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Daft Punk - Instant Crush
ft. Julian Casablancas
Music video analysis
Daft Punk - Instant Crush
ft. Julian Casablancas
Instant Crush is a song by French electronic music duo – Daft Punk
from their album ‘Random Access, the whole idea is about love and
the loss of love. In the music video, there is a narrative through the
whole video. Therefore, the storytelling techniques demonstrate
the narrative and the main theme of the song. Due to it’s a music
video, therefore I will analyse the camerawork, mise en scene,
editing and how they develop the story with the sound (music).
According to the Andrew Goodwin’s conventions of music
videos, there are three key conventions music videos usually have.
And ‘Instant Crush’ has all these three conventions. First, this video
has a narrative, there is a main story through the whole video.
Second, the video features a singer - Julian Casablancas to
perform on a stage. The last one is the theme of the song. The
them is love in this song and all the techniques are fitting in to
demonstrate the theme.
Camerawork:
In the whole music video, the story is about the slight relationship
of two waxed figures. They are not alive in the story, but the
technical codes elaborate identities to them. Although we’ve never
seen them moving, but audience still project emotions into the
figures as if they are actual characters in a film. Camerawork is
exactly the aspect which gives this impression to audience.
• First shot (Establishing shot)/ Last shot
• Close up
• Rack focus
These are the aspects of camerawork used to demonstrate the theme:
First shot (Establishing shot):
In the first shot which before the story starts, there
is a long shot of an empty stage which a stage
light illuminating on it. The music hasn't even
started yet. This shot doesn't directly relate to the
story, but it contains the general idea of the whole
music video, which is about emptiness.
When the second shot begins, the music rings, so
this is the shot which the story begins. This is a
detailed close-up of a wheel of a big case. The shot
is directional since the whole case is pushed
rightwards and the camera tracks right along the
case. It’s hinting the audience that where the case
is going is the place the story begins. It doesn't
show you the place by using a long shot or an
extreme long shot to avoid the story being too
objective. The director doesn't want the story
becomes too obvious, and it focuses on the case to
establish the main character’s identity. Audiences
do not know the characters yet, but this case is
bringing the audiences into the story subjectively.
First shot
Second shot
Because the last shot only shows a partial story, so there are more than one shot to establish the
set. The third shot is a point-of-view (POV) shot inside the case. This is an identification of the
main character because the audiences are using the main character to see the story. We see the
ceiling inside a building, so the character is looking upwards. Then the fourth shot is the same
like the second shot of the wheel which stops. The fifth shot is back to the POV shot but this time
it tilts down to show more to the audience: an exhibit with a diving suit. From these few shots, they
are telling you where the story happens by showing little parts of the set to the audience. And
also verifying the identity that the audience is watching in the view of the waxed figure.
Third shot Fourth Fifth
Close up:
In this video, the relationship of the wax figures is
connected by using close-ups. Because the figures
are not alive, so there are not actually mental or
physical relationship of them existing. But the
storytelling techniques joint them as if they are
having a connection. Even though they are not put
next to each other, close-ups create their eye-contact.
The director also makes alive by racking the focus. Because the
identity belongs to the waxed figure in the museum, so the
shots are from the character’s perspective. The focus of a shot
is important because it leads the audience to see what the
director want to show.
For example, there is a shot of close-up of the main female.
Then it cuts to medium close-up of the main male with a man’s
head on the foreground. The focus is on the man’s head initially,
then it racks to the main character’s face. The audiences know
the main female’s attention is on the main male. Also by putting
a male on the foreground, it spatially implies there is something
between them and stops them from being together.
Rack focus:Rackingfocus
Last shot:
Previously mentioned the first shot in the first paragraph,
now if we look at the last part, we will know the reason
why the first shot is an empty stage without any sound.
In the second last shot, It tracks out from the stage
which is also in the first shot. But this shot the stage has
the vocalist - Julian Casablancas in it, sits on the stage
with his back facing the camera. It has an expression of
loneliness. With the camera tracking out from
Casablancas, it’s telling the audience it’s the end of the
story, because the camera is leaving from him. The story
is ending soon.
In the final shot, it cuts back to the wax
figures; they have already melted to be liquid.
