Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo Music Video | Set Picks
My set design of choice this week is the music video for Olivia Rodrigo’s latest single ‘Vampire’. Directed by Patra Collins and production designed by Nicholas des Jardins.
The Video’s Symbolism
The main message I got from this video is the transition from a dream world to a harsh reality to escaping and setting herself free. This, naturally, parallels the themes of the lyrics, reminiscing on a relationship which started off dream-like just to realise it was all just a fantasy and they were not the person they thought they were.
The Set Design
I particularly love the first part of the set in the (fake) natural environment. It’s so dreamy and whimsical. The dark colour palette creates the illusion of dusk giving it that vampiric feel, made with the deep blues and dark green filtered with fog. Together it creates the illusion of peace and tranquillity, only to be shattered when it’s revealed it is all just a show.
This manufactured nature set-up very much reminded me of the live sessions Ariana Grande did of her ‘Positions’ album for Vevo. They are both so stunning but have this interesting juxtaposition created with the manufactured staging among all the natural elements.
The reveal of this dream world actually being fake was a sort of reverse Wizard of Oz. Instead of leaving the dull black-and-white reality to enter technicolour Oz, she was thrust from a dream world into a bleaker reality. We do start to get really subtle hints of that through the set design before it’s actually revealed. For example, the lighting begins more off-screen which initially gives the impression of moonlight but as the camera started moving around more it became harsher and looked more like the stage lighting it really is.
I also thought the inclusion of home-video-quality video was interesting. To me, that symbolised how she’s always being watched and recorded by the media and fans. Even when going through all this stuff it’s just all on display for everyone to see. I’m going into my interpretation more so than the set design here so I’ll wrap it up now.
P.s. if anyone knows where to get a dress like Olivia’s, hit me up! ★
All stills/photos taken directly from music video.