Bastille - Laura Palmer Analysis


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Bastille - Laura Palmer Analysis

  3. 3.  Artist: Bastille  Song: Laura Palmer  Single Released: April 4th 2013  Video Released: April 11th 2013  Genre: Alternative Rock  Record Label: EMI Records/Virgin  Production company:  Production of song: Dan Smith and Mark Crew  Director of music video: Austin Peters
  4. 4.  BASTILLE are an alternative rock band from London. First formed in 2010, Bastille began as a solo project by singer-songwriter Dan Smith, who later decided to form a band.  The name of the band derives from Bastille Day – a French event celebrated on 14 July, which is also the same date lead vocalist, Dan Smith, was born.  In February 2013, ahead of the release of their debut album, the band's fourth single, Pompeii was released to huge demand, this is the song that brought Bastille further into the public eye charting at number 2 in the UK.  Their first studio album ‘Bad Blood’ was released in March 2013 and debuted atop of the UK Albums Chart.
  5. 5. MUSIC VIDEO PLOT  The song ‘Laura Palmer’ is based on the David Lynch series ‘Twin Peaks’ Dan Smith wanted to refer to the TV show and speak about the slightly weird and eerie atmosphere of the show.  The video depicts a vague and bizarre story where lead singer Dan Smith is kidnapped and released within less than two minutes. A group of renegade kids takes him from the ‘set’ of a big pop music video. These four people wear rubber masks. Bastille used this setting because they found it to be quite cheesy and wanted to juxtapose it with the following sequences. Toward the end after being released, Dan is given a rubber mask to wear which looks like killer BOB, the actual killer of Laura Palmer in the Twin Peaks series. Smith wears the mask then removes it after a few seconds.
  6. 6. CAMERA SHOTS  The camera shots in this music video range from static to tracking and also a lot of hand held shots which are used by the gang throughout ‘Laura Palmer’  The video begins with a low angle shot of the sky. The quality of the shot is bad and we can see that this was taken on a hand held VCR camera. This gives the scene a jerky, ragged effect and involves the viewer very closely into the scene. The music has not started at this point and as the camcorder zooms out from a gang members chest, they lift their arms and the music begins. Several shots of the gang are shown using mid shots and pans to show the surroundings that they live in and what type of people they are.  Throughout these scenes of the gang cross cutting is then used to show Dan singing and the gang preparing something that we yet do not know. Throughout these scenes, shots such as a 75 degree mid shot and tilts have been used. A canted angle is on most of these shots to suggest instability, this could also show that they are point of view shots from the hand held VCR camera.  Close ups and extreme close ups have been used to show the gang putting on rubber masks to hide their identity from Dan and his music video camera crew. The gang then set out on quad bikes to their destination, numerous tracking shots are used here to show the movement of the gang. These range from close ups to mid shots.
  7. 7. CAMERA SHOTS  Once again the camera returns to the music set where Dan begins the chorus of the song, as the music picks up tempo the lasers are shown and the ‘cheesy pop video’ that Bastille wanted to portray is brought to life. A clapper board is then put in front of the static camera to symbolise the end of the take. We are then shown around backstage of the music video, a two shot of the director and a 75 degree side shot of Dan and the make up woman is used. Also here the rest of Bastille has been shown on an eye level angle – as if a human is observing the scene.  Two establishing shots are used next, one on the static camera and another on the gangs hand held VCR, this tells the audience that they are watching and getting closer to their culprit and are about to kidnap Dan. The director issues the take to begin again and we see the lasers on Dan from both the static and hand held camera. We see a wide shot of the gang arriving on set on the quad bikes, and two close ups of Dan on the hand held and immediately a masked man jumps onto screen to hide what is going on. A cut to a dog, Dan’s shirt on the floor and an empty video set is then shown to juxtapose against the hectic scene that has just happened.  The music cuts back into the chorus of ‘Laura Palmer’ and Dan is shown in a two shot, tied up on the back of a quad bike. Close ups of the film crew then are shown, this is a reaction shot of shock and confusion, portraying to the audience that this was not supposed to happen.
  8. 8. CAMERA SHOTS  The following scenes are 90% filmed on the hand held VCR camera, close ups of Dan tied up with a bag over his head is shown as well as a gang member playing the few keyboard notes that are prominent in this part of the song. A cross cut of the band follows, showing how their life has carried on without Dan and more close ups of how Dan is being tortured are viewed, which includes a tarantula and hitting him over the head with the baseball bat that was shown in the second frame of the video.  More tracking shots of the quad bikes are shown with the gang having knowing expression. This then cuts sharply to an over the shoulder shot of Dan being shown his mask that mildly resembles Laura Palmer’s original killer, Killer Bob. P.O.V shots are then used from around a corner, showing Dan looking into a mirror donning his mask. There is then constant cross cutting between Dan in the house, the gang messing about and the rest of the Bastille band.  As the music comes to an end a tracking mid shot is used of Dan on the front of a quad bike wearing his mask. This then shows to the audience that he has grown to love the renegade kids and has joined their gang. A short frame of the gang coming toward us the audience and we are shot back to Dan who is now stood on top of the quad, holding his mask in the air. The gang walks further to the camera and puts a mask over the lens, this could now mean that we have also been captured and are a part of this renegade gang.
