Taken Seriously: The rise of one-shot video content
Written by Lucy Dodd, Junior Designer
They do exactly what they say on the tin. From start to finish, one-shot content is captured in one single take.
The one-take trend began in the early 60’s with Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues The popular video has inspired over 35 other music video and film sequences. The song was one of the first to be using in a ‘modern’ promotional film clip, the forerunner of what later came to be known as music video. Not bad for something filmed down an alleyway near the Savoy Hotel in London.
It’s a fairly simple introduction into the art of one take videos, but it suits the artist and his record down to a T. Emphasising particular words from each line keeps the viewer engaged, but the cards are full of intentional misspellings and puns. Dylan’s social commentary can be noted in the ‘20-dollar bills’ poster during the “eleven-dollar bills” lyrics – a potential nod to consumerism?
Let’s fast forward a few years to something a bit more complex.
band OK GO are internationally renowned for the creative conviction of their
music videos. Experimental and unique yet so simple – it makes you wonder why
you didn’t think of it first.
The Writing’s on The Wall is a perfect example of how intricate timings, careful anamorphic compositions and slick camera work harmoniously function together to deliver a stunning piece of content.
Brooklyn based company 1stAveMachine and their experimental sister agency
SpecialGuest, the video was directed by Aaron Duffy, Damian Kulash and Bob
Partington with creative consultancy from Mary Fagot. It won Best Visual
Effects at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards and it’s easy to see why.
Drawing inspiration from artists like Georges Rousse and Felice Varini, the large team set up shop in a warehouse somewhere in Brooklyn. Using real time objects, they created 4 minutes of hypnotizingly beautiful content. There were countless takes and mistakes, but the final piece looks so effortless it’s hard to imagine how anything went wrong.
But what is it about these one-shot videos that keeps wowing us? The pure levels of skill and perfection needed to ensure that the one-shot works.