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Music Video: The Glitch Mob “Fistful of Silence”

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#21 m.feder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:54 AM

I think that the viewing experience changed dramaticly. Back in the days you had to watch whatever was on the tv channel. At best you could switch to another station or wait for a special interest show. Today you only watch stuff from your favorite bands, videomaker or recommended by your trusted inspiration blogs. As you said you have a billion of other choices and you choose what appeals to you. And not every viewer has the same taste in music or in visuals so even if you are a very special band doing strange music that only few people can enjoy you will still find your audience that cares about what you are doing. So now you can rate an audience not only quantity but also quality.

And one more thought about aesthetics. In the highdays of music video I guess the briefings for most videos was "band performing in ...". Music videos without featuring the musicians were highly unusual. Which makes perfect sense in a commercial way. Today its no big thing to have a music video without any visual reference to the musician at all.

Maybe we also have to distinguish between major acts and independant musicians. Both do music videos but with different intentions.

#22 C.Smith

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:55 AM

Anything I say will probably just be poorer versions of what Binky already says perfectly. I recognise the tools and the industry has changed dramatically. And yes, in the US "M"TV has fallen to the same ends as TLC, The History Channel, Nat Geo, MTV2, etc in that it is all crap reality shows (But I still watch some of them). As far as I can tell music videos only play in bowling alley video screens and Vevo. In the 90's I wanted to direct music videos SO BAD. Then last summer I got a direct line where a huge rap star asked me to direct his music video. And it was at that moment I realized, there's no outlet or payoff for the director anymore so I declined and chose to shoot the 3 commercials I had lined up for the month and I officially took my music video dream and threw it in the trash as there is no longer any money or audience outlet anymore for the medium. So I realize, it's changed dramatically. But like Binky, says, entertaining an audience is still the point of any piece of art. That's it. If it's something else then *my belief* is the artist is either being selfish or delusional. Art is not for people to say, "Wow, I don't really get it, but that guy is great at it!". Whether you make a video for $2 with an iPhone or $500k like the old days, it doesn't change the fact that humans still need to be entertained and engaged. If they aren't then who is benefitting at all in the process? My argument for the fact that every kid now has a camera and iMovie is that you have to entertain more diligently than before BECAUSE there is more competition or more accurately dilution. Just like people in the commercial industry are scared of the TiVO ruining ads, I tend to hope it makes clients chose more creative scripts from their agency so people will chose to watch and not fwd past it. A logical reason to WANT creativity and not just because you have a captive audience with no DVR like the old days.

So just because you CAN make a music video for nothing (except blood and sweat equity) doesn't mean that you have to throw the very basic rules of art and entertainment out the window. I would argue that even MORE than in the 90's it is important that your video be entertaining , and evolving and rich with ideas and execution than ever before. That or the guy next to you with C4D and AE will do it better. And here lies our criticism of your work. No one is saying, "That's a piece of shit". They are saying, "It's great! Where's the rest of it?".
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#23 m.feder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

You are absolutly right that now that more and more people have the technical possibilities to do music videos and commercials the craft of doing it gains importance. With craft I not only mean technical skills but also the skill of telling a story and entertaining the viewer.

But I disagree when you say art should always entertain. A few years back when I was at a short film festival I watched a 20 minutes short film a guy filming his shadow and the shadow of his grandma in the garden and I was like wtf this guy is crazy and his movie sucks because it bored the sh*t out of me. Then a few years later I was at onedotzero in London watching some animated abstract shorts and I realized there is not so much of a difference but
I could deeply enjoy what I see. Then I realized that I was wrong about the guy and his grandma ...
I think art can be entertaining but it should never be its sole purpose. I also realized that most of my favorite music videos are no music videos at all they are artistic short films that have a deep connection with music. But they don't advertise the music act.

One more thing about entertainment. When it comes to entertainment I can't help it but make a comparision with movies. There are movies that are built to entertain the maximal possible amount of viewers. Block Buster stuff that is designed to be efficient and get the best possible return value. And there are movies that are not for everyone which target a special interest groups. In my eyes both have their right to exist and both make perfectly sense in their own way.
And also what we regard as entertaining is a highly personal thing. Most movies get different responses from different people. I mean yes there are products that are designed to please everyone but if you stick with the example of the movies: most movies made to be liked by everyone end up being so unpersonal and synthetic that nobody really cares at all. So here again I see a difference in quantity and quality of an audience.

#24 C.Smith

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

I don't think you were wrong about the guy and his grandma. It probably was boring as shit and that dude, may still be sitting at home starving. He selfishly wasted your time because he found way too much meaning in nothingness. The pieces at onedotzero entertained you. Maybe it was the context (like if your piece played on screens at a concert).

I'm not making a comparison between indie stuff that is more niche and the latest Michael Bay explodathon. Both should be entertaining you on some level or they won't make any money because there isn't an audience out there who wants to watch it (whether small or massive). Maybe the indie thing entertained you because it told a tightly crafted story of a love between a guy and his neighbor and their talks in the park and the blockbuster entertains you because of loud noises and overcranked boobies running from gunfire. Unless, of course you are talking about the phenomenon that any human on this planet can do ANYTHING cryptic and strange and there will always be a group of hipsters and socialites who will justify why they see some über-deep meaning in it just so they can pretend they are more artistic than everyone around them. But I don't count that as I wouldn't want that fake adulation, would you?

