2. Pompeii was released on the 11th January 2013 by Bastilles label Virgin. The song
reached number 2 in the UK’s single chart, number 4 in Australian ARIA chart and
number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and also number one on the alternative songs
The song Pompeii is the fourth single from their debut studio album called Bad Blood.
Pompeii was directed by Jesse John Jenkins and produced by Tova Dann.
“Jesse wanted to capture the dramatic change in landscape you can get in California
going from LA to the desert“
3. Bastille are an English rock band who were formed in London in 2010. They began as a solo
project by the singer and song writer Dan Smith, who later decided to form a band.
The name of the band ‘Bastille’ comes from Bastille Day which is an event celebrated on Dan
Smiths birthday on the 14th of July.
In December 2010, EMI Music had offered Bastille a record contract with Virgin Records. Their
first studio album, called Bad Blood, was released in March 2013 and debuted atop the UK
Albums Chart. The band was nominated for four Brit Awards at the 2014 ceremony, including
for British Breakthrough Act, British Group, British Single of the Year and British Album of the
Year, and they won for British Breakthrough Act. From February 2014, Bastille have sold over
2.07 million records in the UK alone.
4. The song is written by Dan Smith and combines the two genres of indie rock and Synthpop.
The song was nominated for British Single of the Year Awards in 2014.
The style of the music video is a narrative as it tells a story. The music video is about a man
who is running away in various locations in Los Angeles from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
in Pompeii. There is a lot of scenes in the video where there are people shown with black
eyes, once he sees these people he realises that the ash from the volcano has caught up with
him, where he soon becomes a person with black eyes as well.
The genre of this song is indie rock and I believe that this
video conforms to the genre which is asserted. This is
mainly because of the colour scheme used throughout
which is the range of dark colours of black and grey I think
this was to represent the feelings used in the song. We
would expect this from a rock/indie rock music video as
they are usually dark and also have dark and mysterious
lyrics to go with the song.
5. The eruption of Vesuvius started in the morning on the 24th August, AD, 79 and the
eruption lasted for more than 24 hours. Those who escaped quickly had the chance
of survival for the rain of ash and pumice, mixed with litchis that occurred for
several hours were not necessarily lethal. At around midnight the first pyroclastic
surges and flows occurred which was caused by the caused by the progressive
collapse of the eruptive column, and these meant certain death for the people of
A "firestorm" of poisonous vapours and molten debris engulfed the surrounding
area which started suffocating the inhabitants of the neighbouring Roman resort
cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. Tons of falling debris filled the streets
until nothing remained to be seen of the once living busy cities. The cities remained
buried and undiscovered for almost 1700 years until excavation began in 1748.
These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman
6. The mise en scene in the music video is effective in a variety of ways. The
clothing of the man who is running away is wearing dark, dull coloured clothing
making him appear mysterious. The colour black connotes death so this could
put the audience in the position to think something bad is going to happen. The
other people in the music video who are shown to have black eyes are wearing
ordinary clothes, or clothes of their occupation e.g. maids. This shows that they
are just ordinary people living their lives but the eruption of the volcano has
There aren't many props that are used in the video. The only props are used are
the car and the bike. These are used for the character to escape and travel with.
Unlike the clothing, the car is not dark but the bike is.
7. The lighting in the video is mostly dark connoting a sense of mystery
and devastation implying that the music video isn’t happy. The video
sustains the low lighting from the beginning to the end portraying that
there isn’t a happy ending to the video. This shows the effects and gives
the audience an insight to what happened in Pompeii.
Ambient lighting is used in some places, especially when the performer
was in the arcade casino where the lights from the machines were used
and on the streets where the street lamps were used. Ambient lighting is
used to make it a more natural atmosphere.
8. The music video uses a range of camera shots which are effective as it enhances the problems which arose
in the eruption of the volcano in Pompeii.
The video begins using an establishing shot where the camera focuses on a man ‘Dan Smith’ he is standing
on top of the wall, where he appears to look vulnerable as he is small compared to the buildings surrounding
him. Establishing shots are used a lot in this music video as they show the different locations around
Pompeii accentuating that the eruption of the volcano effected many places in Pompeii. These scenes and
locations are very dark and empty connoting a sense of danger and mystery.
