Music Video Treatment: The Progidy: Voodoo People ( Phibes Remix).
The video starts by showing the protagonist purchasing an unknown ( to the audience ) drug from a dealer at night. This segment is a setup to the main narrative therefore it is before the music starts. As the music is upbeat and fast, I am using this point in the narrative as achance to give the audience stark visual and audible contrast. The protagonist is not a drug taker, therefore the interaction that he is experiencing is unnerving to him , so to convey this feeling I am going to represent the feel in a film-noir type style. I won’t grade it in black and white however I am going to desaturate the colour and grade it a colour that isn’t stimulating in order to create a mood that is uncomfortable, even sickly. To give the audience a defined atmosphere to the scene that sets it apart from the rest of the piece, I am going to add strong sound effects, like an owl noise and wind blowing.
Next the music begins with an energetic build up so this now gives the setting for the events to unfold : a party. The first sight that the audience receives is one that matches the music , with emphasis on a chaotic environment – almost the polar opposite of the first scene.
After the audience is shown a range of different social images and situations most associated with a party, we are shown our protagonist, who couldn’t be less involved with what is unfolding around him. We are shown him in isolation among all that is going on around him. He looks out of place and uncomfortable, with close ups of him showing expressions of anxiety. At this point in the music it picks up the pace , coming ever closer to the climax. As the rise in speed occurs, the protagonist rushes to the bathroom , away from the rest of the party goers.
The protagonist is a stereotypical introvert type. I’ve always made a visual comparison to “Peter Parker” played by Tobey Maguire to the protagonist since first conceiving the idea. I want him to look out of place compared to the rest of the party goers.
After rushing to the toilet to be alone in order to take the drug we see him looking at himself in the mirror. This is important as it highlights his physical image prior to the change that will occur. After he takes the drug he emerges changed.
The drug he has bought isn’t like one fixed in reality, it’s completely fictitious.
It must look like it’s grounded in fantasy in order for it’s effects to make sense, as after taking it the protagonist will change into he polar opposite of himself, he will change into a supernatural entity.
Like depictions of werewolves, the protagonist will undergo a physical and mental transformation, a transformation that cues the drop of the song. The most chaotic point in the song is mirrored in the visuals, with the protagonist moving and flailing a great deal.
From this point on the protagonist is seen to be almost controlled by the drug. He uncontrollably dances. A music video for Fatboy Slim – Ya Mama has the basis of it’s narrative in which anyone who listens to the song uncontrollably moves they’re body.
To mirror the dance and chaos from the narrative, there will be segments that are for the purpose of visual stimulation. A neon fluorescent painted dancer who break the fourth wall by dancing whilst looking into the camera. Separate from the main setting and narrative, yet hand-in-hand in hand with the visuals and song. I have already filmed this segment and have uploaded it to YouTube for the purpose of a record of the process.
As the song continues so does the boy’s transformation from an awkward teenager into a supernatural entity, the audience is shown his eyes dilating and changing into an entirely new colour and iris. I will use contact lenses when shooting the scene, then in post production I will enhance the image.
The following is the planning for each segment of the music in tangent with the situations and visuals within the narrative. This was helpful for me so that the timings were secure and that when it came to editing I wouldn’t end up short of footage, it was an important process.
An awkward 17 year old attends a party that a friend invited him to. Having felt a social pressure to take drugs to fit in , he goes to a drug dealer who supplies him with a nameless pill. Later on at the party he sits alone, feeling very isolated from the social sphere around him. Deciding that this is the perfect moment, he goes to the toilet to be alone where he can take it.
As he comes out of the toilet , the music kicks in. No one can hear it other than him and as the song gets going his limbs uncontrollably start moving. He starts to dance profusely. He comes alive and starts to engage in social situations he would have never done before, all whilst dancing. Everyone watches confused and intrigued.
As the song develops and intensifies, he is seen to be taken a hold of by some unknown entity and changes into something g supernatural – almost monster-like.
Jesus is My Homeboy – “Foot Wash”
This photograph by David Lachapelle is part of a photography series called “Jesus is my homeboy” where he places the model of Jesus in his most iconic biblical positions yet in modern urban environments. Because of this strong contrast in imagery and theme, Lachapelle has created very surreal, even comedic photographs.
Light and colour are the key components to this photograph, of which link heavily into the photo’s symbolism. The light source within the photograph is coming through the window and is being blocked by the models head, creating the iconic halo. On the right Jesus is depicted traditionally , with the white robe. The connotations of the white robe, like purity or holiness, entices a definitive meaning from the woman below with her prime red lingerie and heels. Lachapelle is conveying old biblical struggles of purity versus temptation. A further juxtapositional dynamic is embodied through the position of the two models; jesus on the right , with an upright posture fitting him into the right third and conversely the woman in a bent over posture in the bottom of the left third.
I love the colour that David Lachapelle creates in his photographs and this is a good showcase of such. I always considered the saturation like this as a process done in post-production. However Lachapelle stated that he achieves this look through prop, set and costume design. In my own work I am going to deploy the use of prime, saturated colours in the production rather than post-production.
When I first visualised a music video relating to “wonderland” , in my head I immediately came to the idea of colour. Neon colour schemes came to mind and I decided that this would feature heavily in the music video. I came across artists and photographers who were painting their models with fluorescent paint, then filming or photographing them under a UV blacklight. So to give as much visual stimulation as I can that matches the music, I am going to film a dancer painted with the fluorescent paint and cut it intermittently among the narrative.
I want to use colour with implied meaning in my music video. I am not going to have my costume , prop and settings with specific colours simply by accident.
The colour purple is often used when emmulating a dream state or intoxication , so I am going to play around with purple filters to my video or just the saturation of this colour.
This is a test using my current footage:
Audiences respond well to colour co-ordination and association. I am going to use this to define a key point in the music video. Before the character has undergone a transformation as a result of the drug he has taken, the music video will either be in black and white, film noir, or just duller tones. After the drug has been taken I am going to saturate the colours , especially purple. This will make the audience understand that change has occurred and it should also look very visually pleasing.
Green Day – “American idiot”
This music video is very self aware and not very cinematic which isn’t the type of video I am going to be creating. That being said, the way that the director has filmed this is very engaging. He has used as many different angles and camera types that he can which has resulted in a very fast pace, jarring music video. A jarring piece of film usually isn’t effective, however in a case like this where the music is very lively and fast paced, it works very well.
The camera is constantly changing position which means the audience is receiving a constant stream of varied shots, engaging the audience throughout. The audience won’t get bored if you show them as many angles and different ways of seeing the narrative.
In my own work I don’t want a generically shot cinematic experience with no more than a few basic shots. I will shoot a wide range of diverse, visually stimulating imagery in order for the audience to absorb the music through intense visuals. I want the music to translate directly into the cinematography.
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