Fatboy Slim & Daft Punk I have decided to analyse Fatboy Slim and Daft Punk music videos because I want my project to be innovative, creative, unique and have a fun edge. Fatboy Slim and Daft Punk always create new exciting visuals and have unique concepts for all their videos. I want to take inspiration from their work to help me develop unique ideas for the narrative of my video. Fatboy Slim Videos Fatboy Slim always produces great music videos. They are always entertaining, unique and completely original.
Weapon Of Choice Weapon Of Choice is one of my favourite music videos because of the cameo Christopher Walken makes in the video; it adds to the surprise and fun of it. As a well-known actor who usually plays gangster/bad guy roles, and not known for his dancing ability, it takes the audience by surprise when he spends the majority of the video dancing around an abandoned hotel lobby. His star persona also makes the video more captivating than say if it were a completely unknown professional dancer; who may have better ability, but wouldn’t be half as entertaining. Walken starts the video sitting in a chair looking rather drained, when the quiet blips of the beat start, Walken moves his head in time, this signifies something more is to be expected when the song fully kicks in. The shot cuts to a wide shot which indicates Walken is going to so something that wouldn’t fit into a mid-shot as it was in before. The music is also building up here which helps to build up excitement. Diegetic sound is featured in the video through the use of the bell on the desk, elevator noises and tap shoes. Sweeping camera movements are used to gain a sense of mayhem and inserts more energy into the video.
During a sweeping shot Walken kicks paper at the camera while dancing on a table this interaction with the camera paired with Walken direct eye contact with the lens shows Walken is aware of the cameras and is playing up to them in a playful manner. Despite the rigorous choreography, Walken appears calm and almost unaffected by the tireless dancing, this reflects the laid back tone of the singers voice and the tone in which the lyrics are sung. A great visual effect is the use of two facing mirrors which create an infinity of reflections. The real trick here though is that the camera isn’t seen, this is done by putting in a tilted/angled position where the camera can see the mirror but the mirror can’t see the camera. Towards the end of the video it gets more surreal as Walken gains the ability to fly and cling to walls, this is done by hoisting Walken up with wired attached to his suit. Once this abstract element is introduces I would say that this video fits into Joe Gow's music video genre of 'The Enhanced Performance' because although Walken does not sing the lyrics, he does dance to the song therefore showing his awareness of a performance. Paired with the special effects used to make Walken fly and leap around the set it seems Enhanced Performance is the most appropriate category.
Don’t Let The Man Get You Down Don't Let The Man Get You Down, deals with racism in an always fun, ironic way. The video, like Weapon of Choice, reflects the song and has a story line running through it which makes the video more captivating. The video has a continuous look throughout which makes it more believable and suits the place in which it's set. The colours are very dull and completely black and white which may shows links to the racism theme. This is a narrative video as we are given a character 'Don' and a storyline for him; 'Don is a racist'. The video starts with a quick frame, resembling a neighbourhood watch poster; it reads “The end is near” and is accompanied by an image of a cloaked figure. This is a signifier for the cloaked figure seen in various scenes and for the end of the video. The first video shot is of a typical American style house shot with a slightly shaky camera making it seem someone is watching the house. It then cuts to a man looking down the camera with the caption “This is Don”. The simplicity of this heading is played with throughout the video through other simple captions and straightforward shots. Another caption shot then illustrates that Don “likes to fish”. The third caption (literacy and media technique: use of three makes images more memorable and important) reads “Don is a racist” and is laid over a shot of Don snarling at different raced children in his neighbourhood. The racism towards the children is important as it shows that Don makes no distinction between children and adults.
The video then navigates around Don's life and how his prejudice affects him and others around him. However bleak this may sound, it is actually done with humour as all Fatboy Slim videos are. While Don is out he is shown to hand a paper to a white woman but refuse one to a mixed race woman. This tells us that Don is actually a nice man but his racism restricts some people receiving his kindness. Don gets his comeuppance at the end of the video by being stabbed by someone he previously treated badly due to their race. As the viewer we are supposed to be satisfied with this ending, and the video playfully takes the ‘moral’ high ground as seen right. Throughout the video a cloaked figure (from the beginning frame) is seen stalking Don. He appears in 3 scenes and we can assume it is him who stabs Don in the end.
