My Favourite Music Video

My Favourite Music Video: Famed animator Johnny Kelly picks Radiohead's Pyramid Song

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Johnny Kelly’s bio on the Nexus site reads like a dream to-do list of any animator. An award-winning filmmaker and high esteemed creative, hardworking Johnny has carved a name for himself in the design and filmmaking world by making charming, beautiful short films that have won him countless prizes and worldwide affection. Has he got a favourite music video? Of course he bloody does! And it’s not surprise that it’s an absolute banger. Here he is telling us about Shynola’s work for Radiohead’s Pyramid Song.

Johnny kelly: Radiohead – Pyramid Song. Directed by Shynola.

Despite being 13 years old, this video looks amazingly fresh – even in unglorious 360p. When I saw it on TV at the time, I was studying graphic design and immediately realised I was doing the wrong ruddy course. Shynola showed that animation could be well designed, mind-bogglingly technical (without letting the technique take over), and crammed with ideas. Most excitingly, they proved that you didn’t need a giant production company and squadron of animators – many of their early videos were created at home in their bedrooms. I love the fact that without the music, it could be a brilliant short film, but with the music it seems to fit into a perfect Thom Yorke-shaped glove. The subject matter is pretty much as dark as you could imagine – doomed underwater city, suicidal lead character etc. but somehow like all their work, there’s humour to it.

A good companion piece is this compilation showing some of the blipverts Shynola also made for Radiohead’s previous album the year before. Shown during TV breaks, it was quite a surreal experience to come across one of these between Turkey Twizzler and Direct Line adverts.

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    Shynola: Radiohead – Pyramid Song

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    Shynola: Radiohead – Pyramid Song

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    Shynola: Radiohead – Pyramid Song

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    Shynola: Radiohead – Pyramid Song

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: My Favourite Music Video View Archive

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    If you’ve not yet heard of Jungles in Paris, allow me to introduce you to the best means of procrastination you’ll come across all week. The brainchild of brothers Oliver and Darrell Hartman, Jungles in Paris is an online archive of travel documentaries and short films made by the pair to document “unfamiliar ways of living and extreme natural environments” the world over – from the swimming horses of Jamaica to Borneo’s last remaining blowpipe experts. Their archive is a testament to beautiful and unintrusive documentary filmmaking, so we had a chat with the pair to find out what qualities they look for in music videos. The results are insightful and surprising!

  2. Main9

    Simon Penochet is responsible for making one of the sexiest adverts for a chocolate factory ever! In fact, we featured his career-making short back in June this year. We wanted to know more about the director, and what better way to get a good idea of his influence than by asking him to pick his favourite music video? Well, there probably are better ways to be honest, but this will do for now. Also anyone who picks a film made by CANADA must be on to a winner. Take it away Simon!

  3. List_

    This week it’s the turn of enormously gifted freelance animator and illustrator Andy Baker to show us his favourite music video, and with a bulging portfolio of experience in 2D animation and character design (see here, here and here if you don’t believe us) we were expecting great things. Andy did not disappoint; here’s his tribute to a suitably smooth lo-fi animation for Slick Rick’s 1994 hit Behind Bars which is now happily soundtracking our Monday morning.

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    Happy-go-lucky party animal Ewen Spencer is responsible for taking some of the most nostalgic series of photographs of partying we’ve ever come across. He made it his business to attend every underground rave or “it” place to be for the last 20 years or so, and has subsequently given much pleasure to members of the public who, for one reason or another, struggle to remember exactly what these places were actually like. As something of a hero of subculture, we were keen to ask Ewen about his favourite music video. It’s not a rare grime track or a blurry UK hip hop banger, it’s actually just a really lovely song by R.E.M.

