Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Music Video Deconstruction 14

Song: Icarus Lives!
Band: Periphery
Year: 2010

Guitarist Jake Bowen shortly before the song's intro.
Periphery are renowned in the metal world for their unique
three-man guitar setup.
  • Periphery is an American metal band from Bethesda, Maryland (by way of Baltimore, Maryland), formed in 2005.
  • Between 2005 and 2009, Periphery worked with vocalists Jake Veredika, Casey Sabol and Chris Barretto, gradually moving from a Meshuggah-influenced sound to a more ambient, melodic sound, with a focus on innovative production.
  • Periphery has toured extensively since 2008, supporting artists including DevilDriverVeil of MayaAnimals as LeadersGod ForbidDarkest HourThe Dillinger Escape PlanFear Factory,Fair to Midland,and TesseracT.
  • This is the second deconstruction I've done for a Periphery video, but it is their first single from their self-titled album.
  • I chose this video because it is shot in a very distinctive way of shooting, which I will come onto later.
  • The establishing shot is the most important because it sets the style for the whole video; the outer field and background is blurred, and the foreground is filmed behind a layer of glass, with watery effects; the whole video is shot this way, meaning the band members and equipment is blurred, and the most focus is on the glass, which was done by putting a small pane of glass in front of the camera's lens and squirting water onto it. There used to be a video on YouTube detailing the behind-the-scenes aspect of the video, but it has unfortunately been taken down since. 
  • There are a few more establishing shots, which show Jake, Misha, Tom and Alex (Guitar, guitar, bass and guitar respectively) posing before starting the song. The camera then switches to Alex who alters a setting on his amplifier (to give the video a real atmosphere of performance), walk backwards, and begin playing the opening riff of the song. 
Guitarist Alex Bois beginning the song, and the water and glass effect is very
visible here.

Throughout this video, Periphery often incorporate their iconic logo
into some parts, such as here, where Spencer (vocals) is also portrayed at a
long shot.

  • The song gets in full swing with its extremely heavy and groove-laden intro, and all of the band members are shown playing their instruments, done with close-ups, mid shots and long shots.
  • The aquatic side of the video is down to the song's title and lyrics; it is about the flight of Icarus and Daedalus in ancient Greece, and obviously, as the story goes, Icarus perished when the wax wings he was flying with got too hot from the sun, the feathers disintegrated, and he plummeted towards the Icarian (named after him) Sea. The water probably reflects the sea in the lyrics.
  • Cameras focus on the instruments during pivotal and important instrumental parts of the song, such as the introduction of the vocals, where the camera focuses entirely on Spencer Sotelo.
  • Although much of the performance is out of focus due to it being in the background, there are sections where the zoom and focus change to reveal more of the band member, such as this:  

  • These two shots show the camera's change in
    focus when filming a certain part.

  • The lighting of the video is very pronounced; there is a massive amount of artificial light when focusing on Spencer. Like the water part of the video, the light would be representing the sun, which caused Icarus's downfall.
  • There are also a number of fixed camera angles as the cameras don't move around much; some of them are located at these points; 
  • Jake's amplifier
  • Through Tom's amplifier
  • Below one of Matt's (drums) cymbal stands
  • One featuring Misha (guitar) and Spencer
  • One just featuring Spencer 
  • Alex being shown in a long shot
  • Tom being shown behind a logo
  • Misha being shown behind a logo (mainly for when he does the guitar solo and the camera needs to be focused on him, pictured)

An example of focus on an instrument, also with a blurred foreground as
opposed to the background which is more regular in this video. This is an
 example of a binary opposite used.

  • The lack of focus on the band member's faces may also be made to create a narrative enigma, in the sense that you don't always see their faces clearly.
  • After the guitar solo, there is another groovy part, and then the video ends the same way it began; silence apart from the dripping of water; diegetic, as it runs over Periphery's logo. 

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