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Panic! At The Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies Analysis


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Panic! At The Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies Analysis

  1. 1. Panic! At the Disco – I Write Sins Not Tragedies Elleah Stanton
  2. 2.  This video is ultimately a narrative clip, however there is a performance element to it as the lead singer, Brendon Urie, lip syncs the words while being the Ring Master in the narrative.  The video follows the story of a wedding. The Ring Master intrudes on the wedding rather intrusively. Then the grooms family intrusively enter the wedding room. The bride’s family are shown with eyes painted on their eye lids. The bride leaves at the alter and is revealed to be a “whore”, “What a shame the poor groom's bride is a whore. The Ring Master grabs the groom and drags him to see the bride being a “whore” where she is kissing another man. The Ring Master is then revealed to be the grooms alter ego, as the man who played the groom dresses in the same clothes as Urie. This character represents the side of the groom that has always had doubt about his girlfriend and has built a wall of sass to combat this emotion -“I mean, technically, our marriage is saved”.  The way the groom’s alter ego is flouncing arrogantly and confidently around the setting is also shown in the lyrics, “Haven't you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?” Here the man is sarcastically saying that ignorance is bliss.
  3. 3. Genre  This song is put into the baroque pop/rock category due to its links to the 1960s as a fusion of pop rock, classical music, orchestral pop and baroque music. Therefore, one would expect that the music video would include the typical rock music video conventions but with an old fashioned twist. This is shown through the use of old, traditional circus acts and traditional clothing and setting.  The video follows the rock music video conventions through the following:  Brendon Urie (lead singer) is the main focus of the video, he is the Ring Master who controls his circus acts and speaks to the audience.  There is a deeper/hidden meaning of over coming betrayal and staying strong through darker times.  It follows a story about a wrecked wedding that matches the lyrics about moving on from a wrecked relationship.  There is an instrumental break in the middles of the song where the tone becomes more suspenseful, matching the moment when the bride’s family open their eyes after a man blows glitter over them.  The video is set at night with conspicuous lighting outside the wedding room and when they are indoors the lighting is not natural and is clearly manufactured.
  4. 4. Lyrics and Visuals  The lead singer lip syncs the words in most of the song; he is in character while he is singing which immerses the viewer in the narrative. It also helps make the lead singer look more significant which, like said in Andrew Goodwin’s theory, that this is the demand of the record label. The lead singer needs as much screen time as possible in order to sell the band as a brand or product  When the he sings, “goddamned door”, it is matched with a close up shot of the vicar with a stern face, then Brendon covers his mouth in a comical way.  There is not actually a lot of matching between the lyrics and the visuals. The lyrics repeat the same few lines quite a lot so the video must continue with the narrative “ I chime in with a "Haven't you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door?!" No, it's much better to face these kinds of things With a sense of poise and rationality.”
  5. 5. Mise-en-scene The start of the video shows a reverse zoom close up of a wedding signature book, which is a typical custom of a wedding. The viewer immediately knows that the video will be set at a wedding. They assume that the story may be about a couple who are completely romantically in love without any trouble. However the playful tone of the start of the song suggests otherwise, and that there may be a degree of danger to their marriage. This in turn makes the viewer want to keep watching to find out what the plot twist of the video will be.  Then when the camera zooms out the audience are greeted with the image of, what seems to be, a quaint little wedding with the use of fairy lights and indoor plants. It is still not revealed what the danger is. This withholding of information grips the viewers attention.  We are then revealed to the sight of the bride’s family with their faces painted white and eyes painted on your eye lids. They are shown to be whispering to each other, which is the first glimpse of what could be the danger in the video. Empty pews are then shown where the groom’s family should be sitting which causes a lot of controversy in the narrative.  The lead singer then bursts through a wooden door wearing a red and black Ring Master costume. The red connotes danger and lust, which we find out later is the cause of the suspenseful music and suspected plot twist. The top hat connotes dominance and he is then therefore presented as the main character in the narrative.  A load of rather creepy circus acts then start to flood into the room, supposedly the groom’s family. One character is a man on stilts with black and white striped trousers and a white bow tie. Another a girl in provocative clothing and a bright ink wig. This ‘freak show’ could represent the part of the groom that the bride is not happy with, which then pushes her to cheat. This theory is emphasised when the bride’s family look horrified.
  6. 6. Camera Work and Editing  At the start of the video extreme close up shots of the lead singer are shown parallel to the shots of the wedding book. The use of such an intimate shot matched with the mysterious music suggests that he is part of the danger. This portrays the artist in a comical and mischievous way, an image that Panic! At the Disco have aimed for in many of their music videos. This therefore creates a likeable personality for the audience to latch onto and become fans of, ultimately selling the band.  The cuts between the shots of the circus acts piling into the room and dancing are very swift and quick, also matching the speed and tone of the music.  When the Ring Master talks in the grooms ear, a close up two shot is used to show the intimacy between them. Also, after later finding out that he is his alter ego, it is as if he is his the devil/angel on his shoulder.  There is a lot of slow motion editing in the moments where it is a significant action. This is something that I have noticed in all of the music videos that I have analysed and it is definitely something I will use in my own work.  Close up shots have also been a recurring main feature of the videos, which again is something that I will adopt for my own music video tasks. They are used to show raw emotion.  There is also a significant amount of shots that have been sped up slightly then return to normal or speed in the same shot. I really like this idea so it will appear in my own work a lot.
  7. 7. Theory  There is not exactly much use of voyeurism in this video as the women who are dressed up in a provocative manner are not perceived as provocative women but provocative circus acts, gender has not say in it.  A star image is created due to the use of a dominant costume and a lot of screen time from the lead singer. It is clear that the band are making a statement and telling the world that they are a band who don’t conform to the typical boundaries and expectations of society by creating a video with outlandish characters.
  8. 8. Promotional Media Album CoverSingle Cover