DJ Format is a U.K. rapper, and he's working here with Canada's even more oddly named MC Abdominal. But despite the lame names, these guys, along with co-director Ruben Fleischer, must know what they're doing, 'cause they went to Twothousandstrong and co-director Craig Tozzi, who turned on the After Effects and whipped up a droll, completely engaging line art-driven vid. Tozzi calls it a "cross between an instruction manual and an old magazine ad." It rocks, and the song is pretty good, too.
Director: Ruben Fleischer, Craig Tozzi Editor: Ruben Fleischer Effects: Twothousandstrong
Yoko Ono, "Walking on Thin Ice"
It took the cachet of a Mike Mills to get us to sit through a Yoko Ono song, and we even kept the sound on in the interests of critical integrity. Animated by freelancers at The Directors Bureau, "Thin Ice" is a beautiful, dreamlike black and white tale of a young girl and a rabbit, which may be vaguely PETA-ish, since it seems to be anti-animal testing - the girl frees the rabbit from a cage at one point. We asked Mills about this obscure narrative via e-mail - he's very busy shooting his long-awaited feature - and we got this wonderfully cryptic response: "Which one is the animal?" That's, like, so Zen, man. Thanks, Mike. We'll have to ponder this over the bong for weeks, and we can call it work!
Director: Mike Mills, Arya Senboutaraj, The Directors Bureau
Free*Land, "We Want Your Soul"
The commercials directing consortium known as Happy has made its first video, for Brit DJ Adam Freeland's new band. Oddly, it's an attack on corporate consumer culture, with a hapless guy getting an assortment of (block-pixed) products thrown in his face. "It's just a bit of fun," explains Happy's Guy Shelmerdine and Richard Farmer. "It's a piss-take on the way we all live our lives - and who else is better qualified than us commercials industry folks?" And, like Happy's fabulous Rugged Land book spot, the vid is driven by a compelling visual conceit in which the protagonist wears a camera bodyrig. Slammin'.
Director: Happy, Smuggler Editor: Adam Jenkins, Final Cut
Effects: Framestore, London