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Crystal Castles - Air War (dir. Mitch Stratton)

boards mov Unorthodox, but maybe their best promo yet?

captainplanet, November 11, 2008 at 7:25:18 PM CET

I really don't have a problem with bands selling out. Especially in today's grim landscape of music. This is a great fusion of music video and commercial

lisanowak, November 11, 2008 at 7:28:45 PM CET

not a music video dude.

budget, November 11, 2008 at 7:30:53 PM CET

We can argue over the terminology, but I firmly believe that this is the future of music videos. And it's a bright future.

Yeah, its not an "official", label-sanctioned video that MTV is going to play, but it sure does the trick. I bet this commercial will result in more exposure/sales for CC than all of their other proper videos combined. More importantly, it's creative, it's a brilliant melding of music and image, and it plays like a short film set to CC's music.

In some ways it reminds me of the way Coldplay's fan's reacted to Hype's underwhelming Viva La Vida clip. Read through the youtube comments and you'll see most fans shrugging and saying they like Romanek's ipod ad that featured the band/song better. That ad was far more important to the song's success than the official video, and in many ways it was a far better visual representation of the music. This may seem a little odd, but ask yourself, does it matter which multi-million dollar corporation pays for the video? Is the video somehow more "pure" if its paid for by Capitol instead of Apple?

0ptical, November 11, 2008 at 7:38:53 PM CET

'the future of music videos'

Well, music videos started out as promotion pieces for selling vinyl, not really intended for massive public consumption, and look where they are now. A maturing art form, IMO. There are some good all and out ones, many disastrous ones that soil whatever feeling a specific song had. Yes, that's the future. Yes, serious artists will continue to grant rights for their tunes to sell toilet paper or cat food. Yes, tomorrow's Cunninghams will continue to make ads for Nissan. As long as those same artists use that money for funding their personal projects, I guess it's a fair compromise.

lusk81, November 11, 2008 at 8:24:52 PM CET

BUDGET: You've got a great point! It's all advertising, but for me (and I'm sure many others), it really does sour the material when the band is performing on a brand new widescreen television, or nokia cellphone, or shiny new laptop, etc.

So instead of selling the music, we're selling the music that's selling another product. It's a boring but realistic answer to mv's budget woes.

budget, November 11, 2008 at 8:33:08 PM CET

Lusk, I think it all depends on the execution of the spot. Obviously there will be opportunities to turn out some crass spots, but i think this is a really great example of an exciting ad where everybody wins:

Crystal Castles wins because their song is finally set to a visual that's epic enough to keep up with their music. Also, they will probably get a lot of money, which allows them to make a decent living.

Toshiba wins because they get to sell their message (basically "hey, don't forget about Toshiba!") in a way that's effective and rings true.

The public wins because they get to see what amounts to a cool piece of video art in exchange for a short message about a product at the end (in a lot of ways, this is no different than Lexus sponsoring your local symphony).

I think the whole story of music videos (so far) can be summed up as "because of this method of advertising, some cool things were made that otherwise wouldn't have been made". If this is the future of that story, I'm all for it.

nang lee, November 11, 2008 at 8:51:52 PM CET


lusk81, November 11, 2008 at 9:51:41 PM CET

Making of:

Also, this technique was used by Glazer on his motorola Red ad.

lusk81, November 11, 2008 at 9:56:09 PM CET

Moreover, did this ad really cost 4.7 million dollars...!?!?!?!?!?!

igor33, November 11, 2008 at 10:12:45 PM CET

kicks ass! :)

igor33, November 11, 2008 at 10:22:15 PM CET

Timesculpture and innovation talk is of course pure marketing ploy.. technique is as old as the street.. But still, great work! Is this the guy who did the nodern promo? If so, color me very impressed.

sharpiesharpesharpe, November 11, 2008 at 10:28:01 PM CET

interesting, looks really cool but for 4.7 mil i'd expect to see something far more epick and atleast with half an idea.

Alanedit, November 11, 2008 at 11:17:21 PM CET

All this music video talk's giving me an epilepsy. This "ad" sucks. Don't see what's the point, it looks cool, but for 4.7m I think it's disposable, true or not. Then, Budget probably knows who did the carpeting and crafty. He probably spends more time analyzing them than (gasp) making them...but I still love ya.

budget, November 11, 2008 at 11:31:16 PM CET

Whoa, hold up people- if we can't use low budget numbers as an excuse for why we should like something, then surely we can't use high budget numbers as a reason to hate on something that's obviously awesome.

And really, what's wrong with the budget here? It's not like they just shoveled 4 million dollars into a furnace- it all went to paying for what looks like tons of pre-production, post-production, a huge crew, and loads of cameras. People on this board tend to act like a big budget is somehow a bad thing- mostly it just means that everyone on the job got paid their true rate.

