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ROBYN “LOVE KILLS” A TREATMENT BY LIAM HEDLEY ON BEHALF OF Z RECORDS Liam HedleyHartlepool Sixth Form CollegeBrinkburn, Blakelock RoadHartlepool, TS25 5PFliamfirstname.lastname@example.org
CONCEPTThe themes underlying this video will illustrate the lyrics of the song in ametaphorical sense. “Love Kills” talks about love and relationships hurting, but thereis also mention of Stockholm Syndrome – a psychological condition in which hostagesdevelop empathy for their captors. As such, Robyn will assume the role of woman whois in the process of exiting a relationship, but feels constrained by her lover and theconcept of affection. This idea arose from Robyn’s previous video “Handle Me”, whereshe is seen inside several boxes; it will serve as an intertextual reference. Creativecamera and editing techniques, lighting and characteristic jerky performances of theactor will play a huge role, ensuring a quirky video that matches both the genre andstar image of the artist.
PERFORMANCE & NARRATIVEAs in all her videos, Robyn’s performance will be key in that of bringing her quirkypersonality and confidence to the end product, matching a song that is unique in itssound. A conceptual video intertwining performance and narrative, the lyrics need tobe delivered with real compassion and meaning in order to convey the emotion behindthem. This will be crucial to the narrative, which will explore five different scenarios,based on what I feel are the different aspects of finding it difficult to walk away from arelationship, in the context of my interpretation of the lyrics.These five scenarios will be “constraint”, “conflict”, “oblivion”, “escape” and “freedom”.Most of these will be filmed in the studio, and "different approaches to camera shots,lighting, props and set-ups etc. will convey the meaning and tone of the scenario inquestion.Constraint: This segment will represent Robyn feeling trapped by her relationshipand unable to take herself away from such a commitment. It will rely predominantlyon camera, editing and lighting (see this section).Conflict: This segment will literally illustrate the title of the song “Love Kills”. Itwill show Robyn in the studio rolling around on the floor and awkwardly jumpingaround the room, holding a giant cardboard cutout of a heart as if she is “fighting” withit. This was inspired by the video for the 2001 song “Another Chance” by RogerSanchez.Escape: In the escape segment I want to have a series shots of Robyn simplywalking to the beat of the music. This will amplify the audio and reflect the singerwalking away from a relationship, however jump cuts will be used to reflect this beinga complex process. I want to film this in a built-up street, as this will make the mise-en-scene interesting. Bittersweet Symphony influenced me.Freedom: This section will entail Robyn dancing rigorously to the music in aspontaneous fashion, being a little less jerkier and more smoother with hermovements to reflect being free. She will be happy and positive as a character here. Aperformance similar to the one in her video Call Your Girlfriend would be great.Disjuncture / Car: An additional non-performance set-up will feature shotsfrom a car window/windscreen to reflect travelling away from a lover in the
instrumentals of the song. This was inspired by Snow Patrol’s video for "Open YourEyes", and furthermore I plan to at points superimpose Robyn’s performance from theFreedom and Escape segments over the top of this footage – rather like Madonna’svideo for "Ray of Light"". I will shoot this footage at night in built-up areas as I feel itwill complement the electronic nature of the song and the lighting I plan to use for theConstraint segment.Oblivion: This segment will be filmed in a busy street where Robyn is walkingslowly, but passers-by at twice the speed to show a “cold hard world” of feeling isolatedand alone – again trapped in a relationship.In all, Robyn will need to give strong visual performances throughout to show a realconnection to the lyrics. Her characteristic jerky dancing is key in most set-ups, butRobyn is not afraid to just be herself and this is exactly what this video needs.
CAMERA & EDITINGIt will be essential to use a variety of camera shots of different depths, distances andangles throughout the video in order to make it visually interesting for the viewer.Furthermore, the need for several set-ups reflects the fast tempo of the song wheremany cuts/thought beats will need to be made. Much variety is needed.Constraint: This section will consist of tightly framed extreme close-ups to showbeing constrained (and reveal the “star image”), which will also be emphasized in thefacial expressions and movements of the singer. She will look apprehensive, but alsojumpy - jump cuts will be used here. The camera will zoom out to a wide-angle longshot when “Stockholm” syndrome is mentioned, showing sympathy combined with thelighting. These shots will occasionally pan down and be interspaced with ones of herbody covered in fairy lights. Robyn will need to lip-sync in these shots.Conflict: A general variety of camera shots will be used here. I really want to tryand play around with focusing here; shallow focus, deep focus, and pulling between thetwo. I want to try and latch onto the trend of videos going out of focus, showing blurrylights – a pleasing aesthetic. Also, I will try and use much camera movement to reflectthe erratic nature of Robyn’s. The singer will need to lip-sync.Escape: I want to include lots of shots of Robyn’s feet here, showing how she iswalking to the beat of the music, as well as filming from in front and behind the singer.Split screen could then be used to show the Robyn walking in two directions. Jumpcuts will play a huge role here. I was really inspired by yet another Madonna video –Live to Tell. It uses lots of pans around the singer’s head and I really want to try thistechnique to emphasise Robyn’s facial expressions. As such, Robyn will remainlooking at the camera or straight forwards. Overall "Bittersweet Symphony" influencedthis idea. Robyn will yet again need to lip-sync here.
Freedom: A general variety of camera shots will be used here yet again. Thecamera will move around with Robyn to reflect her movement. Only one or two shotswill be used. This will be used as the “ritual celebration” at the end of the song. Robynwill need to lip-sync here.Disjuncture / Car: I will shoot this section through a combination of long shotsfrom a car windscreen, and low angle shots from a car window. This will make theworld seem big and imposing – intimidating now that Robyn is entering back into thereal world. I will try and use a fish eye lens to do this also. Obviously, there will be nolip-syncing here.Oblivion: This will be achieved a long shot, where Robyn is centrally placed withpeople walking past her on either side. She will walk very slowly, and the footage willbe sped up so that she is walking at normal speed and the others twice-as-fast. Therewill be no lip-syncing here.LIGHTINGStudio lighting will be used extensively in the video given the shooting locations. Iwant to mainly use purple tones as I feel this will complement the nature of the songwell, and creative quite dark connotations.In the constraint segment the shot will be especially dark, showing only some ofRobyn’s face due to disco lights flashing on her. She will also be covered in fairy lights,to emphasise the constraint theme (this was inspired by the use of fairy lights inRihanna’s “We Found Love”) As the camera zooms out, the light will grow stronger toreveal Robyn’s full body.
DANCEIn typical Robyn style, I want to utilise her characteristic jerky dance movements asseen here in Dancing On My Own. This looks always looks semi-spontaneous andcomplements the beat of the song well thus I want to incorporate it. It always workswell with jump cuts that I am planning to include. Her typical style includes twitching her head and shoulders, waving her arms around and stomping her feet. The only performance shots where this not required will be Freedom, where a more smooth form of dance will be used, and Oblivion where Robyn will just walk.