Thursday, 11 August 2011

SP - Deconstruction: Oasis - Wonderwall

Artist: Oasis
Genre: Britpop
Director: (Not given)
Year: 1995
Audience: Over 24-35

"Wonderwall" is a song by English rock band Oasis, written by the band's guitarist and main songwriter Noel Gallagher. The song was produced by Owen Morris and Gallagher for their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. According to Gallagher, "Wonderwall" describes "an imaginary friend who's gonna come and save you from yourself." The song was released as the third single from the album in October 1995. "Wonderwall" reached the top ten on 13 charts, including topping charts in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. The single was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry and certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. (Source: Wikipedia)

Oasis' Wonderwall is a mixture of both a performance based and a concept based music video. The performnce element features all of the way through the music video as it contains footage of the band playing their instruments and the bands frontman, Liam Gallagher, lip-syncing the lyrics to the song. However some of the music video is a concept based idea as there are alot of people dressed up in costumes like you see in a circus. For example, there are alot of cut shots to clowns and jugglers. Another key factor that tells us that it is not a narrative music video and it is a concept idea is that there is no storyline in this music video and the lyrics do not fit in with what the actors are doing. It is a completely random idea that they have though of. 

The opening shot of the music video is an extreme long shot of what looks like a clown walking towards something in the middle of the room. We can only tell it is a clown because of the outrageously big shoes, the clothes and the wig he/she is wearing. At this point there is no music in the background and it is just silent except for the sound of footsteps. We also find out at this point that the whole music video is in black and white which is very interesting. There is also a border around all of the shots which is unusual. This is a very strange start to a music video as we do not know what the clown is doing. We also do not know what the thing is on the floor that the clown is walking towards. The sequence of shots that follow this first one reveals that the thing on the floor is a record player. These are quite rare nowadays and the fact the whole video is in black and white might signify that the band are trying to create and old effect. Clowns are also things of the past as kids have new technology to entertain them rather than clowns and circuses. I really like this shot of the vinyl spinning around with the bands name on it and as soon as it does start spinning the actual music starts too. This is a very clever and well worked technique.

I thought i would mention the next sequnce of shots aswell because i thought it was really interesting and i have actually used this technique myself in my AS coursework last year. As soon as the music starts playing there is alot of guitar being played. As you can see this is exactly the same shots as the very first one in the music video. However this time instead of a clown and a record player there is Noel Gallagher sat on a chair in the middle of the room playing the guitar. There is a sequence of five shots and after each one the shot keeps getting closer and closer to Noel Gallagher. It starts off from an extreme long shot and ends up as a mid shot. The timing of these shots is also very good. Each time the shot changes and gets closer to Noel it is in time with the guitar. Like i said my group used this technique last year when we did our 2 min feature film opening. We used it for our establishing shots. We had a sequence of three shots and for each one the shot gets closer and closer to the house the opening was set in.

Throughout the whole video there are alot of concept sections embeded inbetween the performance sections. They are very randomly placed though. There are no long sections of concept based elements, they are all quick cut shots and then back to the band playing their instruments. This makes it even more strange than before. There are alot of shot that include clowns in them. I do not kno why but there is some reason why they are used. It adds an eery atmosphere to the music video. There is also a rather menacing cut shot of huge saws swining like a pendulum. This is another example of the random nature of the music video. There is no storyline and none of the lyrics match any of the cut shots. We do not know why any of these shots have been used and it has been left to our imagination to try and figure out why they have been used. Another thing we never find out in this music video is where everything is set. There are no clues in the background and all the shots are rather basic in terms of setting. The main focus is on the band or the concept aspects, for example, the swinging saws or the clowns.

Throughout the whole video there are alot of shots of the band playing their instruments but mainly of the frontman lip-syncing. There are single shots of Liam Gallagher lip-syncing but also single shots of the drummer, guitarist, as i have already mentioned, and cellist to name a few. These are all examples of the performance elements of the music video. There is alot of variety for these shots but the majoriy of the shots used for these performance sections of the music video are medium shots and close ups. This is because they want a variety of shots throughout the whole video and the concept sections mainly use more extreme long shots and long shots. This is because more is happeining in the concept sections, as i have metioned, so they need to be using more unorthordox shots rather than close ups for example. Its not just shot variation that is a common code and convention in  music videos it is also fast paced editing but this isn't certainly the case in the Wonderwall music video by Oasis. This is because they have used an old effect to the video by using black and white and using clowns and circus acts so fast paced editing wouldn't fit in with this type of music video. 

Here is the music video Wonderwall by Oasis:

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