On November 7th I got the chance to attend the Los Angeles Music Video Festival. Held at the Cinefamily Silent Theater, it featured an array of video stylings from some of the industry’s best and brightest upstarts and old schoolers. I was definitely happy to see the video for Gold by Chet Faker take home stripes. I finally have a reason to brag that I took up roller blades over a skateboard as a lad (Brink, you get an honorable mention).
Through a mix of work emails, and tweets\grams from the mighty Kimbra, I had to see how one of the best in the game did it. The word so many people have on the street, is that the music video music game is dead. I can assure you, there are still many gems to be found. It was a full house affair complete with sponsored gift bags from Sonos, coupled with Angel City Brewery filling up the bar. I'd missed out on a bbq down at the brewery early in the day, so the omen was clear.
While I came for discussion on her music videos in particular, it was intriguing to hear about Kimbra’s experiences in her travels to Africa. Being heavily interested in what is happening across the continent myself, she made an interesting point of the independence of the women there in our conversation. Most importantly, not trying to be the almighty healer from another land. The concept of sitting and learning from cultures in the world less inundated with non-essentials may be more beneficial and even more lost on more of us than I care to admit.
Having had similar experiences myself across Atlantic, I can imagine how experiences like that could craft character required to pull off some of the creativity we’ve seen from Kimbra so far. Listening to the moment, and deciding when to contribute or just sit there and learn are tantamount in the visual arts collaboration game.
Listening to Australian director Guy Franklin turned out to be a very good idea. If you’re a Kimbra fan, you’ve already seen several of his videos. While the screening also featured Guy’s videos for Cameo Lover and the original classic, Settle Down also played, the passion Guy showed in the details of Come Into My Head sold me on what it takes to captivate, even if not at first glance.
In the panel, he describes the concept of balance, and how the ‘equals’ symbol was featured throughout. From the nurse’s hats, the plants side by side, down to the pens in the pocket of the shrink. Even the ‘infinity’ symbol on the back of her cape toward the later parts of the video was no accident in theme. During the screening of CIMH, Guy was restless and fidgety, which makes sense when you know and understand the self-scrutiny of just about any artist; hoping the audience absorbs at least some of a meticulous message.
If you’re a Disney fan who hasn’t been sleeping under a rock as of late, then you’ve likely seen the below tribute video called Kimbra’s Wish by Adam Sager (of Coraline VFX fame). She sings the Snow White classic I'm Wishing, while pantomiming all the movements of Snow White in the original movie whilst around green covered environs for effect. A month of planning, a couple days straight of shooting, and clocking in near 3 months of post work, we are left with a masterpiece.
I’ve always heard the cliché experience of watching someone watch something with pride and the joy of a kid in their eyes, and Adam had it. Even without the official sanction of Disney (yeah right), it sounds like some very particular folks over there got the message. I also assume that since he’s a father with Disney loving kids, he’s looking like a total badass to them right now. Check out the behind the scenes if you want a closer look at how it was all done.
A point I found interesting during CIMH portion of the panel, was when Kimbra mentioned the concept of trying to making a problem someone else presents from the depth of their mind as easily solvable. As an engineer of sorts myself, it’s was a sound point and cog in the machine of social life that I sometimes look over. Eagerness to fix issues, and the patience to simply hear them work differently in varying schools of thought, and it was an unexpected yet welcome reminder.
From the inception of a video’s idea, to the presentation and explanation of it on a panel reinvigorated my interest in the art of music videos that I have had since…let’s be honest, the late 90’s. Maybe the golden days of TRL will come to us in another form through all the dedication I saw at this festival and beyond.
Thanks to Kimbra for the quick photo session and the wise words. I knew I’d leave our conversation inspired and enamored, but I was truly disarmed. Please go check out what Guy and Adam have going on, these two are on the rise. I’m glad I got to come by the festival, and many thanks to the Cinefamily and their amazing hospitality and hard work putting the festival together. Y’all buttered me the hell up like that popcorn from the lobby!
Please check out all the videos and awards from the festival right here.
Until next time my friends,