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Music video analysis - La La La (Yasmeen Akhtar)

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Yasmeen Akhtar

on 6 May 2015

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Transcript of Music video analysis - La La La (Yasmeen Akhtar)

Music Video Analysis
Yasmeen Akhtar

Naughty Boy - La La La ft. Sam Smith
Official Music Video
> It started off quite sad and lonely but the mood starts to pick up as the little boy's journey goes on further. The mood picks up as soon as the beat kicks in which is shown through the boy's body language, from looking as a victim to him putting his fingers in his ears and sort of becoming rebellious and creating a positive change.

> As soon as the beat kicks into the video, the boy appears to be rebellious against who seems to be his father, his escape symbolizes his inner thoughts and feelings as maybe being lost within his own home who is trying to find his way back to something or somewhere as shown in the video.
> This is supported by editing as when the beat kicks into the video, it almost seems as though the pace becomes quicker
> There's the element of native american culture in it but I'm not sure why or how it relates, I think it may have been just to add a sense of culture or tradition in to make it interesting.
> The unusual characters reflect characters from wizard of oz which is something i think a huge proportion of an audience may notice

Mise - en - scene
> The music video is introduced zooming into a dark room, the focal point is on a man wearing a red top. The red stand out against the black background and a 'torch light' like light is spotlighted on the man - this gives the man dominance. The camera is at a wide shot in order to absorbs all the darkness that surrounds the man,this is effective it allows the audience to pick up on the negativity that surrounds him, already making him the 'villain'

> The appearance portrayed by the man and little boy reflect the native american culture which may support an implicit meaning. This portrayal seems to be carried on throughout.
> The juxtaposition is quite significant as the atmosphere in what seems to be his home has quite dim lighting and creates a sad, lonely mood and the fact that the boy runs away indicates a sense of feeling lost but when the scene is changed to a massive desert where the boy should be feeling lost and lonely he seems to be in his element and more at home, he also has the help of his 'wizard of oz like' friends, which seems to be key to the narrative.
First Impressions
The vulnerability of the little boy is shown towards the end when he's having to be carried on this journey and he's holding onto one of the characters used.

The Dancers in the video seemed irrelevant to me to begin with but then as it goes on, it portrayed a sense of a 'backwards society' where the women are more dominant and controlling, they wear what seems to be a 'stereotypical' outfit of what females wear to the gym to work out or dance yet these women aren't portrayed to be perfect in terms of looks, body size e.t.c

'The Story'
The story seems quite confusing at first but from my first impressions, I believe the explicit meaning to be a about a young boy who is having trouble with who seems to be his father; the fact that he runs away indicates that maybe the boy is hurt is being abused by this rather aggressive father. By putting his fingers in his ears and singing a long to the music 'la la la' implies a sense of rebellious and the need to stand up and be brave which could be the message being sent out, to not be afraid or to just block out people such as bullies. As the video continues, we start seeing what seems to be a fictional cross over with the use of the video's portrayal of 'Wizard of Oz' characters. To me, it seems as though this little boy brings along with him these characters on his journey of escapism as he feels they are in need of company or seem upset and lonely. As soon as they put their fingers in their ear, they seem to already be happier. Then the journey continues, which is the part I started to get more confused as at first I thought it was a journey to escape the negative but it seems as though they were on the search for something or someone. This may be the more implicit meaning of the video which may then link into the native american culture.

I think this may definitely appeal to a more older audience in terms of what story the artist portrays, when bringing the uses and gratification theory I think the story allows the viewers to escape, as that is the essence of this narrative - 'escapism' and allows them to relate more to the characters

I think this story may appeal to the social value group of innovators as the characters in the story are portrayed to be self-confident risk-takers, seeking new and different things; this is evident when they all seem to become more rebellious as explained briefly in my first impressions therefore taking a risk to become more independent. In terms of uses and gratification theory i think that this heavily relates to the aspect of escapism, it allows the audience to immerse into the narrative itself and escape reality for a short while. The characters feel the emotions that I mentioned in my first reactions for as long as the video lasts and leaves the viewers confused or intrigued and encourages them to find out more about the implicit meaning of the video which is really clever about this video. It creates a buzz on social media and therefore spreads the word which is a great marketing technique for the singers and the video.
Although it is quite obvious the main form of audio is the song, there is also inaudible audio in the background but in most music videos it is hardly ever included as it cannot be overlapped with the actual music. Sometimes, when the background audio such as speech is used within a music video, the actual song is usually lowered down.
The audio gives the camera, mise -en -scene and editing a guide to follow; the pace of the music such as in the first scene when the camera is panning, it has to go slow as the mans actions have been edited to be slowed down.. the audio fits in perfectly as it starts of to quite a steady beat.
Framing of each main character when they have their fingers in their ears is consistent - portraying equality

The framing of the scene during the scene when the boy and dog are both in the laps of the two characters, creates a sense of vulnerability and the dog and boy are now presented to be the same level.
The video is introduced with pan into a room, zooming into the father - this gives the father dominance, the focal point is on him and is kept on him as the camera follows him out showing every stage of his anger building up until the point he is screaming at he child.
The narrative of the music video is chronological but it starts quite negatively, so it doesn't conform to a standard equilibrium where everything is as it should be, characters are happy e.t.c according to Todorov's narrative theory, instead it begins with a disruption when the boy's father is screaming at him aggressively. I would say the 'Realization' of the narrative is when the boy put his fingers in his ears to block out his father and allows two others to join him on this journey where they too put their fingers in their ears to block everyone out. The restored order part may be the part where they go on this journey and try to fix things by going to this spiritual place in the desert.
Another view on this can be through Propp's character theory. The little boy can be acting as the Hero who helps others alike and is escaping his villain who is his father however the music video provides more than one villain for each character, the other 'wizard of oz' like characters are portrayed to be helpers, the dog may also be seen as a helper. The donor could be the man who gave the 'tin man' the heart.
The camera reveals mise en scene in the wide shot by allowing the audience to see the focal point clearly on the man through the spot light lighting surrounded by utter darkness. By revealing the mise en scene through this camera angle, it allows the director to create dominance on the man.
The dark, eery atmosphere suggests negativity. It implies something bad has happened or will happen. - this has been purposely shot in this angle for the audience to focus on the man
The camera angle is low, again giving importance to who seems to be the father. This is significant as it adds meaning to the narrative of the music video
The camera uses a high angle here, much more noticeable than the low angle which really emphasises the lack of importance of this man, making him look a lot more inferior than the boy is to the man. The angle represents societies view because of how high the angle is shot from.
Here, the mid camera shot allows the viewers
to see all the dancers in one frame, this reveals
the mise - en - scene; the dancers are all women
which can be noted to be stereotypical, this adds
to the narrative meaning and supports this idea
of women being portrayed as more
dominant as there are shown to be
more of them
The shot reverse shot is significant
in this sequence as it adds to this story
of being 'lost', the shot allows the
characters (the boy and the man on the
street) to empathize with one another.
It's almost as though they both look at
each other in need of help.
The characters are also part of first impressions; these close up mid shots also support my first impressions
of this sense of being rebellious as the characters join the little boy of blocking everyone out and choose to disobey he rules by not listening or walking away from their jobs.
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