Today, Director Thom Glunt shares five of his favorite music videos with AltarTV.
I am no authority when it comes to judging music videos but something I learned early on is that great visuals do not necessarily make a great music video. Pairing the imagery/narrative to a piece of music (which is already complete in its own respect) is a delicate balancing act.
The song drives the video, whether it’s with mood, story or theme. I’ve seen some visually breathtaking music videos that, although great to look at, didn’t resonate with me on an emotional level and subsequently, lost my interest. This list consists of 5 music videos that I feel are amazing works of art, that expanded on the soul of the song and brought them to a whole new level. Here they are:
1. Röyksopp: “What Else Is There?” by Martin de Thurah
This video has served as an inspiration to me since I first saw it over 5 years ago. It helps that the song has also been one of my favorites for some time, but the imagery of the houses / girl floating away feels ethereal and perfect.
I fell in love with the color treatment which feels like the over-saturated technicolor of the 40s-50s (most noticeable during the close-ups of the model’s face). The lighting indoors and the use of silhouettes always remind me of sitting in my room as a child, watching the sunset illuminate my room in this dim, bluish-green light.
I would stare at the window while my eyes struggled to pull in enough light to expose the image. There was a sensation that came with those moments that felt surreal and amazing, time would slow down and I could feel the goosebumps ripple across my body. This video lets me relive that.
Another great touch was the use of a model to sing the song and hiding Karen (the vocalist) in the video as the woman at the table. It’s my understanding that Karen is not interested in fame so it was a way for her to remain attached to her work without being the focal point.
2. Mister Heavenly: “Bronx Sniper” by Corey Adams & Alex Craig
I am not super fond of the intro to this video, it feels like the father figure is attempting to channel Zach Galifianakis. But the playful concept and amazing performance from the transformed action figures are great. I love the awkward yet threatening demeanor of the characters and the amount of damage they deal to the house.
Great direction for the action and actors. From a production standpoint, this video would have been a blast to make and as an audience member, it’s a fun ride.
3. The Shins: “It’s Only Life” by Hiro Murai
This video is a weird one for me because I feel like it was crafted with my own sensibilities in mind. It even includes many of the elements that I feature in many of my own videos. I love the creature design and experiencing the story through the child’s perspective.
This video parallels my own work so I notice a lot of elements that I would have done differently, but it’s a strong and beautiful piece. I would love to meet the director and see if we got along.
4. Alt-J (∆): “Breezeblocks” by Ellis Bahl
I’ve seen quite a few “reverse videos” and even considered doing one myself a couple times. I’ve never been a big fan of them as a whole, but as far as the beautiful cinematography, the pacing and the mood, it all really works in this video. The visuals complement the sound perfectly while the mystery and suspense in the narrative really hold your interest.
5. Supergrass: “Bad Blood” by Keith Schoefield
This isn’t a new video by any means but I can watch this video a million times and still enjoy it. It’s mostly a performance video with an entertaining gimmick, but it escalates the effect throughout the video and by the time it climaxes, we’ve reached a point of complete nonsense. Love it.
Thom Glunt is a Director living in Los Angeles. He’s directed music videos for RJD2, Anti-Flag, Punchline, Lohio, Meeting Of Important People, Gene The Werewolf, Donora, Fireworks and Lemuria. Most recently, Glunt directed a fantastic video for “Fingerhold" by Ramona Falls. Watch it right here.