“Walk out of any doorway/Feel your way like the day before/Maybe you’ll find direction/Around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you.”
As the world gets stranger than fiction every single day, we’re reporting to you from a nearby timeline where things have stabilized considerably. The turbulence in the rest of the universe is pretty severe at the moment, probably having something to do with the Age of Aquarius rising at the same time as the lost continent of Atlantis.
In less cataclysmic news, we have a dandy new collection of Unofficial (though no less compelling) Music Videos made by folks remarkably like yourself, hailing from all points Rand-McNally, and competing for the hotly contested Barclay Award for Excellence in Independent Video Arts. Here now, are August’s Top Five videos.
1. Producer: Derek Newman
Artist: Françoise Hardy
Song: “Comment Te Dire, Adieu?”
Not much to say here, other than “Bravo.” Derek Newman deliciously blends cheek, horror, and lampoonery to sensational effect. Ladies, these savage self-improvement steps are the ticket to a better, more beautiful you. Available now, at the low introductory price of your mortal soul!
2. Producer: Living Legends Productions
Song: “Hillbilly Man”
It’s a Close Encounter of the Doll Kind! This Toytown take on alien abduction appealed to our appreciation of low-budget filmmaking, alá Ed Wood and Todd Haynes.
You know, the lamestream media never reports this stuff. Ken and Barbie dolls go missing all the time. Remember when they were everywhere? So where did they all go?
3. Producer: Macstermix
Artist: Flora Cash
Song: “You’re Somebody Else”
A beautifully assembled sequence of iPhone footage that paints a deeply intimate emotional landscape. Remember: The way we see the world is our most important piece of technology.
4. Producer: Hedyy
Song: “Your Own Company”
The commute home from work is the best time of day to relax and enjoy the abstraction. Is it magic realism or simply the cumulative fatigue of being overworked and underpaid? Let’s go with the more benign option, shall we?
5. Producer: Trevor Black
Artist: Lewis Capaldi
Song: “Someone You Loved”
A dude murders his wife with a kitchen knife and is subsequently haunted by bloody visions. Considering the conscience of a killer is a bold choice, but I would have preferred the original ending in which the protagonist is stung to death by hornets over the course of several hours.
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? The only way things get better is if enough people are inspired to take positive action. So let’s get busy and inspire!
“I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine/I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine/We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time.”
In the real world, summer has zenithed and is now packing its bags, while the rain can’t wait to get us wet. Inevitably, warmth gives way to autumn’s chill and selecting a wardrobe becomes a daily challenge. Wear a hat, because you lose most of your body heat from an uncovered noggin.
Once again we come bearing a bounty of Unofficial Music Videos from the far reaches of the globe, all competing for the highly coveted Barclay Award for Excellence in Independent Video Arts.
1. Producer: Toey PPS
Artist: Arianna Grande
Thai teen turns typical trauma into an astounding array of color-coded visuals. Supple editing, a committed performance, and imaginative art direction carry this video to the July winner’s circle.
2. Producer: Melanie Murcie
Artist: Soul Kitchen
Song: “L’ombre De Ton Amour”
Female empowerment saves the day, as an angry activist slaps down a pimp, steals his roll, and liberates women from the sex trade. It’s kind of like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” but with booze, cigarettes, and violence.
3. Producer: Stephany Valdivia + Mathew Huerta
Artist: Billie Eilish
Song: “Bury A Friend”
A thoughtful collage approach works wonders with the words and worlds of Billie Eilish, an artist with a lot on her mind. Can introverts be popular?
4. Producer: Noedesu
Sometimes we can’t trust our senses and running a self-inventory check can be pure torture. It’s a simple concept, but painted with raw, honest colors.
5. Producer: Entropique
Artist: Zero 7
Song: “Morning Song”
The apocalypse is on everyone’s mind these days. What will you wear? Can you make yourself useful in a survival situation? A scavenger rifles through remnants of societal detritus, searching for substance and meaning. Hey, we’re all in the same boat!