There are only their blurred shades and they
merge together as if they are finally together.
So the story can finish with a happy ending.
corresponding the first shot
The last shot
Mise en scene:
But the costumes of the characters also follow the
style and match the tone of the set. Because the
figures represent their periods of times, their
costumes and the backdrops should be representing
the same period and the social status the wax figures
belong to. The male figure is representing a French
soldier, it can be told by his costume which is a
soldier uniform, so the backdrop of him is a
battlefield with a canon figure next to him. Audience
would know his identity as a soldier because the
costumes and the set are constant.
Set and Costumes: The story is set in an exhibition hall, so there are many exhibits dressing an older
period. The whole set is decorated to be a museum. This is the basic setup for the scenes.
Battlefield
Canon
Soldier
uniform
In another side, the female wax figure
opposite him is representing a peasant.
Her costume is rural, such as her simple-
designed bonnet. The backdrop of her is
decorated to be countryside, the painted
country house in the background. She is
holding a bucket with chicken models and
a well next to her.
simple-designed bonnet
a well
country house
chicken
models
There are also some exhibits placed in the hall, such as one with old diving suit in early
20
th
century and the back drop of it is a seabed. Another one in a suit of armour has castle
has background to show the responsibility of him is to defend the castle. So the match of
costume and the set has a significant effect to confirm their identities. But it also has one
more effect, if we look at the periods which the figures represent; we see the difference
between them. The period of the man male and female is actually quite similar; it means
they exist in the same period. It implies to the audience that they were made to be
together. The other figures are in different times, so they are just the outsiders to them.
These extras also have a common characteristic,
they are all masked. Audiences cannot see their
faces so they will not be distracted and put their
focus on the main characters.
Lighting/Colour scheme:
The colour scheme of this video can break down in two parts, blue and
red and they both represent different tones of the story as motifs. And the
colour scheme is shown as different forms, such as stage light, fire, etc.
Back to the first shot, the empty stage is made in red but illuminated by a
moon light blue. The first shot has already shown the colour scheme of
the music video by putting them together in the same shot. But what do
they individually represent?
Red
Blue
The video can be broken down in 2 parts which they represent two
kinds of emotions. In the part of blue, it spices up the romantic
atmosphere of the characters as if the blue is actually the
moonlight shining on them. Because blue is a colour of romance,
so the audience can sense this atmosphere by looking at this blue.
Especially in the scene of the chorus, where the 2 characters are
standing together, this is the part to highlight their romantic
ambiguous relationship. A blue moonlight is used to illuminate and
focus on them. It creates a strong sense of romance.
Also in the singing scene of Casablancas, when he is singing,
narrating the story of the song, the blue stage light is also to shine
on him. It expresses the same meaning of the male figure and
Casablancas and relates them together.
In another part, red is used to represent an opposite tone.
Blue is romance, but red means hurt and pain. The red
motif is not emphasised in the first half part of the music
video, until the send half begins where is storage is
lighted up, the colour scheme of the scene is mainly red
because of the warm colour tone by the fire. The red
creates an expression of the set has become like hell, the
male and female figures are burning. Simultaneously, the
background of Casablancas has also turned red. The red
syncs happening in both locations.
Montage:
This montage is a series of images. By combining them
together, they all provide the same meaning to the audiences.
During the music solo, there are a lot images in the storage
which represent the imaginations of the male figure.
When the light is going through the gap of the storage’s ceiling, it illuminates on different
subjects in the room. For example, a painting with a couple kissing is shown. These images
illustrate the desire of the male figure that he wants to be with the female figure.
This is a very clever technique of storytelling. Since this montage is shown during the music
solo, no lyrics are sung by the singer. So the director only uses a series of images to imply the
feeling of the male figure to the audiences.
Identity of the wax figure
and Julian Casablancas:
Since the singer of the song is Casablancas, he is
presenting the song from his view. All the
expressions from the sing is presented by
Casablancas. Therefore, the male figure in the
exhibition hall actually Casablancas himself.
As above mentioned, crosscutting is used to
parallel the singer and the story. As a result, the
singer’s identity merges the male figure. The
appearances of the French soldier is also designed
to look like the singer. This will be implied as the
singer is the male figure.
