Foo Fighters - The Pretender
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Foo Fighters The PretenderDirector/Producer Gil NortonDate of release - September 25, 2007Publisher RCA RecordsGenre - The Foo Fighters are an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. Their music resembles hard rock / post grunge.The purpose of this music video is to promote the artist and the song. The video needs to fit a clear genre, which is in this case is hard rock and should be attractive to the target audience, namely rock fans. It does this by creating elements that are recognisable to the target audience for example the focus is on the band playing their music. In this case there is a riot team that come and challenge their music.
The video opens with a fade from black to a long shot of a large warehouse as the lights progressively turn on, which starts off the video with a grand impression of the artists. But before the lights come up we can hear the diegetic sound of a guitar, which is the main riff for the introduction of the song. We then see a man walk over to the mic stand and pick up a guitar, as he does this it cuts to a low angle shot behind the man.
Straight away we can tell that he is the front man by the way he confidently walks out and grabs his weapon of choice and starts to sing along with the melodic guitar. It then cuts to a close up shot of the man wrapping a bandage around his right hand, before cutting back to the previous shot. The use of the bandage suggests that this man is a bit rebellious and that he is preparing for something, almost like a boxer bandaging his hands ready for a fight, which is strange because currently the song is very chilled and mellow.
A long shot of the empty space of the warehouse is used to help establish the location. The white reflective clinical floor shows how clean it really is, it suggests that the warehouse is a statement and in that respect its stereotypically rock. They are performing in a large warehouse just because they can. A large red shiny panel stand behind the band. Then it cuts to the face of the man as he continues to sing with a tracking in mid shot and him centre frame. It then cuts to low angled long shots of the other band members as they also walk out to their instruments and start to play. The band as a whole looks quite stereotypically like a rock band e.g. The lead singer and drummer both have wild long hair and full beards, they are not clean cut and conforming. Their clothes are casual and rough looking like you would expect form a rock band.
As the band contuse to play the editing picks up pace and the variety of shots increases. E.g. you firstly see a close up of the lead singers face, singing directly at the camera in a passionate manner. Then there is a fast tracking shot towards the drum kit as the drummer is moving frantically around the kit. A close up of the lead guitarist picking the strings is then seen. A pan whip aerial shot looking down on the band again helps to show case their environment and how small they are compared to it.
The variation and frequency of shots continues throughout this sequence. As it breaks into the chorus from the darkness the camera follows a riot patrol person walking towards the band. He is framed from behind with a mid-shot. It then pans back across the band and then back to the riot patrol man like a stand-off as he moved towards the large black line in the floor that divides the space almost like them and us authority and anti-establishment. The man wears a helmet, body armour, large boots a number and he carries a riot shield. He is black form head to toe. The lead singer sings the wordsWhat if I say that Ill never surrender.. The audience anticipate that there will be some kind of brawl/battle/confrontation with this man.
It then cuts back to the same close up of the singers face where he seems to be singing aggressively directly at the riot man who responds by pulling down the visor on his helmet which suggests he is going to retaliate again framed with a close up shot. After some more establishing shots and close ups of the band the riot man draws his black riot baton and after further provocation form the lead singer and the band the riot man shouts for backup and is then joined by a black wall of riot force men all dressed as the first man but with their own number.
With a reverse tracking shot running down the line of riot control men it helps to establish that they have control and power and are about to take on the band. It then cuts back to some quick low angles tracking shots of the band which further empowers them and shows the audience that they are a rival force and a power together. The men stand on the line as if trained by a higher authority ready to wait for the command to attack the band. Further shots are shown of both parties squaring up to each other with close ups of gritting teeth, uneasy feet primed to move forward. The lead singer songs Who are you? in a provocative manner also referring to himself as The enemy.
As the tempo drops before the climax the riot men sprint off their line in an aggressive unified manner and as soon as this happens editing is used by using slow motion to enhance the scene so that the audience can take in the enormity of the situation. Suddenly as the music is reintroduced in volume and power the red screen behind the band explodes unexpectedly in a tsunami like fashion, coating everyone in a thick layer of thick red liquid symbolic of bloodshed and battle.
The next shots of the band are almost unrecognisable Apart from their instruments because of the frantic camera movements and the vivid red colour that engulfs all the people on the set. Regardless of the explosion the band proceed to play on to the point where the riot people are unable to reach them because of the sheer force of the surge of liquid raining down on them in slow motion. The editing at this point is incredibly fast paced and manic and it appears that the band are in some way beating back the men in a victorious battle. The end shots show the lead singer falling to his knees saturated completely from head to toe, he looks up and this is framed with a high angled close up to show that he is spent and yet victorious. It perhaps makes the audience feel that this music can take on and beat anything.
In conclusion, some aspects to consider in my promotional music video would be the relationship between editing and pace. Depending on the style and genre of music, the editing needs to be more or less frequent, meaning that it is the core basis of the feelings and intentions of a promotional video. Also I would consider the aspect of using cuts and transitions in time with the rhythm of the song to follow the stereotypical conventions and make it clear to the audience that the end product is a music video.