I know a bit about this video because in early 1996 – just as obsessed with music videos as I am now – I did a summer school course at Waikato Polytech on the art of music videos, run by the director of his video, Greg Page.
He’d made “All Different Things” a few months before. It was a hearty Hamilton effort, film in Metropolis Caffe on Victoria Street (Hamilton’s cool ’90s cafe)
and starred Inchworm frontman Justin Harris.
Throw don’t appear in the video because by this stage they’d become a studio-only band. So rather than use claymation, Greg turned the band into monsters, making an alterno retelling of the Frankenstein story.
The monsters were also the creation of Greg, and some of his paintings in a similar style can be seen around the lab/cafe. The video gets the emotion right, with a perfect combination of sweet and sinister.
This video also gets to be historically significant because it’s the very first video to have a customised NZ On Air logo. Rather than superimposing the graphic, it was instead incorporated into the video, drawn on cardboard in a jar full of a mysterious liquid.
Best bit: the reassurance that cool stuff happens in Hamilton.
As Failsafe Records explains on their YouTube channel, this video was made by Greg Page at The Waikato Polytech’s film school. This is very exciting to me because I was doing the exact same Media Arts degree as Greg Page at the time, just a couple of years before him. (And like him, I didn’t graduate either…)
The video is a claymation animation, which was the main style of animation taught in Greg’s year. So he was putting his education to good use.
Failsafe also notes that the band was absent due to having disbanded. Their plasticine doppelgangers are much more interesting to watch than the band’s previous performance video. When the rockier chorus kicks in, the band get wild, acquiring claymation eyeliner, a shirtless drummer, and an impaled drumstick.
It’s still not quite as cool as having a good video made with the real band, but for a low-budget weekend effort, it’s a not bad at all.
Best bit: the bucket of water being kicked over, leading to a claymation electrocution.
throAnother video uploaded by Failsafe Records, who comments, “I’m not really sure what this video is supposed to be about … but the colours are pretty.”
Well, I’ll try to explain it. There’s a couple who’ve recently split up. We see their previous relationship times in black and white footage. The man is trying to get back with the woman, but she’s not interested.
She goes to a bar and gets all a bit flirty with other dudes, finally leaving the bar (where a camera crew is filming outside). The man follows her, which is pretty creepy, but she jumps in a car with someone else and disappears into the night. He thought he had a chance with her. He just wanted to give their relationship the chance it deserved.
In the middle of this, there’s lots of footage of Auckland at night – the bright lights of the city. And we briefly get a shot of a clapper board. That and the film crew seen later suggest that maybe this whole video exists only in a filmic sense. In reality, there is no man stalking a woman in downtown Auckland.
Well, I think that’s it. It’s very much a video of its era. It doesn’t do much to sell the band – but as the Failsafe Records YouTube comments note – the band didn’t play live, so I’m sure they had even less interest in appearing in their videos.
Best bit: a reminder of the olden times, before cellphones were in common use, when people made urgent phone calls from phone boxes in the city.
“I’m not really sure what this video is supposed to be about,” Failsafe Records note on this YouTube clip, adding that “it varies greatly from the agreed script.”
Well, it didn’t seem that confusing to me. The Jonathan King-directed video sees a depressed young woman wandering around the streets of Auckland. She fantasises about suicide, specifically jumping off a building.
She stands on a rooftop, looking all windswept and depressed. No, don’t do it! You are young and beautiful!
The fantasies intensify, with a floating likeness of her superimposed over the buildings. But does she go through with it? The video is ambiguous, but it seems to end with a slight smile on her.
I wonder, though, what the original script for this video was.