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Music Video Review

In: Film and Music

Submitted By amyming
Words 843
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Music Video Review The music video of Thriller by Michael Jackson is directed by John Landis and published in 1983. It successfully promotes the song and the artist at that time. The short film is approximately thirteen minutes in length with around 250 shots, in which it uses various shots and editing techniques to present more than one storylines. The images and movements of camera also correspond well with the mysterious but fun tone of the song. In the first scene of the music video, we see a long continuous shot of a moving car in the forest. The first scene uses the sound of the nature to draw the audience in the story. As the car approaches the camera, the video cuts to a medium shot of Michael and a girl. Their car is out of gas. After their brief conversation, the editor directly cuts to their lower bodies walking in the forest. In this scene, we continue to hear the sounds of nature and the steps they take. The camera moves gradually to their upper body. The editor cuts between close-ups of the two characters’ faces during their conversation. After when Michael says he is different, the video directly cuts to the moon. We hear music for the first time in the video to show that something is going to happen. Michael starts to transform to a werewolf. The editor cuts between his transformation and the girl’s reaction. The camera moves closer and closer to the two characters and the editor then cuts between close-ups of Michal’s body parts and the girl’s screaming face. The music intensifies when the werewolf is chasing the girl. The werewolf knocks the girls down. We see cuts between the girl’s face and her point of view. When the werewolf comes very close to the girls, the video immediately cuts to a cinema filled with people. The transition of a direct cut is unexpected to the audience, which pauses the terrifying situation. It seems like the editor uses a direct cut to bring us to the “reality” of the two characters watching a movie. We then see Michael and the girl sitting in the crowd. The camera zooms in to show their reactions. The song “Thriller” starts playing when the camera moves from the large theater sign to the two characters. In the next scene, Michael sings and dances around the girl while she is walking. In a few continuous shots with various lengths, the camera pan around Michael and the girl showing their body language from different angles. Close-ups, medium shots, and long shots are all used and the girl continuous to move from left to right in this scene. We see close-up shots of the girl’s face for her emotions. The camera zooms out from the two characters to show the background of a graveyard. In the same shot, the camera zooms into the graveyard and we then gets multiple close-up and medium shots of zombies coming out of the graveyard. The director uses high and low angle shots when the zombies surround the two characters. The video uses many direct cuts of the zombies and the characters’ faces. Michael turns into a zombie himself. The camera zooms out from close-ups of his transformation to a long shot of the dancing crew. The dance sequence composes shots of various angles and length and addresses the audience when Michael looks at the camera. We see the self-reflective style of music video in Janet Jackson’s “When I Think of You”. The editor cuts rapidly between single shots of each zombie with the same dance move. The beats of the music correspond well with the dance moves. A long shot shows the back of the zombies approaching where the girl is hiding. The song Thriller fades out. The editor cuts between the girl screaming and zombies breaking into the house. We see an extreme close-up of the girl’s eyes along with point of view shot. When the zombie reaches out to the girl on the sofa, the video rapidly cuts from the girl’s face to a low angle shot of Michael asking her “what’s the matter?” It turns out to be a dream. In the final shot, Michael turns around to the camera with an evil smile on his face. The camera zooms in to his yellow eyes. The Ending brings the audience to reality but with the final shot, it leaves the audience wondering about the mysterious storyline. The combination of set pieces and scenes in the music video of “Thriller” become more important than the overall plot. Some of the effective set pieces include the forest scenes, the graveyard scene, and the dancing scene. The movie uses many direct cut in a single scene or for transition. With various shots and editing techniques, it emphasizes the feeling stage instead of the overall plot of the story. This film brings the audience to a mixing stage of fear, dream, and mystery in a short amount of time.

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