Global concerns weigh heavy on each of us, and it’s imperative that we sort through our own emotions, keeping whatever’s necessary, and jettisoning the baggage. Your videos are like messages in a bottle, hope and community kept alive despite trying circumstances. Creation is the key—and it will set you free.
“When Miss Moon lays down/And Sir Sun stands up/Me I’m found floating round and round/Like a bug in brandy/In this big bronze cup/Drowning here in summer’s cauldron.”
Summer vay-kay is here, and, much as it pains us to crawl from the hammock, making sure not to spill a precariously perched Bloody Mary, we have indeed returned to share nectar from our voluminous video flower patch.
How’s the weather where you are? Here at TikiKiti HQ (let me just bring up the satellite view) the forecast is topical with a chance of pain, followed by darkness when the sun goes down.
You may have noticed two months worth of awards in this post. Since we tend to get fewer submissions during these balmy summer days, we’re really doing our best to keep our inventory fresh and up to date. So while the boss is paragliding in Paraguay, it’s up to you and me to separate the wheat from the chaff.
For this installment, we have two winning videos, the first is for May and the second for June. Congratulations to both artists for superior work. Keep your eyes peeled for the arrival of the mailman bearing your Barclay Trophy.
1. Producer: Will Lucas
Artist: Arianna Grande
We were fooled along with everyone else! What opens as a simple meet-cute bit of romantic fluff, evolves into cloak-and-dagger escapades and intrigue. Very robust visual storytelling and sensible use of metaphor imagery, e.g., mousetraps, fishing lures, board games.
2. Producer: Kathryn Jankowski
Artist: Solomon Wilbur
Song: “Show Me Love”
More suppressed female rage is unleashed as a trio of overworked paper-pushers try to smash through the glass ceiling while simultaneously realizing their jobs pretty much suck. That’s a powerfully unsettling message.
3. Producer: RaymondisLazy
Artist: Mac Miller
Mesmerizing and provocative travel imagery of Bangkok set to Mac Miller’s moody beats and subdued soul crooning. Both big pictures and little pictures are worth equal time.
4. Producer: Ryuuzaki NL
Artist: Billie Eilish
Song: “Bury A Friend”
You didn’t really think we’d get through an entire round of videos without hearing from Billie Eilish, did you? She’s everywhere! The choreography bristles with vitality despite the obvious lack of precision.
5. Producer: Mikel Arraiz
Artist: Neon Palms
Song: “Kiss Me Malibu”
And finally, how about a gorgeously filmed but feverishly grotesque examination of mating rituals and the cultures that foster them as a necessary evil. Like we don’t have enough to worry about!
Until next time, campers! Keep those creative candles burning.
“Voilà voilà, c’est finalement fini!”
Who knew we were so big in France? Paris filmmaker Kevin Bodin is the most recent Barclay Trophy winner for his superb video, “Les Cours Des Lycées” by Saez. So let’s meet him.
Tell us about yourself.
I am Kevin Bodin. I have been an independent video maker for five years.
I studied video editing. I am fond of music and cinema, since my youngest age. I am a self-taught director. I come from the South of France but I have been living in Paris for seven years now.
Are you a professional?
I am doing my best to be as professional as possible! My particularity is to be versatile and to hold several positions during the making of my movies.
A small crew accompanies me on a few projects that require artificial lights or big labour. But I am by myself most of the time from the writing of the screenplay to the post-production. It is obsessional, I like to keep a tight rein on my work from start to finish.
What gear do you use?
I generally shoot with a Panasonic GH5 and fixed focal-length lenses. I like light equipment. I usually do the editing on DaVinci Resolve.
We get videos from all over the planet, and it seems as if troubled, sullen teens are universal. Are music videos an effective forum for experiencing the lives of people from different cultures?
Uneasiness is universal, and I think cinema and video play an essential part to change things in depths… Or at least to better understand the world around us… Or simply to feel less lonely.
Can you share some of your notes on the production of “Les Cours Des Lycées” in terms of theme and narrative?
I have very few notes. I prepare a lot beforehand and then I improvise a lot during the shooting.
What sort of feeling were you hoping to evoke?
