If I were to die (Video concept)
“Art is what speaks more when it shows less.”
Video Outlook and Overview:
The video will be shot like a theatrical production and in an artsy way, as detailed in the scene by scene break down. In addition, to give the video a classical feel, the entire story in the video will move in a slow motion, slightly monotone, except for the miming parts where the artist will sing in sync with time. The video is to be shot with army’s “Parachute” squad and will involve stories of three soldiers, including one portrayed by the artist himself.
The artist will be acting as one of the two pilots of the helicopter/plane flying a squadron on a mission. The video will reflect on personal lives of two of the soldiers and the pilot, and as the story will unfold, with the situation getting worse on the ground after the squadron has landed, the artist will leave the controls of the helicopter/plane in the hands of his co-pilot, and will himself sky-dive to join the forces on the ground. Eventually the character played by the artist will be shown to have been injured in combat and recovering in a hospital with his beloved by his side.
Scene by scene breakdown:
The scene by scene breakdown below is explained in context with the various stages of the musical composition.
As the music opens with the sound of birds chirping, the video will begin with shots of the airfield, like the shot of the area beyond the runway/helipad, the runway, the helicopter/plane on the runway. By this time the piano melody would be about to kick in. At this stage the screen will fade out into black, and as the piano melody will kick in, the black veil will lift as if a shutter is being pulled up, as a group of shoulders in the battle gear would be shown walking down the runway, with their goggles on, looking around as they walk. The artist (as the pilot) will then be shown as stepping out of the plane/helicopter (as the case may be), and he will share a salute with the soldiers. The leader of the pack will step forward, shake the artist’s hand, and then show him a map and point out the place where the drop will be done. The artist will nod his head and take the map in his hand, and climb up into the craft with the soldier. The scene will end with shots of the leader of the pack making the soldiers settle down, as the pilot and the co-pilot will ready the craft for take-off.
As the first stanza will kick in, the artist will be shown miming while seated behind the controls of the craft. In between, in slow motion and as part of the story, the artist will show his co-pilot the map and point the location to him. The squadron leader will join them. As the three will nod their heads and flash thumbs up, a bit of laughter from behind will catch their attention. The rest of the squad will be shown laughing at one of their fellows sitting in a corner when one of them will snatch the wallet he had been looking at from his hand. The wallet will have the image of that soldier’s girl (that can be inserted during editing of the video). The scene will continue with the leader rebuking the men jokingly while the soldier will take the wallet back and try to put it in his pocket, before opening it once again to have another look. These shots mixed with the miming parts of the artist will lead to the first drop at the end of the first stanza.
As the line “if I were to die” finishes and just as the piano and baseline kicks in at the drop, the first shots of the girl will appear. She will be shown running and turning around in a field (or perhaps an old Fort) in a flowing light coloured skirt, her hair flying in the air, a handkerchief or a similar piece of cloth in her hand flying in the air, a big smile on her face. The scene will mix shots of the soldier looking at his wallet, or looking away in the distance as he remembers her, and the scenes of the girl. Their love story is based on a love story between a young recruit and a college/university student, or a recent pass-out. Hence the scenes of the girl will include:
a) The girl sitting on a table at a small open air restaurant giving a funny but cute smile looking straight in the camera (as if in response to a tease by the soldier who will be represented by the camera), a lemonade/coconut with a straw lying in front of her.
b) The girl sitting on a bench in a park, raising her notebooks with her hand as if trying to hit the soldier (again represented by the camera), as if the soldier had just played a prank on her.
c) The girl walking away in a park teasingly, to turn around and wave a good bye at the camera, as if teasing the soldier.
d) The girl making funny faces as if teasing the soldier.
Just before the second stanza kicks in, the artist will be shown miming the one line before the humming starts to indicate the imminent second stanza.
