The Magic Of The Music Video! – Green Day Month – American Idiot

As you may know, I am a Video Editor – and one of the things (probably the main thing) that inspired me to work in television post production was actually music videos.

Music videos are one of my favourite things in the world and I spent hours and I MEAN literally hours when I was growing up watching them Even now in the modern world, I can find myself getting lost on YouTube watching music videos for hours on end – they are an addiction.

This month we look at a band that I spent a lot of time watching their music videos when I was growing up. I used to love going to the music store on Saturday mornings as a kid / teen and would always use my pocket money to buy a new album and I used it once to buy a DVD that was full of Green Day music videos. Like I have said I was obsessed with music videos and I spent a lot of time watching this DVD, there was so many videos I loved and there were so many reasons why.

A lot of the videos in this months list are the old school Green Day because these music videos inspired me a lot growing up. I watched them so much and was fascinated by them and thinking about it now I strongly believe the editing of them has a strong role to play. I owe Green Day alot, they were the band the that used their songs to learn the guitar and they were one of the first punk rock bands I really listened to. So if you are used to only newer Green Day videos, you are in for a treat.

Green Day – American Idiot

Why did you choose this particular video?

When I was at school this video came out and whilst I was a Green Day fan, I was surprised and excited to find out we were going to spend a whole double lesson of Media Studies analyzing this video frame by frame. I think this analytical lesson made me appreciate music videos so much more.

So, what is the narrative?

The band are playing in a warehouse with a grreen American flag behind them with the wrong amount of stars and through the song the flag starts to melt and the group are sprayed with lots of green liquid.

Favourite parts of the video?

The first shot of this music video I always find really interesting the way that it is framed positioning the camera and also the viewing screen in the shot. I think this is a really strong introduction into the video because this song is about how America is depicted through the media and this automatically heightens this shot. This shot also automatically highlights the free in the shot an the red and black on Billie Joe. This introduction is followed by lots of quick shots and bold colours and angles.

The long shots of this video are really interesting from an editors perspective because it plays with speed – similar to the music video for Waiting, it has part of the shot playing with speed whilst another part is in normal speed. It creates really interesting impact on the music video and really sort of connotes this contradiction that is portrayed in the lyrics.

We need to talk about the colour grades in this video, the colours of bold green the flag create a sense of anarchy and the toxic stance that this song has in regards to America, When the flag starts to melt the green completely heightens the drama and impact of this style. When the flag melts one of the really effective shots is the quick close up shots that happen throughout of the different members of the band being drenched in this green goo with the flashing lights and the really dark background.

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