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    We’re all big fans of Connan Mockasin, we listen to him in the studio all the time and we were pretty sad to miss him at Wilderness festival over the weekend. When we asked him to do a My Favourite Music Video feature we thought he’d pick something truly obscure and spectacular that we had never seen before – and he did. The recording artist has chosen a music video from an odd corner of the internet, and has told us why he loves it so much. To be honest we’re hoping Connan’s next vid is as great as this one. He says it gets better after a few listens, and yeah – I guess fingers crossed maybe it will…

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    It’s such a pleasure to feature powerful, cool women on the site. Today we have something of a double whammy in DJ, editor and journalist Hanna Hanra telling us about fellow powerful female, Siouxsie of Siouxsie and the Banshees fame. Just to make this even more meta, the chosen Banshees track is about a very powerful, female-oriented Middle Eastern story – how cool is that? As well as being one of the last people to ever interview Lou Reed (jealous) Hanna is also the editor of trendy music mag BEAT and has written for bigwigs such as Vogue, ELLE, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard and GQ. Here she is on her love for a very rousing Siouxsie video…

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    New York-based director Rajeev Basu has made plenty of curious projects that have kept us occupied for hours at a time, from this video game where your character punches itself in the face to stay awake to this collaborative project in which he invited a bunch of our favourite creatives to imagine what drones might look like once they become legal, so it makes perfect sense that his favourite music video be equally fascinating. And it is – if a little gory (it’s not for the fainthearted). Here he is explaining why he loves it so.

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    Tomas Leach is a longtime friend of It’s Nice That, a terrifically-talented director and a man who’s brimming with interesting ideas. But it’s funny how much more you learn about someone when you hear them talk about the work that inspired them to do what they love. So it is with Tomas’ choice, Daniel Wolfe’s Blind Faith for Chase & Status. It’s a video that’s always worth revisiting, but particularly so after you’ve read why Tomas thinks it’s a “period masterpiece.”

  9. Tool-list

    Art director, VJ and music video director Hans Lo can usually be found crafting retro-futuristic visuals for up-and-coming electronic acts like Com Truise, Jagwar Ma and world renowned acts like Simian Mobile Disco. So it may surprise you to discover that he’s really just a die-hard metal fan at heart – in particular a lover of the heavyweights of the early 1990s. His favourite music video reflects this perfectly; a stand-out track and seriously creepy piece of Savankmajeresque stop-motion for the legendary Tool directed by their guitarist Adam Jones.

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    I’m glad we caught Dan Wilton while he was on dry land with some time to spare, most of the time he’s cavorting around the world getting drunk in hotel rooms with really cool bands or pursuing his ongoing photography project looking at his beloved American football. We love Dan’s work, and Dan himself, and knowing how much he loves pop culture we asked him tot ell us about his favourite ever music video. Here he is…

  11. Rh

    Ryan Hopkinson’s work is a mesmerising merge of science and technology with art. It therefore seems perfect that, as such a fantastically forward-thinking film-maker and photographer, he’s chosen Björk’s video for All is Full of Love directed by Chris Cunningham, as his favourite music video. We’ve written about Ryan quite a few times, and posted about his photography as well as his stunning film work, all of which uses special effects spectacularly and surprisingly. Here is the fascinating conceptual visual artist on what he likes best about the legendary video, which seems more 22nd Century than anything 20th Century:

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    Absolute banger this week from London-based filmmaker and photographer Phoebe Arnstein. As well as spending her days taking rather uncompromisingly beautiful photographs of her loved-ones, Phoebe has spent the last few years as a professional camerawoman, operating enormous machinery and creating videos for the likes of Jamie Isaac, South London Ordnance and Gang Colours among others. She kindly took time out from behind a lens of some sort to tell us about her favourite ever music video, and it’s an absolutely summery, 90s corker. Here she is…

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    Nicos and Tom are a powerful animation duo from London whose recent project Tharis Sleeps was perhaps one of the most ambitious stop-motion films made in recent history. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go over here and then buy frames here. If you have, and you are already fans of these very talented young men’s work, have a read of their joint-favourite music video, the classic Money for Nothing by everyone’s Dad’s favourite band, Dire Straits.