Thursday, 16 June 2016

MVid EG5: Awolnation - Sail


Artist: Awolnation
Track: Sail
Release: 2011
Genre: Electronic Rock, Alternative Rock

What is interesting to note about this video however, is that it isn't the original video that was created by the band but by a girl called Nanalew on YouTube.

However, Awolnation have created an original video for this, but it isn't available in Luxembourg and so I haven't been able to analyse the original one. The unofficial music video for Sail might "just" be Nanalew's own interpretation of the song and not what the band actually wanted to say with the lyrics. I have tried to contact Nanalew over the e-mail she has assigned on her YouTube channel. However, she hasn't replied yet and so I intend to update this post as soon as I get a response. 
According to a website where a woman talks about the official music video, it sounds as if the original is completely different then this one. However, I did decide to make a note of it, since I believe that there are a lot of usefol elements in here, that could inspire Bronwen and me for our own music video. 

The rain that is in the music video  has a really good effect of depression and sadness, which could definitely also be useful in case we decide to go for a rock song.

The shallow field of focus of the raindrops on her hand can help to denote tears and sadness, and has a really good effect. Also the close-up of her face, as the central protagonist, shows that she is clearly outside in the rain, since her face and her clothes are wet.

There is a certain play with the male gaze theory, in this music video. First of all, it appeals to the male gaze theory, due to the clingy wet clothes and the choice of make-up for the central protagonist, such as the bright red lipstick. However, the unglamorous knithat and combat boots don't fit with the male gaze theory.


  1. Picked out a range of points not because you need to with EVERY video you blog on but just to demonstrate the range of elements you could pick up on (and because I spotted a key error in your short post). Also: look at formatting of top context info (size, font) ... and including your judgement on audience?

    its a SHALLOW field of focus: deep means the background is also in focus
    i also note the variable focus on the CUs of her - this can be a GREAT effect in itself; see the student example Swing movement
    Representation: playing with male gaze? Grungy/Indie (unglamorous) knitted hat but cutting to MLS to display full body, wetness ensuring clinging clothes. Consider the choice with lipstick, and alternatives they could have used.
    Also using female to lipsynch a male voice?
    Its a simple, v cheap video ... BUT still worth considering the shot variation of her (count/s'shot the variations would be v useful)
    1:18 look at the framing/m-e-s...
    When 2-shots start consider the costume choices...
    The jerkiness of the handheld would lose you marks BUT its not uncommon these days. You might also note some pans away from the subject, a common approach - especially in performance footage (and often matched with movement the other way in editing). Slo-mo too.
    2:16 pastiche? again, relevant to representation: some traditional 'male gaze' elements BUT overall undermining this, possibly critiquing it? Think about the scenario of pouring water onto a female. 2:23 masculine performativity (Butler)? Even more so when it gets to mock strangulation - 'deeper' layers of (feminist) commentary here?
    2:25 This is a commonly overlooked part of costume: footwear. Worth noting how/why this is an appropriate choice here
    330 blackscreen is a big no-no ... but sometimes used in dance, likewise the huge intertitle (eg Robin Thicke). That ending is awful, again marks it out as an amateur fan vid (which may be the case/intentional?)
    Overall would this remind you of a fan-made vid/UGC? Why might a band do that - surely looks bad?

  2. I googled 'Nanalew twitter' and it looks like there are a couple of links for her, FB too - worth trying, and a great example for your Eval later if you can get some response. I'd use a VPN to view the official video too, not to blog in depth, just to be aware of essential differences with this fan-made vid.
    And I'd certainly screenshot and discuss view stats for both too.
    You'll be able to use this, and the class vid project we'll re-start with, for both Eval and (depending on Q1a/b topics) exam


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