It's incredibly easy to be original. It's very easy. I could tie a rat to a pole and put a violin at his feet and record the chaos through a delay pedal and say it's original art. That being said, it won't entertain anyone. No one's dopamine will rise and rush through parts of their brain. A small group of people will act like if you don't get the "genius" then you aren't deep enough. What is really hard that takes true genius is making something profound, moving, and life-changing to as many people as possible without lowering your standards to fit the very least common denominator. And only the truly brilliant can do it well. But to just do something original but selfish, and say "I don't need to entertain anyone, I'm an artist" is the easy way out. Most feedback on this forum is usually with the assumption you are trying to make your piece as strong as it can be - well thought out in every aspect and appeasable enough to an audience large enough that you expect to get paid for it at some point.
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#25 m.feder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:12 PM

Yes context is king! As I also learned at onedotzero: films that deeply touched me in the cinema context were plainly unwatchable back at home in front of the computer and got the fast forward treatment after a few seconds. And so as this is the place where most videos are watched today it supports your argument that it is more important than ever to grip the audience with an entertaining approach.

I think indie entertainment is not necessarily cryptic or only for hipsters. I think its more about connecting with the cultural background of the target audience. If you take humor for example. There are a few jokes most people can laugh about but most humor is strongly dependent on the cultural and social background and in the end also of the personal taste. You don't need to be a hipster to end up being the only one laughing about an inside joke, you just might happen to have read the right book, seen the referenced movie or come from the same part of the town.
But if you design your product for such a closed market you have to live with it, that it is not for everyone.

Personally I enjoy both kinds of entertainment I can watch the latest pixar movie with the whole family and also enjoy some "deep" arthouse stuff that doesn't care about telling a nice story. But there is also a lot of stuff I can't connect to on both sides of the medal.

And as you, I believe that it can be possible to do both at the same time and that it is brillant when it happens. But that doesn't mean that both have no right to exist on their own.

#26 mintyfresh

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:23 AM

edit: i thought it looked really dope btw

that said, like everyone has said, it didnt really have a clever flow to it.

in a way this is where the 3 minute song and abstract graphics don't always work well together. over here in asia, its almost unthinkable to have a music video not show the artists at least partly. but the nice thing about that constraint is it breaks up the monotony of the 1-3 looks you might have for your alternate worlds. over here there are still 10-30k music videos going around quite a bit, but you guys would probably think a lot of it cheesy enough for a las vegas bridal show compared to some of the top stuff on motionographer.

i still feel like what chris said, that people in mograph should think of themselves as filmmakers. then we have to confront the challenge of creating a compelling flow of something, just inventing the next look - unless you want your work to be just that, mograph porn and not a lot more. even if its repetitive for 90% of it, some of the better MV directors make themselves look cool with sometimes just something happening at the end to kind of make it feel like it all was meant to be - at least in memory.

chris is super keyed into if something makes you want to change the channel - i get that. but to me thats sad also, so for me, splitting the difference is trying to have something dope come of all the lingering stuff to being it home and sell yourself on conceptual skill as well as a nice compositing/render style

keep it up though - the gross impact of the look you had going was dope

Edited by mintyfresh, 27 February 2012 - 04:08 PM.


#27 jean poole

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:12 AM

Interesting discussion ( if a little overheated at times ) - electronic vocal-less music is often teamed up with - and suited to abstract aesthetics - and there's nothing wrong with that. ( People don't complain about hearing some instrumental electronic track - by saying - there's no story in that' - we understand and appreciate it on some emotive level. A lot of visual artists / motion graphic artists / VJs work in ways that explore textures / moods / rhythms - eg visualmusic.blogspot.com - and it sometimes misunderstands the work to expect more narrative in it.

That said - if I watch an abstract 3 minute video today - I'm generally wanting to be wowed by some technique, impressed by how they've integrated everything, and it has kept my interest by changing gears a few times during the clip - offered some variations / surprises / next levels ... which is a narrative of sorts.

I liked the clip - great as a background in a club environment - but for me - also fine on a screen - a more interesting backdrop to a song than most mp3 jpg placeholders left on youtube. It won't make my best of lists though - because the techniques didn't go far enough, after initial introduction. A great foundation for future experimenting though : )

#28 planetfour

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:30 PM

That said - if I watch an abstract 3 minute video today - I'm generally wanting to be wowed by some technique, impressed by how they've integrated everything, and it has kept my interest by changing gears a few times during the clip - offered some variations / surprises / next levels ... which is a narrative of sorts.


This is true, and if I don't get it in an electronic/instrumental audio track, I will usually have a hard time connecting on an emotional level.

( People don't complain about hearing some instrumental electronic track - by saying - there's no story in that' - we understand and appreciate it on some emotive level.







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