So I’ve just watched the brand new video for Green Light, and I must say – I’m impressed! It is so full of energy and joy that while you’re watching it, you are lost completely in the moment of the wildness.
I felt I had to write about this video because the song and the visuals intertwined so perfectly together that it inspired me to think about writing. Here’s what I thought of the video, and what it could teach us about riding the waves of a well-plotted story.
At the beginning of the video we’re face to face with Lorde as she sings into a mirror, or at us. Barely any movement, nothing much is going on, the song is slow and steady and the song isn’t too melodic – yet.
Then there’s the pre-chorus and we’re getting ready to go now. Lorde’s in a car hanging out of the window on a journey to somewhere, and we’re with her. And so is the song. It builds almost perfectly and anticipation is at its peak when the shot changes and red light bathes the shot as the song’s crescendo bursts into life. Lorde is letting go, dancing without abandon and with hair shaking craziness.
Then the chorus is over as fast as it started, and we’re back to the lingering verse, again with Lorde on her way somewhere on foot as the beat and the piano increase in urgency.
This is where things now get thrilling. We are at the climax with the final chorus where Lorde in every shot is dancing like no one is watching, singing with passion and dancing with all the energy that teenage life is made up of. The song is at its peak of visuals and audio that work hand in hand to make you want to get out there and party.
The final, repeating bars that are the closing few chapters of the song are equally as teasing as the pre-chorus, tempting you with a possibility of another chorus that never materialises, and fading out into a drumless chant, and then finally as the last note ends, into silence as Lorde looks us directly in the eye.
Pacing in Writing
The song and video together tell a story, and have a clear three act plot. The beginning is our introduction, to Lorde and the dark and grungy atmosphere. If I could write with pacing as on point as this song’s, I’d be on to something. We have a smaller peak in energy with the first chorus, then again a downturn and an even steeper build the second time. Then is the full payoff for the tension with the pure cathartic exhilaration of the booming beat, the passionate, voice-breaking singing, and the crazy, beautiful dancing.
The whole thing is a melting pot of youthful exhilaration, amazing dancing and a fantastic beat that mould together perfectly into a joyful, unforgettable dance song. Also basically a lesson in how to string a reader along for the story equivalent of taking off in a rocketship without them even realising they left the ground.
Here’s the video, if you haven’t seen it yet: