2nd Runners-Up: Wonderful Video Contest Winners
by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Okay, here we go with the first installment of winners of the Wonderful Video Contest. I'm so excited to show you the work that's been done, but even more excited to hear what you think about it. Today, and for the next 2 Mondays when we announce winners, the comments aren't for us, they're for the filmmakers, so let them know what you think, because they would love it. You would love it too.

13. CSS - "Poney Honey Money"
video by Renata Takatu and Guilherme Amorozo
renatatakatu @ gmail.com

In Renata's own words, it's "sort of a stripped down version of Oasis' "Let There Be Love" in full color [but] much cooler". That's exactly what it is. I'm reminded of Pavement's "Range Life" video as well, which is more similar in showing how much fun the band is. I've never seen a better portrait of a band playing a show for nine people than this. It's obvious why they have probably never played for nine people since. (awarded Dreamboat Records prizepack, Young God prizepack)


12. Beirut - "Forks and Knives"
video by Timothy Krings & Jason Whalen
tjkrings @ gmail.com

This has fantastic pace. It has space and speed yet wonder and pause. It's like a love letter written to how much can get done in one day. This is the last day of the year, so it's great checking-up on everything they have. On their city, on their friends, of all their senses, both dulled and sharp. Very crisp, like brisk air, or the blare of a siren ripping through the night. (awarded Arts & Crafts prizepack)


11. Sufjan Stevens - "Decatur"
video by Ainslee Wallis
aaw0068 @ unt.edu

Sufjan Stevens's "Decatur" is tune-as-catalog, more bulleted list than pop-song. Ainsley's video recognises this and celebrates it. Whereas he plays with rhyme, she plays with line. I love how it seems a process of discovery, the filmmaker discovering tricks as she goes - the way some drawings turn out better than others, some images lingered on and others just teases. Most of all, I like the aquarium: that Ainsley's filled the spaces in Stevens's song - how she's added to his endless series, unfazed by his verbosity. Also: seems like it was tons of fun to make. (awarded Polyvinyl prizepack)


10. Spoon - "Back to the Life"
video by Mike Bennett
mikebennett6 @ hotmail.com

Mike Bennett's video for "Back to the Life" doesn't just capture the flat/clap/snap of Spoon's song, or a certain fluorescent kind of insomnia: it's also cut with a whimsy and care that make a joke out of the tiredness, that find a punchline in the fatigue. It's a film that brings new ideas with every go-round, and is, man, yeah, so great. (awarded Merge prizepack)


So that's this week's installment. Next Monday: the 1st runners-up.

Posted by Dan at February 18, 2008 3:12 AM

Great contenders! Very talented! Loved the CSS - "Poney Honey Money".

Can't wait for more!

Posted by Deano at February 18, 2008 6:33 AM

Awesome job on the Sufjan Stevens video, very creative! The Chicken Mobile should be included somewhere on one of this future album covers!

The CSS video actually is a nice statement about artists being able to have crazy amounts of fun just making music and being on stage, even if no one is watching. The pictures from Amsterdam were nice too of course in the Beirut video and the Spoon video aims for a more professional look which is very well done I must say.

Great batch of videos already, looking forward to the rest.

Posted by Bubbachups at February 18, 2008 8:08 AM

These are so nice... special thanks to ainslee for clearing up a number of long standing confusions about that song for someone who grew up about an hour outside of that fair city... I figured "chicken moghile" must be some sort of french fancy-ery that had made its way to decatur by way of fur-trapping pioneers only to be deep fried and served with fries at the county fair or something in latter days, and wondered what the "appalachian grain train" was doing in the sangamon river valley. for this reason (among others) the video was a tiny revelation, and had me laughing and smiling most of the way through.

Posted by eric at February 18, 2008 9:11 AM

I really especially enjoyed the Beirut and Spoon videos. They just go with the songs perfectly. I wish I could express myself in a way that could lavish their deserved praise upon them.