Melancholia is the feeling that inspires me the most… The dark side of things… It represents a part of the truth of the existence. A part into which I like to look deeper… I also want to denounce and defend in my movies. I like to make other people feel the emotions that I feel myself every day. It gives me the impression that I am sharing a little bit of myself, of my way to communicate.
Do you have any near-future production projects or plans?
Yes! Surprise! Two radically different clips! One will be out in September and the other should be out in November.
Kevin was kind enough to send us some of his other video creations. And we look forward to much more!
“I just spent 60 days in the jailhouse/For the crime of having no dough/Now here I am back out on the street/For the crime of having nowhere to go.”
Glad to have you back for another trip around the video Mulberry Bush with our five top-shelf entries from April. Did you get your taxes done? I tried to tell the IRS that no one was interested in seeing my taxes, but we’re still miles apart on that subject.
This month’s Top Five includes impressive work from France, Thailand, and Indonesia, proving once again that teen angst transcends all borders and timelines.
As you are no doubt aware, the top finisher for the month will collect the esteemed Barclay Award for Excellence in Video Arts. If you’re a past winner, why don’t you send us a snap of the trophy perched majestically on the mantle in your lovely home? Besides, we hardly ever hear from you except for Christmas and birthdays!
1. Producer: Kevin Bodin Films
Song: “Les Cours Des Lycées”
Oh, thank heavens it was all just a dream. The denim-vest wearing French protagonist is executed by a disappointed girlfriend for the crime of being lame. The assured craftsmanship exhibited in Kevin Bodin Films’ provocative production is faultless and hypnotic.
2. Producer: Unlocked Films
Song: “In Cold Blood”
Another stylistic knock-out from Barclay Award winner Jesse Locke and the Unlocked Films team. A true Battle of the Titans plays out before our unbelieving eyes, somehow combining Tarantino, Italian opera, and big-time wrassling to full blooming effect.
3. Producer: Dino Squirrel
Artist: New York Dolls
Song: “Stranded in the Jungle”
Superb animation welded to a tasty tune. Pro-level moves from Dino Squirrel, and we look forward to more.
4. Producer: Pond TR
Song: “Be There”
What begins as pop video confection turns apocalyptic and deeply personal—a father worries that he can’t keep his daughter safe in this touching tale from Thailand.
5. Producer: Riki Sodikin
Song: “Caught In The Middle”
Deceptively and sweetly simple, this Indonesian entry radiates the unbridled joy of creativity. Finding your joy is the key to unlocking it all.
My apologies to Marie Kondo, but she’s definitely on to something.
Oh man, are you a sight for sore eyes. Hope springs eternal and with winter safely in the rearview mirror, we salute the return of the sun with another batch of Grandma’s delicious, homemade Unofficial Music Videos. There’s milk in the fridge.
The Top Five entires for the month of March are currently six in number, with a tie for fifth between equally deserving artists. Some may call it Bonus Content, but we prefer to think of it as Added Value. In any case, the online branding course is clearly paying off, big time.
Reminder: The top finisher for the month will receive the fabled Barclay Award for Excellence in Video Arts. Because trophies make it official!
1. Producer: Nicole Adams
Artist: Quinn XCII & Kailee Morgue
Song: “What The Hell Happened To Us?”
From the opening credits to the last shot, it’s a flawless narrative continuum. The lip-synch is tight as a drum and every detail is correctly styled and executed.
2. Producer: Tae Ahn
Artist: Faye Wong
Song: “Chu Lu”
Needless to say, it’s very difficult to take random footage and visualize it into a larger context. Quite often, this sort of thing is a jumble of images that never come together. Tae Ahn’s Vérité video feels charming, intimate, and fun.
3. Producer: Mahir Saeed
Song: “Way Down We Go”
A sharply rendered crisis of culture and conscience by Mahir Saeed. The idea of having to live with the choices we’ve made can be rough sledding for some.
4. Producer: Redstone Army
Male sports fantasies never die and they exist seemingly regardless of cultural differences. Sometimes we need to be a hero, even in our own minds.
