And the hits keep coming.
In a valiant attempt to sort through a massive stack of entries in record time, we’re now ready to recognize the Top 5 Videos from February of this year.
Perhaps at some point in this timeline, we’ll be all caught-up, but sadly we have not yet been replaced self-charging, super-intelligent robots. It’s in next year’s budget, and we remain confident that human error will soon be a thing of the past.
As always, five artists are honored, and the monthly high scorer may choose an enviable trophy or gift card as signifiers of their superior work. More about the awards.
Cue the fanfare, here are the Top 5 Videos of the month (February), in order from first to fifth.
1. Producer: amzproductions2010
Song: The Have Nots
A deft and multilayered approach to the narrative genre, the team at amzproductions2010 delivers a stylishly fascinating depiction of a compartmentalized human psyche. Bonus points for good taste in classic L.A. punk.
2. Producer: Erin McAuley and Charlie Jennings
Artist: Dua Lipa
Song: New Rules
Producers McAuley and Jennings maintain visual symmetry with a brisk editing pace and an impressive array of carefully crafted images.
3. Producer: TinyComet Films
Artist: Alan Walker
Song: The Spectre
It’s a terrific dance performance, but the folks at TinyComet Films effortlessly fashion a cinematically rich post-apocalyptic canvas for the choreography.
4. Producer: Finlay McDonald
Artist: Mura Masa
Risking possible damnation by inspiring teenage actors to drink “booze” and monkey around in church, Finlay McDonald is clearly a fearless filmmaker.
5. Producer: ChewValley Media
Cops and robbers, chase scene, and a “crime doesn’t pay” finale. The ChewValley Media crew displays ample camera chops and editing precision in this dancing delinquent drama.
It’s time once again to tip our TikiKiti caps to some exemplary work that’s come our way recently. We share because we care, and considering the blazing originality of these Unofficial Music Videos, you should care, too.
Both of our featured video artists are mega-skilled practitioners and their works rival anything put out by highly paid pros with rock star budgets.
When we first saw this fan-made video for Prodigy’s “Hotride” we were gobsmacked, which is not an expression we throw around lightly. (It’s not allowed.) Everyone assembled agreed that the artist SapBap had produced one of the finest UMVs we’d seen in a very long time: thoughtful, exhilarating, and hypnotic.
Shot with a SonyRX100mV and shifting between hyper-speed night-driving and super slo-mo tracking shots of people walking to work, SapBap wields uncanny technical prowess to create a mesmeric canvas of absurdly dignified creatures on the go, forever compelled to move forward—for some undefined reason.
Particularly effective are the shots of commuters looking off at some distant landmark that commands their attention beyond matters of the mundane. SapBap’s ability to capture the eye-lines of his subjects creates infinite possible scenarios. Dreams put on hold or abandoned altogether in the face uncertainty and fear seems to be the message, but obviously that’s just one interpretation.
Needless to say, we’d be tickled to present more of SapBap’s work, and are currently working on securing an interview. Stay tuned!
The Lighter Side
Abstract whimsy is a tough nut to crack in the confines of a music video, but it can be done. Witness a pair of videos by JLShope, a video artist with an abiding love of Dayton, Ohio indie-rock gods Guided By Voices.
The lyrics of GBV singer and songwriter Robert Pollard, are artfully rendered sketches peppered with seemingly nonsensical observations and roughly chiseled into a legit rock anthem that seldom eclipses two minutes.
In “My Valuable Hunting Knife” JLShope gleefully mutates livestock to a catchy pop tune about how fetishistic consumerism is a lot like falling in love. The animation has a delightfully unpredictable energy that should resonate with any Monty Python fan.
JLS performs similar animal protean chicanery in another GBV-inspired video for “Kicker of Elves,” which is worth tracking down, as is just about anything associated with Guided By Voices.
In “Touch Me In The Right Place at the Right Time” from Pollard’s 2011 solo album Space City Kicks, JLS presents a short film about the joys of foreplay, shot in black and white, and reminiscent of an old health education reel—except the action is deliberately cheeky and nearly naughty! (Won’t somebody think of the children?)
In any case, the video is tightly shot and edited, and exudes a playfully understated sexy charm, like a vintage screwball comedy. As cinematic glimmers of the past fade away on a daily basis, we should do all we can to preserve the memories of the most valuable ones. Lord knows, we’re doing our part.
Like SapBap, we’re anxiously trying to track down JLShope for a possible feature. Hello? You guys out there? Phone home!