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AdeleChasing Pavements 2008 XL Recordings Limited. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T8tYL2bqGQ&feature=fvst
Cinematography: • Shot types typically alternate between Close Up (CU)/Extreme Close Ups (ECU) and Wide shots (WS). CU used when focus is on artist as she lip syncs. This keeps our focus on the actress and in particular her words and not so much her image or appearance. It also establishes the fact she is the artist of the song.WS (+ High Angle (HA) ) are used to show the storyline of the dead couple being acted on the pavement or them as they really are, dead with a chaos of people around them, and later medical practitioners. These shots types serve as showing the entire scene. The HA aspect also helps show they’re in need of help as this shot type makes them appear more vulnerable. • LA shots are also used on the singer, Adele for most the video. It is not such an obvious angle as with the dead couple, but still gives an effect of drawing vulnerability into her role in the video which fits the lyrical song content. Furthermore it strengthens the link between her and the couple on the floor, suggesting their love story isn’t so different from her own and perhaps this is where she shall too end up. • Due to the long duration of shots, commonly to keep interest of the audience, the shot will be a panning one. This way a shot is gradually displayed, keeping the audience from seeing everything in one go. In the instances of showing the car accident with the medics all around this is used to the greatest effect. • The point of view of the entire video is shot from that of an onlooker. This is typical for most music videos as it allows the artist to be viewed. Another followed convention is the fact the artist looks at the camera, this is a convention very unique to the genre of music video and is important as it gives the effect of making the artist seem to be singing directly to the audience, establishing a connection that might influence more people to buy into their image and music. However, the direct eye-contact with artist to camera is not actually very common. This suits the music video, however, being about an emotional pain. It recreates the distance felt by the artist with her emotional pain from other people.
Editing: • Unconventionally shot duration is long (being more than a few seconds) so their are fairly infrequent cuts, but this is more at the beginning. Later once the chorus has been established and the music thus increases pace cuts then becomes more a little more frequent. The slow pacing created by these techniques matches the slow and emotional tone of the song. • Later when the shot durations increase this is because the tune has become more upbeat. • The chorus is where the storyline of the dead couple is acted out on the pavement. This links these scenes directly with the words of the chorus, which is fitting considering the lyrics involve “chasing pavements”. It also brings focus to these character’s storylines strengthening a link between them and possibly the artist’s love life. • Changes in shot occur on beat. With every change of music in particular the shot will change. For example when the music is very sedate and calm at the spot the shots showed are very bland in content being of a car park. Once the artist starts singing the edit is made so that the shot of her singing at a CU is instantly shown. Then when the music begin to gain more pace the shot cuts to the chaotic scenes of people running to the dead couple by their smoking car. • Straight cuts are always used during the video. This keeps all the cuts between Adele and dead couple showing that these are separate storylines. There are only two instances in which the fading technique is used for shots and this is at the beginning and end of the video. For the beginning this suits the slow melodic start, keeping it a gentle, calm start up to the song. The end fade does the ob of relating back to the start, as well as relates to the last shot. This shot is of the dead couple being taken away by the medical staff so fading may symbolize death and an end.
Mise-En-Scene: • There is no use of a studio. This is a rather convention defying thing. Normally, studios will be used at least for one point of the video. However, looking at the other music videos by Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Joss Stone only one of those three seem to use a studio (Winehouse’s), suggesting it is not a convention of this genre of music. • Instead the video is filmed in the everyday environment of a park and road. This gives a less star-quality to the singer putting an emphasis on the lyrical content and emotions in her voice which can be related to the lives of average people, instead of her image. From this is in fact additionally suggests things about her image being quite average and that she doesn’t come from a particularly wealthy background. • To match with the chosen locations the artist additionally wears very everyday, wintery clothing. The lack of glamour to her wardrobe again puts more a focus on her music rather than her image. Her make-up is quite natural and plain, except for her eyes which have thick eyeliner all around them. This draw more attention to them. The eyes are one of the most expressive features of the human body therefore this puts emphasis on emotions for what the song is about. Furthermore, looking at Adele’s CD covers and websites it becomes clear showing the artist’s face and bringing attention to her eyes with make-up is her brand or motif. • Figure expressions are serious and sad, relating to the song’s lyrics, the tones of the singer and pacing of the song. It enhancing the overall mood of the video and music.
Narrative: • The video is somewhat abstract in its content as the main narrative the story of a couple who’ve had a car crash. Beginning with them dead on the floor and later showing them act out on the pavement the story of their relationship. The actors are able to behave as if standing upright and interacting, whilst actually lying on the floor of the pavement. Once these sequences are complete the characters return to their positions of being dead, to re-establish the fact they are. This oddity in an idea is an interesting way of showing that they’re still dead and this is merely them acting out the past. • Adele, the artist, does feature in the video, which is conventional for the pop genre. As discussed in editing the cuts from her to the dead couple as well as similar camera angle suggest a connection between her position and theirs. • A male, who is first seen in the car with Adele is cut to from time to time. His glances at her at start suggest him and the artist to be romantically involved in the video. Perhaps it is o be presumed he is what the lyrics are referring to when they talk of deciding whether to pursue something even if it “leads no where”. • There is actually an issue with this video in that as later explored in the research of the YouTube comments beneath the video many did not understand the video due to its abstract content.
Representation: • The motif/brand of artist in regards to photography is an interesting one. I expect the reason for it is probably, because in the music business there is much emphasis on beauty and Adele does not have the media-’ideal’ figure so to sell this artist shot types she must try to hide her figure as much as possible and focus on her more media-pleasing aspects such as her green eyes. • The male in the video who is seen in the car that Adele was in plays a stereotype defying role in that he behaves emotionally, showing sadness and distress through his figure expression. Furthermore Adele is the one to leave him in the car, suggesting she is the more powerful one. What’s more her sad expressions seem more contained and controlled showing strength even at times, making the man the more emotional one. This also defies stereotypes. This is important for this artist as her appeal is going to be more to females who do wish to seem woman used in objectifying ways. Girls these days prefer strong characters for role models.
Conclusion • A combination of techniques are used to establish a sad mood to the music video which matches the song and lyrical content of the song.
The creative sections in the video (in which the dead couple act out their storyline on the pavement) seem to have had a more negative response as many are commenting that they do not understand it or don’t see how it goes with the song. This highlights the fact fans like a video to make the meaning of the song clearer-not more confusing! Not all feedback about the music video is negative, however, as demonstrated by these comments. Some value the more creative element to the video. From this it would seem this target audience appreciate creativity in the making of a music video, however rather something a little less “weird” and difficult to understand. Fans reflect the video in that they seem to be more interested in the song and singer’s voice rather than artist image. They do indeed seem to feel as the artist does in this song, helped by the average-person persona portrayed. This section on a Youtube page is very important for a artist as it is an opportunity to introduce people to other songs and live performances from the artist. If someone was to hear the song and look it up on Youtube here they would be able to view other content and be encouraged to buy an album perhaps or tickets to see the artist live.