The artists who created the song were actually Daft
Punk, but Julian Casablancas only co-wrote the song
with them. Due to the real identity of Daft Punk is kept
secret, they have never official revealed their identity.
Therefore, they use Casablancas as an image to
present the song. The duo only shows their helmets in a
shot of the whole music video as if they make a cameo.Daft Punk’s helmets
Aspect Ratio:
The use of aspect ratio is very important, it decides what media it is displayed on. Or it can
be styled to fit the tone of the story. The music video is processed to 4:3, released in 2013. It
is actually a new song and the time when the video is released, Internet such as Youtube had
become the largest media for music videos. Therefore, Instant Crush is made to be uploaded
on Youtube. But Youtube had already supported wide-screened aspect ratio, so it is not
necessary to be made in 4:3.
Instead, this aspect ratio is deliberately made in 4:3. Since the story is set in an exhibition
hall, all the exhibits are representing old periods, especially the main characters are set in
old generation. So the director wants to create a vintage style for main figures, as if the story
actually an old film. As a result, an old aspect ratio is used for the atmosphere of the story.
4:3
Academy Ratio
Weak
Representation of men and women:
The creators of the video meant to produce a tragedy which gets the sympathy from
the audience. So the roles of the main characters are not designed randomly. Instead,
they are designed to be a match to each other as the male figure is a French soldier
and the female figure is a peasant. In the old cinema (or even now), males are
stereotyped to be strong and have responsibilities to protect female characters.
Strong
The French soldier is exactly a
model of physically strong. But
he is just a wax figure, so he
cannot do anything to protect
the one he loves. In a scene of
the female figure being teased
by the stuff, there is a reaction
shot of him to show his
powerless when he sees this.
In another side, the female
character is set to be a peasant
so the audience would have an
impression that she is weak
and should be protected.
Audiences would also like this match. Because Soldiers’ job is to protect to country by
defeating the enemies. So everything in a nation is meant to be defended, including the
weak females. It can be interpreted as an intertextuality to the old war films (or others
in old cinema) which are about the soldiers going to the battlefields just want to protect
their loved ones, their families in the countries. For this ideology, this thought has always
been inserted in the audiences’ minds so they would accept the setting of this story.
Women are always the
people being protected by
men in the old cinema

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Daft punk instant crush

  • 1. Daft Punk - Instant Crush ft. Julian Casablancas Music video analysis
  • 2. Daft Punk - Instant Crush ft. Julian Casablancas Instant Crush is a song by French electronic music duo – Daft Punk from their album ‘Random Access, the whole idea is about love and the loss of love. In the music video, there is a narrative through the whole video. Therefore, the storytelling techniques demonstrate the narrative and the main theme of the song. Due to it’s a music video, therefore I will analyse the camerawork, mise en scene, editing and how they develop the story with the sound (music). According to the Andrew Goodwin’s conventions of music videos, there are three key conventions music videos usually have. And ‘Instant Crush’ has all these three conventions. First, this video has a narrative, there is a main story through the whole video. Second, the video features a singer - Julian Casablancas to perform on a stage. The last one is the theme of the song. The them is love in this song and all the techniques are fitting in to demonstrate the theme.
  • 3. Camerawork: In the whole music video, the story is about the slight relationship of two waxed figures. They are not alive in the story, but the technical codes elaborate identities to them. Although we’ve never seen them moving, but audience still project emotions into the figures as if they are actual characters in a film. Camerawork is exactly the aspect which gives this impression to audience. • First shot (Establishing shot)/ Last shot • Close up • Rack focus These are the aspects of camerawork used to demonstrate the theme:
  • 4. First shot (Establishing shot): In the first shot which before the story starts, there is a long shot of an empty stage which a stage light illuminating on it. The music hasn't even started yet. This shot doesn't directly relate to the story, but it contains the general idea of the whole music video, which is about emptiness. When the second shot begins, the music rings, so this is the shot which the story begins. This is a detailed close-up of a wheel of a big case. The shot is directional since the whole case is pushed rightwards and the camera tracks right along the case. It’s hinting the audience that where the case is going is the place the story begins. It doesn't show you the place by using a long shot or an extreme long shot to avoid the story being too objective. The director doesn't want the story becomes too obvious, and it focuses on the case to establish the main character’s identity. Audiences do not know the characters yet, but this case is bringing the audiences into the story subjectively. First shot Second shot
  • 5. Because the last shot only shows a partial story, so there are more than one shot to establish the set. The third shot is a point-of-view (POV) shot inside the case. This is an identification of the main character because the audiences are using the main character to see the story. We see the ceiling inside a building, so the character is looking upwards. Then the fourth shot is the same like the second shot of the wheel which stops. The fifth shot is back to the POV shot but this time it tilts down to show more to the audience: an exhibit with a diving suit. From these few shots, they are telling you where the story happens by showing little parts of the set to the audience. And also verifying the identity that the audience is watching in the view of the waxed figure. Third shot Fourth Fifth
  • 6. Close up: In this video, the relationship of the wax figures is connected by using close-ups. Because the figures are not alive, so there are not actually mental or physical relationship of them existing. But the storytelling techniques joint them as if they are having a connection. Even though they are not put next to each other, close-ups create their eye-contact. The director also makes alive by racking the focus. Because the identity belongs to the waxed figure in the museum, so the shots are from the character’s perspective. The focus of a shot is important because it leads the audience to see what the director want to show. For example, there is a shot of close-up of the main female. Then it cuts to medium close-up of the main male with a man’s head on the foreground. The focus is on the man’s head initially, then it racks to the main character’s face. The audiences know the main female’s attention is on the main male. Also by putting a male on the foreground, it spatially implies there is something between them and stops them from being together. Rack focus:Rackingfocus
  • 7. Last shot: Previously mentioned the first shot in the first paragraph, now if we look at the last part, we will know the reason why the first shot is an empty stage without any sound. In the second last shot, It tracks out from the stage which is also in the first shot. But this shot the stage has the vocalist - Julian Casablancas in it, sits on the stage with his back facing the camera. It has an expression of loneliness. With the camera tracking out from Casablancas, it’s telling the audience it’s the end of the story, because the camera is leaving from him. The story is ending soon. In the final shot, it cuts back to the wax figures; they have already melted to be liquid. There are only their blurred shades and they merge together as if they are finally together. So the story can finish with a happy ending. corresponding the first shot The last shot
  • 8. Mise en scene: But the costumes of the characters also follow the style and match the tone of the set. Because the figures represent their periods of times, their costumes and the backdrops should be representing the same period and the social status the wax figures belong to. The male figure is representing a French soldier, it can be told by his costume which is a soldier uniform, so the backdrop of him is a battlefield with a canon figure next to him. Audience would know his identity as a soldier because the costumes and the set are constant. Set and Costumes: The story is set in an exhibition hall, so there are many exhibits dressing an older period. The whole set is decorated to be a museum. This is the basic setup for the scenes. Battlefield Canon Soldier uniform
  • 9. In another side, the female wax figure opposite him is representing a peasant. Her costume is rural, such as her simple- designed bonnet. The backdrop of her is decorated to be countryside, the painted country house in the background. She is holding a bucket with chicken models and a well next to her. simple-designed bonnet a well country house chicken models
  • 10. There are also some exhibits placed in the hall, such as one with old diving suit in early 20 th century and the back drop of it is a seabed. Another one in a suit of armour has castle has background to show the responsibility of him is to defend the castle. So the match of costume and the set has a significant effect to confirm their identities. But it also has one more effect, if we look at the periods which the figures represent; we see the difference between them. The period of the man male and female is actually quite similar; it means they exist in the same period. It implies to the audience that they were made to be together. The other figures are in different times, so they are just the outsiders to them. These extras also have a common characteristic, they are all masked. Audiences cannot see their faces so they will not be distracted and put their focus on the main characters.
