lets dance to joy division' video analysis

Download Lets dance to joy division' video analysis

Post on 21-Jan-2018




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  • Music video analysis

    Lets dance to Joy Division-The wombats

  • The indie genre is one that prides itself on being as home-grown as possible. From production all the way through to promotion and distribution you can guarantee that it has been all been constructed organically without corporate influence. This has meant that the genre has remained very underground and it takes longer for artists to build a career as theyre signed to independent labels that wont necessarily have the budget or contacts that some corporate giants might have.

    Indie music videos themselves are therefore produced under stricter limitations in terms of budget. For example there are no expensive locations, Gold chains or state of the art lighting. Typically indie videos are filmed in local locations e.g. a pub, the streets or in a house (as seen in the kooks video). This is then transmitted into distribution, indie labels are likely to utilise cheap distribution channels such as Youtube, release Eps via SoundCloud and promote through local clubs, bars etc.

    Its evident from the (as seen) shots that the wombats have chosen to create a performance based music video. For example the close up of the hand turning up the amp shows how the band are eager and ready to play. As the video progresses there is no storyline as the band just play within the room before transporting into a colossal indie music, galactic atmosphere. This follows the conventions of an indie video as they tend to be heavily performance based as they play their own instruments and craft their own music and are focused on delivering that realism to the audience rather than creating fictional tales which distract from the music itself.

  • Camera shots/movementsEstablishing shots Establishing shots are used at the beginning of the video to depict the setting. In comparison to other music videos these shots are used repeatedly along with close ups to emphasise the band setting up for a performance.

    Medium close ups/close upsMedium close ups/close ups are used to illustrate the expressions within the faces of the band members as they play enthusiastically to the lyrics to the song. This again has been a convention of Indie music videos amongst music videos in general. Indie music is heavily based on expression of political, ethical and social views etc. therefore this type of shot allows for the audience to see the passion and emotion that the band feels when communicating their thoughts on these issues. As well as this compliments Goodwins theory of voyeurism as although the band arent looking directly into the camera the audience is directed to the artists.

    Low angle shots Low angle shots present the band as superior as well as signify the change in performance style. Therefore it feels as though the audience are looking up at the band and as figures on screen they look powerful and in control. This does contribute to Goodwins Focus on star appeal as the band are seen as above the audience through this type of shot. Typically Indie music videos dont tend to succumb to this theory as theyre more about the music itself rather than the personas and star attention. Hence why, there are hardly any other factors that could contribute to star appeal e.g. style of clothing, setting, hair and make up etc. (Mise-en-scene)

    Dolly A camera is fitted to a dolly to follow the band around different angles around the room. This is a convention of a music video as it allows the audience to feel fully immersed within the video as they get to see every perspective of the setting and action.

    Handheld camera movements Handheld camera movements are used to illustrate the significant change in volume and atmosphere as the band begin to play aggressively before being transported into their galactic, indie music atmosphere. These aggressive shaky movements blur the screen and mimic the strumming of guitars, banging of drums and the borderline screaming made by the band. This is an immersive feature for the audience as they feel as though they are in a mosh pit raving to the wombats on stage which explains the element of performance.

  • Editing

    Cutting rhythm The cutting rhythm throughout the video depended on the pace and beats used in the different parts of the song. For example, at the beginning the cutting rhythm is regular, controlled and not very fast but as the song develops and the cutting rhythm speeds up, rapid cuts are made to illustrate the change in tempo, how the instruments are made etc.

    Jump cuts Just like the cutting rhythm jump cuts are made to show that the indie band are playing heavily to their song as well as encouraging the audience to dance and be immersed into the video themselves. The jump cuts occur whenever guitar is strummed, a head is banged, or the drum is hit etc. This means that the video is synced up with the song itself and so there is a relationship between the visual imagery and the song itself (Goodwins theory).

    Special effectsSpecial effects are used to demonstrate a change in setting and performance style. For example the band begin to magically float into the atmosphere above and cracks start to form as they break through the ceiling. This would represent how they feel that their music raises the roof. Following this, we see the band rocking out with different, bright, lightning like special effects- again adding to the fact that the band want to be seen/indie music to be known as expressive and outlandish.

    Motivated cut/fade to black

    Fade to black is used along with the previously mentioned editing techniques in order to emphasise the exaggerative style of performance. Before the transition of performance style for the band, a motivated cut is used as a light begins to flicker before fading to black. As the screen remains black it leaves the audience wondering what is gong to happen next. These techniques add suspense and curiosity as the audience are left wondering as to the mystery of the rest of the video.

  • Mise-en-scneLocation

    The performance is filmed in what appears to be a live room, this signifies how indie music prefers to be as raw and as stripped back as possible. Their low budgets dont allow for fancy sets therefore indie stars are often limited to filming in local places. As well as it could be said that this has been done deliberately to add tot the fact that indie artists want to be seen as home grown and authentic.


    The costume used for the band consists of t-shirts, jeans and trainers for all three members of the band. Considering that this is a performance video, for other genres this may be seen as quite shocking because in other genres such as pop for example its expected that artists dress up in order to add to their star quality. This therefore means that, indie artists want be seen as almost equals to the audience members. They dont have their members chasing designer labels or being too affected by appearance. Furthermore this does represent the stereotypical, heterosexual, average male identity and so although indie artists dont contribute to mainstream way for an artist to dress in performance, they do however enforce images over the presentation of young men who listen to their genre.


    The props consist of: The instruments and a stuffed wombat. Again there isnt a wide variety of props as the video itself doesnt feature much diversity in terms of shots, settings, and editing etc. Although, these props are highly significant to thebands image. It tells the audience directly that the group are all about making authentic, truthful music e.g. the instruments the audience learn that the band can pay them and that their music isnt computer generated in order to produce songs quickly and make rapid sales for popular record labels. In relation, the stuffed novelty wombat is used to visually reinforce the name of the band as well as depict the band as a group of talented, friendly and approachable guys as the toy shows off theirsense of humour and relaxed personalities. This is great for the audience as they feel as though they can have a laugh if they wanted to with the band as well as it indirectly demonstrates star appeal as the audience are given more reason to like them/feel connected to them.


    In the beginning the lighting used differentiates dramatically throughout the video. In the beginning three point lighting isused to illuminate the artists in shot and present them as natural on screen- as theyre doing what theyd naturally do in theirlive room. In the middle the lighting becomes darker and it begins to turn into flashes of high key lighting as the band beginto play aggressively to their song. Towards the end spotlighting is used to present an emotive, dark part of the song as the lyrics read If youre ever feeling down take a taxi to the darkest side of town thats where well be. This type of lighting worked well as spotlighting, with a black background makes the subject in front appear vulnerable and exposed. By the end the lighting is much darker as the background remains black and light from the special effects shows off the band. This was due to a change in mood of the video as the lyrics screamed Let it tear us apart. What we learn from this is that there is a distinct relationship between the lyrics and the lighting aims to metaphorically reflect the emotions/feelings expressed within the song. (Goodwins theory-relationship between visuals and lyrics).

  • Composition/spacing

    The composition of the shots in the beginning of the video remains some what asymmetrical as the shots depict different sides of the room and positioning of the band. This is then used alongside a shallow focus as the band want to illustrate that theyre setting up and are about to perform. Once they begin to perform, the shot


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