It’s all very well for a new technology to exist, but before it can become commonplace, ordinary people have to know what to do with it. The “For the People” music video uses the Silver Scroll-winning song as a primer to the exciting new world of sending photos via mobile phone. From memory, this was done via sponsorship with Vodafone, who recognised Nesian Mystik’s youth appeal.
The concept of the video sees Nesian Mystik preparing for a big party. In getting ready for the party, they keep coming across a whole lot of interesting things around Auckland to take photos of, to then send to their friends. There’s Awa stocking up on corned beef and bread, getting a pixt outside the dairy of a cute kid singing.
It becomes like a game of tag. Someone receives a pixt, they take another one and sent it on to someone else. And it’s not just cellphones – the pixts can come in on a home computer too. Most importantly, whenever one of the group gets a pixt, he looks at it and smiles. See, pixts bring joy. Regular reader Vicki remembers these early days of pixts. She says they cost 40 cents to send and the process was very fiddly – it even looks like the band are having to muck around a bit before the pixt is sent.
It’s interesting to compare the pixts of 2002 with the sort of things people photograph today. While the camera pans across the delicious spread of barbecued party food, no one takes pixts of it. It’s all cute little kids or band members. They’re using their camera phones the way people used to use film camera – with great economy. On the other hand, the song is “For the People” not “For the Corned Beef”.
And there are no selfies. All the things that curmudgeons complain about with digital photography today are absent in this video. Instead it’s nice little fuzzy snaps of people smiling, photos that don’t interfere with real life. Everyone’s at the party, having a good time. No one’s slumped in a corner, deep in a FOMO check of their Twitter or Facebook feeds. No hilarious Snapchat annotations. And no one’s figured out yet that in the future, an entire music video will be able to be shot on a phone camera.
Best bit: the surprise spycam pixt.