Music videos have become an essential tool for artists to promote their work and connect with audiences. A well-produced music video can elevate a song and provide a visual representation of the artist’s message. Over the years, there have been numerous music videos that have left a lasting impact on viewers and become iconic in the industry. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of these music videos and what made them stand out.
- “Thriller” by Michael Jackson: “Thriller” is one of the most iconic music videos of all time. Released in 1983, the video was directed by John Landis and starred Michael Jackson and a cast of zombies. The video was unique for its time in that it was more like a short film than a music video. The video had a storyline, complex choreography, and cinematic quality that had never been seen before in a music video. The use of special effects, including prosthetics and makeup, added to the video’s eerie tone and made it a cultural phenomenon.
- “Take On Me” by A-ha: “Take On Me” is a music video that uses a blend of live-action and animation. Released in 1985, the video was directed by Steve Barron and featured lead singer Morten Harket as a comic book character who comes to life. The video used a technique called rotoscoping, where live-action footage is traced over to create an animated look. The video was innovative for its time and won six MTV Video Music Awards.
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a music video that captured the angst and energy of the grunge movement in the early 1990s. The video was directed by Samuel Bayer and featured Nirvana performing in a high school gymnasium in front of a rowdy crowd. The video’s raw energy and use of unconventional camera angles made it a hit with audiences and helped establish Nirvana as one of the most important bands of the decade.
- “Hurt” by Johnny Cash: “Hurt” is a music video that features Johnny Cash performing a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song. The video was directed by Mark Romanek and features footage of Cash’s life, including his early years, his struggles with addiction, and his later years. The video’s use of black and white footage, along with its emotional content, made it a powerful tribute to Cash’s life and career.
- “Formation” by Beyoncé: “Formation” is a music video that was released in 2016 and directed by Melina Matsoukas. The video features Beyoncé in a variety of locations, including a flooded street, a plantation house, and a beauty salon. The video’s imagery references police brutality, Hurricane Katrina, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The video’s political message, along with its stunning visuals, helped establish Beyoncé as a social and cultural icon.
In conclusion, successful music videos have one thing in common: they stand out. Whether it’s through their use of innovative techniques, their emotional content, or their political messaging, these videos have left a lasting impact on audiences and helped shape the music industry. By studying these videos, aspiring filmmakers and artists can gain insights into what makes a great music video and use these insights to create their own memorable works.