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 – Dream Boy
Why did you choose this particular video?
This was again one of the first music videos that I saw by this band and it is also directed by the frontman so I thought it would be a good one to look at one on here. It is a really interesting video and has a sense of surrealism to it as well as humour and a sort of narrative. The editing on this video is really interesting and in some ways breaks boundarys and again there is a lot to look out for.
So, what is the narrative?
There is a lot going on in this video which makes it a very interesting and also a very fun one to look at from an editing perspective. Just like some of the others that we have discussed in this feature, this has been directed by Awsten and throughout you can see the threads of surrealism again creeping in to make a great point through creativity. In the video there is everything from a talking hand, a flame thrower and even a twist at the end.
When it came to explaining the video on social media, this is part of the description in which Awsten wrote about the song as a whole:
“DREAM BOY IS ABOUT FAN EXPECTATIONS AND FEELING LIKE I’M CONSTANTLY BEING BUILT UP INTO SOMEONE/SOMETHING I CAN NEVER LIVE UP TO, WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO EVERYONE BEING DISAPPOINTED,”Sections from Twitter: @awsten / 15th August 2019, 10:29am
“WHEN A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT 5-10% OF YOU AND STILL PUSH THEIR UNSOLICITED IDEAS OF WHO YOU ARE ONTO YOUR CHARACTER, CHERRY PICKING WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE OR HOW THEY FEEL IRL AND (PROBABLY SUBCONSCIOUSLY) APPLY IT TO ME ..”
“…AND IT ALMOST CREATES A KIND OF GUILT BEHIND BEHIND YOURSELF BECAUSE IN A WAY YOU’RE LETTING PEOPLE DOWN, EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT THEY BUILT YOU THIS WAY IN THEIR HEADS.”
I think this is really interesting to read because it makes you look at the video in a completely different sense, I think having Awsten deliberately sitting in a dangerous part of the car when it is moving it automatically challenges this ideology.
Favourite parts of the video?
The introduction of this video is really interesting as it sort of sets up an eighties sort of theme to the video, it has slow edits and a lot of panning shots to sort of create the ideology of this car and the ideologic world that this audience is about to dive into. The slow pan shots of the car creates this automatic portrayal that Awsten is quoted above stating that everyone has this perspective and the colour grades of the reds and greens intertwined create this sort of dreamlike stance to the video.
Also, I have stated a lot in the last two articles that the colours green, red and orange are important in this phase of Waterparks albums and these are again highlighted. These shots are also to set up who Directed the video and the production credits, this brings us again into this false identity as it is sort of welcoming us into a film and at 7 seconds this title above appears which I find has this sort of humour and humanlike feel to it that again is evident in all videos that Awsten directs.
This is the main shot in the entire video and right from the start they make it sort of clear that the car is on a green screen image, I feel having this shot slightly obvious that this is the case gives a sense again of an eighties vibe. Also since their fans are predominantly young adults it could be a way to simply justify the danger and the things that they do on the car or with the car.
I like the fact that a lot of these shots are edited quickly together, it establishes the location and the narrative very simply. I feel that it sets up this dreamlike status that is described by Awsten above, by having a shot that is so unique and unrealistic automatically makes it feel like this. Also it looks like it could easily of bee taken out of a Hollywood film.
The one thing that is interesting about this video is the elements of surrealism that have been added throughout, like this shot above as an example. There are quite a few shots of Awsten’s face on his hand andd I really enjoy the positioning of this shot and the way that it has been compositied. The way that the background has been blurred and the hand is the main feature is really interesing to me becuause it feels like a sense of entrapment.
Referring to the quote above by Awsten about someone only knowing 5-10% of a person to me means that this particuar shot could connote just how much you know of a person. The colours or orange and green are still very vibrant in the background which again promotes the album and again creates the ideology of ‘fandom’ on a whole another level.
This video has lots of elements of surrealism to create this dream like state and this particular shot is really interesting. The actions in the shot are so bizarre that it really takes you into this imaginary world and the style of the road and the car with the colour grade create this cartoon feel to the shot which again portrays the ideology that not everything is as it seems. I like the fact that there are five Awsten’s on the car bonnet – I like to think that this is portrayal of different fans expectations of the band.
The last shot of the video is really interesting, there are no edits, no music and muted colours. I feel this shot is to sort of do a sort of play on the ideology of the band being a ‘dream.’ Everyone has their own perceptions of the band but only knowing that small amount about a person does not mean that they are all that they seem to be. It is a dark way to portray them.