Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Russian Roulette - Rihanna (analysis)

The music video has been shot in four different settings. It is primarily narrative-based, featuring Rihanna, who plays Russian roulette with her lover. It is thought to be a metaphor of taking a risk of being in a relationship and which ends abruptly. This somewhat reflects an incident that happened with Rihanna and her ex boyfriend, Chris Brown. However Rihanna and the director of the video decided to make the story of two lovers playing a dangerous game, the subplot. 

The main genres of the song are pop and R&B. At the beginning of the video we are able to hear diegetic sounds such as the the fan turning and something beeping, possibly from the controls. The sounds are echoing and work with the visuals, becoming louder as the cutting gets faster.

These are the four different scenes that the video has been shot in. 

 The video starts off with Rihanna in a gas chamber, being watched by three guards through a window. The scene then moves to another room in the prison in which Rihanna and her lover sit at a table. Between them on the table is a gun. The room is dim lit with two lamps on the walls.

This is another scene in which Rihanna is standing alone in a deserted wood, where a car is  approaching toward her at high speed running her over. The scene has been shot at night, and so it is quite dark.
This is the last scene in the video, showing Rihanna floating in water, getting shot several times. There is a light source shining from above her, as you are able to see the rays of the light. Throughout the sequence there is a use of cross-cutting between the different scenes. The cutting flows with the beat of the song.

This is another shot of Rihanna in the gas chamber lying on the floor. I think the way the lighting has been done in this shot is really clever, with it shining through a hole in the wall focusing on Rihanna, illuminating her. In this frame the spotlight slowly moves as she gradually lifts her head up. The chamber looks dark and claustrophobic adding to the eeriness of the video.

I really liked the way one frames faded out into another. On the left we see the scene in which the revolver is being passed between the two, and on the right we are able to Rihanna in the gas chamber looking quite creepy.

Here we see blood dripping out of her chest as though she has been shot. At this point these lyrics are sung:
'And you can see my heart beating
Oh, you can see it through my chest 
Said I'm terrified, but I'm not leaving...'
This shows that there is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals.

During this point in the video there is a change in the tempo of the song changes. The cross-cutting becomes faster. This is an example of where frames have been used on top of other frames, to create a complicated effect, portraying Rihanna's emotions. There is also a relationship between the music and the visuals. There are a couple of stages in the video where a light is flashed on Rihanna, flowing with the beat of the music.

Throughout the video, Rihanna makes jerky movements as though she is twitching. She looks confused and troubled. These fast movements have been created using fast cross-cutting between different frames.

In this shot Rihanna is floating in the water, and we see her getting shot with blood pouring out. There are three ways in which she dies, getting run over by a car, bleeding in a chair and getting shot in the water.

I decided to analyse this video as I really liked the way the cross-cutting was done between the different scenes and also how the sound and visuals worked together really well.The fast, jerky movements really increased the tension and atmosphere within the video. In my video I want there to be a relationship between the sound and the visuals similarly to how this video achieved it. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Good Life - Kanye West ft. T-Pain (analysis)

This music video has been shot in a studio against a white screen. The two artists feature in the video, lip syncing to the lyrics and have been filmed in black and white, whilst illustrations appear around them. Therefore there is a relationship between the lyrics and the visual, with the visuals illustrating and amplifying the lyrics. The video is narrative-based.

The genre of the song is hip hop/ R&B which is evident due as most of the lyrics are rapped by the artists apart from the chorus. The animations illustrate sports cars, money and fame and the video also features a female model, all of which main conventions in hip hop music videos. The video can also be categorized into electric pop as there is a use of bright and colourful illustrations, and there are many close-ups of the artists being cheerful. The tune is also very upbeat.

This is one of the many frames in which Kanye West would draw out some of the illustrations. For example, this shot went with the lyrics 'Only then get pulled over in their new V'. This frame shows Kanye drawing the letter V, surrounded by animated police cars. I found it really clever how animators were able to combine the illustrations with the artists signs.


'It feel like Atlanta
It feel like L.A.
It feel like Miami
It feel like N.Y'

These frames all illustrate different cities in the US, demonstrating the lyrics. Iconography is used as  well known buildings and statues have been used, to help the viewer understand the lyrics even better. For example when he says 'It feel like N.Y' the animation illustrates yellow cabs, the 'big apple', the Empire State building and the statue of liberty, all of which represent New York.

I found this shot very clever as it shows Kanye West sitting on an animated car, as if it is real. The sports car is also another main convention of a hip hop music video.

In the video, there are some frames in which Kanye West stands facing sideways, and the lyrics appear in a speech bubble. This enables the viewer to understand the lyrics better.

I really liked this part of the music video. I found it really creative. Kanye West holds an animated frame and moves it between himself and T-pain. Whoever the frame is placed on, that person becomes animated.

I feel this video is really successful. The way the animation's interact with the artists has been very cleverly created. It is as though the viewer's are able to see sort of get a feel of Kanye West's world and the way he see's things. The artists have performed really well, taking into consideration they were not able to see the animations. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

You Need Me, I Don't Need You - Ed Sheeran (analaysis)

This music video has been shot in a studio and has been filmed in black and white. The video is primarily performance-based, featuring a signing actor, who illustrates the lyrics through sign language.

The genre of the song is hip hop/soul which has been reflected in the mise-en-scene as it has been shot in a studio against a white back drop. In the first couple of shots they have shown a guitar which is one the main instruments used in the backing track. The track also consists of Ed Sheeran beat boxing which is a way of creating hip hop music.

I found this high angle, extreme close-up shot of the actors face very strong and unusual. It creative and able to introduce the actor. It is as though he is trying to connect with the viewer. The lighting is soft, with his face expression intensifying the atmosphere, while the background is blurred.

Throughout the video, there is a combination of side view shots, long shots and mid shots of the actor, with the lighting changing withing each shot. The actor stands in a large spotlight. However shadows have not been created. The lighting synchronizes with the different actions that the actor performs. For example mid way through the video, the actor opens and closes his hands, and as he does that the lights brighten and dim. The editing is fast cut with the use of jump cuts keeping up with the beat. The sequence starts of at a slow pace to establish the mood and setting.

Throughout the sequence, the shots of the actor are interrupted with dancers. They appear to be dressed in dark clothing, and with the help of low lighting, their faces are not shown clearly. This allows the viewer to focus on their moves. In some of the shots of the dancers, you are only able to see their figures, or the camera lense has been blurred.

Objects have also been used, which are iconographic to the lyrics illustrating them. For example this image of a rucksack was shown when the lyrics 'Selling CD's from my rucksack aiming for the papers' were sung. Behind the objects was a glow of light, emphasizing i.

Throughout the video, we do not see the artists face until the very last shot The lighting is very low, therefore still not being able to see him clearly, as he blends in with the black background.

I think this video is quite successful and very creative, using a very different approach and completely works. Its quite unusual too, with the way the artist does not perform the lyrics and is shown in the last seconds of the video. I feel the lighting has played a big role in the video, and has been cleverly done.