LCD Gets Its ‘Pow Pow’ From MTV

LCD Soundsystem’s new video for their single “Pow Pow” stars actress Anna Kendrick (Up In the Air, Twilight) as what I’m thinking is a nightlife muse/demon with a kick-ass bodyguard in a great dress. It’s LCD so nothing is as simple as it seems. The interesting thing about “Pow Pow” is not only the video, but the process through which it was made. According to NYMag, “Pow Pow” was financed by MTV Films, in it’s attempt to inject more creativity into music videos:

“When I started at MTV Films, the Michael Bays and David Finchers of the world were all making music videos,” Gale recalled. “Just about anyone who had a vision that was out of the cookie-cutter mainstream of Hollywood, they were making music videos. There’s probably not another media format that provides that kind of latitude, and anybody who’s smart and artistic will see that format as a great one.”

With that mission statement in mind, Khaledi and Gale enticed Training Day writer David Ayer (who’s also directed Harsh Times and Street Kings) to helm the two-day shoot, and Kendrick to star. Khaledi says that Ayer was so excited about the format — and the chance to experiment using Sony’s low-light F35 camera — that he came on a month before shooting and gave the project his full attention. “A lot of these directors have a lot of down time, and they don’t necessarily want to do commercial work,” explained Khaledi. “This is a way for us to work with them and give them a canvas to try new things.”

“I really do approach these more as films than music videos,” said Gale. “From our point of view, we’re financing small movies with great talent using music.” Though budgets are limited, Gale hopes to entice even bigger filmmakers to take part: “Obviously, the better this one does, the more likely we’ll be doing lots of them, but we’re already planning the next few.”

For the channel which arguably invented the music video platform—and then slowly abandoned it for the likes of reality television—to be on the forefront of creating new videos is both refreshing and alarming. Refreshing because the music video formula could definitely use an injection of new creativity, but alarming since MTV seems to still rely on celebrity culture to finance these projects. With the slew of new and undiscovered directors, writers, and producers who are already making videos/short films on their own, it couldn’t hurt MTV to put their muscle, and money, behind developing the new guard of what’s next. Check out the end product of LCD’s project below:

Read: How MTV Plans to Resurrect Music Videos (Hint: By Financing Them)

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington