Analysis of ‘To Kill A King - Behind The
Scenes of Funeral (Ralph’s Singalong
The first few shots of the video are close-ups of
particular items that help to set the scene. Firstly,
the To Kill A King logo on a piece of equipment,
and then on their drum kit, telling the audience
that this is who the video is of/about. There is then
a shot of ‘Funeral – Mass Band’ written on a piece
of paper, which will later become clear to the
viewer to mean that the video they’re filming is a
mass band version of the To Kill A King track
‘Funeral’. There is also a close-up of a card with
the name of the venue in which the video is being
recorded. The start of the track in question begins
at the start of the video too.
There is a shot from the top of a set of stairs looking down, showing people (musicians)
walking up the stairs. The lighting and pictures hanging on the wall suggest that they’re in a
pub of some sort. After this shot there is an over the shoulder shot showing the lead singer
of the band, Ralph, who seems to be giving instructions to some others. Behind him you can
see a few people with brass instruments and it’s the first moment where you start to see
how many people are there. There is no speech through this, the track continues playing.
The song fades into the background and there is a mid-shot of Ralph and Ian in an
interview scenario at the outside of the venue, beginning to explain what it is exactly that
they’re filming. In this way the members of the band act almost as commentators to the
viewers which is often the case in such ‘behind the scenes’ videos. The clip alternates
between another shot of the stairs, and then back to this shot of Ralph and Ian.
The song changes from the studio recording to a live version, which is then
shown as it happens, through a close-up of Ralph. You can hear lots of people
singing and get the community feel that the group are trying to get across.
This clip is only fairly short, and acts as a taster of what is happening before
the next shot in which Ian starts to explain what is happening. For this clip
the song goes back to the studio recording.
After Ian says “we thought we’d get loads of other musicians, loads of other
bands along” there is fittingly a close-up of Ralph which zooms out to show a
bunch of these musicians playing and singing along with the band.
After this Ralph and Ian list some of the musicians that are there on the day, and a shot of each
of these is show as they are mentioned. The shots are fairly natural ones of them, not as if
they’ve posed for the purpose of this video, and also it’s clear that everybody there is having a
lot of fun on the day.
After showing a few people particularly, there is
first a shot of Ralph and Ian talking, and then one
which pans around showing the amount of
musicians there, and also the array of instruments
Ralph explains that the musicians there are people that
they’ve met through doing music and they thought it’d be
nice for them to all play a song together, and the studio
version of the track continues to play in the background.
There are then a few shots of some of these musicians in
the venue between recording.. again, the shots are casual
and you can tell it is behind the scenes, and not a staged
Once again the song changes from the studio
recording to the track being performed live,
firstly shown through an over the shoulder shot
where the main focus is Ralph as the lead singer
of To Kill A King, but with many of the other
musicians around him. After this shot there is a
close-up of one of the musicians taking part in
the singalong, and then this pans sideways to
some more of the musicians.
There is then another shot of Ralph and
a few of the musicians around him still
singing the same part of the song.
The live version of the song continues in the
background as Ralph and Ian are shown once
again and Ralph explains how the song is relevant
to the video that they’re filming considering the
lyric “I must make more friends”. This shot is
followed by relevant shots of a couple of
members of the band hugging other musicians
which reiterates the feeling that the band give
that they’ve got lots of friends through their
mutual love of music.
There is an over the shoulder shot showing
some of the musicians playing - fly on the wall
again. There is then a mid-long shot of four
musicians practicing for when they record.
They all seem happy and supportive towards
each other, have a unity/friendship through
music - positive representation. No song for
either of these shots, instead the diegetic
sound of the instruments being played.
The music carries on using a sound bridge to the
next shot, and fades. There is a mid shot of the
band’s bassist explaining what is happening to the
group of musicians. Fact he he isn’t looking
directly at the camera emphasises that its a
documentary and not set up. He’s holding his
bass guitar and in terms of mise en scene this
puts emphasis on the focus of the clip. When he
mentions the guitarist, there is a shot of him, and
the same for the drummer. Such shots help the
audience to further understand the clip. He jokes
that they’ll “call that the drop” - being comical is
good and representatives him/the band in a
“When we drop - communally” - subtle
mention of the fact that that particular group
of musicians is like a community brought
together by music.
Similarly to on the previous slide where shots of
the guitarist/drummer were shown when they
were mentioned, a shot of Ralph handing out the
“written out part” is used when the bassist
mentions this to everyone. Through this scene
there is no music in the background, leaving the
focus is on what he is talking about.
After the bassist says “Let’s give it a go!” there are shots of
a host of the different musicians there on the day, that can
be seen and heard anticipating the start of recording, asking
one another if they’re ready etc. There is still no track
playing in the background for this part of the clip - the focus
will be on the song when they start performing. There are
over the shoulder shots emphasising that it is behind the
scenes and not part of it.
The focus is about to be on the drummer as he
opens the song, and there is a shot of him talking.
He has to raise his voice over the other
musicians, again clear it’s not staged. There is a
shot of him giving the thumbs up as he’s ready,
which is taken over the cymbal - quite
aesthetically interesting. Focused on the cymbal
but as the camera moves closer to him, the focus
changes gradually. In a sort of response shot
Ralph is shown responding that he’s ready too.
Again this is taken from an interesting angle.
You can clearly hear “Ready?!” and then there is a close-up shot of the
guitarist’s feet, as he presses something on an effects pedal. The camera
then pans upwards to a low angle shot showing him playing the guitar. The
low angle often makes things seem superior and this could be seen to be
the case with this shot as at this point in the song the guitarist of the band
is the most prominent amongst all the other musicians there.
This shot of Ralph is used again, and is this time
focused particularly on the microphone, such
close-ups of musical equipment are very common
within music documentaries, I have found. The
audio on this shot is the start of the performance
- the guitar riff. There is a shot of another person
filming, making it clear that this video itself is
behind the scenes as a shot of a camera would
otherwise probably be avoided. A shot from
behind some of the other musicians shows Ian
playing guitar, and he makes a mistake, to which
they all have a laugh about - they’re not taking
themselves too seriously which is good.
A close-up shot of a microphone which is focused
on this zooms outwards and blurs, whilst the
guitar riff starts again in the background. This shot
almost gives the audience the perspective of the
Similar to before, but recorded closer to Ian,
there is a shot of him playing the opening riff once
more. The person recording for the actual video
(not the behind the scenes) is clearly visible.
As the drummer starts playing, there is a shot of him, and he
is heard counting the other musicians in. After this moment
the music picks up and there is a mixture of voices, clapping
and string as well as the drums and guitar. Shots of those
performing are used and there is a lot of focus on the
communion of them all and the sheer number of them.