Fan Direction: 5 Great Music-Video Contest Winners

Radiohead Thom Yorke.jpg
Photo by Jim Bricker
Radiohead at Toyota Center, March 2012
One of the latest trends I've observed in music is that almost everyone is outsourcing their videos these days, even top artists. It's much easier and cheaper to hold a fan contest, asking your fans to create videos for you, than it is to go out and shoot the video yourself on your (or your record label's, if you still have one) very limited dime.

It's an interesting idea, but how many great, undiscovered filmmakers are there just dying to make videos for their favorite bands? Well, apparently quite a few. For various rewards and recognition by their heroes, fans will definitely go to great lengths to produce amazing works of art. These contests are quickly becoming a trend, because oftentimes the fans can come up with better videos than the bands can.

5. Sigur Rós, "Fjögur Píanó" (Anafelle Liu)

The Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós gave out $5,000 and some merch to fan Anafelle Liu for her above video, and with good reason. The simple yet off-putting film somehow seems to perfectly sum up their minimalist music.

Liu herself commented that, "Skinned is a restless self sculpturing of one's body. It is a glimpse of the corporeal unconscious, forever trapped in lacan's double sided mirror." Whatever that means.


4. The Mars Volta, "The Malkin Jewel" (Rubén Rodríguez)

This contest was a bit of a failure, maybe because the reward was so low. The winner of this one apparently only got a $500 Best Buy gift card and some Mars Volta merch. The winner also was not determined by the band, but rather by the video that received the greatest amount of "likes" on YouTube. Furthermore, the winning video did not even become the official video, the band took care of that itself shortly afterward.

But let that not detract from the work of Rubén Rodríguez, who clearly put a lot of time and effort into his video. He may not have received his proper due from the band, but his video shows a lot of creativity and dedication to the band (containing various references to the band's previous artwork). It is a very good video in and of itself, and deserves more attention for winning the contest.


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