Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Music Video Deconstruction 9: Empire state of mind - Alicia Keys & Kanye West

The song 'Empire state of mind' was released in two different versions the origional featuring both Kanye West and Alicia Keys as well as Alicias own version 'Empire state of mmind part 2'. The track was released in october 2009 as a R&B/rap/soul and was directed by Hype Williams.

1. Opening shot low angled shot (extreme long) of New York city, Monochrome video (all colour is in black and white and colours inbetween)
2. Shot overlays are used and multiscreen shot of places and buildings in the city. Flashing effects are also used. Long shot down a busy street in New York shows the vastness and business of the city with cars and vans and lots of people.
3. Multi shots and more overlayed shots of sites in the city such as bridges, buildings, pedestrian signs and lights.
4. Medium long shot of Jay-Z on an avenue in the city which straight cuts into a close up of his face as he raps the opening lyrics.
5. Fast paced editing of a sign reading 'John D Rockfellar JR 1874-1960' (a graduate and business man who set up newly formed operations at 'Stabndard Oils headquarters 26 Broadway') and went on to be financially huge. Showing that there are success stories from the rough in New York city.
6. Medium mid angled shot of Jay-Z standing infront of a road in NY before again straight cutting to a close up. Before cutting back to the fading out shots of the city.
7. Jay-Z is then shown in a medium shot standing by the subway of '145th street' the camera then zooms in into a close up. Famous streets and venues are shown all still in monochrome.
8. Jay-Z is then shown outside the subway again dancing and then there is a straight cut of him continuing the move outside a hotel before the multiscreen appears again of close ups of hotels and sidewalks on different sides of the screen (2 shot of locations) which then fade out as more locations are overlayed.
9. A high angle shot of his face is then shown (he is wearing sunglasses even in bad weather so show hes 'hip-hop') a long shot of people walking down subway steps is then shown before also fading out. There are a variety of medium and close up shots after this of the bronx (one of 5 'boroughs' in NYC) which is associated with hip-hop and latin music because of the cultural mixes in the borough)
10. Monochrome long shots are shown of muisc venues and there is a long shot of Jaz-Z performing on stage aswell as then a long shot of his name on billboards in lights.
11. Previous shots are repeated of him infront of a busy street (medium close up) then fading in are long ariel shots of the city from above showing the vastness of the city and scale of building and architecture. During this the two artists Jay-Z and Alicia Keys fade in and out.
12. As the chorus comes in (sand by Alicia) she is shown in a long shot to be playing the piano on an outdoor stage on a busy street in New York with taxis and screen from the famous Times square in the background of the shot before a slight zoom out and a fade out to Jay-Z back in the bronx 'ghetto' then back to the same shot of Alicia and arial shot of the city is shown again.
13. Close up of Alicia singing (wearing big gold earings signifying the ghetto and hiphop) to a transition of a medium shot of her again playing the Piano and tracking around the piano to reveal a long shot of her standing while playing the piano and lip syncing the lyrics.
14. Straight cut to Jay-Z stood outside a huge building dancing (medium shot) which then cuts to an arial shot from the sky looking down on the Yankee stadium, which goes with the lyrics 'Catch me at the XPEO at a Yankee game' cutting then to a long shot of the stadium from the front entrance.
15. Cuts back to the streets of New York showing passers by, the sub way and grafeetied walls and three close up/medium shots of the yellow taxis signifying New York and the state typically as everyone in the world associates them with New York like they do with the English and Red telephone boxes.
16. Extreme long shot of the city, sligh deutch angle shot tracks over. Camera goes back to the city showing long shots of memorials and refers to Bob Marley 'Rest in peace Bob Marley' a rastafarian often associated with cannabis and the music he produced in the Carribeean aswell as movement and intergration of rastafarians worldwide.
17. There is then a medium 2 shot of the singers together for the first time in the vido 02:11 which fades out to shot the Brooklyn bridge and arial shots of the city. Straight cut to a medium shot of Jay-Z standing in a hotel room looking out at the empire state building, magazine styl pictures of girls in the city are shown in 2 and 3 shots and shows them smoking with lyrics such as 'city of sin' and 'good girls gone bad the citys full of them' signifying bad things happen t girls in the city they get caught up in life in the city. 
18. 'MDMA got you feeling like a champion cause the city never sleeps' denoting people take drugs to keep up and be able to live in a place like NY all the fast paced editing has signified the hustle and bustle of the city and how everyhting can change very quickly.
19. Extreme high angle shot of the singers stood on steps lit up by red UV lights (the first color in the video) signified their strength and power denoted from them having her arms in the air, slowly zooms in until reaching a medium shot with shots of the city inbetween and close ups of Alicia playing the Piano.
20. Final shot of Jay-Z putting his arm around her signifying they are together and hes her 'pimp' fades out onto a shot of the city with Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

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