The “Brick by Boring Brick” video was directed by Meiert Avis, a prolific director of music videos who’s worked with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to U2. As Williams noted, “Brick By Boring Brick” was the band’s first cinematic video: “This is the first time we’ve ever had a real set, where it’s not like a stage with instruments and a mic […] We’ve built this whole world.” That world owes a debt to the one del Toro built.
Color is what controls the mood in “Pan’s Labyrinth.” The film essentially has two storylines, one following Ofelia, the other focusing on socialist rebels trying to escape and undermine Ofelia’s wicked stepfather, the monstrous Captain Vidal (Sergi López). During the fantasy sequences, the film is steeped in a golden hue, but when Ofelia is gone, the palette is cold shades of gloomy blue. The make-believe world is literally bright than the real one.
“Brick by Boring Brick” uses the same color grading. Most of the video has golden-orange warm tones. Take the opening; as the opening guitar solo sounds off, the camera swoops in and pushes forward toward a wide overhead shot of the girl running through a forest. Red autumn leaves swirl across the golden horizon, the color stretching from land to sky. When the horrors of the world she’s created catch up to the girl and she runs away from it, the colors shift to a dark, oppressive blue.