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Amanda Palmer, "Leeds United" (dir: Alex de Campi)

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Yes? No? Maybe?

jaxxing, November 20, 2008 at 11:39:21 PM CET

Loved it. Amanda makes great music videos.

masonjason, November 21, 2008 at 2:36:22 AM CET

yes, yes, yes. one cannot refuse anything this extravagantly exuberant. all thumbs up, and i have many many thumbs

kalstark, November 21, 2008 at 4:15:28 AM CET


The video is so much fun, the artist is beyond charismatic, and the performance footage is gorgeous. I've seen many of your other videos and all of them show just how creative you are and each and every time you step it up another notch. Bravo.

Now, this isn't to say I could do better, but I'd like to open my big mouth about the few elements I wasn't in love with.

a. The crowd scenes in the club felt too dark and under art-directed (the mise-en-scene simply fell to black in the background and I so wanted it to be gloriously colorful and Moulin Rougey)

b. Perhaps there was a little too much happening overall and it felt a teensy bit loose on a thematic level - after all, when you have an artist as performance hot as yours was you can hold on her a bit more and spend more time shooting her in interesting, fun, dynamic ways while canning some of the extras' chicanery.

c. It's Youtube so I can't be sure but I f***ing hate video. This promo is better than the acquisition format. I really believe that if you cut back on some of the other elements and bumped the production up to S16mm or S35mm it would have made a significant difference. (caveat: the performance close-ups look S16mm so I'm left uncertain about what you shot on but the other shots feel video-like - especially the 3/4 frontal shots of the dancers and the dollys across the audience)

d. This is purely technical - your vignettes/power windows aren't diffused enough so when you do camera moves or people end up moving into it the effect becomes obvious.

e. It would've been super sweet if the backup dancers and the rest of the onstage band had outfits that fit the overall feel more closely. i.e., your artist is clearly a Cabaret, late 30s/40s throwback but the dancers outfits look more 80s or 90s pep. Beyond that, I wasn't a fan of the regularly dressed people that end up coming in (it weakens the theme/concept). Had they been geared up in as stylish a manner as your initial audience members then I would've been more jazzed about them.

f. The ending bugs me... Sure the audience is all out of it and the lights are getting turned off etc but I don't buy that this character I've just watched own a stage like Prince in his prime would give a flying f**k about the audience's reaction to her performance. I think it would have been more interesting to see her continue to be this strong, powerful, woman without identifiable weakness at the very end. True, the audience doesn't give her performance its due but getting her due isn't why she's on the stage anyway and, like Rhett Butler, she just doesn't give a damn.

Now, I only bothered to say all that because I really like the video. I wanted to give as honest and open a critique as I could. I understand full well that many of the criticisms I leveled at the project have more to do with budgetary constraints than a lack of knowledge/ability/decision-making on the director's part but I still felt the points were worth bringing up; if for no better reason than to address the fact that these issues are noticeable to an audience member not overly familiar with the production (many directors hide behind the sub-conscious 'the audience won't know the difference anyway' fallacy; which isn't to suggest that de Campi is doing that here).

So, to close, fantastic video. You're thoroughly creative in a time when that is truly scarce. The artist is a director's wet dream. She chews up her scenes and spits 'em out! The song is hit too, which never hurts. Great job and keep them coming!


P.S - I can't imagine you had that much money to play with. How the hell did you afford all the extras and the choreography + dancers, and the art-direction, 'Amanda' lighting board, etc.??? (I imagine the extras, choreographer, and dancers came out pro bono but the rest?)

P.P.S - I'm happy to say videos still work as a form of promotion. I'm picking up Amanda Palmer's album right now. :)

P.P.P.S - Just watched the video for the fourth time. It's to do stuff like this that I got into music videos in the first place. Thanks for reminding me of that Alex...

captainplanet, November 21, 2008 at 8:09:41 AM CET

this confirms (maybe for the 6th ot 7th time) that you, Kalstark, is no authority on what constitutes a good music video.

progosk, November 21, 2008 at 9:09:01 AM CET

this confirms (maybe for the umpteenth time) that there are some folks who use the anonimity antville offers to contribute constructively, while others are still stuck using it to piss on the proceedings. plus ça change...

robodrug, November 21, 2008 at 2:07:25 PM CET

Parts of t'vid made me smile, so overcame my resistance to her voice. I watched it to the end no trouble. Well it was just the first listen, n' hell as they used to say in that chocolate ad "Roses grow on you"

alexdecampi, November 21, 2008 at 3:45:49 PM CET

Nah, it's cool about Kalstark. If you cant take criticism, don't put your work up on Antville. I would have loved to shoot this on S35mm, believe me! I don't want to discuss the budget because that is tedious and self justifying but I had about 2/3 of what that white-box Ting Tings video - the reshoot of "that's not my name" - was mooted to have.

If anyone is interested: DoP = Joe Dyer Choreographer = Stephen Mitchell Wright

And a jolly big mov for your downloady pleasure.

kalstark, November 21, 2008 at 5:34:42 PM CET


Great work. You did a fabulous job and thanks for being brave enough to share!


progosk, December 2, 2008 at 12:14:55 AM CET

beware the rebellyon...

vidbot, December 3, 2008 at 3:12:29 PM CET

Watching this video again I have to agree with all the points kalstark made.

A little more attention to detail would have lifted this clip far beyond its resources.

I have to say I have real trouble with the edit I think the combination of rather fixed camera angles and lack of variety in the cutting leaves me wondering exactly what's going half the time.

Otherwise it ticks all the intended boxes


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