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 (email@example.com) 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!
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.
As the quantity and complexity of Unofficial Music Videos continue to evolve right before our blinking eyes, the cats at TikiKiti want to ensure that proper attention is paid to the burgeoning ranks of creative artists that manage to blow us away on a daily basis.
Joseph Hyrkas directed the most recent video to take home the coveted TikiKiti Award for Excellence. Set to the song “Falls” by Odesza, Hyrkas has conjured an absorbing black-and-white reverie about love and loss.
The winning filmmaker was kind enough to answer a barrage of questions about his production, process, and past.
Can you tell us about your film and production background? Are you a pro, student, hobbyist?
Definitely not a hobbyist, not quite a pro, but certainly always a student.
I’m 30 years old and currently operate an independent videography/post production business out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Most of my work affords me the opportunity to travel making music videos, promotionals, and commercials.
Describe your conceptual process in regards to the Odesza “Falls” video.
I start by creating a rule set with limitations, which I then cling to like a religious fanatic! The goal was to keep it simple, intimate, sincere, and emotional. In every single case I start with asking how and why.
How do I visually represent a character’s emotional state of mind that is cyclical, divisive, and potentially self-destructive? How do I interpret that through framing, movement, perspective, and editing patterns? What is dictating that cut?
If we do cut, whose perspective is it? The character’s or the viewer’s? When is it objective? When is it subjective and why? If any creative decision that follows can’t answer or support these questions, then it’s not worth pursuing.
Doing something “cool” for the sake of it often leads to dead ends. In my experience, having that crucial foundation in place helps free up an actor and helps them cross a chasm of confidence to lay their soul on display for all to view. At the end of the day, the question really should be, “did you feel anything watching it?”
I love the stark tones you get in the video. What inspired you to shoot in black and white?
I could say, “Well, color is emotion. Anyone that far down the emotional rabbit hole clearly wouldn’t see the world in color!” But in all honesty, the tight shooting schedule didn’t afford us the luxury of proper lighting and production uniformity.
These constraints backed us into B&W photography for simplicity’s sake. Deciding on that tranquil hue of B&W early in the process eliminated a whole slew of problems from the production.
What was your gear setup?
Another self-imposed limitation was to use very little gear for this project. No dolly, drones, toys or gadgets. Just a single BMC (rarely two for safety). Breaking out the occasional ND, LOW CON filter, tripod and available light. If we couldn’t make this work emotionally with one camera than we weren’t doing the job correctly.
I love the discipline of committing to a particular frame size and focal length. For post-production we used the always reliably buggy, but equally efficient ADOBE PREMIERE. The goal in post? Manipulate time, action and emotion like a rubber band. Compress when it’s convenient and contract when it’s necessary.
Who are some artists (any discipline) you admire or are inspired by and why?
I’m sure recently obsessing over [French-Canadian filmmaker] Denis Villeneuve [Sicario, Blade Runner 2049], and his devastating masterpiece Incendies (2011) didn’t dissuade me at all. If you haven’t seen it I insist you drop everything and watch it now.
In this case, I was certainly taking my marching orders from storytellers who are not afraid to squeeze mileage out of seemingly mundane situations. Reynolds Woodcock ordering that absurd breakfast in Phantom Thread, anyone?
Do you have any sage advice for the young and hopeful?
I can only preach what has worked for me. All I can say is maintain vigilance, persistence, and patience, followed by more patience. Make every single mistake you can imagine, you’ll still be alive at the end of the day. Tell a story only you can tell. And while you’re at it stick to your intuition.
If you find yourself having conversations about what other people may think, just know deep down that it if means something emotionally to you it will mean something for others. Creative Darwinism will win out. Chic and fashionable will not. Never ever chase trends because something is in vogue. It’s not about world domination, start by making people “feel” first.