5. Producer: Guernsey Media
Another mercurial teenage girl wonders about her identity and romantic prospects in this fanciful bit of video introspection. Always remember, there is a diva inside every cocoon.
5. Producer: Peter Ghaly
Song: “Way Back Home”
A cinematic exercise filmed in both color and black and white, as the young protagonist faces a choice between moving forward into the unknown or death by stagnation.
Therein lies a lesson for all of us: It’s better to move forward and discover something new, rather then rest in your own nest and wait for the hate. And with that final challenge, we leave you.
From the depths of winter’s chilly bosom, we bid you a warm welcome! Since we’re snowed in for a few weeks, let’s watch some hot Unofficial Music Videos, the best of the bunch from February’s cultural crop of adolescent tension. It should help pass the time till we’re all too weak from hunger to eat each other.
You may have noticed that photo finishes are becoming de rigueur around these parts. True to form, we’ve got another tie for top honors this month, so we’ll be sending out two Barclay Awards for Excellence in Video Arts. So much winning!
1. Producer: Avikbangalee
Song: “The Sounds of Silence”
I’m just going to come out and say it. This is the best rock video from Bangladesh I’ve ever seen. The Simon & Garfunkel chestnut evolves into a grand piano anthem with a glorious new worldview. Equal parts inspiring and visually compelling, this video shimmers like a neon painting.
1. Producer: Raegan Masterson
Song: “Slow Dancing in the Dark”
A somber, unsentimental romantic shrapnel grenade gets dropped at a kegger. Disappointment and confusion are the guests of honor at this party.
3. Producer: Jonny Young Trujillo
Artist: Zero 7
Song: “Pop Art Blue”
Infatuation, missed opportunities, and the stuff of dreams: Jonny Young Trujillo sensitively captures the bittersweet fumble of freshmen in love.
4. Producer: Jackson Ross
Artist: Jose Gonzales
Song: “Dead Weight on Velveteen”
It’s the daring drone shots that really elevate this production, lending needed perspective to a very down-to-earth story about a boy and girl who seem to strangely like each other. Or like each other strangely.
4. Producer: Juliette Films
Artist: Billie Eilish
Song: “You Should See Me In a Crown”
In the game of life you don’t have to play the cards you’re dealt if the dealer’s cheating. Leave the table and find another hobby.
Allusions to abusive relationships are becoming a frequent UMV trope, which is good news for young artists in need of a canvas for a cathartic statement. You’ve got a phone haven’t you? Access to a computer?
Lights, camera, action, life.
Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
The new year is here, and we’re off and running (just a wee bit late), with a fresh pot of video java percolating on the stove. Speaking of heating up, the competition was boiling this month, as two very different works tied for top honors. Looks like we’re handing out a pair of Barclay Awards, which we present on a more-or-less regular basis for outstanding achievement in the field of Unofficial Video artistry.
1. Producer: RankTheLion
Artist: Yellow Ostrich
Here’s a budget throwback to music video buffoonery of the highest order. It’s worth noting the recent passing of The Monkees’ Peter Tork, who contributed much to the widely held belief that rock bands all lived in the same house and had wacky adventures when not onstage. RankTheLion hits the funny bone!
1. Producer: JonZombie + Meikee Magnetic
Artist: Blvck Ceiling
Song: “Body Electric”
The female protagonist cannot resist the allure of… sexy stuff. Temptation is steamily rendered with kinky, occult panache. It’s safe to say JonZombie and Meikee Magnetic have a keen understanding of visual seduction and an arsenal of ideas.
3. Producer: Shoot To Frame Productions
Artist: Pearl Jam
There is still room in the world for angst, and this sincere effort rings true. Nothing hurts worse than adolescent broken-heart burn, and Pearl Jam is fitting accompaniment.
4. Producer: Tilo Zhu
Artist: The Chainsmokers
Song: “Sick Boy”
Chinese teen contemplates his own mortality, alá the Danish Prince. Instead of a soliloquy he takes a cellphone video of his own sick soul.
5. Producer: Avgusta Volchenkova
Artist: Beth Hart
Song: “Jazz Man”
You’ve got to love a Russian troupe showing off snappy steps and genuine razzmatazz in a salute to decadent Western music. Putin may have won the Cold War, but you can’t dance to him. Let’s thaw out those diplomatic relations, already!
