We’re having a nice trip this Fall. How about you?
It’s back to school time for many of our young filmmakers, who routinely send out their student productions for a little extra credit. And we’re honored to bring these scholarly efforts to a wider audience to discuss the juicy bits.
This month’s Top Five definitely made it a September to Remember.
1. Producer: Oregan Izak
Artist: Confidence Man
Cool and confident, as only a pair of frightfully fashionable British teens can be, the sullen protagonists artfully air their grievances against a Basic Cable boyfriend. Another repeat episode.
2. Producer: Mitchel Federan
Artist: Billie Eilish
Song: “You Should See Me In A Crown”
The editing is spot-on and the dancing Mihacevich sisters are 100 percent committed to the visceral and decidedly anti-glamor choreography.
3. Producer: Maxime Sauvant
Song: “Take It Easy”
The colors and exotic locations really pop in Maxime Sauvant’s languorous short, a visual postcard from a tantalizing Twilight Zone.
4. Producer: Jesse Jenner
Song: “Right In Front Of Me”
A potent pastiche of imagery accompanies this moody bit of Brit-pop, reminiscent of MTV’s glory days more than 30 years ago. Echo and the Bunnymen? Thompson Twins? They never left.
5. Producer: Malachite Mangusu
Artist: Mystery Skulls
Song: “Losing My Mind”
Another troubled teen finds his senses working overtime when he hits the reality wall and slips through the cracks.
From big-budget bonanzas to strapped students testing the limits of their ingenuity, we are continually amazed by the depth and dimensional thinking of our international video artists. Buckle up, boys and girls, this is getting good.
Or is it? We’re still in the Dog Days here at TikiKiti HQ, sorting out the latest crop of UMVs (Unofficial Music Videos) that we’ve been carefully drying in the sun until we can harvest a full spectrum of delicious, nutritious ART.
Behold, our Top Five for August.
1. Director: Eva Berbel
Artist: Cardi B + Bad Bunny + J Balvin
Song: “I Like It”
Supertight choreography, a healthy wardrobe budget, and spot-on direction from Eva Berbel, who serves up a densely layered hip-hop Busby-Berkeley swimming pool fantasy.
2. Producer: Johnny Copter
Artist: Morgan Page
Song: “Running Wild”
Johnny Copter’s vibrant photography makes “Running Wild” a soaring visual odyssey that plays like Wes Anderson’s audition reel for Nike. Moving pictures, indeed!
3. Producer: Yardley Estiverne
Artist: Amy Vachal
Song: “Field Sense”
This black-and-white tone poem features a veiled woman with mountain goat horns meandering through a church, and it breathes with a confessional intimacy.
4. Producer: Marty Rait + Angelina Lobanova
Artist: 100 Monkeys
An attractive couple moodily explore the boundaries of their relationship, again in glorious black and white.
5. Producer: Perpetual Goose
Artist: Aphex Twin
Song: “54 Cymru Beats”
This near seizure-inducing driving collage could probably reprogram an entire cult of brainwashed acolytes into functional citizens. Or send them off the deep end.
You folks are killing it. Every day we see things that we’ve never imagined. Curious dreams, romantic vignettes, nervous puzzles, cathartic explosions… an ever-widening continuum of aspirational wonder and experience from all corners of the planet.
This is our jam. Welcome.
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lie, welcome to the month of July!
The margins continue to get narrower in our TikiKiti judge jams. In the latest round of tabulations we came up with a three-way tie for fourth place, which means this is another Bonus Content post! Six videos! Can you believe it? Keep feeling fascination, everybody!
1. Director: TheArtElaquare
Artist: Marina & The Diamonds
Song: “Teen Idle”
Is that cat real? We’d be lion if we said we were unimpressed by the presence of the King of Beasts. Photoshop or Rent-A-Critter? In addition to Simba, the judges were fairly floored by the seamless editing and sumptuous visual choices.
2. Producer: Smith Video Productions
Song: “Weight In Gold”
Powerhouse choreography and nimble camerawork are all you need to make a statement. Dancer Chaos Omnivox has enough power to light up a small country.
3. Producer: Anders Overgaard
Artist: Alan Walker
Love is a silly game… Until it isn’t. A surprisingly enjoyable romantic drama deftly rendered.
4. Producer: Ilker Toy
Song: “Down To The Cellar”
There’s definitely a vibrant international flavor this month, and Turkish scenarist Ilker Toy has no problem imagining a world of possibilities.
4. Producer: The Gurung Group
Song: “Know This Time”
Genuine poignancy is hard to pull off, but the Gurung Family (siblings?) makes it look easy in an artfully moving short from Nepal.
4. Producer: Silens Films/Oshin
Identity and familial conflict are prevalent themes in Unofficial Music Videos from anywhere on the planet. Figuring out how and where to put your best foot forward can take time.
