Pompeii – bastille
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pompeii – bastille
Pompeii – Bastille
The forms used in the video are a mixture of mise-en-scene, camera work, camera angles and
other technical aspects.
Camerawork: there are many varying camera shots and angles used in the ‘Pompeii’ video by
Bastille. Many of these shots are close-ups, point-of-view shots, establishing/long and over the
shoulder shots. This allows us to develop a relationship with the character in the video and to
feel closer to the character as we see things from his point of view. The first shot is very carefully
constructed so that we can see both the artist and the setting for the rest of the video, even if
the artist seems far away. This is unusual for music videos, as usually the shot is an establishing
shot or a shot of the artist, not both.
The video is a mixture of both performance and narrative based, with the performance tending to be in
areas of low key lighting and narrative in areas of high key lighting. This adds to the emotion of the video,
and emphasises the facial expressions due to the excessive shadows around the character and brightly lit
Coincidentally, all of the shots which are performance shots are also close ups, the furthest the camera
gets from the performer is a mid shot. This acts to serve many purposes, firstly this establishes the
predominance of the close up (one of Andrew Goodwin's 7 conventions). This allows us to see the
characters feelings and emotions and also allows us to recognise him as the artist, which we can then
transfer into other videos which we may see him in, allowing us to form a picture of the star.
As the video continues varying camera shots begin to appear. We see two shots, shots from a
low angle and a high angle and extreme long shots and extreme close ups. This is important
because this again, connects us with the artist, and makes us feel like we are on part of his
journey. This is also significant in the progression of the narrative, especially as the main focus is
on the eyes of the other characters. Use of two shots and close ups of unknown characters allow
us to see what Is going on and what the character is seeing, whilst having an understanding of
the feeling of being crowded by what you are running away from, this is done by the
composition of the shots, which we will see on the next slide.
The majority of the shots which are used begin as long shots and end as close ups of the face of a
seemingly friendly person with darkened eyes. The shots used are seemingly on the level of the
character who is running away and although they are staring you in the face. These particular
shots are used to make the characters look like they are looking directly into your eyes, further
establishing the relationship and emphasising the intimacy between the character and the
Forms – composition of the shots
Forms – composition of the shots
As we can see on the previous slide, all of the shots are composed In a similar way. For example,
they are all long shots, they are all low key lighting, yet the main focus of the shot is lit up in
some way, be it the window, as seen in the first shot, the apparent natural light of the car park
from above in the second and forth shot or obviously artificial light in the others. All of the shots
are also framed by something which is already natural there, for example the first shot being
framed by the boundaries of the window, the second shot being framed by the bollards, the
third shot being framed by the metal poles and the side of the buildings, the forth shot being
framed by the light, and so on. This is similar through the whole of the video and the shots are
all framed in a similar way, no matter which shot you choose. Equally, we see them all lit in a
similar way, with the high key lighting being linked with the performance and narrative and the
low key lighting on the lesser focus of the shot.
As previously mentioned, the majority of camera angles are simply straight on angles with a few
canted angles. Also, as mentioned before, this allows us to feel as though we are looking the
performer in the face. When we are not looking directly at the performer, we are given the same
angles, which implies that we are looking at things from his perspective. This allows us to
continue the relationship with the artist and be able to feel his confusion and sense of
constriction. When looking at angles and composition of the shot, we can suggest that they have
been set up in this way to be able to allow us to feel the same as the performer, crowded by
what we are seeing and then a sense of passivity in the end. In the middle shot below it seems
as though we are running away, again with the artist.
Mise En Scene
Mise en scene can either make or break a music video and mise en scene is particularly
important in the indie rock genre, usually because of the bizarre concepts which are
incorporated within the video.
Location: in this particular video there is not one particular location, as the video takes place
over a journey. The video begins on top of a large building, where the character is very small and
progresses over a number of shots through dark alleyways, down car park stairs, through a
cleaning room and what seems to be a youth club/casino type setting of some form. The video
however ends in a similar setting (possibly the same setting) as it begins. This then allows the
video to progress in a full circle, meaning also that it is able to be watched many times.
Clothing and makeup
The clothing and makeup worn in the video is worn everyday and is nothing important to set the
characters apart from one another and from our daily lives our self. This shows that the impact
of what ever is happening to the characters could also easily happen to someone in an ordinary
The false eyes are the only type of difference which the characters in the video and we have in
ordinary lives, this sets us apart on another level, and gives the video a kind of fantasy feeling.
Throughout the video the characters are dressed consistently, wearing the same clothes at the
beginning as at the end of the video, this then anchors the fact that this is a journey, rather than
split differences in times. A lot of the clothes worn are also binary opposites, for example the
black on white, other than this, the majority of characters are dressed in an ordinary way, which
we could see if we were walking down the street.
The indie rock genre is known for being relatively simplistic and not known for massive
transitions and fancy edits. It is for this reason that this video simply uses jump cuts and back to
back edits to place together the story. In addition, the pace is relative to the pace of the video.
For example, the faster the music, the faster the edit. The slower the pace of the music, the
slower the edit. This helps to develop the link between the music and the visuals.
1. it is likely that there are some intertextual references to video or film. This means that
another media text will be made reference to, maybe in terms of character, method or style.
To me, there are no intertextual references to other media texts, however this view is subjective
and based entirely on other media texts which the audience has experienced. For example,
there is a possibility that there is an explicit link to a niche film which has a very small target
audience. This means that the link may be there, yet because I have not seen the video I may
simply be unable to pinpoint it.
2. video may be seen to develop stars own image or iconography
This video may be seen to do this in many ways, firstly, now when we see this person or
someone talks about Bastille we will immediately associate him with the character who he plays,
with the dark eyes and pale face. This may be because this is his most well known video. This
will then develop the stars identity as an individual, and push him into the public eye for being
such a niche and unexplored idea previously.
3. Predominance of the close up: used to develop the stars identity also. It Is important that we
see the star at the beginning of the video so we know who to associate with the song and the
video in the future, by doing this at the beginning of the video this establishes the idea for the
rest of the video. This also allows us into an intimate level with the performer, which is something
used throughout the entire of the video to show developing and changing emotions.
4. Voyeurism: Voyeurism is seemingly an irrelevant convention for this video. This is because
there are many characters in this video, yet few are female. This is because the whole society is
represented in the video; the old, the young, black, whites, Chinese, all ethnicities and age
brackets are seemingly represented, and voyeurism plays no part in this video.
5. Relationship between the music and the visuals: as previously mentioned the music seeks to
amplify the visuals. When the music is fast, the editing is also fast, when the music is slow, the
editing and the visuals are also slower. This helps us to feel as though we are part of the video
and shows the link between the visuals and the music.
6. Relationship between the lyrics and the visuals:
“I was left to my own devices” – the character is stood alone on the top of the building.
“bringing darkness from above” – the shot is in low key lighting apart from a window of light at
the top of the shot.
“and if you close your eyes” – as the characters are turning around and opening their eyes to
reveal the blackness.
It is possible to assume that the lyrics do have a clear relationship with the visuals throughout
the video which in this case is necessary for the progression of the video, certain lines (as
mentioned above) have explicit links to the visuals, and other lines throughout although have
links, are less explicit.
7. The genre creating its own style or theme: it is safe to say that it Is unusual to see someone
walking around the streets in a music video with black eyes and turning towards you. For this
reason we can say that the genre has created its own style, as it would be considered unusual
otherwise. This is also how we can tell that the own theme has been created, as there are no
pre-existing videos which have the same concept.