The first video I will discuss is “This Is Gospel” by Panic! At The Disco
For starters, one of the things that I like overall is the fade in from black as the camera is already panning up the shot of Brendan Urie on the hospital bed. This simple but effective opening shot visually introduces the video and also provides a fairly stark contrast to the next shot. This abrupt contrast from shot to shot is a technique that is used throughout the video. A good example of this would be at 0:17 when the shot goes from shadowed to light resembling that of a hospital room.
It is after this sudden transition that the choreography in the video becomes very fast-paced to go with the music. The quick transitions between slow and fast moving shots convey the tone of the music well. Another excellent example is at 0:42 when Urie goes into the chorus. When the music carries a note, the video gives the visualization of speed and sluggishness simultaneously, by putting pieces of a single fast-paced shot in slow motion, thus transitioning the pieces while still matching the tone of the song.
Another thing I found very aesthetically pleasing about this video was the depth and the metaphor behind the visualization. The lyrics of the song have deep and somewhat complex meanings, so for a video to effectively portray that meaning it must push the envelope a bit. I think that this video does that in a very effective balance between the real and the metaphorical. One of my favorite examples of this is at 2:12 when the hands that have been instrumental in the chaos all throughout the video rip open what is clearly supposed to be Urie’s shirt, only to find a coil of rope which is then seen wrapping around Urie as he tries to run away. This can be interpreted several ways, but for me I saw it as the portrayal that we are the ones holding ourselves back. All in all I find this video fascinating and still watch it frequently.
My second video is “Emperor’s New Clothes” also by Panic! At The Disco
One of the reasons why I find this video incredibly visually interesting is because of the opening of the video. “Emperor’s New Clothes” begins with shots and lyrics from “This Is Gospel” This is such a startling opening shot that I at least had to make certain I had clicked the correct video. The shots from “This Is Gospel” are all stark and crisp with black and white clearly defined and an almost iridescent effect. Then at 0:27 it shows Urie falling into darkness as the music to “Emperor’s New Clothes” begins. This is a very jarring visual transition and really captures the polarity between the two songs.
In the next series of shots, there are flashes of blue light on skeletons and such in a place that in my opinion is meant to portray Hell. At 0:46 the camera zooms very quickly to Urie as he begins to sing, but the shot has been sped up, lending to the creepy effect of the video. This abnormal speed is a theme used throughout the video, and though I believe it is difficult to use this technique effectively I think this video used it extremely effectively.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this video is the portrayal of Urie’s transformation into a demon. It shows the transformation gradually, and Urie also portrays the mental transition really well. Viewers can see the expressions he uses go from fear to triumph as the physical transition takes place. One of the best series of shots in the video in my opinion begins at 1:40 when the camera pans very quickly away and back to Urie a few times, each time with him seeming to suddenly get closer to the camera until there is a very tight shot of his now-demonic face. I think it gave the needed impact for the song and overall I love the aesthetics of making the video portray the world of Hell and demons, as well as fitting very well with the lyrics.