361MC: – Choosing a song for Bad Mouth Men music video and the dilemma of a narrative

As the goal was to find a song that was 3 minutes or above for my music video, Bad Mouth Men finally decided on a song for their music video called Rat Bastard, although they still have yet to record it. This initially caused concern with me as I needed to start thinking of ideas for the video quickly due to the shoot being in little over a week. Although I won’t be able to hear the song until the day of film arrives, they did send me a copy of the lyrics which has helped me begin to craft a few ideas for a possible narrative:

I hate all of the decisions you make everyday
You love money just never got it
There’s a black hole right in your pocket
I feel sorry for your wallet
You’re bad for yourself OI OI OI
You’re bad for yourself OI OI OI
It’s like talking to
A one way mirror
You love money just never got it
There’s a black hole right in your pocket
I feel sorry for you
Yeah do you say what I mean
When are you ever hearing me
You’re bad for yourself OI OI OI
You’re bad for yourself OI OI OI

What I took away from this is that the themes deal with the subject of money and the lack of it as well as frivolous spending. My initial idea was to make segments of the video similar to that of MTV Cribs; where the camera pans across certain things in the room and the total price of it appears on-screen, which would relate to the theme of the song but also be juxtaposed by the fact that the room we are filming in is very minimalistic. However, I quickly discarded this idea as I felt that this kind of narrative would not fit that of a music video in the punk genre and seem quite out-of-place from the attitude of the song. Although I have not heard the song and won’t until we are physically shooting the video, I can tell by the lyrics that it is very anthemic in the repeated ‘OI OI OI’ chorus which is designed for the audience to sing along with. This reflects a much more stage orientated performance performing to a live crowd.

Another idea I had for a narrative was to tell a story of a man on the streets who is drinking heavily and slumped against a wall in the middle of an alley. He reaches into his wallet and suddenly finds thousands of pounds that has seemingly magically appeared. Overjoyed with his new-found riches, the man begins to be incredibly frivolous with his spending; throwing most of it into the air, buying more alcohol and even dabbling with class A drugs such as cocaine. As the song builds to the frantic conclusion, the once overjoyed state of the man wanes as his time of debauchery catches up to him once again. The man ends up back on the streets in the alley he began where he tentatively looks in his wallet again. The money has reappeared and it is clear to the audience that the man intends to repeat the same lifestyle once again.

Although I like the concept of this idea, dealing with things like alcohol and drugs is incredibly extreme for any kind of  music video and especially for this particular band. Although I initially wanted to set out to make a music video in the same light and attitude of those of the hair metal genre of music from the 1980s and the whole time of the ‘decade of decadence and debauchery’, it became clear that even though some of the songs from that time dealt with themes of the lifestyle such as an overindulgence of alcohol and drugs, this content was never actually physically shown in the actual music videos and remained aspects of the bands’ personal lives outside of the music scene. Because of this, I also discarded this second idea for a narrative.

I soon realised that perhaps the best approach to the Bad Mouth Men video would be to simply have it as a band focussed video, in a similar style to the British punk movement. Although my first concept for my FMP was to create an 1980s inspired music video, I felt that with this I could take the general attitudes and music video styles of the 80s glam metal scene (such as having it centred around the band’s performance and stage presence) but infuse this with the attitudes and mannerisms of the punk genre which mirrors Bad Mouth Men’s style.

I also decided to look at another music video for inspiration for camera angles and different ways to film the video. I know I want the video to be frantic and manic and thought that this sense of chaos could be created through filming most of the shots in extreme close up or just close up. I looked to Huey Lewis & The News song Hip To Be Square for inspiration:

I think this video effectively captures a frantic sense and some very interesting variety of shots which is something that I would like to translate into Rat Bastard. As the first video we shot for Little Rag Doll was mostly filmed with tripods for steady shots, I would like to go the opposite with Bad Mouth Men’s video and use a lot more momentum; filming entirely with shoulder mounts and walking in-between the band as they play.

Overall, I think that the video will still work without a narrative, as the main draw of the band is in their unique image and quirky antics as they perform; which is what I will place as the focus for the video.

 

Unknown. 2009. Huey Lewis And The News – Hip To Be Square. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB5YkmjalDg [Accessed: 15 Feb 2014].

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