Résumé: Includes a video for R.E.M.
Style: Washed-out guerrilla.
Best of: La Blogotheque’s gorgeous live-music web series the Take-Away Shows, in which indie-rockers play stripped-down sets in public spaces: Stephen Malkmus rocking an acoustic guitar while walking over a Parisian canal, or Vampire Weekend in their tour van, sitting in traffic. In many cases, Moon’s work has become more popular than the band’s official video releases.
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Style: Crisp, winking minimalism.
Best of: The stark, beautiful, and inexplicable “Zef Side” helped turn South African rave-rap group Die Antwoord into Internet darlings.
Representative YouTube comment: What the … ?
Explanation: “Somebody once told me that I create images as if you are eating a white grape, then swallowing the seeds by mistake,” says Metelerkamp. “The sunlight shines into your stomach and hits the seed, which grows inside you. After three days the grapes grow out of your nostril and birds become your friends. They perch on your forehead and grip the grapes from your nostrildamus. Your friends change your name to ‘Grapesquirt.’ You are fine with it because you are feeding birds while they can only pick their noses.”
Location: New Orleans
Résumé: Directed videos for the Killers, the Cool Kids.
Style: Gondry meets Cronenberg.
Best of: “Kids,” the 2008 smash for his Wesleyan pals MGMT, featuring trippy animation, face paint, and seriously creepy monsters.
Up next: Hand-picked by Spike Jonze to work on a yet-to-be-named film.
Location: Los Angeles
Résumé: Videos for Health, Maroon 5, and Ben Folds; with comedy partner Tim Heidecker, collaborated on two Adult Swim shows: Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Best of: Major Lazer’s “Keep It Going Louder,” Wareheim’s take on a club-rap video, populated by live-action booty girls with bizarre animated faces riding motorcycles down what looks like Mario Kart's Rainbow Road.
Up next: Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule: Fifteen-minute shorts, spun off from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, starring John C. Reilly (May 16, Adult Swim). “I have one treatment I want to make, but it involves a mass suicide,” says Wareheim. “It has a really positive ending. The blood turns into this beautiful thing.”
Radical Friend, a.k.a. Kirby McClure and Julia Grigorian
Ages: McClure, 26; Grigorian, 24
Location: Los Angeles
Résumé: Directed videos for Yeasayer, Black Moth Super Rainbow.
Style: Live-action curio hodgepodge.
Best of: Yeasayer’s “O.N.E.” and “Ambling Alp.” Both of these Hollywood-caliber sci-fi homages are aggressively strange and frenetic (note: “Alp”—with its faceless horse riders and pagan nudist cults—shouldn’t be watched right before bed). Yeasayer owes much of their newfound buzz to their videos, which front man Chris Keating describes as “glimpses through a little peephole. They’re gonna be huge filmmakers—these young kids with their crazy ideas.”
Up next: An “epic” interactive installation for Vice.
Videos for Justice, Simian Mobile Disco
M.I.A.’s “Born Free,” the startling, pulled from YouTube clip in which an army unit, wearing uniforms adorned with American flag patches, rounds up, and then kills, a group of red-headed boys. M.I.A. producer Rusko explains
the origins: “It was one of those joking ideas where people would beat the shit out of me because I was ginger …We [had] been talking about [the idea] since the start of the year, [but] I didn’t think she'd actually do it.”
Romain’s dad, the famed Greek-French director Costa-Gavras, beat Jr. to the punch by about four decades with the politically-charged thriller Z
Location: Los Angeles
Résumé: No Age, Bat for Lashes
Style: Capsule storytelling
Best of: Liars’ “Scissor,” a mini horror movie that’ll make you seriously reconsider sea travel. “Surprisingly, it’s very easy to get permission to shoot in the ocean in L.A.,” says Bruntel. “All you have to do is tell the Coast Guard. So we were like, ‘yeah, we have this band, there’s all these rocks. And they were like, ‘alright, I guess that’s cool go ahead.’”
Budget Conscious: Bruntel, who started out interning for the veteran music video director Mike Mills, remembers the days when $15,000 budgets were considered skimpy. “Now most of the bands I like are working in the $1,500 to $5,000 range. And amazing stuff comes out of that.”
Terri Timely, a.k.a. Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey
Kibby, 29; Creasey, 31
Joanna Newsom, Modest Mouse; have done commercial campaigns for Nissan, MTV, and Amazon.
Weirdness with self-restraint
St. Vincent’s “Marrow,” which gets a lot out of a very simple visual effect and a whole lot of subtext-indicating staring.
Creasey has said of the name
: “we thought it would be more memorable to have a single director's name rather than two...Ian had mentioned that a cool band name would be "Terribly Timely and the Fashionably Lates" but we thought it was a bit long so we settled on Terri Timely.”
Résumé: Kid Cudi, M.I.A.
Style: Live-action cartoon
Best of: Lily Allen, “The Fear,” an opulent, niftily choreographed clip in which Allen literally goes from the trailer to the mansion.
References: Andy Morahan (Guns n’ Rose’s “November Rain,” George Michael’s “Father Figure) calls Khammal the most exciting music video director working. “His films are just so beautifully crafted; great looking, great colors, narrative driven when necessary but not scared of performance.”
Serafinowicz is a comedy actor and writer; his sketch program The Peter Serafinowicz
show ran for a season on BBC Two. He also voiced Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace
His first ever music video, for Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better,” featuring a sexy boy band being offed via the powerful lazer-vomit of a creepy little bald guy.
the video “happened purely via Twitter. I'm heavily into it and Hot Chip were following me and they just asked, 'Do you want to direct our next video?' I said, 'Yes.' And that was it ... Twitter has removed a lot of gatekeepers when it comes to some of the creative things I've done in the last year."
Martin de Thurah
Mew, Editors, Kanye West (on the unreleased “Flashing Lights
Darky dark darkness.
The world’s worst pool party, in Fever Ray's “When I Grow Up.”
: Says de Thurah
of working on “Flashing Lights,” for which Kanye eventually released an official video directed by Spike Jonze: “I learned that no project should be done with too little time to prepare. I wanted to do my best, but there was just too many things that didn’t work out the way I wanted. And that way very sad, because me and Kanye had been talking about making a video for so so long, and then in the end — the timing was just not good."
Death Cab for Cutie, Lenny Kravitz
Razor-sharp impishness. See “SFW XXX,”
a porno clip roundup that brilliantly animates over the naughty bits (for the record, still NSFW).
Charlotte Gainsbourg feat. Beck, “Heaven Can Wait,” a breathless montage of bizarre, aggressively random scenes: pancake-head spaceman, street alley bear-suit stickups, despondent half-beards.
Kings of Leon, Beck
Hard to pin down. This is the guy behind both Feist’s fun-loving dance party “1234” and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s holy-crap-is-she-actually
-crying video “Maps.”
Grizzly Bear’s incessantly creepy “Two Weeks” video. Daughters and Grizzly Bear recently collaborated again … on a TV spot for the Washington State Lottery
“This Too Shall Pass.” You’ve probably seen it five or six times … and here it is again! For more, check out Chris Willman’s OK Go profile