Video clips are awesome. Some more awesome than others, but certainly one thing that can’t determine how awesome they are is their cost. Cost blowouts and shitty results are rife. Sometimes the best video clips cost next to nothing, winning hearts with a simple idea that resonates. And sometimes millions of dollars are thrown at a video to make something look terrible, but also awesome. Though we at Pretty City would love the option to throw crisp bank notes into a fire pit we tend to lean towards the cheap but good idea end of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream. And maybe one day these expensive video clips will inspire our own Waterworld type creation.
OK Go – ‘Here It Goes Again’
The one that started it all. The original MTV video award winning clip that made them household names and proved that a good idea was all you needed. And it was true. One of the band members sisters is a dance choreographer and put it all together and they used the gym nearby when no one was using it, covering the mirrors with a few tarps. Then shot it all on a shitty digital camera (even shitty for the time) and voila! Pure video gold! Unfortunately for the band, it’s meant that every video from then on has to out-do the last. Which has meant incredibly complicated and choreographed videos that takes months to plan and rehearse and do. They are all amazing, but I doubt they cost as little as this one did.
Charles Bradley – ‘Changes’
If you want to cut your expenses in a video clip, don’t do any editing. Boom! Money saved. This video has no editing and no moving camera. Don’t even need a camera man! But it’ll get you right in the chest it’s such an amazing video. Incredibly emotive and mesmerising. Charles just stares at the camera and lives in the moment. Apparently, this was filmed a few weeks after his mother died and you can tell. His expressions and stare go right through you.
Coldplay – ‘Yellow’
Say what you will about Coldplay now, but those first few albums were amazing. And the video for ‘Yellow’ was the one that set them off. Apparently, the story goes that they were supposed to film at the beach on a sunny day with the whole band but it ended up being the day of the guitarists mother’s funeral so it was decided Chris was the only one who really needed to be in it. And it rained. Like a lot. The fact he had just come from a funeral adds to the sincerity of his performance and the topic of the song. Add to that a mild lighting change done in post production and you end up with a simple yet effective video that cost nearly nothing.
DZ Deathrays – ‘The Mess Up’
As far as simple concepts go you can’t get quite past this classic from DZ Deathrays. It’s the one that made them famous for all the wrong reasons, but luckily for us they could back up the notoriety with some pretty decent songs. Just to recap, the whole video is just them drinking shots of what I think is Jager. That’s it. But there’s some sicko, Gogglebox thing about watching two guys drink themselves into oblivion that’s very hard to look away. I feel bad for Simon the drummer, he definitely had more to drink on the count of not having to sing in the video. I don’t think they were keen to refilm it though to rectify their mistake. It’s sort of a one take and one take only sorta clip. Don’t watch all the way to the end if you got a delicate disposition. Dune Rats, being the rats they are, copied the video with bongs instead of booze. The end results are very similar.
Pretty City – ‘Ignoring My Friends’
Our second video clip that we made in probably as many months. And only really a few months after the band had started. The story was simple, it was like an extension of the Toy Story idea that your toys are alive and your best friends as a child but you end up ignoring them as you grow up. We set up a camera, some Bunnings halogen lights, put up some paper on the wall, raided ours and our girlfriend’s bedrooms for toys and away we went! Our mate Pete Shand helped on the day and edited it all up. For a total cost of maybe $10 for coloured paper, I think it turned out pretty well.
Pretty City’s new single ‘Nothing Happens For Free’ is out now.