Samuel BayerMusic Video DirectorAlternative Rock Research on Music Video Directors
Samuel David Bayer (born in 17 February 1962 in Syracuse, New York) is an American commercial and music video director. A graduate of New York City’s School of Visual Arts in 1987 with a degree in Fine Arts, he moved to Los Angeles in 1991 and became a popular director during the alternative rock era. He has directed videos for The Strokes, Nirvana, Hole and Green Day. Bayer claims that the reason he was chosen to direct "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was because his test reel was so bad. Bayer won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction in 2005 and 2007. Several of Bayer's commercials have won too, these commercials include; the Clio. Clients include Coca-Cola, Toyota, Intel, Cadillac, Acura, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Pepsi Cola, Lincoln Aviator, Sony, The U.S. Army and Jeep. His Nike spot won an Association of Independent Commercial Producers award for best direction in 1997 Background Information on Samuel Bayer
Music Videos Directed By Samuel Bayer 1991 Nirvana- Smells like team spirit 1992 Iron Maiden-Wasting love 1994 The Offspring-Gotta get away 1996 Metallica- Until it sleeps Sheryl Crow- Home 1997 The Rolling Stones- Anybody seen my baby 1998 The Rolling Stones- Saint of me 2000 Marilyn Manson- Disposable teens 2001 Blink 182- Stay together for the kids Aerosmith-Sunshine 2002 Papa Roach- Time and Time again 2003 Good Charlotte- Hold on 2004 Green Day- American Idiot Green Day- Boulevard of broken dreams 2005 Green Day - Holiday Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends Green Day - Jesus of Suburbia Green Day - Bullet In A Bible 2006
Bayer's main Music video genres By looking at the list of music videos Bayer has directed we are able to establish that he specializes in the themes of Rock/Indie/Heavy metal. I chose to look at Green Day’s ‘Jesus Of Suburbia’ because this is a major video which was seen as too explicit for television music video programs and so had to be cut down to a shorter length in order to have the video released. As well as this video Bayer also made 6 more videos for Green Day, referring back to what type of videos he tends to enjoy directing more than say which type Hype Williams would direct. Creating a Rock/Punk video normally in one way or another include live coverage from the band and various quick shots and slow shots are used as an impact on what is being focused on particularly when linking lyrics to the visuals. Close ups are also another shot used frequently in these type of videos, hand held shots too. Bayer has also directed a ‘Pop’ genre music video, Justin Timberlake’s ‘what goes around comes around’, implying that he has experience in producing two very different music genre videos. The main Videos that I will be looking at and noting on narrative use, editing use and how Bayer reveals the story and techniques of the genre is the rock/punk genre as this particular genre links in with my chosen band. I will therefore be looking at Green Day’s ‘Jesus Of Suburbia’ and The Offspring ‘Gotta Let Go’.
Green Day- Jesus Of SuburbiaAnalysis of the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FILP3yoKrjw&feature=related The song by Green Day is broken down into 5 sections to almost tell a story. Part I. Jesus Of Suburbia This is an introduction of the character and tells about his home life. Part II. City Of The Damned, This takes place in a 7/11 parking lot where he got into a fight and first realized he hated his friends and home: "The 7/11 where I was taught, the motto was a lie, it says home is where the heart is, but everyone's heart doesn't beat the same." The lyric, "At the end of another lost highway" refers to the group of kids who hang out under the highway where once again he doesn't fit in. Part III. I Don't Care here is where he becomes an outcast hating everyone and everything, and also in the story this is where St. Jimmy (a character Jesus created to heal the pain of a lost girlfriend) ties in, saying he hates everything now. This is where he considers leaving home. Part IV. Dearly Beloved although not much is known on this part, it's believed to be the peaceful, yet hard twilight between anger and happiness where you are content. Part V. Tales From Another Broken Home during this part, Jesus just gives up and leaves. He doesn't know where he's going but he's just going far away: "Running away from pain when you've been victimized." This is where he's leaving everyone that hated and hurt him, almost starting over, for a new life.
