Wednesday Fluff: ‘Disturbia’ ASL Music Video

I’ve had this ASL music video for Rihannon’s ‘Disturbia’ on repeat.

Transcript (with lyrics in blockquotes) below the cut!

The video opens with a Visual Music Project title card.

Another title card reads:

Song: ‘Disturbia’

Album: Good Girl Gone Bad

Artist: Rihanna

Performed in ASL (American Sign Language) by Jubil Khan

The video opens in silence with a row of candles burning in a dark room. Credits over the candles tell us this is a Jade Films Production, Produced and Directed by Queen Jade. The lighting here, and throughout the video, is dark and moody, with lots of reds and dramatic shadows.

The lights and music come up on two women, both wearing black. Yelling is heard in the background and fades away as a brisk beat begins. This strong beat, marked out with drums, is heard throughout the song. Khan is seated and looking at the camera. Her dance partner is kneeling and looking at her.

Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum
What’s wrong with me?
Why do I feel like this?

The camera cuts to Kahn standing partially behind a silvery curtain. She manipulates it with her hands and the camera cuts back to the candles before returning to the curtain.

I’m going crazy now
No more gas in the rig
Can’t even get it started
Nothing heard, nothing said
Can’t even speak about it
I’m a light on my head
Don’t want to think about it

We see the two women again. Khan’s partner has makeup like a cat and is wearing pigtails. We see her behaving in catlike ways as Khan Signs; she licks and paws at Khan and rolls on the floor.

Feels like I’m going insane
Yeah
It’s a thief in the night
To come and grab you
It can creep up inside you
And consume you
A disease of the mind
It can control you
It’s too close for comfort
Oh
Put on your green lights
We’re in the city of wonder
Ain’t gonna play nice
Watch out, you might just go under
Better think twice
Your train of thought will be altered
So if you must falter be wise

Khan stands, dancing sinuously, and the camera cuts to her holding an actual cat, an orange tabby. Her dance partner looks jealous.

Your mind is in disturbia
It’s like the darkness is the light
Disturbia
Am I scaring you tonight
Disturbia
Ain’t used to what you like
Disturbia
Disturbia
Bum bum de-dum bum bum de-dum bum (repeats four times)

We cut again to Khan sitting on a checkered floor in a small room, slumped against the wall.

Faded pictures on the wall
It’s like they talkin’ to me
Disconnectin’ phone calls
The phone don’t even ring
I gotta get out
Or figure this shit out
It’s too close for comfort
It’s a thief in the night
To come and grab you

The camera takes her back to the room the video opened in. Khan has striking black eyeliner and two dancers have joined her, although the focus of the camera is on her. She writhes on a checkered floor, tapping her hands and feet, and then returns to a chair. Her facial expression is agonised, and the camera cuts to her behind bars, making strained faces. She sits again, Signing as the other dancers move alongside her.

It can creep up inside you
And consume you
A disease of the mind
It can control you
I feel like a monster
Put on your green lights
We’re in the city of wonder
Ain’t gonna play nice
Watch out, you might just go under
Better think twice
Your train of thought will be altered
So if you falter be wise
Be wise
Your mind is in disturbia
It’s like the darkness is the light
Disturbia
Am I scaring you tonight
Disturbia
Ain’t used to what you like
Disturbia
Disturbia
Bum bum de-dum bum bum de-dum bum (repeats three times)
Disturbia
Bum bum de-dum bum bum de-dum bum
Release me from this curse
I’m trying to remain tame
But I’m struggling
If you can’t go, go, go
I think I’m going to oh, oh, oh
Put on your green lights
We’re in the city of wonder
Ain’t gonna play nice
Watch out, you might just go under
Better think twice
Your train of thought will be altered
So if you must falter be wise

The video cuts back to Khan alone in the small room with the checkered floor. She is seated on the floor leaning against the wall. As she Signs, her shadow shows up in stark relief against the door. In the other room, the other dancers writhe on the floor.

Your mind is in disturbia
It’s like the darkness is the light
Disturbia
Am I scaring you tonight
Disturbia
Ain’t used to what you like
Disturbia
Disturbia
Bum bum de-dum bum bum de-dum bum (repeats five times)

Silence.

The camera cuts back to Khan. Viewing her through a fisheye lens that distorts the image, we see her pressing her hands against the door and trying it, obviously trapped. We cut to her behind the curtain again. She pulls it closed and the cat-woman peers out from around it.

End title cards:

‘Produced and directed by Queen Jade’

‘Cast: Jubil Khan, Maleni Chaitoo, Randi Woodbine, Dani Guevera, Pandu the cat’

‘Edited by Queen Jade’

‘Associate Editor Diana Beato’

‘Lighting designed by Queen Jade and Diana Beato’

‘Director of Photography Queen Jade’

‘Additional Camera Assistant Diana Beato’

‘ASL Translation Jubil Khan & Queen Jade’

‘Production Assistants Maleni Chaitoo & Steve Martinez’

‘Make-up/hair Jubil Khan & Randi Woodbine’

‘Stylist Jubil Kahn’

‘Location Queen Jane’s Studio’

‘Special thanks to: Jubil Khan, Randi Woodbine, Diana Beato, Maleni Chaitoo’

‘Produced by Jade Films and Entertainment VMP 2009 Khan/Bryan Visual Music Productions’


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