Best of Stash 2016: Music Videos
Most often fueled by passion rather than proper budgets, music videos are the wild west of media genres – a place where passion and promise more than compensate for a director’s lack of experience or connections, or both. Have a look at the nine most intriguing examples Stash published this year.
NAMES OF NOTE IN 2016
Of the nine videos showcased below only three were produced for mainstream acts (Coldplay, The Chemical Brothers, and OK Go). And except for The Mill, the production credits on all the clips highlight independent talent and small studios. Congrats to you all.
Listed in chronological order from the date of publication in the Stash Permanent Collection.
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS “WIDE OPEN”
British-Japanese actress, model and ballerina Sonoya Mizuno transforms into a 3D-printed structure inspired by procedural cellular structures in this meticulous video for The Chemical Brothers from Outsider directors Dom & Nic with VFX by The Mill.
Head of 3D at The Mill David Fleet: “The sheer complexity of this project is what made it unique. The amount of camera and body tracking alone was a huge challenge, as well as consistently seamlessly lighting one shot as long as this.
OK GO “UPSIDE DOWN & INSIDE OUT”
Based on the song lyric, “Gravity is just a habit,” OK Go singer/filmmaker Damian Kulash, Jr. and his sister and frequent collaborator director Trish Sie shot in zero gravity in the skies above Russia to make a weightless video.
After months of planning, the band and crew headed to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center for ROSCOSMOS (the Russian equivalent of NASA), where they spent three weeks playing, testing, and filming.
DOC BROWN “MY PROPER TEA”
Director/animator Fraser Davidson at London animation boutique Cub Studio and English rapper/comedian/actor Doc Brown release a handy animated guide to the deeper psychological challenges of dealing with tea people. Serious tea people.
JANE BORDEAUX “MA’AGALIM”
How would you visualize a track from a band who calls their music “Live n’ kickin’ American folk-country music in Hebrew.” We have no idea either, but Uri Lotan and Yoav Shtibelman in Tel Aviv decided to transport the audience to a forgotten penny arcade where a wooden doll is stuck in place and time.
CHARLES X “CAN YOU DO IT”
Quentin Baillieux (half of French directing duo Parallel) crafts an intricate and intriguing mix of 3D and 2D in this music video for “Can You Do It?” from LA singer/songwriter Charles X – produced by Eddy and animated at Brunch Studio in Paris.
Laura Thomas-Smith, production coordinator at Prettybird in London: “The main technical challenge was to create moving collages when the camera is moving in 3D space. We had to create the exact same camera moves but in a completely different scale.
“The way we did it was by using a motion controlled camera arm. We 3D tracked the footage, then we had to do some calculations in order to translate a helicopter’s camera movement, for example, to something in a much smaller environment like a bathtub.”
RAFFERTIE “LAST TRAIN HOME”
Like the best cult graphic novels, Gerhard Human’s personal spec music video for “Last Train Home” by Raffertie (aka London composer/producer Benjamin Stefanski) uses haunted characters to reveal it’s sinister and enigmatic narrative.
EINAUDI “ABC” (unreleased)
London artist and freelance animation director Alan Warburton: “An unreleased music video for Ludovico Einaudi’s track ‘ABC’ from his 2015 album Elements.
“The piece involved assembling over 5,000 CG figures into a series of geometric sculptures and was inspired by the work of Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943), the Norwegian sculptor after whom Oslo’s Vigelundsparken is named. Vigeland produced over 200 sculptures for the park in bronze, granite and cast iron.”
YUKI “SUKITTE NANDAROU…NAMIDA”
Artist/director ShiShi Yamazaki’s video for Japanese singer-songwriter YUKI starts out like any other loosely rotoscoped watercolor music video but soon veers off into weirder, more wanton, and more wonderful territory.