Wednesday, September 20, 2006


The Futureheads - "Worry About it Later"
This video is the model of simplicity. The look is low-key and places the song and the band at the forefront. I like this video alot, but I have always been a fan of this band. I have also, always been a fan of simple videos, but keeping it simple is easier when the song and the sound is this good.

I think more videos should be simple. In my opinion, good videos are about one thing. Not three things, just one. Even hyperactive Dave Meyers/Missy Elliot videos (or classic Hype/Busta jobs) with a new set-up for every lyric are unified by the crazy style and the fact that the one thing the video is about is showcasing the artist's eclectic, free-ranging lyrical humor.

Too many videos take a kitchen-sink approach to try and catch the audience's attention with sheer visual noise. This is a zero-sum game and is sure to leave the viewers wondering who the artist is and what the song is about. Putting more stuff on the screen is rarely the right answer, but it is the easiest answer to come up with.

What is an example, how about the new Janet Jackson "So Excited" video by Joseph "Torque" Kahn. This clip has lots of dancing (good), a flying, semi-transparent Lambo in a color not seen in the rest of the video (bad), and Janet getting freaky in a subway bathroom while her fiancee, JD, shaves somewhere nearby. It looks pricey, but left me wondering what they were trying to say.

This "more is better" ethos puts a strain on uninspired directors as budgets have come down, since with less money, how do you give the label more? Quality is better than quantity, but music video directors are not known for their restraint. To give directors some credit, artists and labels are often pushing for more and bigger, since they too are usually out of ideas.

This "keep it simple" strategy is certainly not always successful, as in this technically impressive but still flat-feeling NIN video for "Only" directed by Fight Clubbin' Fincher.

Once again, much props to antville for the post that started this train of thought.

Labels: , , ,

The problem with this post is that So Excited and Only are by far more entertaining videos to watch than The Futureheads. That supposed model of simplicity is simply booooring. If music videos are supposed to sell artists and move records, than you have made a grave contradiction pushing a video with a lackluster song built around a coitus interruptus performance sequence whose surface thin cleverness appeals only to film students, camera tripod makers, and Swedes.
I'm glad to find someone else who found the Only video (while technically impressive) bland. It's great that Fincher can bring that stuff to his next feature, but as a music video, it kinda sucked.

Just kidding, but I do have to agree with the first poster. The Futureheads video is a touch boring and after the second band member wanders off I feel very much like, "I get it! So don't you dare show me another band member wandering off". If we're talking raw enjoyment I far prefer janet's so excited to this.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?