NINE INCH NAILS - ONLY
Directed by David fincher. All CG.
various formats here.
what is WITH all the apple shit in this!? i mean, i love my mac, but this is just embarassing. pretty much a dud all round.
it was alright... gets kinda boring.... nice looking CG - but compare it to a Gondry video, where he'll also take one ordinary thing (thread, legos, etc.) and do a million different things with it. Why couldn't the pin thing fall off the table? or have some other item get tangled up in it? Anything would be better than the same-old.
A Gillette commercial already did the pin thing, not to mention x-men.
It's not like the pins are forming anything other that boring performance footage.
I might like it if it wasn't so "slick" looking. It looks like a TV commercial. And oh my god, Nine Inch Nails are horrible now...
I think it demonstrates the difference between groundbreaking and simply spectacular. Increasingly, I think CG is making people immune to the spectacular.
The comparison with Gondry's lego piece is interesting, since in some respects these videos are similar. But Gondry's work always feels genuinely experimental - he takes risks and goes out on a limb, pushing at the limits of an idea. That's why it's soulful.
I reckon there's a large chunk of creative thought that comes from accident, expediency and the whole physical process of making something, that you don't get sitting in front of a screen with your fifty levels of 'undo'.
I don't mind that a video looks like a commercial, I think particularly for this one it's part of the charm that it looks so slick in contrast with a very personal and explicit lyric. I like the track, but I don't know about the video yet. I guess I'm gonna have to watch it a couple more times.
Ben: What do you mean by soulful? How can you tell if a video has more 'soul' than another one? To me that would mean that the director has actually poured his soul into the piece, but you can never now that for sure, even if he/she tells you so. I agree that Gondry's work is experimental, but to me it doesn't go farther than that. FILWAG is a quirky, fun video, but for me a really soulful video has to be one that speaks directly to me. I don't think CG has to determine wether a video isn't creative or experimental, just look at Radiohead's Pyramid song.
For me, it's easier to tell when soul is missing than when it's there. I admire the Saline Project's work but to me their work always comes across as soulless.
Though perhaps part of it is knowing the director and their personality - on the Steriogram video you can tell Gondry is having a blast, on top of that he and his son are in it. On a Saline Project video, I just imagine a bunch of Flame Artists on a technical shoot with a green screen.
This NIN video looks like it was directed on speakerphone in between meetings for his next movie. Maybe it's all conjecture.
All the apple stuff? I didn't watch the video, but all i saw was a latop.
but... if you didn't watch... how'd you... oh, never mind.
this thing CO-STARS a powerbook running itunes visual effects. it shows the INSIDES of a powerbook's speaker grille. and it works towards a climactic point at which... a GRANNY SMITH rolls off the fruit bowl. that's one too many apples in my book...
maybe apple sponsored all the post-production in this vid..? i dont know if a not-so-mtv-friendly-band has interest to put so much money into a video.. becuz, i think those effects have cost a lot of money
NIN was already being all too friendly with apple when they released their latest single as a garage band file for remixing.... seems like they're next in line for cross-promotions like u2 and coldplay are doing with apple. god i hate that sort of branding....
Hi MVStills. I don't know exactly how these things were made of course, but you can tell a lot by looking. Where I see integrity, emotion or heartfelt experimentation, I perceive 'soul'. Where I see production gloss calculated to maximise the 'wow' effect; where I can sense the clandestine hand of the marketing department at work - I don't.
And yes, CG can be very creative. I love CG, so I hope I don't sound reactionary when I say the pencil is still mightier than the mouse! ;-)
than again music videos = commercials. think back of the ideas behind Radiohead's Blips. Soul can be found in either one of them, be it commercial or musicvideo.
Exacltly my point, Ben. You're talking about the process, I'm talking about the result. I guess once you get involved in actually making videos, you do focus on why someone is making the video. I really couldn't care less, because I love videos for what they are: art; and you can't subject art to the intention of the artist, because you can never know for certain what his intention was. I agree with nemob, music videos are commercials for songs, albums and artists, and honest people like you and me work behind them. It's too much of a downer to think everyone has this secret agenda in which they calculate everything around sales and money. Everyone is working for money, but wouldn't you rather enjoy it without thinking if you're putting cash in Reznor's, Fincher's or Apple's pockets?
See, I don't think this video was engineered thinking that way, because, well look at us, bickering and complaining. If I had to guess, I'd say that this was exactly the goal they were aiming for. It's really a video designed to disturb, because you can't marry that piece of music with the visuals, making us question ourselves what exactly are we looking at, spot, video, art, sales?
interesting point mv. you see this as a calculated provocation? could be. shame the only appetite it whets is possibly to want to work with the post house, since the effect is well done (though terribly sterile). to me, it's offputting in all other respects.
