Albert Einstein once said: “Creativity is contagious, pass it on”. We just caught the creativity bug and now by opening this article, so did you!
As the term “viral” becomes something people strive for (rather than try to avoid), and video content is taking the world by storm, we become enthralled with new videos daily. But few of them actually have an impact outside of our momentary newsfeed scroll (aside from the one with the cat dressed as a Shark driving a robot vacuum cleaner). Today, we’d like to press pause for a second and see how videos from the music industry have changed over the years. The genre has existed for decades but highly creative minds continue to reinvent it from top to bottom.
You might have seen these outstanding music videos before (and if you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat!). As different as each short movie is, they all have the same common denominator: the mind(s) that conceived them belong to creative geniuses. Their ability to take a conventional format and revolutionize it into something that has never been done before is the peak any artist would dream to conquer. We hope you’ll enjoy this burst of inspiration and absorb the artistic vibes that can turn any project, from creating your own website to your latest photo shoot, into a masterpiece. Put your headphones or crank your speakers up, and tune into our collection of the most innovative music videos:
The contemporary viewer might not be too surprised at the sight of a 10+ minute long music video, with a plot and a production budget of a short film. But back in 1983, Michael Jackson was the first to turn a simple performance-based clip into an epic creation with a life (or should we say afterlife?) of its own. Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time, “Thriller” was a cultural phenomenon that helped transform music video production into a platform for creative film-making.
We’ve all seen comics, we’ve all seen videos, but what happens when you combine them together? Only one year after “Thriller”, another never-seen-before music video emerged thanks to the Norwegian synthpop band A-ha and director Steve Barron (who also happened to work with Michael Jackson on “Billie Jean”, BTW). The revolutionary video featured an illustrated comic-book hero coming to life in the real world. Using a technique called “rotoscoping”, the animator would go over every frame from the original footage and trace it to create the life-like illustrated figure. After four months of production and more than 3,000 drawings, the genius video pushed the single to reign supreme on music charts worldwide, picking up a whole 6 MTV Video Music Awards on the way.
“He who writes about creative music videos, shall speak of OK Go or leave the blogging industry forever” – said no one, but it’s true. The Chicago band is widely known for their highly creative videos that are packed with elaborate choreography and are often produced in long and even single shots. In spite of being low-budget and not very well-known in the beginning, their work spread like wildfire on YouTube and other social networks, gaining hundreds of millions of views. Their first video, “Here it goes again”, was a low-quality static camera shot of the band dancing on treadmills in a shabby gym. The ingenious choreography produced an aesthetically delightful experience, which the band managed to recreate over and over again in their following groundbreaking works of art in motion.
It’s really a matter of personal taste, but if we had to choose one for the showcase (and we had to), “The One Moment” would be it. Shot in only 4.2 seconds in a single go, it features the band members setting off a precisely-timed chain of events involving colorful props that infuse the white set with endless splashes of color. In slow motion. Confused? The video explains it so much better:
Released in 2013 in a whole different world, Bob Dylan’s iconic 1965 song finally got the modern representation it deserved. Just like the song revolutionized the music landscape, its clip introduced a cutting edge concept into the video industry. On each channel, a real TV show character (telenovela actors, news anchors, athletes in a tennis game, etc.) would lip-sync the song perfectly as viewers could hop between them, creating their own unique experience.
When the clip was released, interactive videos had already made their first steps into the music universe – Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Town” was one of the first in the genre. But Heymann’s project for Dylan took it one giant leap further, filming a whopping 16 perfect versions for one song, and turning the spectator into an actual creator:
2013 was a very fruitful year. Following Dylan’s interactive breakthrough came another surprise of a similar magnitude. For his extremely catchy and uplifting song “Happy”, Pharrell Williams released “the world’s first 24-hour music video”, which featured Pharrell and different people dancing to the infectious tune in the streets of LA. The video literally lasted for 24 hours – that’s a lot of happiness right there! On the song’s dedicated website, viewers could flip between the different sequences, to experience the video in their own interactive way. The short 4:06-long YouTube version has nearly 1 billion views as of today. Just in case you’re not one of them, keep an eye out for celebrity cameos like Magic Johnson, Jamie Foxx, and Steve Carell:
Stop-motion photography is a long known animation technique. But in the video for “Her Morning Elegance”, the creator Oren Lavie applied stop-motion in such a captivating way, that it was watched by more than 30 million viewers (and that’s just Youtube). A sleeping young woman’s dreams are illustrated vividly, as if she is living them for real, only without leaving her bed. On top of gaining exceptional popularity online, Oren’s creation was screened at major short film festivals, and earned him a Grammy for “Best Short Form Music Video”. Who would have thought it took only 48 hours to shoot 2,096 still images? Interesting fact – Lavie distributed all the project’s images for sale as separate pieces of photographic art. If all are sold, the video will have been split worldwide to 2,096 pieces!
This composition is the visual definition of ‘surreal’. Inspired by collage artists, creators Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia intertwined unrelated elements in such natural-looking perspectives that we’re almost surprised we’ve never seen popcorn erupting from a volcano before. Every single scene is a masterpiece of imagination and video montage, featuring not only the performing band, but contemporary political issues as well. Hurry up, your visual feast is about to get cold(play):
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