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 musician that creates some of my favourite videos. At university, my housemate and I used to be so excited on new Lady Gaga Video day as you never knew what to expect from them and they were always so magical. I find her music and her videos really inspiring because she always goes above and beyond to do something that no-one else has thought of. So this month I want to celebrate and look at the queen of pops music videos. Be warned, some of these analysis could be essays because there is a lot I love about her videos from an editing perspective.
Lady Gaga – Paparazzi
Why did you choose this particular video?
This video was always interesting to watch and I think it was the first true video that started to create these huge narratives. This video has a lot to look out for and whilst it may not be one of my favroutie songs I think the video is very good. There is lots to enjoy editorially and cinematically so lets have a look. I also like the fact that this could be the reason for why Telephone narrative happened – very clever.
So, what is the narrative?
People say that this is the prequel to the telephone narrative. It is the first proper short film music video staring Lady Gaga and focusses on the fame, death and demise of a celebrity and what it does to young people. Her boyfriend hires paparazzi to take photos of them making out on the balcony and she sees the and tries to struggle and ends up falling off. She plots her revenge to kill her boyfriend.
Favourite parts of the video?
The narrative at the top of the video sets up the narrative and is really interesting but I am going to focus solely on the sections that are in the music parts of the video. When the music kicks in there is already a really fascinating editing point. The parts of Gaga in the wheelchair are slow and uncut as they really want to focus on the attention. However these are intertwined into cuts of a different scene of Gaga where they lights are darker and the outfit is more daring. The shots are edited quick and fast and also in time to the beat. The colors of the shots also contradict each other.
The next part of the video that is really interesting and I reccomend that you look at it and even freeze it frame by frame to really analyse the ‘deaths’. Each one is completely different and the colours are really vibrant in each clip highlighting a different colour in each shot. This feels to me that it is a metaphor for different parts of the ‘toxic’ life of a celebrity. This freeze frame above is an example of the sort of shots that you see. I find this one in particularly fascinating – firstly you are looking down at the death and not next to it this creates so many metaphors to me personally.
The first is that the angle of the shot – firstly it is important to first look at the height, this to me already puts the audience in the more dominant perspective and that we technically have the power over the person in the shot. If you look at the design on the floor tiles it looks like an eye, again I do wonder if this is to connote that everyone is always watching and the height of the shot makes this a negative thing and that we always want to know more about the celebrity. I am sure if I looked into it that position in which she has been placed in this death would be specifically relevant but also look at the blood – it’s gold. This is the most interesting section of the shot – it connotes that you think metaphorically celebrities bleed ‘gold’, the media won’t stop until they are in front of the death of a person leading to the ‘gold’ title for a news story. There is so much more I can say about this shot but lets move on.
The next part of the video I really like because of the editing that has been done to the footage. The song at this particular part has a really strong beat and the editing is very fast and quick to create this sense of paparazzi taking photos. There are lots of shots that interwine dark and light images together. It could also be connoted as Gagas characters descent into madness where she wants to kill her boyfriend.
Now let’s talk about the finale scenes of the video, I think this is one of the best parts of the video visually. First lets talk about the style and the outfit and the way it portrays ‘mickey’ mouse and takes the ideology of innocence to a dark place. The editing style has changed and become slower with a lot of close ups to show the dark deeds of Gaga, it is such a tiny change but has such a big effect on the video.