Monday, 5 November 2012

Rock(?) Video Analysis 3 - Bring Me To Life (and production notes)

Let me tell you folks a story. Last year I had a fantastic Media Studies teacher. He did awesome things like pretending to be Falco and picking fights with chairs. He's also probably reading this and sitting there with a grin right about now.

Unfortunately this year I no longer have the privilege of being taught by the king of the hipsters himself, though I did start warming to the new teacher. He seemed like a nice guy at first. He'd write entertaining and productive comments on our blogs. He'd let us into the Mac room when we needed it. Generally seemed like the kind of person you'd want to be working with.

But that all changed when he made me listen to this:

 This is Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. But you knew that, because you can read.

I guess the reason why Sir suggested I take a look at this video is because it has a narrative focus on it, much like the plans I have for my own video. Makes sense. Though I'm sure there are plenty of other videos I -could- look at, and he just wanted to annoy me...

On to the video itself - what do we have? I'm going to focus a fair bit on the intro and then analyse the unique 'set pieces' further on. I'm not going to be looking as far into Goodwin's theory here as I'm aiming more on picking out how the narrative and performance sections are used

This is just an establishing shot, giving us an idea of whereabouts the video is set in CGI-land. This is actually something I really need to think about in terms of my video's narrative section - my video isn't going to be anywhere near as abstract as this is so I don't need to spend as long introducing the different locations featured, though I should still use brief establishing shots as to avoid confusing the viewer. These will not need to be anywhere as long as the introduction to this video is - in Bring Me To Life this shot lasts for over 25 seconds; in my video they will only need to last for about 1 second (if not less) as I plan on filming in much less complicated environments. Additionally, by having faster establishing shots, my video will be adapting to the pacing of the song (which is significantly faster than this piece of [word of choice goes here]), thus satisfying one of Goodwin's conventions in the way that the visuals will be related to the music.

This is where my biggest gripe with this video comes in - here we see the lead singer in bed in a way that suggests we should be seeing some kind of story introduced to us, or at least a conceptual idea... but I have absolutely no idea what is going on here...

Now I'm starting to see why this is particularly useful to look at: I don't want to fall into the same pitfalls as these guys have. If your audience haven't got a clue what is going on in your video, you're failing to engage them - and in this day and age where there is a heavy division in a consumer's attention as it is - there's a great chance they'll just switch to a different tab meaning your opportunity to plug the artist's star image disappears, or worse still just turn it off altogether and stick something else on.

I need to make sure that when I produce my video, it is clear to the audience from the start as to what they are looking at during each individual shot.

Now she's falling free in the wind, in the wind! from the tower block because _______? If we go by Goodwin's I would take a guess and say that it's a link between the music and visuals in that they are using depressing imagery to accompany the depressing music, but it wouldn't really make much sense for the institution to go out of their way to say "look how depressing our track is" (even though it is). Unless, of course, they're trying to market to the 14-year-old "my life is terrible and I hate my parents so I'm going to rebel by only dressing in black" crowd. Which honestly wouldn't surprise me.

Here we have the other members of the band performing during the chorus. This actually makes some sense, so well done for getting something right guys! Why does it make sense, you ask? Because you're plugging the artist's star image with the most memorable part of the song, so anyone who's watched the video will mentally see the image of the band performing when they hear that part of the song (or have it stuck in their head). This reinforces the image. The next time the image comes around (i.e. when the band have a new record out) they remember the image and associate it with the chorus of this song, and if they somehow like this they will feel encouraged to buy the new song.

Now she's walking along the side of the building, scaring the living daylights out of their insurance company. Again, it doesn't seem clear as to why this is happening.


So, she was climbing up to where the other band members are? This took waaaaaay too long to make itself apparent. If I wasn't watching this for a writeup I would have switched it off by now, so this narrative would have been completely wasted on me.

Band member tries to stop her from falling, she falls anyway. Well, actually, it looks more like he throws her. I would put this down to him being sick of her annoying, monotonous shrieking throughout the whole song. I can't blame him in the slightest actually.

AND IT WAS JUST A DREAM. I think. I actually feel kinda cheated that I sat through the whole thing for it to go absolutely nowhere. Overall, a horrifically bad video. I can now look at my issues with this video to avoid making mine as terrible.

So Sir, I did it. I'm sure I'll be able to find something awful for you to have to sit through and write about; how bad the chosen video actually is depends on how nice you are to us in lesson tomorrow!



  1. The guy who tries to stop her from falling isn't actually in the band, he's from 12 Stones, JUST SAYING.

    1. Just when I thought I understood -something- in this video, it decides to confuse me some more.


      WHY EVANESCENCE (+other guy), WHY?

      Oh by the way the phrase is "just sayin'"; the "g" gives it less of a mocking tone. Unless you were trying to inform me of something without the dry tone to it, which is a concept I'm unfamiliar with in situations where I probably should have known the information being provided. But then, you're a much nicer person than I am.


      Comments boxes are great for rambling.