Monday, 5 September 2011

Music Video Deconstruction 10

Song: (Threw It) On The Ground
Band: The Lonely Island
Year: 2011

  • The Lonely Island is an American comedy troupe composed of Akiva "Kiv" SchafferJorma "Jorm" Taccone, and David Andrew "Andy" Samberg, best known for their comedic music. Originally from Berkeley, California, the group is currently based in New York City. The group broke out due to their collective work from 2005–2011 on Saturday Night Live. Samberg and Schaffer continue to work at the show, with occasional input from Taccone.
  • "On the Ground" (album version known as "Threw It on the Ground") is a song sung by the band The Lonely Island from their second studio album Turtleneck & Chain, and an SNL Digital Short which aired on Saturday Night Live on October 3, 2009. Andy Samberg is the lone member of the band who appears in the video. He plays a character who is extremely cynical and possibly in some sort of quarter-life crisis, walking down a city street and throwing things he is given on the ground.
  • The video begins with a fade-from-black transition and a medium-long shot of Andy Samberg sitting on a stool. 
  • The lighting of the performance piece of this video is immediately noticed, as the only light in this part is on Andy and his microphone, and the whole rest of the room is in darkness. 
  • As he begins singing the lyrics to the song, the camera changes to a mid-shot and the lighting and his face become more clear. 
  • He describes in his lyrics exactly what happens in the narrative concept of the video; Samberg is shown "walking down the city streets" and he refuses an offer made by a salesman by literally throwing the product on the ground in an enraged and comical fashion; every time he does this, the object, be it energy drink, cake, a hotdog or a phone, is shown careering towards and smashing on the ground in slow-motion.
Samberg refusing to accept a free hotdog.
I threw it on the GROUND!

  • Samberg sings the lyrics in the video to the startled vendors and salesmen at frequent points, such as the lyric "I ain't gonna be part of ya system!" in their face. These are normally shown with close-ups to reveal the expression on the characters faces.
  • The chorus of the song always begins when Samberg throws something on the ground, as it is emphasizing the anger in his voice and the energy of the song.
  • A few over-the-shoulder shots are used, like the picture above, as an unsuspecting employee tries to do something for him.
  • The camera often focuses on Samberg after he's literally "thrown it on the ground" to capture the bad temper with use of a close-up.
  • The lyrics are often shared between the performance cut and the narrative concept; such as him exclaiming after refusing a free hotdog "You can't buy me, hot dog man!" both sets of video sing this lyric.
  • The video puts forward various clichés that would be found in serious types of this music; such as the double shot of the same person, singing in two camera angles, one a side-shot close-up and the other a mid-shot. 
  • Even though Andy Samberg is a fairly renowned celebrity himself, the video includes cameos from two major actors, Elijah Wood and Ryan Reynolds who are having dinner at a restraurant when Samberg comes up to them, calling them "Hollywood phoneys" after being apparently asked if he wanted their autographs. He then proceeds to walk up to their table and flip it upside down in slow motion, much to their dismay. 
  • The "phoneys" then proceed to chase Samberg and violently punish him with a taser, as the performance and the narrative fade to black. 

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