walks towards camera. The camera then glides backwards.
Mise-en-scene: Shot begins with comic book style writing of the track name, Lavigne as well as the videos director, Chris Marrs Piliero. Lavigne's costume is relatively similar to Tank Girl from the comic book of the same name, she is located at a diner in a desert.
Duration: 3secs
Techniques: Long shot of characters, however they are out of focus with a much closer samurai sword in focus.
MES: One of the characters wears a full leather suit with his face covered by a mask (Slipknot's Sid Wilson) as the other kneels on the ground wearing much brighter colours (Billy Zane). A comic book narration board covers the bottom right hand of the screen explaining what is going on.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: Close-up (CU) on Zane's face.
MES: Billy Zane's costume is a mix of steampunk and explorer and speech is written in bold letters, adding to the comic book style.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: Low angle CU from the other side allows audience to see both Zane and Wilson.
MES: Bold green letters appear to show that Wilson's character is speaking.
Duration: .5sec
Techniques: Extreme CU (XCU) of chest
MES: This shot shows a guitar pick penchant on Zane's chest. The gold colour of the buzz saw blade is amplified due to the rest of his dull, sand coloured clothes.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: Same long shot of the dune
MES: The wind picks up, blowing both characters capes as well as a ribbon on the sword. Big green letters appear again as Wilson pulls out a gun to Zane's head.
Duration: 1.5secs
Techniques: Comic book panelling cartoon of the laser gun firing.
MES: The guitar pick penchant is shown being blasted from Zane's chest as the large red ZAP fills the screen.
Duration: .5sec
Techniques: Mid shot, camera crabs past props
MES: The props consist of three metal barrels and a board covered in posters of the antagonist (the focus of the shot) .
Duration: .5sec
Techniques: CU of more props
MES: A stereotypical pirate flag is draped across an old television.
Duration: .5sec
Techniques: Mid shot (MS) pedding down.
MES: Another poster of the antagonist with a bright green cross on his face, the view is partially blocked by an old jerry can.
Duration: 5secs
Techniques: MS, camera glides around in a more steady handicam style
MES: Lavigne, in her Tank Girl costume, sits on top of a classic American muscle car, she reaches out to the camera in a first person mode of address.
Duration: 3secs
Techniques: Long shot animated diner.
MES: Classic American diner with fans on the ceiling and people sat in cubicles.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: Medium long shot tracks in.
MES: Lavigne is sat inside a cubicle opposite another girl, dressed in diamonds, and next to a fanged hound.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: CU static shot, eye line with characters.
MES: The dog is dressed in an orange shirt with a stripy tie. The lighting is darker inside to show that the diner is a haven from the desert.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: CU with a slow pan.
MES: The other girl's fashion is shown to be based on gypsy fashion, with a diamond tiara and large hooped earrings with extremely dark make-up around the eyes.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: Long shot, camera peds up and crabs left simultaneously.
MES: The audience are shown the range of people in the diner, with their odd sense of fashion and headgear. Everyone is shows to be in a darker patch of the diner whilst Lavigne is lit up by the little light that has entered.
Duration: 1.5secs
Techniques: CU static shot
MES: Lavigne has a disgusted look on her face as she stands up from the table (moving out of shot) to whatever is bothering her.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: High angle mid shot of diner booth
MES: We see Lavigne getting up from a different angle.
Duration: .5sec
Techniques: Mid shot pedding up.
MES: Lavigne stands face to face with another girl, who is dressed in a waitress-style white shirt and black tie. Lavigne is shown to be slightly taller, symbolising power. Post-production lens flare partially covers the screen.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: CU shot tilting up.
MES: The tilt allows us to see the white-shirted girl's costume in full view, the tilt begins at her green trousers and comes up to show her confused look.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: CU tracking in.
MES: Lavigne dances outside the diner.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: Mid shot tracking back.
MES: Lavigne approaches the camera, with attitude.
Duration: 2secs
Techniques: Mid shot tracking out and then back in.
MES: Lavigne dances whilst being sat on the bonnet of the car.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: CU static cam.
MES: Eye line shot of Lavigne as she shakes her head in disgust at the other girls clothing.
Duration: 1sec
Techniques: CU tracking out.
MES: Lavigne breaks the fourth wall, pointing directly at the camera as she sings.
Duration: .5sec
Techniques: XCU on Lavigne's hand.
MES: Lavigne holds a small device which turns out to be a flick knife.
Duration: 3secs
Techniques: CU with slight cut.
MES: POV shot from the waitresses perspective as Lavigne slices just below the screen. The words "SLICE" and "SNIKT" etc pop up from the bottom of the screen in a comic book fashion. Lavigne then steps backs, looking proud of what she has just done.
Image of Tank Girl

  • From this music video I have found that the singer takes up about 85% of the shots and is heavily focussed upon within most of them, for example when Lavigne is shown outside the diner and the camera tracks in and out the camera is always focussed on Lavigne and always returns to her.
  • The shots in the video tend to never reach over 5 seconds and there are very few that are that long, most of the shots are around 1 second long with many shots in-between being less than that.
  • Due to the comic book style of the video it is very faced paced, and the camera helps create that feeling with the sense of gliding around characters and it's quick, jumpy movements.
  • The rule of thirds is used when Lavigne faces up to the girl in the white shirt, in which the two of the are placed in the two outer thirds with a slight gap in the middle. Another place in which the rule is used is when Lavigne is outside the diner and on her left we can see part of the muscle car in the right thirds.
  • Most of the transitions within the video for Rock N Roll are done through the use of the animated parts, for example when Wilson shoots Zane we are shown the comic book graphic and then we move straight to Lavigne's part of the story.
  • Make-up is used heavily during the video, for example Lavigne has a red stripe across her cheek which is a reference to Tank Girl, and her girlfriend has heavy eye make-up. This is interesting as it adds to the characters personalities and tells you a little about the character already, as the red stripe resembles anarchy on Lavigne and deep, dark eye make-up shows the mystery of a gypsy.

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