Saturday, 13 August 2011

RS - Deconstruction - A-ha - Take on me

Artist: A-ha
Song Title: Take on me
Year: 1985
Genre: SynthPop
Director: Steve Barron
Audience: 15-24
Animated by: Michael Patterson

A-ha's music video for "Take on me" was at the time a fairly new thing to bring to music video's. For the music video they used a technique called rotoscoping in which animators draw over real time frames, frame by frame to give a smooth feel to it. Much like this image above. Approximatley 3,000 frames were rotoscoped and it took 16 weeks to finish the whole music video. The music video was awarded with "Best Special Effects" and "Best Concept video" to name two of the six awards it won.

Rotoscoped hand coming out of the comic book
"Take on me" is a narrative music video as it follows the story of a girl reading a comic book in a cafe when one of the images winks at her, a hand comes out of the comic book and drags her into it. Inside the comic book rotoscoping is used and it all has a sketch type look to it, the image is black and white to show that it is a different location to the cafe. The frontman and the girl reading the comic book look around the comic book "world" until the waiter in the cafe crumples up the comic book causing the bikers from within the comic book to enter again and attack the too. The frontman helps the girl escape from the comic book. When she looks at the book again she sees him lying on the floor looking dead, however he escapes from the book too to end the music video.

The music video also has aspects of a performance video too with the frontman Morten Harket using lip-sync throughout the music video but also by the fact he dances too. The dancing is very typical of the genre that the song is which means the music video uses the typical codes and conventions for it's genre. The frontman theory is also used by the fact he is one of the main characters and the other band members are only in it for short periods.

They also play their instruments in the music video to show they know what they are doing and to show that they made the music and didn't just use a computer to make it. It's also like a little performance to give it some verisimilitude. They also use colour on the band shots to connote they are not within the narrative but apart sort of like cross cutting so people don't get confused and think they are within the narrative. By changing the colours it helps connote that.

The audience for the music video is 15-24 due to the fast takes and special effects which appeal to the younger audience more. They use the fast takes so the audience doesn't get bored. However they do have long takes also because it's like a short film and they take some aspects of film into the music video.

Cross cutting is used in the music video for the scenes when the woman leaves the cafe and the waiter is annoyed because she thinks she has run off. It is also used when the bikers attack the frontman and the woman is reading it in her room from the comic book. It's used so you can see whats happening in two scenes at the same time and so the audience don't get bored.

Unfortunatley they removed embedding access from the A-ha official Youtube page but I embedded another version however it does have subtitles at the bottom and the image is reversed but it's not too much of a problem.

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