Creating a memorable music video can elevate a good song to higher standards, while also cementing great songs into the public consciousness for a significant amount of time. Music videos which break the tradition of bland performances and bring something new to the table stand the test of time and can become a legacy in itself.
Choreography isn’t just for pop acts, even if we do associate it mostly with girl and boy bands as they prance across the stage. OK Go took choreography to its most extremes with their video to the single Here It Goes Again. The alternative rock four piece, finally got the routine right after 17 takes, but it proved to be well worth the effort. Filmed in one continuous take, the video sees the band dancing on eight treadmills. The elaborate routine plays with perspective and took what was a simple idea and turned into a genuinely un-missable spectacle. With over 50 million views on the band’s official YouTube channel, it propelled the group into the public eye and remains a shining example of how to be inventive on a budget. The extremely simple premise executed with such style and panache demonstrated that originality and fun can be achieved for low costs; bands do not have to be major superstars with the biggest record labels behind them to make a successful and inventive music video.
A more elaborate example of how successful choreography can be when making a video is the 2001 Fatboy Slim single, Weapon of Choice. Featuring the – usually deadly serious actor Christopher Walken, the video received mass critical acclaim. Directed by Academy Award nominated director Spike Jonze, the DJ’s video featured Walken dancing in an empty hotel, before being flung into the air. The flying dance routine was as unexpected as Walken appearing in a music video and the production values which went into producing such an impressive display shows the huge contrast in the music industry, when you compare it to OK Go’s equally impressive choreography.
The fact that Fatboy Slim was completely absent from his own music video demonstrates that a performance by the musicians themselves is not always required; although this would obviously be harder to make interesting when it is simply one DJ. Bands often go down the performance route when recording; after all, it is simple, cheap and obvious. True innovation is not always obvious, but as OK Go demonstrated, it can be easily obtainable without spending an extortionate amount.
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