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Production

Rethinking the Music Video

What if the graphics in a music video were driven by the music, instead of a filmmaker?

At last year’s TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference, Jakob Trollback – director of the highly innovative motion graphics studio Trollback+Company – gave a talk and showed a sample of a different approach to take for music videos. His idea is that the video could and should be an expression of the song, not an expression of a filmmaker’s high concept, or for that matter the low concept of MTV demographics. The video above realizes this vision with the song Moonlight in Glory by David Byrne and Brian Eno from their groundbreaking album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

Trollback isn’t the first to take this approach. Imaginary Forces created a legendy piece honoring film soundtracks for the Oscars which also used abstract graphics apparently motivated by the music, while even earlier Digital Kitchen made a great piece for Sony’s digital theatre sound system which was very similar in flavor to the piece above (if anyne can dig up a link to video of either piece, I’ll add it here). But it’s an interesting, thoughtful approach nonetheless.


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Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS,…
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