2 Music Videos

Today, in a radical departure from our usual fare of news, documentaries, and of all forms of travel, we’re going to take a look at two music videos. What makes looking at them of interest to us is that they were both shot, produced and edited individually by VJs.

The first is a music video for Notorious MSG. They are a very hot band among young Asian Americans (so I am told). The music video was shot, edited, produced and directed by VJ Francisco Aliwalas, all in two days. Aliwalas, by the way is a series producer (and out in the field shooting every day) for 5Takes, currently in production in Peru.


The second is by Nitzan Hoffman, from Utrecht, in the Netherlands. She is the bassist on the Belgian band Drive Like Maria and the music video below was shot and cut by her…..all on her cellphone.


One response to “2 Music Videos

  1. Well, having been in high school when MTV started, and having watched it on a tv with buttons that went to 13, I can say most asseveratively that these are true music videos.

    I particularly liked the way Francisco used match cuts in a few places during sequences where the camera was moving.

    The friendly tripod didn’t seem to make an appearance except for a few places. The action and the characters grab your attention and you never notice that the camera is handheld most of the time.

    I remember when I was editing my first and only cable access show in Phoenix, I did my editing on a 3/4″ gizmo that only allowed straight cuts – any dissolves or effects had to be done live. It was a show designed to showcase local small “alternative” rock bands. I got a guy who knew bands and was supposed to get them to show for me. He got me 2, so only two episodes were ever made. I loved standing in there and pulling that fade lever or whatever it’s called. That was *power*.

    But then, in editing, we had an Amiga computer to do the titles. I wanted the names of the talent on the side while they were talking to my host since I had framed them to the other side to do this. That’s how I wanted it to look. I was told I couldn’t do that. They actually made me move my titles to the center. I’d seen enough MTV to have seen a bit of flexibility in titles, but was told no.

    I thought it strange that I could shoot a program in their studio with “alternative music” guys but couldn’t put my titles where I wanted. Maybe the professionals that frequent these blogs will say “Well, of course you can’t have the titles on the side!” But it was my lousy cable show.

    I was able to book an hour in the editing suite and my show was pretty bad. It did air a few times at 3am or something.

    Wish I had one of those phones then.

    To see a real innovator in music videos, you need to watch the dvd of Michel Gondry’s stuff. It can be had on Netflix. He definitely does things his own way, and filled up two sides of the dvd with his videos from current artists like Bjork, The Rolling Stones, Kylie Minogue, The White Stripes, Beck, and more.

    Here’s a link to one he did for Daft Punk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBY6Da1RuLk
    The song writers had no idea what they’d get back. Each time they sent Gondry a song to make into a video, they’d get back something and say “Hey! That fits perfectly!” The song writers themselves didn’t know what the songs were “about,” but Gondry was able to capture the essence of the songs.

    He decided that none of the rules applied to him, and made music videos out of images from his dreams and from his personal interpretation of the music. Much of the music does not tell a specific story, but Gondry finds the story in it. If a technology didn’t exist, he’d just invent it. An extremely clever use of computer compositing is used in a video by The Chemical Brothers; I think his brother wrote the software for him. It is too complicated to describe here. He also used amazing compositing mixed with a motion-controlled camera in a crossroads in France where, by the end of the video, 4 Kylie Minogues were walking around together. You really have to see it to believe the creativity.

    Gondry also directed the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (He shared an Oscar for the story writing).

    I’m afraid that no mention of Gondry would be complete without seeing him solve a Rubik’s cube with his nose. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB8XedMowDU

    He is a wierd cat, and the stuff he does is totally unorthodox, but he’s sold a lot of videos and won an Oscar. He didn’t do most of this with a DV handycam and a lot of it wasn’t cheap. But some of his earlier stuff was done with resourcefulness and imagination and no money.

    The same sort of resourcefulness that Robert Rodriguez uses in “El Mariachi.” He’d be a good person to talk about too. Here’s a guy that made an award-winning feature film with $7,000. One borrowed camera, all shot silent. He recorded the audio separately with a Radio Shack microphone. He didn’t go out with a crew. He had somebody push him around in a wheelchair for dolly shots. He went on to make 2 more “Mariachi” movies, the last one starring Antonio Banderas. Interestingly enough, as the money available rose, the films got worse.

    Now that I’ve enlightened the conversation with a nose-using Oscar-winning director, I’ll decamp.


    Oh, apparently the Freaky Buddha guy got killed after the MSG video was done, and he was replaced with another guy. Don’t know if he was killed with a frying pan.

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