Watch the first fifteen seconds of the video for Rihanna’s song “what’s my name?” (featuring Drake), and you will see an expert bit of visual storytelling. Immediately, place is set: New York City. Inside ten seconds the rest of story is established. Drake is in a “bodega,” or corner store, when he sees Rihanna enter. With some quick cutting the tension of sexual attraction is set up. The rest of the video unfolds from there:
The interesting thing about this video is that it is set in New York but neither Drake nor Rihanna is a native New Yorker. Rihanna is from Barbados, and Drake is from Canada, but their affair (on the screen, at least) is a New York story: hot, immediate, and fun. That passion is what makes New York a great city. It is the new New Yorkers that give the city its vibrancy, its creativity, and its effervescent type of unexpected beauty.
On a technical note, I would wager that this video was made using a Digital SLR that takes hi-def video. See the shallow depth of field slip in and out of focus when the subjects move?
To see what I mean, watch the video with the sound off the first time. The second time, listen to it with the sound cranked.