Video Analysis

Because of my love for music, music videos have always intrigued me. One of the bands I used to listen to when I was younger was Linkin Park. I decided to analyze their music video, “What I’ve Done.” This band performs alternative rock music but this video is not like normal rock videos. The video is shot in a desert, however there are various clips of different areas in it as well. The viewer gets the sense of a sunny setting at the beginning, but as the video progresses, the faults of our society are shown. There are many transitions from the sunlight in the desert, to dark times like black and white clips of the KKK performing murders.  One of the many inhumane actions shown was the pollution of wastes into a river as well as a starving child. Before the starving child was shown, there was an obese man eating a big cheeseburger from a fast food restaurant. There are several clips of war involved and even terrorism. This video is getting the viewer’s attention by showing many inhumanities of our world, showing us what we need to fix and improve on. In normal rock videos you would see the band jumping around, screaming their lyrics in a dark scenery.

I believe that the colors use in this video were too bright to get the message they wanted across. At the beginning colors like blue and green were used positively to show life and growth. If the video is showing clips of Hitler and him giving orders to his armies, flowers and a bright blue sky should not come right after that. If the band is trying to enforce the fixation of our environment and society, it should be done in a more powerful way. Darker and harsher colors should be used, or maybe a meaningful lyric listing some of the inhumane actions shown in the video to get it into the viewers mind even more. I also don’t think there should have been plants growing in the last few seconds of the video. Once again, I believe they are shooting themselves in the foot and confusing the viewer by not getting their true message across.

When listening to the lyrics, the viewer can get a sense that the band itself, or lead singer, feels like he has contributed to the current problems in the world. He sings, “So let mercy come, and wash away what I’ve done.” These lyrics are especially important because they make up the chorus, and the chorus is repeated several times in the song. He wants to forget about all the bad things he has done, but he knows that can’t be guaranteed. He later says, “Put to rest, What you thought of me, While I clean this slate, With the hands of uncertainty.” He does not know what he will do to fix the world’s problems, but he does know he will try and make himself a new and better person to create less of these problems. This leads into the idea that what we need in this world is forgiveness. In order to stop conflicts, we need to forgive not only each other, but ourselves and create peace. There are some slow motion parts in this video, and this could show that the world can change for the better but slowly. It cannot be accomplished right away because all the bad things that happen in the world happen too quickly. Clips of horrific events go by in fast motion in this video, which shows that they can happen when we least expect and in the blink of an eye, but they are not something we want to look at for a long time. Viewers are exposed to reality and can truly see what is going on in the world but in the form of a music video, and I think that was very creative of Linkin Park.


3 thoughts on “Video Analysis

  1. Even though you disagree with the colors in the scene…what do you think the artist’s purpose for this was? Do you think they were trying to create a new light on rock music and did it on purpose? Also.. did you think that maybe the artist adding the plants growing in the last scene was also on purpose…I think by them dying in the first scene and growing in the last shows that even though there is so much wrong in life, it is still beautiful. What do you think?

    • Heyyyyyyyy. The images and subjects in the video are very vividly graphic. What other choices do you think could have been made while creating the video to enhance its meaning? More specifically, what else could they have focused on to be the visual for their song? How well do you think the message of the video has been executed?

    • I think the artist’s purpose for the use of colors was for contrast. I think it made the bad scenes of terrorism and inhumanities seem even worse and like they have a greater effect on the world and society. The bright colors actually illuminate the darkness in the black and white pictures. I think they wanted the viewers to view rock in a different way. When I think of rock music, I have to admit I think of black and white colors. I think the transitions of bright colors makes rock seem happier and not stereotypical screamo music that shows anger. The band wanted rock to mean something more because it’s an important part of their life and affects the members. The inhumanities of life also affect these members so they wanted to show something that other rock bands wouldn’t think of. The plants growing at the end of the last scene definitely shows that life is still beautiful even though it does have many imperfections. The band wanted the video to end on a good note so that they didn’t make the world seem like a completely terrible place to live in by the end of it. There are good and bad aspects to everything and they just wanted to let all their viewers know that there are things to fix in the world. I think by the silence or ending of lyrics the last few seconds while the plants are growing gives the viewer time to think about the problems of the world and realize that there are actually ones.

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