At the beginning of the music video there are a few cuts of a close up of a young punk smoking. The cuts are quick and snappy, cutting to the beat. ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ the main character in the video is introduced with close up cuts and the lyrics above being sung. Long and wide shots to show the viewer the whole scene Another shot used use frequently in this video clip is the high angle shot, whether its used for the ‘sex’ scene as shown here or when the lyrics state ‘I don’t care’ and the male is sabotaging the mall toilet and shop floor.
Throughout the music video, Bayer links the visuals with the lyrics for example a television is used during the lyrics of ‘get my television fix’. Also a use of live coverage, from Milton Keynes in 2005, so Bayer has been clever by blending in live clips with the links with visuals and words. Another example is the verse used to describe what the character likes doing. ‘To alcohol and cigarettes, And Mary Jane, To keep me insane, Doing someone else's cocaine’. Narrative is also used to help the video tell the story of the song. Using narrative gives the audience information about the characters, how they are feeling and also some more information about the story.
City of Dead relates to him writing ‘Dead’. There are more links and examples of how Bayer has used to bring visuals and words together. Camera angles have also been used in this scene to show his poor mentality state and how he appears to be ‘losing his mind’ this links back to lyrics already used. There are also strong links back to religion, referring to the ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ title. For example ‘holy scriptures’ and ‘it seemed to confess’ relate to the title. ‘I read the graffiti In the bathroom stall, Like the holy scriptures of the shopping mall, And so it seemed to confess’. More narrative linking to lyrics and song title.
The Offspring- Gotta Get AwayAnalysis of the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGjkViiDbko The video starts with a boy entering a coliseum where a ‘mosh pit’ breaks out while the band plays. It is almost entirely in black and white. The video ends with the same boy laying on floor alone. The music video for the song was directed by Samuel Bayer and filmed at the Fairgrounds Coliseum in Salt Lake City, UT on December 17, 1994. The song was a modest hit in several countries, but peaked at #6 on Billboard's Modern Rock charts. "Gotta Get Away" was inspired by an early track, "Cogs", written while the band was still named ‘Manic Subsidal’. The lyrics refer to the pressure that lead singer Dexter Holland was suffering from to finish the album on time. The harshness and the ‘craziness’ of the mosh pit and all those in it could also relate back to the pressure and stress of the lead singer. Close up shots and hand held shots almost create a more dramatic effect on the video , allowing the audience to feel the intensity of being in the pit.
‘Walls are shakin’ and they re closing in’ referring to the mosh pit and all the close up and high angle shots of a crowd. The cuts also change regularly from colour to black and white, changing with the beats and the music tempo. Lights are also added to add to the ‘craziness’ of the music video. There are also a lot of lighting use, for example when the colour changes on the lead singe when the shots return back to him. Live clips are used, like in many other alternative rock/punk music videos. Unlike Green Day the live singing is more noticeable.
Hand held shots are also used frequently to dramatise the moshing scenes, making the audience see how rough and ‘messy’ the mosh pit is. The ‘messiness’ again linking in with the music and lyrics of the song. Mixture of wide long shots to medium close up low shots which give the video a variety of shots on each scene, with these two cuts being in the last scene, we are able to establish a difference in shots.
Why Samuel Bayer I like the way Bayer uses the common techniques of a typical alternative rock music video. Particularly in Green Day’s ‘Jesus of suburbia’, the variety of shots and visuals I really like, for example the scene when the character almost loses it in the shop, picking up products and tipping them , breaking them and smashing them everywhere with the camera in hand held shot as he is walking along the aisle’s. The linking with the visuals and the lyrics of the whole song are also good, the television presenting the live coverage works well, by adding live clip of the band and also linking in the TV with the ‘get my television fix’. The genre in which Bayer focus’s on is the same music genre, alternative rock, as the band I plan to make my music video for. So by looking at Bayer’s work I will be able to see what camera shot, techniques and visuals I could use in my own video therefore creating a better music video than I could ve produced without research of Samuel Bayer and his work.