but when you hear a line in a movie/tv show dIREctLY frOM tHE bOOk
you should be expecting that.
I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either.
A few months ago I said some not particularly nice things about the Midnight Memories music video and I’m sorry to say it, but I’ve got similar criticisms of You & I.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the concept itself, in fact, I quite like the reverse stromotion effect at the end where they run towards and then merge with freeze frames of themselves (even if it has nothing at all to do with the song and has been lifted directly from another music video from only about a year ago).
Ben Winston is not a Cinematographer, neither is he a particularly skilled Director. I don’t mean this in a mean spirited way, but I can think of a dozen technical and creative things that could have been tweaked to make this same music video much better, from widening all of the single-shots of the boys, using a camera with a high enough frame rate to make the freeze-frames clearer, right down to the fact that they haven’t stabilised the shot properly in post production and you can distinctly see the frame wobbling from the dolly.
Just like Midnight Memories, this needed a better camera, with better lenses (personally, I would have gone with shooting on a Red Epic or an ARI Alexa with prime lenses) and better colour-grading (you can absolutely still achieve the flat grey colour they were clearly after, without losing any of the crisp details). This video needed to be shot better. It could have been great, but instead it’s just kind of good.
I’m also wondering if there was a creative reason behind the VFXs they’ve employed aside from ‘it looks cool’. The face morph technology is most strongly associated with Michael Jackson’s Black Or White video, where it served a specific narrative purpose. This just kind of seemed like ‘how do we get from one boy to another, without having them all walk down the pier at the same time?' And again, the reverse stromotion looked cool, but what did it have to do with this particular love song?
My biggest hesitation in enjoying this clip is probably lead by the fact that they come across as remarkably blank in it. The boys are not actors and asking them to emote right down the barrel of a camera is asking them to fail awkwardly in close-up. They’re all trying too hard to be pensive and introspective while they’re singing; you can see all of them over-thinking things, even down to their walking pace and none of them looked comfortable right up until the moment they were all together, goofing around at the end.
Another thing that irks me; at the end of the clip, Harry remains in the jumper that all versions of the boys had been wearing, while the others get a costume change. Harry is also the only one not to goof around and to not step/jump into a freeze-frame version of himself. Although the latter was probably just a byproduct of Harry being too unwell to convincingly play around, all of these things have the unfortunate side effect of making it look like he’s the main singer, surrounded by lesser members of the band. I think we can all agree this happens more than enough in the day to day external attention 1D gets, we don’t need it echoed in the content they create themselves.
In a nutshell, like most of Ben’s work with the boys, the You & I video is too self-conscious and heavy-handed. We were worried we were going to get matching outfits and grayscale contemplation on a pier and that’s exactly what we’ve ended up with + some borrowed (and unrelated) VFX thrown in for good measure.
I’ve said it a bunch of times now, I like Ben Winston as a person and as a personal influence on the boys, but I think it’s time for them to part ways creatively. (I also find his tendency to include his own name at the beginning of the clips to be infuriatingly self-congratulatory; Ben Winston, you are not Spike Jonez or Gus Van Sant, cut that shit out, please.)
I’ll be very surprised if this video gets over 15 million views today.
The tumblr app gets a little confused sometimes
And the biggest badass of all
Youtube evolution of Tyler Oakley | Inspirational quote edition | He has been here for you since day one.