Encompassing animation, music videos, short films and adverts, moving image is not only one of the most eclectic end-of-year round-ups, it’s also the only category that doesn’t (for obvious reasons) get celebrated in the It’s Nice That Annual. But that’s slightly unfair as some of the biggest hitters on the site this year fall in this field, and it’s a fantastically wide-ranging top ten, ranging from CGI trickery and super-weird comedy to a thought-provoking short about gender roles.
There are two ways of looking at the success of Raf Reyntjens’, um, different take on classical music. Is it a clever way of smashing stereotypical attitudes to classical music to engage with a new audience? Or is three minutes of sexy girls shaking their bums? Muse on that while you watch it…
Metronomy’s Love Letters has appeared on the site in various guises this year. Leslie David’s amazing album artwork was a massive favourite of ours, while Michel Gondry’s super video for the title track show the iconic French director back doing what he does best.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Becky & Joe’s Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared series has become a weird and wonderful phenomenon. They kicked off the year by releasing the second instalment – themed around time – in January before going on to launch a super-successful Kickstarter for four more episodes. The first of these came out last month, and it was great to see this oddest of creations going from strength to strength.
Back in March the First Kiss video featuring snogging strangers became an immediate viral smash-hit (95 million views and counting). The sure-fire sign of any big hit is that it’s parodied, and in the wake of the First Kiss the pastiches came thick and fast. Our favourite though came from Mother London, with a surreal dog-based take-off of the idea.
These kind of behind-the-scenes videos always do quite well on the site as the world of CGI effects is one of those whose process is little-understood, but whose results are very familiar. This look at Wolf of Wall Street was particularly interesting as it’s not a big fantasy epic with marauding armies or towering ice walls; rather we get to see how much work goes into even quite relatable scenes.
Only one advert made the top ten this year but it’s an absolute belter. Snickers Australia took the idea of lairy builders and their sexist catcalls and subverted it beautifully, with the men shouting empowering and supportive slogans instead. The reactions of what appear to be real passers-by are terrific and this is an interesting companion in this list to the short film at number two.
As part of the application process for new editorial staff we ask candidates to suggest content that could fit on the site. Freelance editorial assistant Madeleine Morley brought Markus Hofko’s video for Flying Lotus and a few weeks after starting she suggested it could and indeed should be featured. The video took off and it became our highest rated music video of the year.
Just nine months after selfie was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, Matthew Frost’s brilliant short film for Vs. magazine absolutely nailed the vacuous nature of the culture that spawned its success. Kirsten Dunst is superb as the mystified superstar assailed by passers-by and the script is so dry it crackles.
It’s Nice That has a reputation for the silly, the quirky and the playful, but the presence of this as one of our most viewed articles of the year (not just in the moving image category) confounds that stereotype. Talking of which, Eleonore Pourriat’s film reverses traditional gender roles first with funny and increasingly very hard-hitting results.
Some say brevity is the key to great storytelling, and Daniel Hashimoto’s 10-14 second offerings back up this theory. An after effects artist at DreamWorks, Daniel enjoys toying with home videos of his young son and creating fantastical adventures for him. I think I have shown this at every talk I have given this year, and it always gets a laugh.
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.