Video Review: Dillon Francis & Martin Garrix “Set Me Free”

A desktop screen is shown, which seems to be running the latest Microsoft program. Aside from the usual icons (Recycle Bin and My Computer), two favorites are added into the screen. Bookmarked links are to and with both their faces used as the icons.

The mouse clicks to fan site. There are ads everywhere. To the left are ads for the dating websites while to the right shows an ad to click for a free gift. The website loads. A photo of them is used as wallpaper for the site, with heads photoshopped from other photos. The main feature of the site of fan submitted art. The photos bounce and blink all at once.

The screen scrolls down to an ad which says “Bored? Free the inmates to win!” Francis and Garrix walk out of the screen, which the person’s room filled with posters and a clock dedicated to Francis, out of the house.

A young woman featured in the dating ads dances around.

The screen turns to the right, which shows a farm and a beach with a carnival going on in the background. People hang out on the beach, with the city’s skyline in view. Further in the city, tourists take photos and people shop in the stores. Another woman in the center dances.

Inside a house, Francis and Garrix play on the first floor while people dance on the second. A couple picnics on the balcony. A vaudeville performance continues on the third floor, two guys play a table game on the fourth floor, kung fu fighting goes on the fifth floor. On the sixth floor, the windows turn into screens for television shows and Francis plays on the roof.

The house is in the middle of the city, where all the freeways meet, the suburbs and finally the earth. A guy jumps in the center.

Francis’ photoshopped head lip syncs the lyrics and spins on the screen. Cars speed down the freeway. The woman, from the city, dances again.

From the television shows, the couple looks at another while the doctors stand with their arms crossed. Hot air balloons fly near a hospital. A woman gasps. Two little twin girls smile. People (with Francis’ head photoshopped over their head) raise their hands over their head as they sit cross-legged in a field.

The young woman from the singles ad dances again.

Francis’ face spins, which becomes a visual at his concert. Thousands of photoshopped people dance, which leads to at least hundred people with Francis’ head attached to their bodies.

He plays in America, where people wave the flag. A carnival is in the background, which returns back to the second house and the first, now in flames. Gorillas dance on the edge.  Back to the person’s room, which still has 10-year-old monitor, Francis turns around on his chair, the same expression on his face as the photos.

Rating: 5/5

The website, with all the ads and horrible fonts, is like every person’s first page before WordPress and Tumblr. I used to have a page similar to it (but without the ads) and it was dedicated to Fast Times At Ridgemont High. It was how I first learned about cropping and graphic design actually. For people (like me) who had a page, it’s hilarious to see it in all its hideous glory. It might as well be called My Very First Webpage: A Dillon Francis Dedication.

It’s also accurate in its hideousness. The placement of the ads in every possible location on the page, distracting from the content itself. The singles ad looks as though it were studied for longs periods of time to hit the exact amount of annoying.

The bad photoshopping, with thousands of people cut out from ads and various pages of the Internet is on point. The people are cut out, with their white borders still showing from the design program. It’s amateurish and unprofessional but there is a lot of love behind it.

It was the early days of the Internet and Angelfire was one of the few options if someone wanted to create a page. Ah, the memories of searching for code in a search engine and then the hours that followed cropping it and trying to get it to stay on the website.

The video has an incredible amount of detail and gaudy pictures that  it takes at least a couple viewings to really see it all. The godawful art has to be appreciated for being horrible. The good-humored look at the past is unflinchingly honest and doesn’t try to pretty it up or worry about people’s feelings. Every blogger, graphic designer, and programmer had to start somewhere. Likely Angelfire with lifted publicity stills and teeny tiny print in one part of the page and large print on the other.

Director: Dan Streit Year: 2015

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