As we had now changed the representation of the female character in the narrative segment of Little Rag Doll, we knew that it essentially meant reworking the entire basis of our idea. We knew we still wanted to maintain the themes of control and submissiveness and make those the underlying focus of the music video, however the control and submissive qualities were reversed to the female character and the band’s frontman respectively. As the song is called Little Rag Doll, we wanted to use a thematic device of a real physical doll that could mirror the control of the real life person. With this in mind, we settled on the concept of making a voodoo doll which would serve this role. This eventually snowballed into me and the band discussing the prospect of going with an entire voodoo theme, which would enable the music video to have a very unique visual style and mood as well as giving it its own identity with possibilities for interesting set design and lighting.
We also discussed a new take on the narrative and the outline is as follows: The lead singer of the band will be tied to a wooden chair in the middle of a dark and oppressive room where he is taunted and teased by the female character who will serve as a voodoo queen, wielding an array of items such as pins, ropes and knives as she exacts her revenge on the ‘doll’.
Now with a voodoo take in mind, we are aware of the requirements in terms of set design we will have to organise. For one, we would like to use as much candlelight as possible and try not to rely on artificial lighting take away from the edginess of the shots. A source of inspiration for this idea is the 1975 period drama film by Stanley Kubrick; Barry Lyndon, in which director of photography, John Alcott, won an Oscar for his outstanding work. Barry Lyndon showcased an incredible use of natural lighting with candlelight in many of its sequences which further added to the period feel of the film and gave it a very unique look and tone. This is something I would like to translate somehow into Little Rag Doll.
In terms of staging, the only scene that sticks out in my mind that I can draw inspiration from is Quentin Tarantino’s infamous torture scene from Reservoir Dogs. The scene begins in the middle of a large open space, with the victim tied to a chair in the middle of the round. Michael Madsen’s character, Mr. Blonde, taunts, torments and tortures the police officer tied to the chair to Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel which results in one of the most iconic scenes in cinema. Although obviously be dressed to look like a voodoo den, with candlelight, old wooden floors and old and worn furnishings, the actual spacing of the characters and subjects will be very similar to this scene. It’s very simple but can allow for some interesting angles and shots as the perspective of the camera can change around the central subject.
From this point on, I will look for more inspiration in terms of a voodoo setting in order to add to my sense of what props to buy and how to dress the set to make it look as visually engaging as possible.
Unknown. 2012. ‘Stuck In The Middle With You – Reservoir Dogs (1992)’ Available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=XIMg2Xw4_8s : [11 Jan 2014].
Barry Lyndon. 1975. [film] United States/United Kingdom: Stanley Kubrick.