Analysis of Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
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Analysis Of Lady Gaga PaparazziThe Music Video for Paparazzi is a Performance, Narrative The video tells the fictional story that Gaga is a doomed starlet hounded by photographers consistently, and is almost killed by her boyfriend. It shows her survival, comeback, revenge on her boyfriend, and experiences on the way to fame. Like Eminems Stan it has the same approach utilizing a film like conventions. Also the video is far longer than most video promos. The video had been nominated for awards for its cinematic style and its effective use of special effects and editing and it has really influenced music videos in our era. Following the style of videos in the previous era like Michael Jacksons Thriller. Also it comes across as controversial due to the nature of the themes express throughout the video.
The Video begins and we firstly see a wide range of establishing shots in the location we are set in. The long shots we see of the surrounding area is an isolated mansion and the camera shots shows various spots of the interior and exterior of the location. The use of establishing shots is that the audience are able to identify the setting and it also allows the audience to give their initial assumptions of Fame and Wealth due to the images shown of the Mansion and since the song is named Paparazzi the images we see do fit in with the context. The montage of shots last for about 50 seconds from the beginning ranging from close ups to long shots. The use of the shots suggest the importance in what we are seeing and should we see these appear later on.
After the long opening sequence we are now introduced to two characters via a long shot for the audience to identify two characters are now in scene. The camera quickly cuts to a close up so that we are able to see their faces in shot and from then onwards there are quick close up cuts from the two people and various objects in the room. The frequent use of the close ups in this section of the sequence is that it shows a deep intimate connection between the two as they are a active intimate couple and the audience will be able to identify that and connect with them. He then takes her outside on a balcony again the close up shots are apparent while they are expressing themselves and this time we see long shots in this sequence. Long shots are generally used to signify importance with the background and the characters the background shows them high on a balcony and it can suggest danger with falling by the performance of the characters in the video.
During this sequence we now see static photograph like images. The effectiveness of this is that as an audience we enable to see in between two different perspectives one as the anonymous Paparazzi and as an audience watching the two characters on the balcony not knowing where the Paparazzi is creating tension and anticipation on the events in the future. Later on the male character looks towards his left possibly noticing the Paparazzi in action this is shown by a close up as the close up allows the audience to see his facial expression and it emphasizes the importance of it. Then the static images appear again but this time from a different position than before identifying that there is more than one Paparazzi around and that we now can see from another perspective of the event. A dispute is caused by this ending the scene with the male pushing Gaga over the balcony believing her to be dead. When he pushes her off the balcony it is shown by a low angle shot to emphasise power and status and it is used effectively to show the male characters dominant figure after dispatching Gaga over the balcony.
Gaga now presumed dead a high angle shot shows her and many Paparazzis surrounding her dead body taking photographs initially making her look weak and helpless which is appropriate to the content of the video as she isn't moving. Then the camera switches to the opposite looking from Gagas perspective lay on the ground with the numerous Paparazzis making them look powerful as they are high in numbers. Then we cut straight into a new scene and the song now begins throughout the verse there are quick edited close up, medium and long shots features within this scene. The close ups allow the audience to see the artists facial expressions during her performance also suggests uncertainty as we dont know what were seeing. The medium and long shots show the relation to its surroundings aswell as Gagas performance.
The chorus starts and we are introduced to a bright lit area and Gaga comes out of her wheelchair filled with dancers. The scene is primarily shown via long shots to put emphasis on everything in shot that includes the room the dancers and the artist and we are able to see the performance on all the people within shot. Also within the chorus the recurrent shots of Gaga on the sofa now allows the audience to distinguish between the performance and narrative aspects of the story as the room with the wheelchair allows the audience to identify she is disabled from her apparent death and in the other shots its just a performance for the audience. The second verse begins now shots of presumed dead people are now in scene in various places around the mansion. The audience can relate this back to the beginning when the male character trys to kill Gaga and its suggesting that he has already killed many other women. How they are exposed on screen is by again by a range of close ups, medium and long shots also they are often exposed by a high angle shot to imply and to put emphasis on their weakness.
The chorus starts again and this time there has been a significant change from the first chorus Gaga and her dancers have moved into a different room of the mansion and Gaga herself is not on the wheelchair or crutches and she is freely moving and it shows the recovery state. Again the long shots are apparent again to show the importance of the artist and her performance and how the audience will reflect on the previous events of the video. After the interlude we are back to the narrative and the audience now see the recurring character Gagas boyfriend from the beginning of the video. The medium shot shows both characters in shot and allows the audience to see both distinctive looking characters and we suggest that Gagas outfit is used as a disguise as he does not know. She gets up and now we focus up upon a glass by a close up and the audience will suggest that the glass should be an important object in the scene as close ups reflect on importance. She pours in some liquid and again a close up shot showing a powder substance hidden in her ring revealing it was poison to the audience to and the close up allows the audience to see in full what the situation is and it creates tension and uneasiness in the narrative.
Gaga hands over the poisoned drink to her boyfriend and he drinks it. After a short period of time he is overshadowed by the situation realizes there was something wrong and dies shortly after. Throughout the sequence of his death a range of camera shots and angles were used to create tension as the anticipation increases on what will happen after he drank the liquid. The long shots to close ups prove to be most effective here as we can notice the different facial expressions every time from the boyfriend and Gaga and the long shots allow the audience to see both characters intact and it definitely shows the power and dominance of Gaga. After we briefly look up on the mansion balcony where Gaga fell off in the beginning. The shot is being shown by a low angle shot making the building look powerful also it suggests and emphasizes the height of the building in which she fell off.
Near to the end of the sequence we return to the room during night time and her boyfriend is still in the same spot and people fade in to check upon the murder. All this scene is shown in a long shot to allow the audience to imagine and see all the events with the different people happening in that same room. After he is taken away we now return to Gaga she has regained her fame and finally told the media she is alive but is arrested due to murder. Images flash by, with newspapers proclaiming her innocence. The static like photographic images return from the anonymous Paparazzis as they surround her once again and they are all coming from different positions on the screen showing different people taking the photographs allowing the audience to see Gaga from many different perspectives on screen. The video ends with Gagas mug shot like a real mug shot the pictures are taken by a medium and close up shots to imply and emphasize a realism effect within the sequence and the video ends by having a closed narrative.
The use of editing in this video I believe proves to be at its most effective for the video. All of the editing is superb and brilliantly executed to its finest level of art. The intention of the video was to replicate film style conventions and put it onto the music video so careful thought had been added into it and it turned out to be one of the best music videos of 2009. During the introductory sequence there are straight cut transitions throughout as it shows no time is going past and text appears on the screen. Usually in music videos rarely text ever comes on the screen but since the video has taken on the film style approach it looks effective and film like so the audience should expect a narrative in the video. The text used also has been very stylized and it looks modern and unique possibly suggesting wealth. When she is on the balcony the static photograph images appear these shots have been edited quickly and realistically for the audience to identify there is someone else within the scene.
When the boyfriend pushes her off we now see a different transition where the scene go