As always, Team TikiKiti would like to thank the classy creatives from all over the globe whose work we can’t help but make a fuss over. Let’s never part!
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Once again the crew of The Calypso is taking a deep dive into the trenches of our last three Barclay Award winners to sift out the pirate treasure and illuminate unseen creative caverns. Check your air!
1. Producer: Kornelia Malczewska
Artist: DJ Snake + AlunaGeorge
Song: “You Know You Like It”
It’s the little things that bring out the best scores. The art direction and costumes in Kornelia Malczewska’s production are spot-on. The near-lurid neon scenes represent the dancer’s inner world, where she dresses and moves like a superhero, contrasted with the mundane reality of daily harassment by idiot boys.
Note to producers: For a performance video it’s imperative to find a choreographer/performer with substance as well as style. Ecaterina Cirlan is the dancer’s name here and her focus is downright fierce, reminiscent of Madonna in her MTV prime. Cirlan is the revving engine, while Malczewska plots the course—a first-rate collaboration.
1. Producer: Unlocked Films
Artist: April March
Song: “Chick Habit”
We’ve seen videos by Northwest filmmaker Jesse Locke before, and for good reason. He brings a strong storytelling sensibility to his work, informing each frame with tension and mood. As in the case of Locke’s previous winning video, he operates in the low-budget punk-thriller genre, once again with fearless female protagonists taking action when the going gets tough.
As for the notion that witches are back in a big way, Locke nails the zeitgeist perfectly, even as Netflix gains spell points with its Sabrina the Teenage Witch reboot. Now is not the time for passive heroes.
1. Producer: Hadi BA
Song: “Good Life”
The way things come in and out of focus in Hadi BA’s travel montage mirrors the disorienting intoxication of travel, suggesting that it is indeed a tiring ordeal, but that we are better because of it. The omniscient narrator gently reminds us to get over ourselves and to look at different people in faraway lands to experience spiritual growth.
The use of black-and-white photography here is exquisite, blurring the line between arrival and departure through transitional landscapes (shuttles, airplanes, airports) that require their own navigation. The monotones both fade and command attention, but we’re usually moving too fast for serious contemplation.
Sometimes it feels like we’re everywhere at once, with all these video postcards from India, Jamaica, Poland, and Jolly Ol’ England giving us a great seat for the Parade of Nations. The TK Crew has definitely benefitted from being exposed to so much cultural dynamism. Our morning meetings now feature jicama scones and Free Trade coffee.
Seriously though, we live in times where seeing beyond borders to find a message can be challenging. There are those who insist on doubling down on their ethnocentrism, refusing to acknowledge the common humanity that binds us. Perhaps they need to watch more videos.
As for the present, we’re still a little behind the times, but this edition represents the finalé for the year 2018, with the top finisher once again taking home the coveted Barclay Award, presented each month for excellence in Unofficial Video artistry.
1. Producer: Kornelia Malczewska
Artist: DJ Snake + AlunaGeorge
Song: “You Know You Like It”
Another powerful example of dancing in the face of oppression. Revolutionary steps and blistering choreography are given the respect they deserve.
2. Producer: Red Pop Dance
Song: “Acid Rain”
A provocative Polish dance ensemble spins a dark Eco Fable through incisive movement. A teachable moment without a fairy tale ending.
3. Producer: Alex Bosserman
We all have our own way of seeing life as it unfolds and it’s important to share perspectives. Otherwise we’re all just strangers stumbling around in the dark.
4. Producer: Krispy Films
Artist: Pink Floyd
Song: “Great Gig In The Sky”
A bored English schoolboy slips through a crack in reality and discovers the infinite moment that is right now. Old-school psychedelia to the rescue!
5. Producer: Sumit Lekhari + Lavina Lekhari
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Don’t like the world you’re living in? Dance a better one. If you can Imagine Dragons, anything is possible. But you can’t do it without full commitment.
We’ll see you cats next year, which should be any day now!