Tim Finn “Twinkle”

1999-tim-finn-twinkle“Twinkle” was the only single from Tim Finn’s fifth solo album, the self-released “Say It Is So”. It’s a very simple video and seems on par with other indie efforts from the era.

The video starts with a mysterious woman smoking a cigarette. This is a subtle change from smoking in music videos from the mid-’90s. In this video, it’s not the artist smoking, but rather a character. It’s used to convey unease, not coolness.

Tim plays a businessman. He comes home, flops his briefcase down on his bed, pours himself a scotch and sits in an easy chair. What happens next is very interesting. He’s sitting in his chair, looking at the camera, singing the song. And it looks like a webcam.

There’s the same blue screen light and unflattering angle. It actually looks like someone who’s settled down for a good, long Skype session with their sweetie in another town. But back in 1999, webcam technology wasn’t that advanced. The best you could manage on dial-up was ever-changing black and white stills.

So, ok, Tim isn’t Skyping or vlogging. He’s just sitting in his chair getting sloshed. He briefly gets up to make a phonecall and paces about for a bit, but the video is largely him just sitting.

But suddenly drama! Cigarette girl gets all “Hunger Games” on Tim. She pulls back a crossbow and shoots him in the back, through the chair. I’m not sure how this works out as she appears to have been shooting from outside and yet the arrow comes from inside the apartment. I don’t even think Katniss can shoot that well.

Director: Marc Swadel

Next… behind the bamboo curtain.

4 thoughts on “Tim Finn “Twinkle””

  1. It’s worth pointing out that his videos had a bit of a morbid sense of humour at the time. Hope I’m not jumping the gun here for vids that you’re going to talk about (though these were never released so I think not), He did some twisted vids with the Back of the Y guys—the literal death in ‘Death of a Popular Song’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LntbQ43OCw0 or kung fu fighting in Big Wave Rider http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICoW-J4uTvo — and even ‘Underwater Mountain’ was a little dark http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kVl2zqHUgI .

    1. Thanks! I think “Underwater Mountain” is the only one of those that had NZOA funding, so I will take a look at the others.

  2. I shot this on 35mm short ends from Herc and Zena. Had Todd Bilton operating, and Tim looks great – but was never very comfortable in front of the camera – which I can’t blame him really.. I wouldn’t!
    A rather young James Duncan, late of Dimmer was also helping on this shoot!

    1. Great back story! Tim’s unease actually works with the video. I mean, a guy wouldn’t be drowning his sorrows if everything was cool.

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