Questions? Comments? Clarification? Send ’em our way! Nothing makes our day more than original correspondence from actual people. Call us crazy, but sorting out spam is a lonely business.
And all too soon, we find ourselves in the month of June. Our TikiKiti Quest to catch up to the present day in pursuit of video excellence rolls on! Tickets please!
Perhaps in anticipation of hotly contested political races to come, the voting for the Barclay Trophy, our award for best Unofficial Music Video of the month, has become extremely competitive. This time around we had a tie for first place and fourth place, so we will be featuring six videos instead of the usual five. Hurray for Bonus Content!
1. Director: Román Reyes
Artist: Oh Wonder
Song: “Technicolour Beat”
One of the coolest performance videos we’ve seen. Roman Reyes has a deft eye for angular intimacy and his dancing muse brings every moment to a simmer.
1. Producer: Miguel Angel
At first glance, this would appear to be another variation on the ever-popular video theme of bad boys being bad at nighttime. Migeul Angel masterfully enhances the action with cinematic flair and drama, and gets committed performances from his youthful squad.
2. Producer: Nassift Visuals
Artist: Ft. Illenium
Extraordinary composed parkour choreography that fits the tear-jerk tune like a tailored glove. It’s a bracing mix of reckless energy and ultimate precision.
3. Producer: Szymon Wiktor
Artist: Clean Bandit
A confident, highly competent production from Szymon Wiktor that demonstrates abundant vision and finesse.
4. Producer: Yannick Walters
A taunting ghost fills him with rage. And just like that, he’s lost the game. A tightly wound and surprisingly effective narrative by Yannick Walters and his team.
4. Producer: Luke Covert
Artist: The Wild Wild
Song: “Wake Up”
Sound and solid performance editing by Luke Covert, but the real star of the show is the ruined school location and the bittersweet memories it inspires.
Coming up: A deep-dive feature on the winning videos from May and June. What was it about these shorts that added up to a winning formula? It’s not always always the flashiest extravaganza with the trickiest camera angels. Until then, keep ’em coming!
Is it May already? Wow, this year is just flying by! Let’s synchronize those calendars, shall we?
This brings us to the latest Top Five, which includes some seriously cinematic efforts in the Narrative category.
You know the drill: Five artists are honored, and the monthly high scorer may select the coveted Barclay trophy or a gift card as a testament to their vision and skill. More about the awards.
And to our five May creatives, we’re just doggone thrilled to showcase your incredible work. Encore!
1. Director: Roma Kong
Artist: Lady Gaga
Song: “Bloody Mary”
Possibly the most sophisticated video we’ve seen in terms of production values and high-stakes concepts, Roma Kong has the visual sensibility to be a big name in any number of fields.
2. Producer: Sarah Maggic
Song: “Play Me Like A Violin”
Domination, submission, and identity are some of the thematic forces at play in Sarah Maggic’s well-executed short.
3. Producer: Anna Hicks
We dug this strobe-soaked club-thumper that reduces the mating dance to its most essential impulses, some of which may be in direct conflict.
4. Producer: Yap Manloong
Artist: Paperplane Pursuit
Song: “Who’s Gonna To Stop Me”
Evolving, growing, and reshaping itself before our wide eyes, Yap Manloong’s video is a wonder to behold. Uncanny animation and a playful spirit permeate every frame.
5. Producer: Maya Cooper
Artist: Baz Luhrmann
Song: “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen”
Words to live by. A fascinating deconstruction of a graduation speech loaded with intuitive narrative imagery.
Let’s make a pact: You keep sending videos and we’ll do our best to give them the attention they so richly deserve. Aloha!
Here we go, a fresh batch of UMV’s piping hot, straight from the oven.
We’re not April Fooling you, we’re still a little behind the times. These five videos came up tops for the month of April.
To briefly recap, five artists are honored, and the monthly high scorer may select a unique trophy or gift card as a testament to their skill and creativity. More about the awards.
And to our quintet of April video artists, well done!
1. Producer: Andrey Gorlachev
Song: “Sleep With My Enemies”
Wow! This cyber-surveillance creeper from Andrey Gorlachev eerily captures the times we live in, as mounting paranoia and a lack of privacy inspire outbreaks of desperate dance. Rich in detail and masterfully presented.
2. Producer: Jonathan Brent
Artist: Jai Paul
A near sensory overload as modern man, depicted here as a featureless mannequin, attempts to reboot the system. Moments of clarity are rudely jarred away.
3. Producer: Paula Averkamp
Artist: Patrick Watson
Memories or just a Virginia Woolf dream? Paula Averkamp’s cinematic Day at the Beach reverie is radiant and ravishing, with a bittersweet undercurrent of innocence lost.
