WORDS BETH CUTTING
Feeling discouraged and uninspired? If you enjoy filming and directing but find yourself at a loss with the endless rules hindering your filming passion then look no further. F Word's Beth Cutting shows some clever examples of how artists have still managed to get their work made and flexed their creative muscles despite the looming limitations.
They all make a welcome change from the quick stock footage edits we have seen filtering into our feeds. These 5 music videos explore moving image in varying ways and each one shows independently how challenge can fuel creativity.
TIP 1 - EMBRACE NEW POINTS OF VIEW
EXAMPLE - IDLES - WAR
In this video they take us on a visual journey through POV camera work. It’s energetic, mesmerising, original; ‘clever’ is an understatement.
The perspective catapults you into a variety of scenarios relating to pain, enjoyment, love; we see hard graft, we see fishmongers. We see hospitals and piss. We see it all but never the face, so we have to make up the rest of the story.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to look at things differently, find the beauty and stories in the small things and this does exactly that. You won’t look at your hands the same way again.
TIP 2 - FOCUS ON DETAILS, AND ERM...INTERNAL CAMERA WORK
EXAMPLE - CHANGING MY WAYS - KILDER
Is there such a thing as too intimate? Changing My Ways definitely pushes the boundaries of intimacy on film. It focuses on small details of what makes each person unique, then takes it further, closer, more abstract.
It cleverly explores the uniqueness of intimacy, it’s refreshing to see weird kisses, up close and particularly personal. The people don’t all look like typical models, and it’s not typical movie set affection. It delves deeper, almost from a tongues point of view…yes you heard that right.
Maybe the director’s next job could be in dentistry (they just don’t know it yet).
TIP 3 - USE TRIPPY ANIMATION
EXAMPLE - DJANGO DJANGO - SPIRALS
If in doubt get the kaleidoscope out…or at least learn how to edit like the band members are in one. This video had me spinning out for the right reasons. It’s an inventive way to create momentum, a simple hypnotising movement on repeat.
It maintains the feeling that it’s simultaneously retro and progressive similarly to Django Django’s music.
Now onto some slower videos that you can watch without getting dizzy.
TIP 4 - DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE LONG SHOT
EXAMPLE - NOVO AMOR - IF WE'RE BEING HONEST
A lot of lockdown videos with a skeleton crew over compensate with endless Zoom calls, stock footage and lo fi shots; and (even though I believe that creating anything during this time should be deemed a self-congratulating masterpiece) this video is a really refreshing change and sits in beautiful subdued contrast.
It’s one long, mesmerising shot which suits the mood of the track perfectly. As music is, it’s a tunnel into a snippet of someone else's life. Their situation. My only complaint is I want to know more, if this was a trailer to a movie I’d book tickets.
TIP 5 - MAKE YOUR TOASTER A STAR
EXAMPLE - KELLY LEE OWENS - CORNER OF MY SKY FT. JOHN CALE
Corner Of My Sky is what I like to call household abstract. Mundane absurdity.
This video hooks us into (what I’ve also decided to call) ‘appliance suspension’…this video has, well, personified a toaster. Sort of. For once I don’t have the exact words so I keep making phrases up but I definitely liked it.
I’m in awe of how hooked in I got. Michael Sheen makes it weirdly fascinating. We don’t know why we care about the toaster but we do. It’s a lesson in building suspense without any particular reason. It is slightly over 5 minutes though. Please enjoy and forgive me for the extra 80 seconds of your time. Definitely not gluten free.