The scene starts with the artist miming the first line of the second stanza, and will then shift to the soldiers behind him who will be shown asking their leader about his family. The squadron leader will pull out his wallet and show them the picture of his wife and a young child. The squadron leader will look at the picture and then far away, and as the camera will close in on his eye(s), the scene will shift to his house where his wife will open up the door for him, in a beautiful light coloured flowing dress. As she will pretend to kneel, as if a king is entering the house, and then step aside to let the camera in (once again camera will represent the soldier), the camera will make way towards the bedroom of the house. As the camera will enter the bedroom, we will see his wife playing with his young child, say monopoly or a similar card game (if the child is older in age), or playing with the infant on her knees. Alternatively, if the child is old enough, she could be shown helping the child with the homework. As she will realize the soldier has come in, she will look at him and smile and then point out to their child, as if saying, “Look daddy’s home.” If the child is old enough he will run towards the camera with his arms open to hug the camera, and if the child is an infant then the camera will close in on the child as if the soldier has rushed to his child. As the camera will approach the child’s face (in either case) the camera will look up at the wife again who will teasingly ask the camera to follow her. As the camera will walk out of the room, it will make its’ way to the kitchen where the wife will be standing next to their child who will be sitting on the dining table, feeding the child with her own hands. On seeing her husband (the camera) she will call him to come and sit at the table with cute hand gestures, and then she will be shown picking up a dish and putting it in front of the camera, and then picking up a bowl to pour some food onto it. What is in the bowl will never be shown in the video (for it will be empty). At this point the artist will break the soldier’s trance with a finger snip, bringing him back to the reality, and will then gesture how it’s time to get moving. At this point the stanza should be about to end and the piano melody and baseline about to kick in.
As the last line “If I were to die” will finish, just at the point when baseline and piano melody kicks in, the soldiers will jump out of the plane/helicopter. The scene will mix footage of soldiers jumping out, opening the parachutes (taken from above from the craft), with the footage of two soldiers posing on ground randomly (as if taken prior to the take-off), and the footage of the two girls. While the girl of the first soldier can be shown running away from him teasingly through a field (or a Fort), the wife from the second story can be shown running around the house, dogging the soldier in a playful manner as their child will look on from a side. The scene will end with a shot of the soldiers landing (taken from the ground), and running away in a direction, when the artist will be shown miming the line that finishes the segment, and the humming starts to kick in the third stanza.
The artist will once again mime the first line of the third stanza. The scene will then shift to the ground where the soldiers will be shown to be pinned down by the enemy. One of them will be shown gesturing to another one as to how many enemies can he sight. The other one will respond as if he has no idea, and then gesture to the squad leader as if asking him what next. The squad leader will pause for a moment and look down as if contemplating next action. He will then turn to his radio guy and radio in to the craft. The scene will then shift to the craft where the artist will take off his headset/helmet in anger/frustration and get up from his seat in the cockpit. His co-pilot will look at him surprised and gesture with his hand as if asking what he is up to. The artist will respond with his hand pointing towards the ground, implying that he is going down. The co-pilot will be be-wildered and shake his head in surprise as he will turn around and watch the artist walk out of the cockpit. In a couple of quick flashes the artist will be shown putting on the commando wax on his face, and putting on a commando cap on his head and turning it around and walking up to the door to take the jump. At this point the stanza should have hit the last line “If I were to die”.
As the words “Baby girl” (that are heard in the background and signal the imminent rap part of the song) play, the music will stop. The artist will jump out of the plane as the sound of a heart-beat will be played in the background. At this point the screen will fade out in to white. The heartbeat will then be heard again as a frame of the artist lying on a white sheet of cloth (hospital bed) will be shown before fading out into a white screen when a continuous beep sound will be heard (the one used in movies when someone’s heart has stopped beating). At this point the music will kick back in with the words “Hell yeah” (heard in background and which bring the rap verse in), and the scene will shift to the hospital where the artist will be shown lying unconscious. The camera will move out of the hospital room and walk to a corner where the artist’s girlfriend will be shown praying to God with her hands folded in a prayer, eyes closed, and tears rolling down her eyes. The scene will shift back to the room where the artist will be shown waking up from his unconsciousness. His concerned girlfriend will then be shown standing by the door wiping her tears as the artist will smile at her sight. He will wink at her teasingly with a smile as she will rush to him and hug him as he will caress her with his one hand around her back, and his other stroking her hair. He will raise his head slightly to kiss her on her head. He will be shown saying something to the girl, who will raise her head, wipe her tears, shake her head as if replying in negative to something, and then hugging him again. The scene will then show the artist miming a few lines of the rap in real time before it will show flashes of his girl in various scenes like:
a) Smiling, with flowers in her hand.
b) Tilting her head to a side as she leans to a classic looking lamp post by a bench on the side walk.
c) Turning her head around as she rides away on a ladies bicycle, or alternately walks away giving a flying kiss.
The scene will lead to the final scene with the artist and his girl holding each other’s hands and closing in to hug each other, putting their heads together, then turning away from the camera and walking away. The scene will fade out into white.
The final scene will fade in from white and will finish the song as the song will reach its’ final few bars. The scene will show the group of soldiers, along with the artist, marching in an exaggerated flamboyant manner, in a single spread out file and towards the camera. The final shot will be taken from the side when the scene and the song will close with the soldier turning their heads to look to their right and giving a flamboyant salute. (The details of the marching and salute style will be explained in detail at the time of shooting.)