With 100 hours of video uploading to YouTube every minute, it’s kind of hard to find those diamonds in the rough. Especially those that inspire you to go out and create. I’m not talking about tutorials, speed paintings, or TED talks. Oh, no, no, no, my friend. I’m talking about some good ol’ fashion music videos.
Every time I hear a song that I really enjoy, I usually have to hear it again. And again. And again. The song can either help me create or zone out. Music videos have the same effect on me even if I don’t want to listen to the song on repeat. If the music video is really good, chances are I’m going to watch it again. And again. And again.
Here are some music videos that I’ve found inspiring over the years:
When you’re watching this video you feel like something is a little off. Then, you realize that the whole thing is being played in reverse. Which means that they shot the entire video backwards. Spike Jonze directed this video back in 1995, and it’s still amazing to watch in 2014.
Directors James Frost and Aaron Koblin’s music video powered by Lidar technology does two things really well. First, they use a different type of camera to capture the whole video, which gives it the grid structure look. Then, they go a step further by distorting images with glass and mirrors rather than completely relying on CGI.
This one comes from a pretty creative director, Ninian Doff. A new take on a split screen video, it slightly messes with your brain, but in the best way possible. Doff takes two separate shots seamlessly spliced together to give the rapper MF DOOM a split personality.
This song is about the rapper, Danny Brown, reminiscing of his childhood and comparing it to his adult life. Hence, the name “Grown Up.” What better way to portray this than dressing up a child actor to look like an elementary style Danny Brown, and do a new take on the “backtrack with the artist on a dolly” music video? Directed by Greg Brunkalla, the video stars Dante Hoagland.
Tame Impala is a psychedelic rock band from Australia . Their newest album, Lonersim, is fantastic, and I’ve listened to it on repeat. A psychedelic band deserves psychedelic music videos. There are other great videos by this band, but this one stands out from the rest. Directed by Joe Pelling & Becky Sloan, the music video is made up from over 1000 separate plasticine collages all individually made by hand.
Director David M. Helman, and animator RUFFMERCY, take the bass driven, strange hip hop song into an equally bizarre music video. With seemingly every frame having some sort of illustration laid over on it, this video has a good mixture of live action and animation.
*similar style Joey Badass-Unorthodox
Not every video has to be done by the artist. They can also be made by the fans. Splash scenes from the movie Drive into French duo’s “Instant Crush,” and you have a perfect clash of different medians.
Back in 1986, this video was born. And, at the MTV Video Music Awards that year, it won Best Concept Video, Most Experimental Video, Best Direction, Best Special Effects, and a few others. With a slew of 80’s hair band ballads, this video was a genius way to explore the new medium.
Seven Nation Army was going to be on this list, but Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” took that concept a little bit further. But that doesn’t mean The White Stripes weren’t going to make this list. Director Michel Gondry created the video with legos and stop-and-go animation. This was one of the first videos I had to watch over and over again. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Youtube back in the day, and it was always kind of hard for me to catch this on MTV since they don’t really play music anymore.
This definitely has to be my first favorite music video, even though I was a little wuss and would get scared every time it came on. This wasn’t just a music video. This was a 15 minute short film that has a story within a story line. Mind-blown.
Other mediums can inspire you to create. So next time you are looking at a painting, don’t just appreciate the art. Let it inspire you to make art.