Wide shots are used to show locations and where the performer is going such as when he is walking into the
arcade casino. Tracking shots track his movements and overhead shots allow the audience to see what the
performer is looking at and what's in front of him.
9. There are a variety of wide shots, long shots and extreme long shots
used throughout the video which exhibit the locations in the video.
There are a few close up shots of the man who is running away ‘Dan
Smith’ who is one of the members of the band. These close up shots
of the artists face empathise his expressions and feelings. The other
members are not involved in the video this could be because they
wanted to concentrate on one individual and their experience creating
an emotional personal touch.
In this close up shot the
artist looks worried and
stressed which is
accentuated by the hand
gesture of his hand on being
on his head, implying the
struggles which are
10. A hand held camera is used in the middle of the video which was used purposely for a chase
scene. The use of the hand held camera creates an exciting and exhilarating feeling towards
the audience as it creates suspense as he is running through the different locations showing
he is in great danger. There is a contradiction in this scene because of the props shown. It is
set in an arcade with games on show with flashing lights being used, this creates a fun and
happy environment in contrast to the situation which the man is in as he is running away
The editing is quite fast in some places which shows intense action and can sometimes
make the viewer feel disorientated. I feel that the editing technique of the range of fast cuts
create the overall mood of the video being intense mysterious.
11. As the video comes to an end the shot which used at the start of the video where
the camera is positioned behind him ‘over the shoulder shot’ and then after cuts to
a close up is the same at the end ,this is to show how he has changed and the fact
that he now has black eyes like the other people featured in the video.
12. The song ranges from fast upbeat music to in the middle of the song where the
music begins to slow down. This happens after the chase scene where here the
music was fast and exhilarating as the audience can focus on what is going to
happen as the editing technique of the handheld camera created a tense effect.
After the chase scene faded out the music began to become slow and calm
creating a peaceful atmosphere. This relates to the scenes in the music video at
this point. There are cuts to empty deserted areas where there is nobody around
which links to the tranquillity of this part of the song. But as soon as the video cuts
to the man in the car appearing angry and hitting his steering wheel the music
becomes fast again.
13. Bastille got huge exposure when they performed Pompeii at
numerous high-profile venues, including the Coachella and
Glastonbury festivals, and on Saturday Night Live when they
were the musical guest on the January 25, 2014 episode.
14. The use of intertextual references in the
music video refer to the events that happened
in History. The music video and the lyrics
relate to the event that happened to the
Mount Vesuvius eruption in Pompeii.
15. Lyrics and visuals
I think that Goodwin's feature of lyrics and visuals of a music video link to Bastille’s Pompeii video in
I believe that the lyrics in the song relate to the visuals in the video in numerous ways. The song
refers to the destruction and deaths that occurred when Mount Vesuvius erupted Pompeii. The lyrics
‘black clouds rolled over the hills’ and ‘the darkness from above’ refers to the ash that erupted from
the volcanoes. The lyrics ‘the walls that kept tumbling down’, this relates to the walls on the streets in
Pompeii that literally came tumbling down. The person running away in the video ‘Dan Smith’ is trying
to run away from the deaths of the many people but in the end he stops and surrenders as all of the
people in Pompeii knew that they were going to die. The lyrics ‘close our eyes’ creates a poignant feel
towards the song as it doesn’t just relate to the volcano that wiped out Pompeii but also that people
are realising that the world is falling apart due to human causes and decisions, this is enhanced by
the lyric ‘we’ve been here before’ implying that it keeps happening and will happen again.
16. The band Bastille’s target audience are mainly teenagers but the band still conforms to a
traditional rock band image and stereotypical rock music videos. This is evident because
most of their videos are in a narrative style such as Pompeii so they want to tell a story and
give a message to their audience. However, the performance style of the video were
introduced in some places where he lip synched so it shows the variety that the band have
on offer that they can act as well as perform. I think this accentuates their star motif very
well because they are presented in the media as being indie and creative and I think this
was enhanced in this music video.