The Future of Music Video

Once upon a time, it was the early 80’s and the concept of a music video is conceived. Prior to this, they were considered ‘illustrated songs’. In ’81, video channel MTV was launched, airing ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, thus catapulting us into the era of 24 hours of music, on television. Now, throughout the last 3 decades, technology has advanced at such a rapid rate that it might just kill the video star.

Recording equipment, which was once hard to come by, is becoming more and more affordable, along with the fact that most cell phones have video capabilities. Regardless of the quality, we are teaching our young to be videographers, early on, and most computers are equipped with some type of video editing software.

I often watch older music videos and reminisce about the time when you could actually hear an artist’s voice falter, even if just once. The videos themselves were raw and organic, at times ridiculously fuzzy. Nowadays, videos are made in the form of short films, the story being told for one song can be upwards of 10 minutes, even longer, but be forewarned, Kanye’s Runaway video is 30 minutes you will never get back. It includes excessive ballet and excessive auto tune.

A common form of video making is Animation and these videos are entirely computer generated images. Granted, it is someone’s imagination telling the story but it is a story, being told through code speak, versus actual, analog, human contribution. Since we are always trying to move forward and surpass our advances of yesteryear, it’s only understandable that computers play a greater part in our society with each passing day.

I know that at this time, computers can’t think. It’s not something that keeps me up at night, either. Chances are they aren’t an alien race; here to take over the world and the thought of them rendering humans unnecessary isn’t a concern. What I do worry about is that in the quest for perfection, we lose the beauty of human touch. In creating music videos with digital sound and digital effects, even though I’m pro-all-of-that, if the future progresses at an ever increasing velocity, more and more people may be sitting in front of glowing screens versus rounding up their friends to pretend they’re dancing at a club for some DIY video-making action.

Technology can be compared to cool colours. Human touch can be compared to warm colours. We need all colours to make a proper rainbow. I hope we don’t forget this.

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