Film School: Practical Colour in Music Videos

The Beatles' 'HELP!' (1965) The Beatles' 'HELP!' (1965)

A scrapbook of influential music videos which use lighting, costume, editing, and art direction to create striking images – in-camera.

Lighting

One of the earliest colour music videos (or films), The BeatlesHELP! (1965), characterised by its locked-off extreme close-ups and vibrant colours…

… has its fingerprints all over The StrokesReptilia (2009)…

… and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s collaboration with HAIM, Valentine (2017):

Costume and Editing

Edgar Wright‘s tribute to Bob Rafelson‘s collaboration with The Monkees includes mention that he “ripped it off”…

… which can be seen in his music video for Beck‘s Colors (yes, that’s Alison Brie in there too):

Art Direction

Adriano Celentano‘s Prisencolinensinainciusol, a song whose gibberish lyrics are the artist’s impression of how American lyrics sounded to Italian ears, somehow manages to be vibrant even in black and white, thanks to giant mirrors and a legion of fervently relentless dancers: