Our friends at Divine Schism are in the middle of hosting a run of evening events at Modern Art Oxford this month, and on Friday night we were asked to come and have a chat about music videos, their significance and the process of making them. This was followed by the band Flights of Helios performing an original live score to the worlds first feature length animated film ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ by Lotte Reiniger.
We screened a couple of our own music videos and shared our thoughts on them, from initial concepts to the processes involved. One of them was a recent Akanbe venture that hasn’t been aired yet so we have to keep quiet about it until the release date! We also screened and discussed two music videos that we are inspired by: ‘Star Guitar’ (Chemical Brothers, video dir. Michel Gondry) and ‘My Machines’ (Battles, video dir. Daniels) which are both great works and I suggest you check them out.
Since the 1980’s music videos have been an important part of the music industry for so many reasons. It can almost be difficult to separate them from the music itself these days, and with the rise in accessibility of both creative tools and distribution, now is the true era of the music video. You could say it’s a bit of a mixed blessing. Just about anyone with a smartphone can go out and shoot a video any day of the week and have it ready for the world to see in minutes which is amazing, but with this comes market saturation, so cutting through the noise can be tricky. That is why I think that the value in high quality music video is greater now than ever before. Making a truly engaging piece of work means enhancing the connection with your audience in a meaningful way, and everyone gets to make something new and exciting in the process, and there’s nothing more satisfying than being productive.
As well as a way of reaching audiences, they have evolved to become a bit of a proving ground for creative filmmakers. The music video is an amazing way to experiment with and grow ideas that would be very hard to execute any other way. You have rhythm, you have a time limit, and you already have the soundtrack! So working within those parameters is immensely liberating and the possibilities are both endless and within reach. You can tell a narrative story, invoke a strong mood or you can just create an audiovisual feast that becomes part of the music itself.
All in all we agreed it is good times for the music video!
I’m hoping a slightly better photograph will turn up at some point…