Richard Ayoade’s visual style, genre, editing style and stylistic influences
Richard Ayoade works with mainstream indie rock bands, such as Arctic Monkeys.
The artists tend to narrate the story behind the video and star as themselves in the live performances.
Richard Ayoade tends to use a lot of live performance in his videos and uses lighting to emphasise the artists. In this and the lyrics/song title are visualised because they are literally standing next to each other. ‘Last Shadow Puppets – Standing Next To Me’
Analysis of ‘The Last Shadow Puppets – Standing Next To Me’
This video is based upon a very simplistic idea, but is very effective. The mise
en-scene is so basic containing the two artists with their instruments, lighting,
and 7 girls dancing, that is all. As the video begins the camera shot contains
both artists, which literally illustrate the song title ‘ standing next to me ’ as they
are standing next to each other. At the beginning of the video the camera fade away from
the artists and the bands name appear like credits at the end of a movie. The lighting
techniques throughout the video create shadows over the artists which also illustrate
literally the bands name ‘the last shadow puppets’. The lighting and camerawork
throughout the video focus on the artists faces, at the beginning of the video there are
spotlights on them, the camera then zooms away and big bright light bulbs appear in a
row, the camera then circles the artists constantly, creating a more dynamic feel to stage
the performance. which is very common in music video to give the audience a sense of
intimacy, later on the artists are both standing on platforms whilst two flashing spotlights
are used to create shadows of their silhouettes on the wall behind them. What is
interesting in this video is that Richard Ayoade hasn’t used the common technique of
cutting from a narrative of the lyrics to a live performance, but actually uses live
performance from the artists throughout the whole video from start to finish.
Analysis of Arctic Monkeys – Crying Lightning This video is based entirely upon the band’s live performance on the song throughout the video. But is not a typical location, the band are located on a boat in the middle of the ocean, the band appear huge in context to the boat. It is clear the band have just performed the track on a green screen and the special effects of the ocean and weather have been added post-production, I’m not sure whether the idea is for it to look a little bit fake, I think the band want to be a ‘rock’ band and have used big holograms of them playing their guitars to do this. The song title is literally illustrated through the used of the lightning effects and stormy weather throughout. The song title is also displayed at the beginning as the camera ‘flies’ over the water surface. The camerawork focuses on the instruments, for example on the drums solo there is a shot of the drums. What I find interesting is that the camera isn’t just the circling the artists but is actually shooting them from a birds eye view too which is very unique and different for a music video. In my opinion although this video is quite a simple technique; the band performance green screened with special effects it does have the ‘repeatability’ factor and makes you want to watch it over and over again.
Comparison between Arctic Monkeys and Last Shadow Puppets There are a few of similarities between these two music videos which Richard Ayoade has directed. This could be because Alex Turner is in both bands; his main band being Arctic Monkeys and Last Shadow Puppets is his side project with Miles Kane. At the beginning of both videos there are ‘movie-like’ credits which display the title of the song and the bands name. Both videos are very focused on the band, with the band’s live performance being the main event throughout rather than an accompanying narrative story, in both videos the camera is constantly focused on the artists, circling them, focusing on the instruments being played. The videos are very different though in the sense that Last Shadow Puppets uses clever lighting techniques to make the viewer want to watch it again, whereas Arctic Monkeys use spectacular blockbuster film style special effects to create that repeatability factor.