  • 11. Lighting/Colour scheme: The colour scheme of this video can break down in two parts, blue and red and they both represent different tones of the story as motifs. And the colour scheme is shown as different forms, such as stage light, fire, etc. Back to the first shot, the empty stage is made in red but illuminated by a moon light blue. The first shot has already shown the colour scheme of the music video by putting them together in the same shot. But what do they individually represent? Red Blue
  • 12. The video can be broken down in 2 parts which they represent two kinds of emotions. In the part of blue, it spices up the romantic atmosphere of the characters as if the blue is actually the moonlight shining on them. Because blue is a colour of romance, so the audience can sense this atmosphere by looking at this blue. Especially in the scene of the chorus, where the 2 characters are standing together, this is the part to highlight their romantic ambiguous relationship. A blue moonlight is used to illuminate and focus on them. It creates a strong sense of romance. Also in the singing scene of Casablancas, when he is singing, narrating the story of the song, the blue stage light is also to shine on him. It expresses the same meaning of the male figure and Casablancas and relates them together. In another part, red is used to represent an opposite tone. Blue is romance, but red means hurt and pain. The red motif is not emphasised in the first half part of the music video, until the send half begins where is storage is lighted up, the colour scheme of the scene is mainly red because of the warm colour tone by the fire. The red creates an expression of the set has become like hell, the male and female figures are burning. Simultaneously, the background of Casablancas has also turned red. The red syncs happening in both locations.
  • 13. Montage: This montage is a series of images. By combining them together, they all provide the same meaning to the audiences. During the music solo, there are a lot images in the storage which represent the imaginations of the male figure. When the light is going through the gap of the storage’s ceiling, it illuminates on different subjects in the room. For example, a painting with a couple kissing is shown. These images illustrate the desire of the male figure that he wants to be with the female figure. This is a very clever technique of storytelling. Since this montage is shown during the music solo, no lyrics are sung by the singer. So the director only uses a series of images to imply the feeling of the male figure to the audiences.
  • 14. Identity of the wax figure and Julian Casablancas: Since the singer of the song is Casablancas, he is presenting the song from his view. All the expressions from the sing is presented by Casablancas. Therefore, the male figure in the exhibition hall actually Casablancas himself. As above mentioned, crosscutting is used to parallel the singer and the story. As a result, the singer’s identity merges the male figure. The appearances of the French soldier is also designed to look like the singer. This will be implied as the singer is the male figure. The artists who created the song were actually Daft Punk, but Julian Casablancas only co-wrote the song with them. Due to the real identity of Daft Punk is kept secret, they have never official revealed their identity. Therefore, they use Casablancas as an image to present the song. The duo only shows their helmets in a shot of the whole music video as if they make a cameo.Daft Punk’s helmets
  • 15. Aspect Ratio: The use of aspect ratio is very important, it decides what media it is displayed on. Or it can be styled to fit the tone of the story. The music video is processed to 4:3, released in 2013. It is actually a new song and the time when the video is released, Internet such as Youtube had become the largest media for music videos. Therefore, Instant Crush is made to be uploaded on Youtube. But Youtube had already supported wide-screened aspect ratio, so it is not necessary to be made in 4:3. Instead, this aspect ratio is deliberately made in 4:3. Since the story is set in an exhibition hall, all the exhibits are representing old periods, especially the main characters are set in old generation. So the director wants to create a vintage style for main figures, as if the story actually an old film. As a result, an old aspect ratio is used for the atmosphere of the story. 4:3 Academy Ratio
  • 16. Weak Representation of men and women: The creators of the video meant to produce a tragedy which gets the sympathy from the audience. So the roles of the main characters are not designed randomly. Instead, they are designed to be a match to each other as the male figure is a French soldier and the female figure is a peasant. In the old cinema (or even now), males are stereotyped to be strong and have responsibilities to protect female characters. Strong The French soldier is exactly a model of physically strong. But he is just a wax figure, so he cannot do anything to protect the one he loves. In a scene of the female figure being teased by the stuff, there is a reaction shot of him to show his powerless when he sees this. In another side, the female character is set to be a peasant so the audience would have an impression that she is weak and should be protected.
  • 17. Audiences would also like this match. Because Soldiers’ job is to protect to country by defeating the enemies. So everything in a nation is meant to be defended, including the weak females. It can be interpreted as an intertextuality to the old war films (or others in old cinema) which are about the soldiers going to the battlefields just want to protect their loved ones, their families in the countries. For this ideology, this thought has always been inserted in the audiences’ minds so they would accept the setting of this story. Women are always the people being protected by men in the old cinema