I reckon the attitude and process by which you arrive at a finished product are evident all over that finished product. You can't hide the finger prints. The result is the process frozen.
I agree though that art's complex relationship with commerce isn't necessarily bad and certainly goes back millenia, but it's still well worth asking why so much artistic talent (and soul) is co-opted to the service of products. It must be a pretty valuable commodity.
Maybe you're right about the aims of this particular video, but I personally don't think it's explicit enough to work as a critique of commercialism. Its lack of synergy with the track alone doesn't put it in that league for me.
But one way or another, it is worth making value judgements about things and it is worth having a stab at working out why you like or dislike things. To try and understand your relation to things is to define yourself in the world.
Seems true to say though that divisive work spawns good conversation!
completely agree with the fact that CG is making thinks look a little bit over the top and Lame.. the animation reminds me the old a-ha video, remember that??
I just thought I'd throw some food for thought. Fincher developed as a young director by being one of the top FX gurus at ILM back in the day. When he became a hot shot director shooting lots of live action he really abandoned that background. Ever since Fight Club he has working very hard to find ways to use the computer as a camera. To perhaps experiment with what can't be done in a camera. He has pushed the envelope and even headed up the movement of shooting straight onto hard drives. Like the new NIN or not I think he made one huge mistake. He forgot the integrity of the track. I had read that we worked with Digital Domain to create the entire video in the computer minus the shot of the hand in the beginning. So all camera work was only used as model referencing. While we all agree he can do photo realism very well with North Americas most accomplished FX house...concept goes out the window. He apparently wanted to shoot a project that takes place entirely on a CEOs desk for yrs and this was the excuse. I think he forgot that he was making a video. O well.
Hi everyone, I think viewers are getting a bit too spoiled with all the eye-candy out there now. Maximalism has overtaken society, much less the art world. I think people are missing the simplicity of this video. It is so simple and clean, yet I guarentee it was hard as hell to pull off. It looks easy because they are taking out that 'grit' people are addicted to. Did people want Fincher to follow the norm and have it drowning in grunge graphics and hand drawn looks that are so popular now? Slap some stock film grain over it and maybe everyone would be happier. About 90% of that is still done in the computer anyways, but it fools you to thinking you are seeing something that is 'original' because it looks so hand drawn and old. I view this video as something that is intimate, yet, it is still a set. Just like every other video, so they took out the b.s. of having little post it notes or anything that looks 'personal' and put it all into the pin toy and generic desktop items to express some feeling. I think that is harder to do. Not to mention the graphics go along with the lyrics word for word which wraps the entire thing together... I think we need to give this video a bit more credit than it is receiving. It expresses the meaning of the song in so many ways, but people are missing it because they are so enthralled in the fact there is a Mac onscreen, and other generic toys to express meaning. Trent Reznor is a huge apple fan and produced a DVD and other songs in Garageband on his Mac. Obviously, this is an ode to that, so that should take out any doubt that the mac is a random commercial addition. I think it's pretty damn smart.
Also, just because Fincher is using a different process with computers instead of in camera doesn't make him any less credible. I think it is cool that he wants to grow with the times and try something new, while supporting the computer graphics industry. We aren't going back, computers have become a medium in itself, and if he can wrap his head around the limitations of the computer medium, he will be able to better use it in the future and probably soon be able to bend those boundaries in a later production. ... even cooler.
I love the video as well...
However, the only thing I didn't like was people calling that sun box a macintosh. I am a die hard macintosh user but there is a problem with the "lable" of the machine. First the only slot loading ibooks don't come in screens that large...it might be Ti-powerbook but the placement of the built in speakers is wrong. Second the application used to "play" the music is not a macintosh app at all for the tell-tale white apple icon didn't appar on the screen (yes, i know it is a video and moe then likely the machine isn't on).
Now, don't get me wrong without being able to see the back or the bottom it is very hard to say for sure. however, the concept of trent using a mac seems a little far fetched considering that there is no apple ad with him, i have never seen his albums hardware list ever having mac nor could i see trent using itunes/finalcut pro as production software. i will search now and see if i can find out what machine it is really is.
I love the video as well...
Well I had a post that I am making an edit to.....I had said that the laptop in the video wasn't a macintosh. I was incorrect in that statement....it is a mac...however, it isn't a mac you or I can have.
Well you can sorta have it as it is a powerbookTI but it is a custom custom job...more then likely provided to him by the AppleSkunk works (much like NASA, BOEING and LEAR..apple has a high end chopshop for the helliwood movie prop types, crazy advancements like intel in macs and custom machines for people who need such things like trent i assume).
I hate when I see a mac and it is sooo out there I can hardly by into the concept that it is a mac. But, I guess in this case it is life...
trent on a mac...who would have guessed