Saturday, 13 August 2011

SP - Deconstruction: Coldplay - Fix You

Artist: Coldplay
Year: 2005
Audience: 15-24

"Fix You" is a song by English alternative rock band Coldplay. It was written by all four members of the band for their third album, X&Y. The track is built around an organ, that is accompanied by slow tempo drums, and a vocals. It was released on 5 September 2005 as the second single from X&Y and has reached number four in the United Kingdom Singles Chart. The song reached number 18 in the United States Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Promo singles were released for the UK and US. "Fix You" received positive reviews. Critics complimented the song's music. It has been widely sampled, with different covers and sounds. The song, itself, was nominated for multiple awards in the categories of Best Song Musically and Lyrically and Anthem of the Summer. The music video was garnered as a tribute to the 7 July 2005 London bombings. (Source: Wikipedia)

Coldplay's Fix You is a mixture of both a performance based and a concept based music video. The performnce element features at the very end of the music video and it contains footage of the band playing their instruments and the bands frontman, Chris Martin, lip-syncing the lyrics to the song. However the first half of the music video is a narrative based idea as Chris Martin wanders the streets of London, while the slogan "Make Trade Fair" is projected onto the Royal National Theatre, using the same colour scheme on the cover of X&Y. The tunnels that Martin is seen wandering within are located along Tooley Street which is near London Bridge station. The bridge that he walks across is Waterloo Bridge, which connects the Southbank with The Strand. What tells us this is a narrative music video and not a concept idea is that there is a storyline in this music video and the lyrics fit in with what the Chris Martin is doing.

The opening shot of this music video is of Chris Martin sat down in a tunnel. It is an extreme long shot. The framing of the shot means that Chris is in the bottom right hand corner and in the background we can see a famous red London bus drive past. This gives away the setting of the music video is London. The first shot is 40 seconds long and Chris Martin starts walking towards the camera. This results in the shot becoming a close up. The start of the song is very slow and this is reflected in the firts few shots. They are very long takes and there is no fast paced editing. It is very slow and all we see is Chris Martin walking throught London. It is a very interesting start to a music video because usually you have a quick to get the audiences attention but it is not the case in this particular music video. The main focus is on Chris Martin lip-syncing the words to the song but not much else really happens. It is a very slow start to the song.


The only shot variety in the first half of the music video is the odd cut shot to Chris Martin again swinging a light around his head. Again the cut shots are filmed in tunnels and again it is Chris Martin who is the only person in the shot. We do not really understand why he is doing this but we do find out later in the music video. This shot does look really good but it seems out of place and abit irrelavent at the time in the music video. It is puzzling as all of a sudden we have gone from Chris Martin waking through London to Chris Martin swinging a light around his head. Because it is dark and filmed at night he do not see the wire the light is attached to so it just looks like a light on its own. It is a really good shot it just seems to be positioned randomly and at the time we do not understand why it is used. Like i said we do find out later in the music video why it is used.

The second half is completely the opposite to the first half. As soon as the electric guitar kicks in, Martin darts through streets corners until finally reaching the Reebok Stadium, where he joins the rest of the band for the song's finale. The metal steps signal the start of the Reebok Stadium scene.This is where there are alot of shots of the band playing their instruments and of the frontman lip-syncing. There are single shots of Chris Martin lip-syncing but also single shots of the drummer and guitarist for example. These are all examples of the performance elements of the music video. There is alot of more shot variety compared to the first half of the music video used for these performance sections of the music video. The majority of the shots are medium shots for the band members and close ups for Chris Martin lip syncing. This is needed because they want a variety of shots throughout the whole video. The first half had little shots in it so the second half needed plenty of shots in it. Its not just shot variation that is a common code and convention in  music videos it is also fast paced editing. The first half was slow but the second half is much fasted and more vibrant. It is a tale of two halves. The first half had just a few shots and was very slow. However the second half has alot of shots used and the editing is extremely fast to fit in with the music.

It is not just performance sections that dominate the second half of the music video. Because it is a live performance that has been filmed there are alot of shots of the crowd. It gives it a feel as if it is being shown live on TV rather than a music video because usually when performance sections are used in a music video, they are not playing in front of an audience. At one point near the very end of the music video, the crowd are signing the words with Chris Martin. This is very rare in a music video.

This is the music video Fix You by Coldplay

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