Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Treatment on "Down Under"

Men at Work - Down Under
George Scaife and Elizabeth McPhail

Down Under was recorded by the Australian band 'Men at Work' for the their debut album, Business as Usual, in 1981. It went to number one in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
The song has a sense of irony in it as it is now regarded as a patriotic Australian song, though this is in some ways a correct interpretation it is not the usual form, the song is more about people appreciating what the country has to offer and distance itself from the "plundering" of the country, and less about flag-waving and nationalism.
The genre of the song is known as New Wave-Pop, with a bohemian feel to it, the song uses a lot of percussion instruments as well as the "motif" of the flute instrumental between each chorus and verse, which caused controversy as many thought that was based on the children's song "Kookaburra Song" and led to a court case over copyright in 2009.

There are only the two of us in our group, Elizabeth and myself, It was initially my pitch and Elizabeth liked the idea so we joined forces. We decided that I would be the singer in our music video as I enjoy acting and singing and thought there would be scope here to do so and also find other people to play the band members. We thought we'd try to share the director role between us as well as filming, I will try take care of casting and costume, etc. and Elizabeth was going to focus on settings and location and as well props like the car.
The basic outline of our coursework is to create a promotion package of an album including a music video for our chosen track, being Down Under - Men at Work,  as well as a release cover - digipak and a magazine advertisement for the digipak.
Our Music Video is Joy Division meets the Rolling Stones, it will be a mixture of both Concept and Performance as we wanted to make the lyrics to the song metaphorical and interpret them ourselves rather than having a narrative video and taking the obscure lyrics literally.
The Music Video will have a core and secondary target audience, to an extent both equally important. Our core audience will be a youth audience, mainly eighteen year olds as it will be showed around school and therefore we want it to appeal to fellow students, as it is quite a punk/bohemian style this is likely to appeal to students and a younger audience (revolutionary?).
However as the original song is from the early 1980's we would like to re-vamp the song and get it to appeal to the people that already know the same well and were young when it was released, so a more mature audience may well be attracted to it as they were alive during the new-wave, punk revolution.

We want to create the feel of traveling in our video, and make a lot of the setting outdoors, the early shots of the film An American Werewolf in London spring to my mind, the whole back packer image climbing around of the moors, Australian tourist, whilst the song is in many ways about Australia it doesn't have to be set there. I'd like a lot of the clothing to be quite bohemian, individual andunconventional. There is a chance in the opening verse we may dress the lead singer or another band member up as a zombie, taking a metaphorical take on the use of drugs and symbolizing it without having to the show the smoking of marijuana as this would be illegal to show on a music video.
We would desperately like to be able to get a Volkswagen hippy van to use in the film as this would be perfect, though if this proves to be impossible then we have a quirky back up idea of using almost a toy car to add humour to our video. Again we would like to use a lot Australian cultural icons and symbols like Didgeridoo, Victoria Bitter/Foster's, Vegemite, Rugby, Cricket, Australian Rules, Aboriginal Art, Koala Bears, Kangaroo's, etc. Also the use of the Australian flag being prominent in many scenes to show the link to Australia and the travels of the backpacker.

For our digipak we had the idea of perhaps having a hybrid peace symbol/heart drawn on the floor and showing the feet of the and members around it, a variety of shoes - boots, sandals, etc., on the front cover. As well as the use of aboriginal art on the design of the digipak, and on the inside a nice band shot of them perhaps sitting on a sofa in the middle of a field, or a fence and wearing unusual clothing and yet creating a link between all the members.
Lead singer (Vocals/Guitar) - George Scaife
Guitar/Backing Vocals - Joseph Iliff
Drum/Backing Vocals -
Percussion (Flute, Keyboard, Harmonica, Saxophone) - Tom Bearpark
Bass/Backing Vocals -

Our opening shot will be of a bohemian/hippy character, member of the band playing the drums, like bongo's to the beat of the music. Banging down on them, done in a mid-close up shot, this will then either pull away or move to a tracking shot showing he is a busker on the side of the street/road and a (hopefully) Volkswagen hippy van drives past containing the rest of the band members.

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