The Magic Of The Music Video! – Panic! At The Disco Month – The Ballad Of Mona Lisa

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 are starting the year with a band that I think are really creative both musically and with their music videos. I got into Panic! At The Disco right near the beginning of their career, their sound was so different to anything I had ever heard and I was mesmerized. Since that very first video I have been hooked with this band. So this month we celebrate a band that is very close to my heart to celebrate a year of this article running and also to kick the new year off with a bang!

Panic! At The Disco -The Ballad of Mona Lisa

Why did you choose this particular video?

This is again another narrative led video by Panic but it has so many interesting video edits in this video I had to include it. I love this video there is so much as an Editor to love and I think it is one of my favourites by the band.

So, what is the narrative?

The music video is directed by the same person who did I Write Sins Not Tragedies music video and you can see the similarities in the style. This video has a steam punk theme and sort of connoting the next chapter for the band as there had been a line up change with members leaving before this track was released. It is set in the Victorian Era and at a funeral and has this narrative about the dead communicating with the living.

Favourite parts of the video?

I really like the way that this video opens up – it is muted colours and mirrors the shots that you see in the music video for I Write Sins Not Tragedies. This feels to me that it is symbolising the death of the old and the beginning of the new. I like the way the shots are edited together quickly to create drama and the fact that the colour grade is slightly edited so that the images are faded colours it emphasises the past.

The one thing that I love about this video is the way that the graphics are used. The fact that they are placed into the scene at first is really clever but the part I love most is that the way that the characters sort of interact with them without knowing. For example in this scene the way that the camera blurs in and out of the graphic to focus on the action is really creative and so clever. It is such a clever technique and looks really effective.

Another effect I love in the video is the mirror / echo like imagery used on Brendon. It feels like the shot is sort of connoting repetition over time or that he is an echo of the ‘old self’ changing it’s ways. It is such a simple technique but really effective. Also as the video goes on you realise that the character that Brendon plays in the video is a ghost trying to get redemption so again this style sort of creates this mystery feel.

The video is at a funeral and it is only near the end that you notice it is Brendon that is dead and that the steampunk sections of the video is him trying to get the funeral to realise that he was ‘murdered’. This shot is also metaphorically very clever because it connotes that he is being reborn again with the new line up of the band. In this version of Brendon there is no makeup and he is surrounded by a lot of light colours to show this difference.

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