Was it worth the end result? I'd say yes, it's a complete stunner. This is the sort of stuff that makes people rewind the commercials on their dvr's.

lusk81, November 12, 2008 at 12:33:02 AM CET

Only in advertising will people justify a 5 mill dollar budget for a 5k aesthetic.

luk, November 12, 2008 at 12:41:00 AM CET

sorry... but Crystal Castles sucks. Because they a ripping to much music. And also artwork. The "Madonna" Illustration.

And "Toshiba" ... or "iTunes". Why does bands like Coldplay or CC does such things. Okay. It's easy. For the money. But these firms producing their "computers" in China. And a worker there get 20 Dollar in a month. or less. who knows. And breathe in toxical stuff. Because now one cares there.

And theses are Music Bands. They are creativ. Its like Mecedes Benz is the sponsoring some "Green Planet Tour". Thats insane.

Coldplay Singers got this "Fair trade tatoo" on this hand... and do itunes ad's. This is so sick! seriously.

dim, November 12, 2008 at 2:58:14 AM CET

'cool'. i'm sure that's the reaction Toshiba payed 4 million bucks for, and why not. everyone wins here, musician/director/corporation/viewer.

fungible, November 12, 2008 at 4:06:31 AM CET

who gives a shit if it's a music video or an ad. Music videos ARE ads.

I'm just still trying to understand how they did it, WITHOUT any green screen.

piore, November 12, 2008 at 4:31:42 AM CET

will someone tell hipgnosist to stop centering his text. it looks stupid

kalstark, November 12, 2008 at 4:59:53 AM CET

I watched the 'making of'. It's interesting but was that really the most practical way of achieving their end result? 20,000 GB of footage? 200 cameras? And in the end they were still rotoscoping the girl in the middle (and possibly all the other characters)??

Now, full disclosure, I'm no 'rig engineer' but couldn't a very similar and in fact smoother looking effect have been achieved using green screen and some CGI elements?

Awesome that they get to say, 'we didn't use CGI'. That's definitely neat but, at the end of the day, I think the overall might have actually looked better if they did...


antdude, November 12, 2008 at 6:30:58 AM CET


EddyMuybridge, November 12, 2008 at 9:23:00 AM CET

Wow, Antvillagers. It is so nice to see how far things have advanced since my time. I must say, it really wasn't that long ago that I was doing my studies on time and capturing motion...

Oh wait, no...not really.

yours truly, Eadweard J. Muybridge (father of all that wastes your time here)

p.s. fun fact: Did you know that I once murdered a man for sleeping with my wife? I simply knocked on the door, introduced myself, and shot him point-blank. LOL, isn't that sooo weird?

dek, November 12, 2008 at 9:53:37 AM CET

I'm with lusk. Looks cheap, way way cheaper than, just to say, Tango.

Obviously since I'm immune to coolness, zeitgest and stuff like that, I'm probably unable to grasp the greatness here, apart from technical merits.

my name is legion, November 12, 2008 at 12:12:33 PM CET

product placement is good

ps: i dig that nodern promo a lot, thanks for bringing it up, igor

nofare, November 12, 2008 at 12:55:41 PM CET

Well, fine little video trick. But pretty much the same thing was achieved by Rybczynski close to 30 years ago with loads of patience, zero budget, and a good bit of talent. I call this little bit of present computer generated nugget "overkill plagiarism." I wish I had links to the Rybczynski vids I refer to, but he doesn't share easily. Peace.

otc, November 12, 2008 at 5:20:55 PM CET

Wow Muybridge sure seems like a sarcastic fellow. I'd say that while the end result is cool enough, there isn't really that much innovation going on technically. It just seems like they chose a really hard way to do something that had already been done before. And like Kalstark said, it looks like they must of had to rotoscope a lot of it. 4.7 million is a bit ridiculous but if that's how Toshiba wants to spend their money, more power to them.

timmbuktu, November 12, 2008 at 6:08:52 PM CET

a 4.7 mill budget can disappear pretty quickly when you add in the ad agency costs and especially the media buy to an already complex pre pro/shoot/post heavy spot. I bet the media buy was half.

roosfass, November 12, 2008 at 6:28:13 PM CET

I too am finding it hard to see where the technical innovation is. Still nice though, they don't need to try and make it more special by claiming to be the first of its kind.

dek, November 12, 2008 at 8:27:05 PM CET

Less is more

0ptical, November 12, 2008 at 8:51:41 PM CET

Whoa! Eadweard on the 'ville! I feel like finding Jaysus in my latte foam! And this really brought some nice old memories, one of my earliest projects while trying to land a freelance job involved borrowing some of that walking/running footage... thanks, E!

budget, November 14, 2008 at 7:17:50 AM CET

I'll let Hipster Runoff have the last word.

vidbot, November 16, 2008 at 7:23:00 PM CET

Its hilarious watching the studiously scruffy "creatives" in the making of waxing lyrical about how amazing they, their idea and advertising in general is for coming up with something so magnificently original and entertaining that gives so many people so much joy.

Christ! At least in the 80’s advertising was morally bankrupt but interesting and so were the coke snorting cowboys who made it. When exactly was the entire industry invaded by bean counting dorks?


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