Analysis of Mumford & Sons video


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Analysis of 'Gentlemen of the Road - Part 3' for my Media Studies Advanced Portfolio.

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Analysis of Mumford & Sons video

  1. 1. Analysis of ‘Gentlemen of the Road – Part 3’
  2. 2. 6:30 – 7:40
  3. 3. The whole documentary is shown in black and white, and this sequence starts with some shots that show it as being in a different country from the previous scene. There is a shot of a plane, in a plane and in an airport. The fact that they’re a travelling band and play live in lots of different countries is clearly supported. In editing, ‘Australia’ has been added to one of the shots to tell the audience where the band are, and similar notices were made for the other countries they visited. The audio for this sequence is the start of the studio version of their song ‘Dust Bowl Dance’.
  4. 4. These are more shots that show that the band have travelled to Australia - perhaps more significantly with the shot of the Australian flag. The use of such shots establishes things to the audience and helps to fill the gap that might occur due to having a documentary without a narrator. Marcus, a member of the band, is talking about the band going to Australia, and this too serves to describe what is happening to the audience.
  5. 5. This shot shows the venue in which Mumford & Sons are playing. From the shot you can’t see much about the venue in terms of its capacity etc, so the audience may want to carry on watching to find out more. The song fades slightly though continues playing in the background, whilst there is audio of an interviewer welcoming the band to Australia and asking “why do you think you’ve connected so well with Aussies?” There is also a shot of the interviewer talking with half of the band in the shot.
  6. 6. The shot doesn’t carry on long enough for the band to answer the question given by the interviewer but instead a sequence of clips from the gig in question are shown with the audio of the song which becomes louder now that the speaking has stopped. The shots change in time with the music and as a fairly intense part of the song, especially live, there are quite a few shots, of both the crowd and the band in the build up to the outro of the song. Of the shots of the band in this build up, a lot are of them walking on to the stage. As many of the crowd won’t know what they’re filming for, and the band are getting ready to play the gig, the shots are very natural and the expressions on peoples faces in the crowd are clear, with the fans waiting in anticipation. The black and white works to keep the focus on the music rather than things such as clothes and keep it simple.
  7. 7. As the song comes to a part which is very loud and fast compared to the previous part, the shots are mainly those of members of the band performing at the gig. Each member of the band gets relatively the same amount of screentime, reinforcing the fact that they don’t particularly have a frontman. The band are shown to be putting a lot of effort into the performance, and the crowd are shown to be giving the same energy back and enjoying the show. This compliments some things said earlier in the clip about how much they enjoy performing live. The black and white again helps to keep the focus on the music and the actions of both the band and the crowd. Shots from a variety of angles are used, with some showing particular members of the band alone, and others taken from the back of the stage with the crowd in the background. Showing the band with the crowd reinforces the band’s thoughts that the performance isn’t just about them but that the crowd play a huge part in making the live performance what it is.
  8. 8. As with most music documentaries, there’s the sense of seeing something from a position where you wouldn’t usually get to, as if you went to see them live you’d most likely be in the crowd, and not on the stage with them. This part of the song lasts for around 40 seconds and a lot of shots are used in this time. Though this length has the potential to get boring the editing is fast paced like the music and as most shots aren’t repeated the sequence is kept interesting. The fast editing almost makes you want to watch it again as you know that you probably missed something on the first watch.
  9. 9. These shots reflect the fact that the song is slowing down and the instruments stop and it’s just the keyboard and vocals that remain. In contrast to the high energy performance shown previously, the keys and banjo player are shown just standing around and the edits are slow. This sequence is representative of how fast the band’s songs/live performances can change completely.
  10. 10. 9:15 – 10.05
  11. 11. In this sequence the first few shots have been shot in their tour bus showing the scenery going past, representative of them travelling around a lot. The audio in this section is of Marcus, a member of the band, speaking about their enjoyment every time they book a tour. This gives a positive representation of the band as they enjoy playing music live to fans! There is also a close-up of Marcus whilst he’s speaking, he’s grinning a lot - he really does mean that they love booking new shows!
  12. 12. 12 Ted, the band’s bassist, is shown in a close-up talking to the camera. This gives the impression that it is a behind the scenes documentary. Ted talks about them being on their way to Splendour In The Grass, and that it’s one of the biggest shows they’ve ever done - which Ted says is “exciting” - again the band are shown in a positive light. There is a shot from within the tour bus showing them travelling once again. After Ted mentions that it’s going to be one of their biggest shows, there is a panning shot showing the crowd to show viewers how many people are in fact there! As with the names of countries the name of the festival has been edited in to tell the viewers where the band are playing.
  13. 13. Mumford start playing in the background and you hear somebody introduce them, and some clapping, there’s then a shot of half of the band in what seems to be an acoustic performance perhaps before their main set. There’s also then a shot of those listening, many of whom seem to be enjoying themselves a lot! There isn’t much audio of the performance played as Ben starts to speak. The fact that all of the band get a chance to speak and it isn’t primarily about Marcus (as he is lead vocals/guitarist) gives a positive representation of the band as nobody likes a frontman who hogs the limelight.
  14. 14. There is a quick snippet of footage from another show used while Ben says that “every show has been a highlight”, and he is then shown speaking, clearly in an interview of some sort at Splendour. The fact the interview is being filmed over the interviewers shoulder out of the way gives a feeling that you’re actually there, a fly on the wall.
  15. 15. Ben talks about touring Australia, and as with Marcus he seems really thankful for the opportunities the band have been given to tour all these different countries. Being quite humble is a positive trait and portrays the band in a good light! When Ben mentions touring there is footage of them walking around (and through the camera work you’re made to feel slightly as if you’re walking along with them too), and then yet another shot in a bus of the road going by. Throughout the documentary there is a lot of emphasis on how much the band travel and how happy they are about this, earning them the title ‘Gentlemen of the Road’.
  16. 16. Whilst Ben still speaks about touring the country there is a montage of a few clips of the band. When there is a mention of the crowd there is an over the shoulder shot of a member of the band, showing the crowd who are all clapping along. This is reverted as normally the perspective a fan would get would be in the opposite direction and in this way the documentary is showing fans things that they otherwise might not be able to see. Ben is shown once again in the interview as he finishes speaking and another scene begins.