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Name: RyanLam Tien YueStudentID: 179027390Module:MED 330Critical Evaluationof Skinny LoveThis evaluation will be a criticalanalysis of the music video, Skinny Love asproduced by me and Max Soo for the Moving Camera module. For the first sectionI will be explaining our production process and our experience in creating anddeveloping this music video. Part two of this evaluation will be an analysis ofour audience, content and style of the music video overall. Finally, I willdiscuss my understanding of the roles I played throughout this production, andthus concluding this evaluation of SkinnyLove with my own reflections and thoughts from this project, and myanalysis of the video from my perspective. When we were first given the brief,Max and I instantly knew we wanted to do a music video as it would be aninteresting video to make.

“Music videois one of the most important emergent forms of contemporary popular culture. Ithas a profound impact both on music, fashion and youth culture, and on thecodes and forms that operate across television, film and advertising.”  (Frith, 2005) However, we were havingtrouble choosing a song and the direction we wanted to go, as there is such awide variety of choices. As we were listening to music on Spotify, Skinny Love by Birdy came on and we hada sudden spark of inspiration to use that song for our music video. Webrainstormed a few ideas and concepts but ultimately we wanted to tell thestory of lost love as told by the song. We settled on a story about an abusiverelationship, which included a lot of physical fights and a lot of symbolism inour narrative.

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When we pitched our idea to our fellow friends, they did notunderstand what we were trying to portray, only then we realized we might havetaken our concept a bit too far. We finally settled on telling the story of agirl who is struggling in a broken relationship as her boyfriend changes tobecome someone she despises. Our production stage went relativelysmoothly, though we did have some hiccups on the way. All our pre-productionwent well, and we had already found our two talents, Hannah and Connor to beour main leads, but Connor pulled out right before production started. Hence, wewere stuck without a lead actor and had to choice but to push back ourschedule. Thankfully, Hannah helped us find a friend, Kurtis who was willing toact for us and we could proceed with the shoot. We also faced somemiscommunication with one of our locations as the boss was not informed aboutour shoot.

However, our biggest struggle would be scheduling, as both of ourtalents were only available for a very limited time. As a result, what couldhave been a short three day shoot had to be done in five days over the span ofthree weeks.One highlight was working with ourtalents as they were very willing to follow direction, and also put a lot ofeffort to their character.

As Penn (1976) said: “after all, a character on a page is really only dozen lines ofdialogue. Once you assign those to a whole person, he or she becomes thatperson.” Hannah, especially impressed us as she went the extra mile tobecome the character, even learning the song on piano even though she only hadto mime it.

Also, this video was my first time working with Max. We had a goodworking dynamic with each other and took full responsibility for the roles wedelegated. We were able to think of alternative ways to solve our problems. Forinstance, we struggled in booking equipment as everything had already beenused. We had to think of alternatives- we were not able to use a Steadicamhence we stuck with tracks and dollies, and we were not given a tripod for ourslider so we used a table for our base. Max has guided me through theproduction process and I have learnt quite a bit just by working with him.  As Urban Dictionary points out, theterm Skinny Love can be looselydefined as a relationship that lacks love, or as we derived- broken.

We wantedto highlight how life is not just happy endings, and how many people choose tostay in their perpetual cycles of a broken relationship, thinking it can besaved. People would rather settle for inadequate relationships than be singleand open to something — or someone — that could make them happy. (Martin,2014) We also wanted to touch on the reasons why a relationship maydeteriorate, such as alcohol and physical abuse, as shown through Kurtis’character.

We believe that it may deliver an emotional impact to our targetaudience of young adults (in their 20s- 30s) as it is a very real and relevant subjectthat happens in their life. The primary inspiration for Skinny Love was from the original videoitself (Birdy – Skinny Love Official Music Video, 2011). By keeping the moodycold tones that were present in the music video we were able to portray a sademotion, thus applying it in our grading and lighting. We also took someinspiration from Gone Girl (Fincher, 2014),especially for the arguments and fighting.

We wanted Kurtis to really embodythe anger and physical abuse that Ben Affleck’s character shows in the film,almost as if showing no remorse. Besides, there were other nods to the filmsuch as an argument at the doorway as he storms out. We kept the inspirationthroughout the film as we highlighted the many intense emotions one may battlein a broken relationship. BeRight Back from Black Mirror (Brooker,2011) was another influence in our production, especially in the scenes aftertheir big argument where they start to give each other the cold shoulder. Onescene in particular where both characters are seated at two opposing ends of acouch watching TV was influenced by Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson’scharacters perfectly portraying distance, though near to each other. This video relies a lot on symbolismsto tell the story. Symbolic images help us to understand abstract concepts thatcannot always be translated into words.

