Music video narrative analysis
I selected ‘When you’re gone’ byAvrilLavingne to analysis.
This music video was made up with 3 similar stories and
presented in video alternately. I choose one of them to
analysis cause they are similar.
Piano plays the prelude ,at the same time, an established
shot of a big house and a couple standing outside the door is
presented. The color of the frame was dark and grey, it
hinted that is a sad story.
When the song was started, a medium shot of the couple
who were featured showed they were clasping their hands
and looking at each other without saying anything.(lyric:
And the days feel like years when I'm alone). As we can see,
the man wore army uniform and the woman wore a white
dress.The low angle serves as a foil to the love between the
couple is strong and close.
The lyric said: When you walk away I count the steps that
you take, Do you see how much I need you right now? At this
moment, An established shot presented the man wearing
new army uniform and walking away the house .His wife just
still stood there and looked at his back .This shot was
presented in the same frame as the first shot.
Lyrics say:When you walk away I count the steps that you take
Do you see how much I need you right now?
There is a tilt following the woman’s eyes and focusing on her
belly.This shot suggests the woman has a baby ,she needs her
husband but he has to leave home to protect more people .It is
quite consistent to the lyrics.
lyrics:When you're gone
The pieces of my heart are missing you
When you're gone
The face I came to know is missing too
The frame showed the wife was watching television, the TV
programme were releasing the news about the war. The lady
was holding her necklace tightly which showed she was
nervous and worried. And her sad face suggested she
extremely missed her husband .
A point of view of her phone showed there was no message
from anyone , she did not get any message from her husband.
She even had no idea whether her husband still survived or
not. It made her worried and made her sad.
The last part of this story was illustrated that his wife went
to army commendation meeting as other women. This is a
point of view of her mobile-phone , the words in colour
black showed: I am okay, I miss U. The screen of mobile
phone is very clear so that audiences can see it quickly at the
first sight. Moreover, the sentence ‘I miss U’ is the same as
the lyrics, it reinforced the theme of the song is people
missing someone they loved but left.
This is the last shot of this story in music video. A close up at
the side of his wife showed she was smiling happily , she was
at ease when she saw the message. The message seemed to
give her lots of courage to get stronger in her life and let her
have confidence to take care of their baby on her own.
Artwork of ‘when you’re gone’
AvrilLavigne has said the song "is about being with someone
you love, and you have to say goodbye, and all the little
things you miss about them". As we can see from this album
artwork, the colour of it is dark but mix with dark red. In my
opinion, red means love, but dark color hints sad and leave.
And the artist Avril is sitting in the middle of the picture and
looks at viewers, it looks like that she is waiting for someone
,may be waiting someone she loves or loved. The picture is
concise and really simple.