  9. 9. EDITING  The editing of the ‘Laura Palmer’ music video is fast paced as we are never at one frame for longer than a couple of seconds. This could be because there are many people involved including the gang members, film crew and the four members of Bastille. This allows the point of view of each of these people to be recognised by the audience.  The first frame of the video is shown to be a plain blue screen. We then realise that this is an old hand held VCR camera starting up to show the clips. The screen then becomes pixelated and the video begins. This involves the viewer much more closely into the screen and creates a gritty realism. The scenes between 0.44 and 0.49 are linked by a match cut. They have been visually linked by the donning of each of their masks. This makes the video flow smoothly into each of the frames.  Cross cuts are used throughout the whole video, they are first used to show an establishing shot of Dan Smith stood alone on the video shoot. Cross cuts are then continuously used throughout the video to show how the gang are preparing to kidnap Dan whilst he is singing on the music video set.  (1.04-1.07) With the notes of the piano changing tempo, the frames cross cut to the different situations happening at that point which reflects and keeps in time with the music.  The version of the song in the video is unique to it because all of a sudden there is an unexpected interruption in the music. During the scene where Dan is kidnapped, which is shown as a hand held shot, there is a jump cut – to a badly edited VCR tape – to a completely unrelated shot of a dog howling, also shot with a camcorder. The song stops here in the middle of the second chorus to hear this dog howling, who had already made an appearance in the video with no accompanying audio. After five seconds, the video cuts back to a more neutral point of view shot and the song resumes.
  10. 10. MISE EN SCENE  Lighting – This video is shot both in the day and night. The kidnapping scene has been shot in the darkness underneath trees in a forest. This creates a more sinister and threatening atmosphere. There are pools of light created by the lasers and staging lights which makes you think that the set is a safe place due to the amount of people we can see there. This idea is juxtaposed when we see on the hand held camera, that the gang are hiding in the trees and you can just see the glimmers of light from the set.  Location/Set Composition – This helps develop the narrative of the ‘Laura Palmer’ music video. The two main locations used are the video set and the town in which the gang lives. They filmed this in Palmdale, California. This location shows that the gang do not have much money and they do not have jobs as they spend all day doing nothing.  Costumes/Props - The clothes that are used throughout the video are normal day to day clothes. However from the gang all of their attire looks quite worn, conveying that they do not have a lot of money. Also in one frame two men are shown fighting over a shirt which could mean they do not have many clothes between them. Many of the gang are wearing dark clothes which can be associated with evil characters  The only unusual prop used here are the masks. Masks are worn by the renegade kids to hide their identity when kidnapping Dan. They also wear these to and from the kidnapping, ensuring nobody sees them. These masks are of human characters as well as animals. It has been considered that the mask given to Dan at the end of the music video could look like Killer Bob. Killer Bob was in the David Lynch series ‘Twin Peaks’ and murdered Laura Palmer – whom the song is mildly based upon. As the gang are wearing masks a lot of the time, their characters become more mysterious and inaccessible to us and the sense of intimacy is lost. Whereas with Dan, we sympathise with him as his face is shown 90% of the time and we can see that he is worried and scared.  Staging/Proxemics – The characters only look into the camera when it is the hand held that has been used, this gives it an unprofessional ‘home movie’ feel. This also happens a few seconds before the end of the video, where the gang walks toward the camera and puts a mask over the lens, this could now mean that we have also been captured and are a part of this renegade gang. The audience is involved within this video and this creates a gritty realism, this is portrayed through P.O.V shots and frames filmed on the hand held cameras.
  11. 11. WHY THE VIDEO IS EFFECTIVE  This video is effective because it is not the normal type of video where the band either sings or plays their song in front of the camera or an audience at a gig or festival. The band have put thought into matching the video to the song and having a story line throughout.  They have also created a big ‘cheesy pop music set’ in which they destroy. This is here because Dan Smith the main character in the video and lead singer of Bastille does not like to be the centred attention of music videos. Therefore they liked the idea of making a parody of a video they would never want to create, and then they get to subvert it. LAURA PALMER – BEHIND THE SCENES