Thursday, 30 September 2010

California Gurls by Katy Perry, Directed by Matthew Cullen (2010)

Every piece of mise-en-scene in the music video is interesting as it takes costumes and props to the extreme. The costumes are very surreal and colourful which are well suited to the backgrounds which are also very colourful and unusual which changes constantly throughout the video. The diamond dice always seem to appear as a trademark for the high roller gangster type like Snoop Dogg. The props such as the rock candy and ice-cream cone palace etc. are all in CGI as the music video is in alot of depth with the detail, creating a visual dream world.
The camera just seems to follow Katy Perry around on her journey through the candy world and always seems to focus more on her rather than the other women that may be with her at the time in the narrative. The cinematography can suddenly cut away from the certain point in the storyline and return to Katy Perry naked in the candy floss clouds OR Snoop Dogg in his candy palace looking down on the dream world when it is time for the chorus to be heard.
The background is animated into a real cheesy cartoon which make no attempt to replicate a real world location however various california landmarks appear in the video i.e. walk of fame and hollywood sign all made out of confectionary. CGI Gummy Bears as evil henchmen do not create danger but is still an interesting choice of a visual effect.
California Gurls takes place in a fictional place called Candyfornia even though the lyrics are "california" which are bright, happy and makes california girls appear delicious along with everything else surrounding them.
Very party-like music and girly to go with the title. Representing fun and adventure to mix in with the narrative.
This music video was inspired by films such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and does make references to them through the main characters Katy=Alice, Snoop=Wonka and throught the narrative in Candyfornia; Katy Perry and the other women seems to be portraying children rather than adults.
Narrative Performance main topics are teamwork and taking a journey. It shows how california girls can stand up to the men, valuable lessons shining through the fantasy/adventure traits.
Even though this music video appears really innocent and child-like it can cutaway from that and promote Katy Perry through Sex for the men (naked in the clouds) and her dominant character can have an influence on the girls (powerful dancing with other females) that watch this giving her more fans. Snoop Dogg still keeps is image as a "player" which can be identified through his lyrics "Katy my lady, these are the girls I love the most" and his character in this music video which is cool and dominant. The intended audience for this music video are mostly teenage girls and boys who like Snoop Dogg. Children may find this very entertaining as well.

Katy Perry presents herself as a regular female pop singer in which some young girls may idolize her, she constantly wears revealing costumes despite her role in the music video as a mock up of the main character in "Alice in wonderland" (the innocent role) so Katy Perry presents herself as eye candy as well in order to target the typical male audiences out there. This music video makes her appear as a fun-loving person making it harder to dislike Katy Perry as a person/singer as she gives alot of talent in her performance: sing/dance/acting. The music video runs in a linear timeline narrative as most do. Cinematography tries to keep Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg in frame at all times because she is playing the game while he observes her so despite its complex setting/narrative the music video is constantly focused on their performances. Jump cuts speed up Katy Perrys journey and makes it seem fun for everyone, while the camera keeps a low angle shot on Snoop Dogg which makes him always appear in control apart from the narrative end. Over the shoulder shot of Snoop Dogg as he looms and watches over Katy Perrys progress in Candyfornia. The sound in this music video is very loud and dominating yet it matches the same volume as Katy Perrys powerful vocals; instruments are unclear but i would think that there is a DJ somewhere in the soundtrack so the music is very nightclub style but more brighter and light hearted. The fictional candy land is very interesting in terms of going to extreme lengths for the music videos narrative giving it more focus and heart. The special effects used to create the gigantic sweets and evil gummy bears is very child-like and tries not to portray realistic objects that much, the clouds where Katy Perry is featured during the chorus seem pretty realistic and is the only time in the narrative where she pulld away from Snoop Doggs game.

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