Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dwight Yoakam Video Analysis

Turn It ON Turn It Up Turn Me Loose

The Turn it Up, Turn it On, Turn me Lose video begins in black and white, showing a lot of contrast between the outside world through windows in the room. It also begins as a narrative, and opens as a clock ticking is heard in the diegesis. The camera pans around the messy room, showing odd objects up close. Dwight is shown sleeping, then an alarm wakes him up.

The narrative continues temporally and spatially, the camera tracks to follow him through the house then outside to his car. The contrast decreases and the entire scene is a deeper staging, showing more than one plane; him, the car, and the background that's an empty parking lot. The car doesn't start and an odd guy in a straight jacket named Toad (his name is identified by Dwight yelling it) has Dwight's distributor cap and he threatens to smash it. The camera goes to and from Dwight and Toad in close up shots and is spatially continuous, but the camera angles on Dwight are straightforward, while the camera angle on Toad is from below which gives Toad a more distorted look to help accentuate his personality. They exchange some heated words, then the next camera shot is on the ground next to the distributor cap being smashed by Toad while Dwight looks on in the background.

The next shot is in slow-motion and is a medium shot of Dwight, pulling a gun out of his back pocket. He aims the gun to the side of the camera (aimed at the spatially contiuous area that Toad is located), and it fills up the view. He fires the gun. The cinematography shows a deep depth of field, focusing primarily on the gun, while Dwight, then his smoking car appear less in focus. The next few shots show Toad get onto a bike with a woman to get away; an extreme long shot shows they're in some sort of a canyon. Dwight fires a few more shots in a medium close up shot, misses, looks at his watch and has a worried look on his face.

The next shot is temporally continuous in that it is chronological, but temporally discontinuous in that there is some time between the scene preceding it and the following scene, but it's guessed that it's within a few hours of them. It begins by showing Dwight looking at his watch then having a few more shots explaining the difficult time getting to the place where he needs to be, which is a big, run-down looking building. He bangs on the door in angst.

When the door opens, the shot changes to the camera being inside the building, with a medium shot of Dwight outside. The visual style changes to color, with increased contrast of the bright outside world and the dimly lit inside of the building. A man has opened the door for him and Dwight falls to the floor in exhaustion. This scene changes to a non-narrative, focusing primarily on painting a scene for the lyrics of the song. Now there is discontiued editing, and there is a Dwight on stage while there is still the Dwight from the previous narrative scenes in the crowd of this concert. There are extreme long shots that show a mise en scene of a crowded room full of gamblers, women swinging from saddles hung from the ceiling, cocktail waitresses and smoke clouds the view of the camera. There are various medium shots and medium close ups on different characters to help describe the room and its visitors. The camera shots explaining the room are panned and tilted but also tracking and craning around the room. Spot lights add contrast to the lighting all around the room, showing that what is going on is somewhat of a spectacle. During a few shots you can see some bleachers up above all the interesting characters down below.

The close ups of Dwight on stage are in focus and often behind some unidentified out-of-focus objects, showing a deep depth of field with two planes. The lighting behind Dwight is sometimes flashy and bright with short stints of contrast. The camera pans the stage going from close up to medium close up shots, the camera is tracking around Dwight.

Dwight's original character is also in the room, still looking exhausted and being the object to the lyrics to show a small continuation of the beginning narrative, and to add the style of the entire video together with the song itself.

No comments: