Bon Jovi's big - again - and this vid is so big it got its own "making of" special on VH1. It cost a million bucks, according to Supermega, and there are so many self-reflexive TV screens in it, it's reminiscent of a Nam June Paik installation crossed with The Gods Must be Crazy - and in a music video, that's a very good thing. Other details from the production company: the band was shot in the Very Large Array in Socorro, N.M., previously featured in Contact. There was a storm during the shoot, and the wicked weather seen in some shots is the real thing, not CG. In a three-week whirlwind, two units hopped around the globe to get all the international footage - no stock was used. Locations include London, Rome, Moscow, Sarajevo, Jerusalem, Kenya, Australia, Thailand, India, Japan, Cuba and New York. OK, we're impressed. Could you just put a new audio track on it?
Director: Todd Kellstein, Supermega Palomar Editor: David Blackburn Effects: Bert Yukich, Kroma
Elvis vs. JXL
"A Little Less Conversation"
This previously little-known song was heard in the Ocean's Eleven remake, then it was part of Nike's World Cup campaign in Europe, and it's apparently a big hit over there and in parts of Asia. Now it's gone Stateside, in a remix by a Dutch DJ known as Junkie XL, and all we can say is the King is off the toilet and in the building. The clip features a monstrous Hollywood Squares-style set in which dancers and musicians are feelin' two-tone groovy - it's actually one box composited in post, we're told, but cheating is fine in the services of high art. And in true appropriative style, there are squishy psychedelic segments surely intended as an homage to the classic Deee-Lite "Groove is in the Heart" vid. Thankyaverymuch.
Director: Scott Lyon, Oil Factory Editor: Art Jones, Metropolis
The Flaming Lips
"Do You Realize"
The Flaming Lips are getting so hot in their old age, it's surely a matter of time before they're doing a ChapStick commercial. Which brings us to this song, which sounds like soothing elevator music, but nowadays Kmart's idea of shopping Muzak is Mantovani doing the Sex Pistols, so, like, whatever. The important thing is the video has several of the essential ingredients of a great clip: someone in a pig costume; two people in bunny suits (a note of thanks to Marilyn Manson) a live elephant; dancers in white teddies; bizarre closeups of real people with beatific grins; and a Las Vegas backdrop. And the great Mark Pellington directed - so where's the giant moth?
Director: Mark Pellington, Merge@Crossroads Editor: Jason Free, Pellington Films Effects: Ring of Fire
This clip starts on a crowded party scene, which is usually the creative death knell of a rap vid. All that will typically ensue is a lot of boring bling, oversized booty and assorted gang-sign hand gestures. There's plenty of handwork here, but we're spared the rest in favor of the fabulous directing and digital handiwork of Logan, aka Alexei Tylevich and Ben Conrad (see How'd They Do That Spot? at right). Stunning backgrounds of cityscapes and graffiti grids move with the beat, keeping the clip light on its feet, though the so-so rap ain't much of a treat. Hey, that rhymed! Yo, Dre, sign us!
Director/Effects: Logan Editor: Mario Mares
Guitar whiz Marc Copely's debut comes with a great backstory: He once had a trauma-inducing, near-fatal car collision with a moose. No kidding. Anyway, he looks a bit like a younger version of the current Bowie, and he's pissed about something - seems to be a girl, not a moose, and he even says "fuck" - but, as is so often the case in jangle pop, or whatever they call this genre these days, the changes are pretty, hence the song is pretty. But the vid is visually inventive, with a lot of loose light being thrown around the set and plenty of digital finesse, done mostly as a sepia-tone motif, intercut with a composited wrapped package hurtling through space - this must be the surprise. Copely unsurprisingly lip syncs the song and even finger syncs his guitar solo, but this plays as a background to the effects, so good things come in flying packages. Rock on, dude, and watch out for Bullwinkle.
Director: Meiert Avis/Rob Trent, Windmill Lane Productions Editor: Jim Rhoads Effects: Miss Jones