Monday, 22 August 2011

RS - Deconstruction - Metallica - One

Artist: Metallica
Song Title: One
Year: 1989
Genre: Thrash Metal
Director: Bill Pope
Audience: 15-24

Metallica's classic music video for "One" is a performance based music video however it encorperates film footage into the performance footage for effect and mainly because the song lyrics are based on the book in which the film is based upon. The film is called Johnny Got His Gun and is about a man who fights in World War 1, on the last day a mortar shell lands on him and he loses his legs, arms, eyes, ears, mouth and nose, a fate worse than death. He can only lie in a hospital bed unable to communicate with the world. He cannot work out whether he is awake or dreaming. He finally figures a way to communicate with the world using morse code. The song has three different music videos. One version is the longest with the album version of the song, containing both film and performance footage, a second version which was simply a shortened version of the first and a third which was named the "jammin version" which didn't have many scenes from the film and ended sooner.

"Like many other music videos from Metallica, "One" puts great emphasis on the performances of the band members as musicians, with many shots of Hetfield, Newsted and Hammett's hands picking and fretting. The video features the band members in a typical early Metallica fashion: playing (as if in rehearsal) in some sort of warehouse, in tight formation around Ulrich's drum kit, and dressed in casual street clothes and with long untamed hair."   Sourced from Wikipedia

The location for the music video is a very dark and dull run down warehouse. People say it is the essence of the band and also the song. The location is like this just to show off the music and not have people concentrate on the location too much, one reason for this is because it was Metallica's first music video. Maybe a typical Metallica location?

Quite alot of shot variation is used in the music video to keep it interesting and to appeal to the target audience, one example is this interesting over the shoulder the shot of Lars, Metallica's drummer. Shot variation is vital for the audience mainly because a typical person within the target audience for this music video would get bored with fairly long shots however using lots of variations and effects it keeps them interested.

Here is a scene from the film which has been added to the music video. The film footage cross cuts between the performance to appeal to the audience and make it more interesting. The film footage dialogue is played over the top of the song so you can hear both however it is only usually played over the parts at the start and towards the end when it is quiter.

The majority of the lip syncing is done by frontman James Hetfield however bass player (at the time) Jason Newsted also is seen lip syncing in parts of the song to show verisimilitude and to look like they are performing live to the audience. Lots of "dissolving" transitions are used throughtout the music video to show time has passed but also a little interesting way to move onto the next shot, it's a bit more entertaining than just a straight cut, we can achieve this effect with Final Cut on the Macs at school

The clothing has been chosen to be very dark and dull again like the location so that attention is not drawn to it, they want to be drawn to the instruments, the song and the film footage. The clothing is fairly typical for the genre of the music video and can therefore be identified quickly when changing channels quick by the audience. However Lars goes against the rest of the band and the codes and conventions of a metal video and wears a white shirt! (perhaps to get noticed or seperated from the rest of the band)

Multiple close ups of the instruments are used throughout the performance side of the music video, this is to show great emphasis on them performing. It is also good for shot variation and is interesting for the audience to see how the band plays their instruments, the audience could also learn the band members techniques and apply it to their own playing.

Double bass is being used by Lars which can be seen in several shots in the music video. This is very typical of a band from this genre which follows the codes and conventions of a metal music video however you would not see double bass in a pop music video. Again using these small little details (like playing the bass with a pick) it can connote the genre of the music video.
The music video is being played in black and white apart from a few shots from the film footage which are in full colour. The lyrics for the song link to the film footage because James wrote the song about the book which the film is based upon, therefore it is all related to eachother and works. Overall, the majority of the shots are long which is not very typical for a music video aimed at this audience, however with the added transitions, cross cutting and multi-layering it works and is entertaining to watch.

Lip syncing is used throughout the performance clips in the music video to show great emphasis on the band performing to the audience. The music video also tends to focus on frontman James Hetfield which is typical of a music video however it still does contain lots of footage of the rest of the band, but the majority is of James lip syncing and playing his guitar.

Bass player Jason switches to a pick to play his bass when the double bass starts in the music video and the song which is very typical for a metal bassist and follows the codes and conventions of a metal music video. The first half of the music video and song is fairly slow and clean, Jason plays the bass with his fingers and then half way through it gets heavier and Jason swaps to his pick to play bass for a typical metal sound.

Another typical code and convention of a metal music video is the headbanging. Again like with Jason's pick after the first half when the tempo starts increases and the double bass kicks in the band members start headbanging which is typical for the genre in which the song is. The footage and shot variation also begins to speed up to replicate the song getting faster and heavier.
The music video makes the use of multiple layers on multiple occassions so that the performance footage can be seen over the top of the film footage purely to keep the audience interested and to show it off, it can also be seen as a bit more shot variation. Using multiple layers is available for us on the software we have available at school so we can have the same effect as this music video with two things happening at once / a narrative and a performance side happening at the same time.

Here is the music video for Metallica's "One"

Here is a live version of the song. There has been multiple live Dvd's of Metallica over the years featuring this song as it is one of their biggest songs of all time. For the live version they use fireworks, explosions and flames to replicate the gunfire which can be heard at the start of the song. Rob Truljillo the current bass player of the band does not play the bass with a pick like Jason Newsted did back when it was first recorded therefore Rob goes against the typical characteristics of a metal bassist and plays with his fingers not a pick.

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