Analysis: Hall Of Fame – The Script featuring will.i.am
The music video for ‘Hall Of Fame’ was released on the 19th August 2012, a few weeks before The Script’s album ‘#3’ came out on the 10th September. The song is a collaboration between The Script and Will.i.am, where both the artists are seen throughout the video side by side mostly singing alternative lines instead of having a complete section of the song each. The release of this video was at such an important time, and not only promoted the single but also the album release.
‘Hall Of Fame’ also showcased something new for The Script, who have not been seen collaborating with other artists before, let alone with people like will.i.am. I believe this song is trying to change the direction of the script into more of a mainstream pop band.
The video begins before the song and uses clever parallel editing showing the two stories of a deaf ballet dancer and an aspiring boxer going about their daily lives. The use of mise en scene contrasts the two lives of these people showing the boy sleeping on a mattress on the floor with holes in the walls and being woken up by his mother kicking the bed, which connotes a poor, weak family. Whereas the girl lying in a double bed and is peacefully woken up by her father, connoting more of a wealthy and stable family. As well as the two story lines that run throughout the music video, we are shown frequent shots of the two artists performing the song in a completely different location.
Clear elements of intertextuality are shown from the very first shot with the boxer jumping up and down (on the left) this definitely referencing scenes from the film ‘Raging Bull’ (on the right).
Also the deaf girl is seen with makeup across her eyes and white feathers on her head signifying a swan aspect (below). This is a clear intertextual reference to ‘Black Swan’, which is a 2010 ballet thriller/horror (seen on the right). The story of the girl being an outsider trying to fit in and get the main role is very similar to the ‘Hall of Fame’ video. In both the film and this music video it shows her struggling to fit in and get the part she wants, making mistakes but getting back up and trying again.
There are possibly even intertextual references to Geri Halliwell’s It’s Raining Men video when near the end of the music video the dancer is seen auditioning in front of judges. And using a very similar over the shoulder shot (as seen below) and she falls down, then starts again and everything is fine the second time round.
The first shot we see of the artist goes against the normal conventions of a video. Showing a close up of a hand playing the piano first, we don’t see an establishing shot until we return to that location a couple of shots later. This is interesting use of editing and cinematography that holds information back from the audience.
Synaesthesia is one element that is clearly used throughout this video, seen first in the shot of the piano where you can see the keys hitting the strings. It then returns to the same location with a wider shot so you can see that it is the lead singer from The Script playing the piano, and where the actual location is as the editing hid that from the audience before. More use of synaesthesia is also seen in this second shot where the lights are coming on and off in time with the music.
When the lyrics begin we cut straight to both artists in the same large warehouse location as the piano. Each line is sung in turn between Danny and Will.i.am in a sort of stand off/call and answer style. Without looking directly into the camera they are singing as If it was an argument with each other. As soon as the chorus starts they address the audience directly by looking straight into the camera, this is when you can really view their star image. Will.i.am’s style and persona is thought to be very different to The Script’s, perhaps the video of two contrasting stories relates also to the contrast between the two artists.
Voyeuristic treatment of the female body is seen very little in this video, if at all. But there is certainly a sense of looking in many shots especially this shot on the left. The ballet dancer is leant up against the mirror staring herself down. Maybe showing that she, herself, is her own obstacle that she must overcome. In this shot the audience is invited in to see her point of view, that she is the only thing in her way.
It could be said that Levi-Strauss’ theory on the narrative being motivated by binary opposites could also be evident in this video. The main characters seem to be outsiders in their own world, the girl is deaf and the boy, poor and weak. The narrative is showing their road to overcome these problems. So although there is no specific binary opposite, the music video is showcasing a story to overcoming their personal flaws.
This video is mostly amplifying the lyrics are given more of a meaning by the addition of the video and made personal to the stories of the two separate people. Although there are many parts of the video that could be classed as illustrative. Overall this video uses all the forms and conventions stated by Andrew Goodwin in his 6 theories, and also the narrative theory stated by Levi-Strauss.