4. Producer: Leon Falon
Artist: Aphex Twin
Song: “We Have Arrived”
Call it a barrage collage. A short circus, maybe. Anyone suffering from Seizure Disorder should look the other way.
5. Producer: Ginie’O
Song: “Skin and Bones”
A beautiful cache of Paris travelogue footage in the hands of Ginie’O tells a thousand stories at a thousand different tempos.
Thanks again on behalf of TikiKiti for the amazing gallimaufry of musical shorts. It is the wind beneath our wings.
Keep the videos flying!
Once more into the fray…
Time marches on, which brings us to the month of March, and a whole new assemblage of Unofficial Music Videos for consideration.
In case you’re just joining us, five artists are honored, and the monthly high scorer may select a superb trophy or gift card as a testament to their skill and creativity. More about the awards.
Now, on with the show! Meet our Minds of March!
1. Producer: Joseph Hyrkas
Deceptively simple and deeply sincere, producer Joseph Hyrkas relies on soulful lingering shots of a beautiful woman to tell this tale of heartache.
2. Producer: Aaron Vizcarra
Artist: 2PAC & LA
Song: “Vicca Street”
The wonders never cease in a kaleidoscopic slice of cyber surrealism from producer Aaron Vizacarra and director Stephen Gillis.
3. Producer: kayanoel
Artist: Julie Aznar
Song: “In the Middle of the Night”
Commitment, clever choreography, and breathtaking location photography are on display in kayanoel’s moody performance piece.
4. Producer: Naomi Kirk-Muir
Artist: Mother Mother
Heck, it’s hard (probably impossible) to be endlessly happy. Naomi Kirk-Muir cuts to the heart behind the masks we have to wear in this somber collage.
5. Producer: Obiet Mantovani
Artist: The Chainsmokers
Song: “All We Know”
Again, simplicity and lack of pretense carries the day in a stirring story of rocky romance.
Slowly but surely we are creating a structure and process for emerging video artists to exhibit their work. We’re pleased to see so many fresh and fantastic approaches to the form, as it gives us plenty to talk about.
Till next time! Keep those videos coming!
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 awards season at TikiKiti and we spent our spring break wading through thousands of indie music videos that found their way to us (a combination of whizzy algorithms and occasional dedication). The goal here is to recognize and encourage video artists and establish a site where new works can be displayed and discussed.
Our panel of judges has deliberated heatedly and at length over creativity, editing, and overall production quality, and reached their decision.
Five (six) artists will be honored, and these high scorers will receive an enviable trophy or gift card as tokens of our esteem and appreciation. More about the awards.
Without further ado, here are the Top Five videos (six actually; there was a three-way tie for fourth place) for January 2018. We’re a few months behind, but we’re aiming to get up to date in a quick-bunny hurry.
Superb work, people! Take a bow and a victory lap.
1. Producer: Ch4rlie97
Artist: Caravan Palance
Song: Lone Digger
A strong narrative concept, supple camera, and unexpected editing choices made the exhilarating “Lone Digger” the top vote-getter this month. Kudos Ch4rlie97.
2. Producer: MangoWatch
Artist: Michael Jackson
Song: Blood on the Dance Floor
The commitment and choreography are first-rate. The attention to detail, the costumes, and performance really bowled us over. Paging Doctor MangoWatch!
3. Producer: Utkarsh Chaturvedi
Artist: Massive Attack
Visually arresting from open to close. The pace and variety of imagery is spellbinding. Well done, Mr. Chaturvedi et. al.
4. Producer: VelvetAnt Films
Song: Cannibal Lectures
Video artist Chad Shepp continues to astound us with his arsenal of found footage and editing finesse.
4. Producer: Alfredo Fortunato Films
Artist: Demi Lovato
Song: Sorry Not Sorry
Spirit, swagger, and genuine joy are abundant in this high-energy entry from Alfredo Fortunato Films.
4. Producer: Sebastian Linares
Artist: Bruno Mars + Cardi B
These guys are having fun but their dedication to the choreography and the project itself is 100 percent. We salute you, Sebastian!
The TikiKiti Awards for excellence in indie music videos
TikiKiti will be honoring one video as the best video for January, 2018, and four (five) runners up.
The Barclay Award will go to the top rated video in one of five categories: narrative, abstract, performance, véreté, or mash-up (found video).
The award statue is 16-inches tall (40 cm), weighs 6 pounds (2.8 kg), and is solid bronze with a green patina on a solid ebony base. It will also feature a plaque with the winner’s name, video category and date of the award.
Gift cards ($50 Starbucks cards this month) will be presented the four (five this month) runners up.
Recipients will be notified in the comments section of the chosen video with a post from TikiKiti. The winner will need to notify us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they are interested in receiving the award. We’ll need an email address and a shipping address.
We’ve reviewed so many great videos in January that it was difficult to pick just one. February is looking to be equally challenging. Thanks for all the great music videos!