(Sheridan, 2004) Colour played asignificant role in portraying a contrast between her happier and sad times. Towardsthe end of the video, everything goes back in reverse showing how it goes backto the start, but it is just another cycle where everything is bound to happenagain. Finally we see them hand in hand, but she’s unhappy. Many couples arestuck in these kinds of relationships, and in this case she has chosen to stay.”If you are in a committed relationshipwith someone who isn’t meeting your expectations they either won’t talk aboutit or won’t do what you want, then you have two choices: You can leave, or youcan choose to accept them exactly as they are.” (Paul, 2017)  Throughout the course of thisproduction Max and I managed to balance our workload equally. We made sure thatour ideas were all a collaborative effort, and helped each other developcreatively and professionally to achieve the best outcome.

We co-directed andco-produced this music video, but we also took charge of certain parts ofproduction respectively. Max mainly took charge of the production side, whilemy main role was in post-production. Albeit the lack of equipment needed forthe shoot, we had to make do with what we have. Nevertheless, I still learnt alot on how to apply camera movements in our shots and how important it is totell our story as it was my first time working with tracks and dollies as well. For pre-production I was the one whowrote the story before bringing it out to life. After discussing our ideas withMax, I wrote down a detailed treatment to summarize the key events of thestory, which then only we could proceed on with our scriptwriting. I alsoplanned out the props and wardrobe for the talents, which is something new tome. Little did I know that they was more detail that needed to be thought of tobe able to tell our story.

For the post-production aspect Iwanted to make the narrative flow as smoothly as possible, with intercuts ofher singing in between the story. The style of the music video was very montagestyle, aiming not to mimic reality but to draw attention to ideas by clashingshots to create deeper meaning. (Barnwell, 2008) Particularly during theflashbacks, we see how their romance bloomed while they were still happy. Ialso wanted to portray the parallels and contrast between two separate scenesthrough intercuts, similar to the one as shown in Crossing Points (2017), a short film by Wong Fu Productions. Thisparticular transition is done by having the subject shot in the exact sanecomposition and framing for two different shots. For this instance, one momentHannah is in a restaurant enjoying herself in her date, another moment she isat the dinner table angrily waiting for her boyfriend to come home. I made surethat throughout the production we shot with our intended edit in mind.

Despite the fact that it was a smallproduction team of just me and Max, with some help from our friends, I believethat we were able to balance our responsibilities well and managed our time tomake sure we were kept on track.  As a whole, I am proud of what we haveproduced, despite the lack of manpower and budget. Our shots are well lit,looks of professional standard, and we managed to achieve our goal of havingalmost 80% of moving camera shots. It has really improved our quality of workvisually, as compared to previous projects.

I am also happy that we have a castwho really dived deep into their emotions for the role, and it really shows inmusic video. Furthermore, I am proud of our story as it is one with anemotional impact, as intended with the original song, highlighting the aspectsof life that are sometimes not so often talked about. However, there are indeed a fewaspects that I feel we could have improved upon to achieve a much betteroutcome.

For example, we relied on handheld shots too much and as aconsequence, some of our footage ended up being shaky. Even though that is aminor problem but it is the tiniest details that make or break a film. We hadalso made some mistakes that we overlooked during production. Some of our bestshots were out of focus, and the camera movements such as the opening argument scenewere not smooth. Thankfully, all these mistakes could be fixed inpost-production, but we should have been more alert while shooting.

Some of ourshots could have been done better with the right equipment, but circumstanceshad left us to make do with whatever we had. Looking back at Skinny Love, there is definitely still room for improvement butultimately, it is still one of my prouder works.   BibliographyFrith, S. (2005). Sound and vision. London: Routledge.Sherman, E. (1988).

 Directing the film. Los Angeles:Acrobat Books.Barnwell, J. (2008). The fundamentals of film-making. Lausanne:AVA Academia.Sheridan, S.

(2004). Developing digital short films.Indianapolis, Ind: New Riders.Martin, L. (2014). 7 Stupid Reasons People Stay InRelationships When They’re Unhappy. online Elite Daily.

Available at: 18 Jan. 2018.Paul, M. (2017). This Is The Most Common Cause OfUnhappiness In Relationships (According To A Couples Therapist).

onlineAvailable at: 18 Jan. 2018. VideographyGone Girl.

(2014). film Dir. David Fincher, Ben Affleck,Rosamund Pike, Twentieth Century Fox.Birdy – Skinny Love Official Music Video. (2011). videoAvailable at:

com/watch?v=aNzCDt2eidg&list=RDEMYlEwl42O5SA3lmazwKLLqgAccessed 17 Jan. 2018.Crossing Points (2017).  video Wong Fu Productions Availableat:

com/watch?v=KXW1KE7MzzE Accessed 17 Jan. 2018.Black Mirror. (2011).

video UK: Charlie Brooker.    


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