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 looking at a band that ended up being at the top of my most listened for 2020 because their songs are so easy to listen to that I tend to have them on a lot without realising. I came across Waterparks in a really random way – I was lining up to see Yungblud in 2019 at PRYZM in Kingston (which was a gig I went to on a whim in the first place) and I got talking to some of the fans in the queue and they were raving about the gig they had been to the week before to see Waterparks. All I knew about them at first was that their lead singer had bright green hair and then I started to listen to them and understood why they had such a big following.
The reason that I have decided to write about their music videos is because I find them really unique and interesting, a few of them are directed by their lead singer Awsten Knight and I find that really fascinating and also really interesting to see that creative control being displayed and a really interesting band to watch for this.
Waterparks – Easy To Hate
Why did you choose this particular video?
I only watched this music video for the first time the other day and I thought it was so clever and sort of portrayed I suppose in some ways how music feels to teens and I could see myself in it as well. When I was a teenager I felt that music was a huge part of my life that everytime I listened to certain bands I always imagined them doing mini gigs in my head or around me. The fact tat this music video takes this concept and spins it on its head is so clever to me.
So, what is the narrative?
A fan buys the new album by Waterparks and they magically appear in his car, and his house and his bedroom and will not leave him alone.
Favourite parts of the video?
The opening of this video is really interesting and I think gives a lot of depth to this video. As I mentioned in the last week there, in this video, the album that this track is from has a real visual impact on the video. The album cover for Fandom is predominantly orange and greens and this has a lot of impact in the cinematography for Easy To Hate and that is why I really like this video I feel like it has a lot of depth and so many levels.
Let’s have a look at the opening of the video, this main character has by the looks of it just gone and seen Waterparks live and bought the merchandise and the album and he puts the album on in the car. The thing to notice about these first few shots is that the colour orange and different tones of this and greens are already playing an important part in the visuals. There is a lot of oranges and greens in those first few seconds just watch it and look at it frame by frame. I really like this as I feel these colours have a lot of different meanings. One of my favourite shots in this openign part is the close up of the button where he turns on the music I feel that the colour red has a lot of meaning here.
It is important to first highlight that the colour is a dark shade of orange which sort of hints at the album again but also it sort of indicates to the fact that not all is what it seems. I feel for what happens in this video it sort of hints that sometimes the wishes you want are not always what it seems.
Another shot I want to highlight in the opening is the introduction to the band when they appear in the car. The lead guy turns on the album and is amazed that they magically appear and want to jam along to their songs with him. I think this is a really fantastic idea, whenever you listen to a band that you love you automatically imagine them performing in the surroundings around you and this video takes that idea and makes it a reality. The one thing I really enjoy about this video is the colour grade of this shot as it is actually focussed on the shadows and I feel this is starting to connote the tone of the video. It is teasing that there is a dark side to having a band appear when you play their songs.
When the teen leaves the car and enters the house there is this fantastic set of fast based shots cut together to create this sort of surreal vision of the band performing in the living room. The house lights that are slightly flashing and it keeps mixing between reality and surrealism of the band not being in the room and it is really effective. Again it plays on this motion of ‘how great would it be to have a band you listen to just turn up in your living room!’ well, yes that is all great unless it is late at night and you are worried you are going to wake up the household.
The one section of the video I really enjoy is the part that again is a call back to both the album and the music video we discussed last week, Watch What Happens Next . The colours of the album are playing a vital part in this music video again and just like the music video before it feels like it is being used to create a dark side to music or ‘fandom’ which is what the album is called. In the music video the teen is getting fed up of the band being every and anywhere he goes and decides to sleep in the living room to leave them in his room and he get woken up in the middle of the night by the group to yet again perform to him.
This to me has so many levels to it and I want to discuss them here. When I watch this video I feel to me it is a sort of metaphor for the fact that when you like a band or a track you go through a phase of listening to a song over and over again that it gets to a point where it gets stuck in your head in the middle of the night or you cannot get it out of your head. I think this particular choice in the cinematography to make it this toxic green is clever because if you think about this video as a metaphor it works so well.
The last part of the video is when things take a bit of a darker turn and Awsten starts to attack the teen with a cleaver and wears his foot as a necklace. There is a lot of quick edit shots to shot this happening and to avoid the actual gore to add more comedy to it as the foot around Awstens neck is clearly plastic. Again I like to feel this is a connotation for listening to a band too much it is really starting to consume you, the ideology of fandom.