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End of Fashion and a rant

On this page go to the video section and then the 'Too Careful' video. I can't direct link because it's a flash page (a worse scourge on internet video than even realplayer/media player).

I link to it because for me it sums up everything I feel about the "Me Too!" style of video production (see Daniel Levi). In this case, the inspiration is Franz Ferdinand and the After Effects 3D Layer thing that is so big these days. I find this video a really half-hearted attempt to cash in on the trend.

This led to an argument I had with someone. I was saying it's embarassing to watch a video which to me seemed so derivative. Their response was that I am a total hypocrite and why then do I not get angry about the 3543th video featuring a band playing in a black room? To which I responded that they had a valid point but at least in being basic there is no level of pretention or.... I'm rambling.

Anyway. Let me know what you think.

ai, December 7, 2004 at 8:10:44 PM CET

Let me think about it.

captainmarc22, December 7, 2004 at 9:34:33 PM CET

yeah we've all seen it before. I tuned out 10 seconds into it.

Starting to think that a lot musicians have bad taste. I'm sure this band saw this and really liked it - "hey, that's us, and there's cool stuff flying around!" - and it'd be hard to convince them that their video sucks. There are a ton of bands out there that have never heard of Michel Gondry and want a video that looks like everyone else's (e.g. witness the careers of Dave Meyers, Hype Williams, Benny Boom).

On the subject of artists w/ bad taste: on iTunes, check out the celebrity playlists - these people are professional musicians and they have the worst taste in music. Even artists w/ cred like Kanye West put together a list that plays like a junior high mixtape.

Maybe it sounds like I'm stating the obvious.

jdub, December 7, 2004 at 10:45:56 PM CET

Wow...mediocre music and bad videos. They are 0 for 2 on videos, and so sad to see all that money go to such waste. All I notice when the dude is crawling on the backs of people is how uncomfortable it must be for the people naked on the floor and how awkward he looks trying not to like, step on their heads.

lusk81, December 7, 2004 at 11:55:00 PM CET

What's crazy is how we could even expect a band like this to have good taste. Impossible.

Captainmarc is dead on. We all know what we're in for by the first after effects zoom in through the camera shot/transition red/black background z space who cares.

I feel like I'm the only one who feels this way, but I wish promo directors would run away from greenscreens and after effects. I wish they would sprint full blast with camera and crew in tow. With each passing promo, the 'style' is only getting cheaper and cheaper.

And the bodies one is the weakest rip of the Jimmy Eat World (The Middle) promo mixed with Fiona Apple's "Criminal". Only here, there's nothing scintillating about it.

ai, December 8, 2004 at 12:17:16 AM CET

In fact you focus on the "style" because of the lack of concept or idea or story or whatever you call it. It's not that important how you make it. what is important it's to get somewhere. But also, the feeling that all those punk rock look the same is due to the fact they are actually are the same.

pablokorona, December 8, 2004 at 6:31:29 AM CET

lusk. beautifully stated.

hopefully, my next video is stop motion animation.

jdub, December 8, 2004 at 7:36:19 AM CET

word to all of that. Incubus' "megalomaniac" and the franz ferdinand "take me out" and a few others were pretty well done after effects vids but for the most part the style has killed itself. This includes most greenscreen shit and overdone effects stuff. I don't know if the average viewer is sick of it but I am. I've defended a few after effects promos on this site but honestly, although cost is a factor, I think people are using it as a crutch. stop motion actually falls into the same category for me though...not that it can't be interesting but it requires an above average concept i.e. "fell in love with a girl" that is really well executed...and that means a ridiculous amount of work. but so does anything worthwhile.

captainmarc22, December 8, 2004 at 9:32:11 AM CET

I hate hate hate Incubus' "Megalomaniac" - a total flop from the usually interesting Floria Sigismondi. The politics are so junior high and completely all over the place -

on the subject of stop-motion her recent Cure video is worth seeing - it's pretty amazing.

ai, December 8, 2004 at 11:37:20 AM CET

Yeah some people and producers think that if you spread some computer shit that will do the job. Often it's also the same people who don't know shit about it. It's like the magical answer.

eraserhead, December 8, 2004 at 1:34:59 PM CET

yeah. this might sound pretty familiar:

-The Director: "Hey, this girl has no legs. I mean, the ad is about a girl running, how can we shoot this?"

-The Client/The Agency: "Don´t worry, we´ll fix it up on post"

benroll, December 8, 2004 at 2:33:32 PM CET

Yeah...not keen. I don't mind derivative stuff- art has been referring to and borrowing from art since time immemorial, but what I do find strange is to take an idea and water it down. Be respectful of your influences.

I guess it's best understood in the context of the commercial imperative. If the brief requested 'something cool like that Franz Ferdinand vid, budget 10K, timescale two weeks' you're up shit creek from the outset.

Derivative comes from the majority who are scared to take a risk.

The simplistic answer is: take no prisoners and don't pitch anything you're not prepared to make, I supppose.

But why I'm responding really is that I think it can be detrimental for directors or any creative individual to worry too much about quoting or being influenced by good work. Pointing the 'plagiarism finger' is easy. To be overly aware of your proximity to other stuff can actually stifle the creative process.

Take, Mr Odell's 'Take Me Out' video. Nice work, but the aesthetic? See Max Ernst's Dadaist/early surrealist work circa 1920. Respectful quote of one of the 20th c's most influential artists or straight rip off? Would the video have been made like that if he had consciously avoided the reference? Does he add something? I think so.

minx, December 8, 2004 at 5:40:22 PM CET

the 'sledgehammer' video for peter gabriel is a good example of stop-motion, and i think it still looks fresh after 20 years.. as far as the new crop of flat 3d videos... new technology seems to leave a 'dated' imprint on things, just look at the 80s with all those cheesy video wipes/dissolves. anyone remeber the 90's look of bleach bypass, jump cuts and out-of-focus shots?

jdub, December 8, 2004 at 6:49:59 PM CET

I just watched the Megalomaniac vid again and you're right ai, it isn't as good as I remembered, but I still dig the textured feel of it and the iconic imagery. I think the Saline Project is doing about the best after effects vids as of late. I think the latest couple vids they put out are pretty good

this HIVES one is fun

That said, I think most AE vids are going to be like PEGGING YOUR was cool 1992 but now you're like WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?

angry_droid, December 8, 2004 at 9:21:27 PM CET

i love the hives...

spit, June 14, 2007 at 6:23:04 AM CEST

Funny post from 2004...


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