Best of Stash 2020: Music Videos
The best music videos have always been passion projects, with directors, animators, and VFX artists ignoring creative and fiscal restraints to push their ideas into new and unexplored visual terrain.
These seven films prove that music videos, despite unprecedented production restrictions in 2020, continued to provide the bravest filmmakers with exceptional opportunities for both expression and experimentation.
All films were published in The Stash Permanent Collection during 2020 and are listed here in chronological order by the date of publication.
THE AVENER “UNDER THE WATERFALL” FT. M.I.L.K.
Director Seb Caudron at Soldat Film in Paris: “[For the pitch] I came up with one frame actually – quick comp in photoshop of the Champs Elysée covered with waterfalls. I sent it to the management team and they fell in love with the idea.
“I then wrote a treatment where we have dance as an expression of what a couple is feeling in a moment of crisis. Combining this and Paris covered with waterfalls seems to be a good combination.”
Perry Tate, VFX producer at Artjail in Brooklyn, NY: “Besides creating a floating CG replica of the practical monolith, our main creative tasks were to create two visual languages:
One that the monolith uses to communicate with the human world – the glowing light beneath the subsurface of the monolith itself. And a second for how the monolith views the world – which is seen as the glitching figures and dancers.”
DEADMAU5 & THE NEPTUNES “POMEGRANATE”
Director Nick DenBoer in Toronto: “This was the third music video I’ve made for deadmau5 along with tour visuals and a bunch of other projects so he’s become a good friend and client.
“Joel and his team at mau5trap and 720 pretty much let me do my thing and don’t even ask for revisions so it’s pretty much a dream gig working with them.”
KATY PERRY “DAISIES”
Working with animation studios 2veinte in Buenos Aires and Moving Colour in LA, Montreal directing duo Vallée Duhamel corrals a team of 40+ artists (all working from home) to create a vibrant dream for Katy Perry.
Julien Vallée and Eve Duhamel: “For Katy Perry’s new single ‘Daisies’, we imagined a world that illustrates the perseverance of a girl who overcomes the obstacles getting in her way.”
DJ SHADOW “SLINGBLADE”
Ryo Kitabatake, director at WOW in Tokyo: “This project came directly from DJ Shadow himself. We had a chance to meet him a year ago, and since then, he thought about us for collaborating on his new album, “Our Pathetic Age.”
“The brief was very simple. He wanted us to live with his new track for a while to get inspiration from it, and to see how we design the visuals. The challenge was integrating live-action footage and abstract 3D to create a coherent world.”
IDLES “MODEL VILLAGE”
The Gondry brothers’ lockdown project, a music video for UK rock band IDLES, finds Michel animating paper cutouts in his Los Angeles studio on his iPhone then sending the frames to Olivier in Paris for CG enhancement and post.
Michel Gondry: “Olivier and I were excited to work on this because we use completely opposite techniques. I work with a primitive system of cutting paper and moving it under the lens frame by frame. Olivier then transforms it by morphing, warping, and CGI.”
GRIMES “YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M NOT AROUND”
Brent Bonacorso, director and animator in Venice, CA: “At the beginning of quarantine in the US, Grimes released a video of her new song entirely on green screen and a link to the high-resolution footage, with the idea that anyone could complete the video as they saw fit.
“I thought it was a brilliant idea. We were all beginning to huddle indoors, with people taking up jigsaw puzzles and learning how to bake bread, and as a longtime fan of hers, I figured this project would be a fun way for me to keep busy during those quiet times.”