Posted by mike at February 18, 2008 9:26 AM

The Decatur video is really great and to me is what a fan-made video is all about - it's simple yet clever and I really enjoyed it :) looking forward to the rest!

Posted by laura at February 18, 2008 9:59 AM

best moment for me in all four:

the drawing of a Caterpillar backhoe when Sufjan sings about a small caterpillar. perfect!

Posted by BMR at February 18, 2008 10:02 AM

All of these videos are great! In particular I liked the one by Ainslee (a la Sufjan), it was approachable and cheerful. Perfect for this rainy day!

Posted by ru at February 18, 2008 10:32 AM

I really liked the video for Beirut's 'Forks & Knives.'

It looks like what the beginning of 'Cloverfield' wanted to look like.

Posted by miguel at February 18, 2008 11:10 AM

aw! The Beirut video made me so happy, I'm just sitting here grinning at the computer. Thanks.

Posted by s.mirk at February 18, 2008 11:38 AM

Good Lord, these videos are wonderful! My favorite so far is the Beirut one - there's something in that moment when the camera turns to see the ambulance fly by.

Posted by Dylan at February 18, 2008 1:15 PM

It's the D.C. metro! Yes?

Posted by Sarah at February 18, 2008 1:57 PM

I never really loved css but that video is really cool, makes me want to go back and listen more. The rest of them were good too. I, like everyone else, am really looking forward to seeing the rest of the winners.

Posted by Alex at February 18, 2008 2:35 PM

If these aren't even in the top 10, I'm quite excited to see what comes next. =)

Posted by Sean at February 18, 2008 4:57 PM

good stuff, looking forward to seeing the rest. I think you guys should do a songwriting contest in the future. Where people would write and record an original song and then submit the mp3 to you guys. that would be awesome.

Posted by DJ at February 18, 2008 5:06 PM

whoa. those were pretty awesome.

Posted by bleep at February 18, 2008 8:08 PM

Great job on making Decatur so playful. Extremely enjoyable to watch.

Posted by rahawa at February 18, 2008 11:26 PM

wow! they were all so wonderful, forks and knives in particular, my grin couldn't get wide enough.
this was a brilliant competition, i can't wait to see what comes next.

Posted by jess at February 20, 2008 6:54 AM

I liked them all, but the Sufjan Stevens one was really great. I liked it so much, I stand up and thank Ainsley for it.

Posted by Hello at February 20, 2008 7:37 AM

I'm not a Stevens fan, but I loved the video for "Decatur" -- it took a boring song and added all these great little details. I was sorry when it ended.

Posted by zh at February 20, 2008 10:07 AM

i love decatur and i LOVE the video. it made me smile a big goofy smile for a long time.

Posted by rae marie at February 20, 2008 8:23 PM

"Forks and Knives" is bang-on. I wasn't convinced at first, but it slowly builds and creates a complete day despite how short the video. Very understated, not in your face, quietly beautiful.I'm glad someone pointed out that it was Amsterdam-couldn't help but wonder where this magical city was, but not knowing has its charm as well.

Posted by Laura at February 22, 2008 6:42 PM

Thanks for the videos! All were enjoyable. I think of the Beirut video when I'm biking now & the timing on the CSS video really struck a chord with me.

Posted by Luke at February 24, 2008 2:39 PM

That Spoon video was exactly right.

Posted by sw at February 29, 2008 12:23 AM

To Timothy and Jason, I thought yours was just perfect.
I think it's because everyone in the film looked so terribly happy the whole time. For some reason a lens always makes real life look much more spontaneous then it does when you wake up and live it every morning.

Posted by Camille at March 2, 2008 8:23 PM

Mike, was all of that shot in D.C.? Tried to figure it out from the scenery, but wasn't sure.

Great job to everyone -- especially loved "Decatur".

Posted by Bryan at March 4, 2008 6:49 PM

Yeah, that last shot was of brighton dam, if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by Nat at March 7, 2008 9:39 PM

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