Like the beginning of the video where it said 'Don is a racist', the video ends with 'Don't be a racist' written over Don's dead body. There is something almost threatening about what is said especially paired with the dead body imagery. The bluntness and simplicity of the words make it more menacing as it could have been said by a child which is made to belittle us as a viewer, it also comes across as being a very simple, obvious thought that we should be aware of. This makes Don seem even more ignorant. The video is shot in the style of a public service announcement and has 6 different endings however they all end with Don dying, only the caption is changed. One other caption reads – “Always pay your debts…or else” – all the endings have the same meaning. The video maintains it's black and white look throughout and this is a reference to the racial theme and could also refer to Don's views as he sees things in 'black and white' and doesn't see past his prejudice. I think 'Don't Let The Man Get You Down' fits Joe Gow's definition of an 'Anti-Performance' as there is no evidence of lip-syncing, dancing with the music, or awareness of the music. It is purely narrative while encapsulating the theme of the song.
Daft Punk Videos Daft Punk's music videos directly link in to their type of music. The videos are quite alien and bizarre but it suits their genre of music and reflects their style. Technologic ‘Technologic’ by Daft Punk uses live action along with puppets (seen right) as oppose to their work later in animation. The song 'Technologic' is based around repetitive lyrics and beats, the video also displays this trait. The robot is actually performing the song and the camera is used to change/move with the beat of the song therefore it fits into Jo Gow's genre of either 'Special Effects Extravaganza' or 'The Song and Dance Number'. The puppet/robot is made to look scary yet enticing, it seems to almost hypnotise the viewer with it's repeated words and starring eyes.
Around The World Around The World is a live action video however it is a very different video to Fatboy Slim's “Don't Let The Man Get You Down”. It is again an example of Daft Punk's originality, and skilled production. The idea behind the video was each instrument in the song should be represented by dancers with individual choreography. For example; the women dressed as synchronised swimmers were representing the high pitched keyboard, and moved in time with their ‘instrument’. The dancers stand on a giant spinning record which helps the choreography to become more adventurous All of the dancers in the same space, dancing to their own instrument, create an array of movements completely in sync with the music. It’s a perfect link between the what we see and what we hear. One of my favourite elements of the video is the astronauts’ choreography of bumping into each other, then turning 180 and bumping into the other astronaut, they continue this pattern until the mummies take centre stage. It could, and should be, complicated to get right but the dancers work like a machine and not a single movement is out of time or place.
During the breakdown in towards the end of the song, a lot of the instruments aren’t playing so the dancers stop doing individual steps and simply walk around the ‘record’ to the main beat. The lighting is also dimmed to compliment the musical tone which has lost a lot of it’s components. Towards the end of the video some individual choreography has reappeared but mostly the dancers now are doing the same steps. The video’s producer is Michel Gondry who also works in film and produces movies such as “Be kind, Rewind” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, both of which are kooky, alternative films with blatant emphasis on artistic direction. Gondry also produced music videos for Kylie Minogue, (Come Into My World), Kanye West, (Heard Em Say) and Gary Jules (Mad World). The video would be classes as 'Enhanced Performance' (Joe Gow) due to the movements linking to the music and the dancers being the main focus of the video. This video works well because all the components fit together in perfect synchronisation. Each group of dancers blend together and work like a machine, which is how Daft Punk intended the video to look like.
Harder Better Faster Stronger Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk uses Japanese animation 'anime' to illustrate the video. There is no performance or awareness of the music in the video, therefore it is based purely on the visual elements such as animation and narrative, this places it in Gow's genre of 'Special Effects Extravaganza'. One More Time One More Time by Daft Punk also uses anime except it illustrates a performance and not a story. This reminds me of work by The Gorillaz and their use of animation and staged performance. According to Joe Gow, the video is classed as a 'Enhanced Performance' because it shows a performance by a 'band' but obviously the animation is the main element to the video.