Breaking it Down: Best Short Form Music Video

One of my favorite Grammy categories that doesn't even make the telecast is Best Short Form Music Video. Isn't that counter-intuitive? You put together a broadcast awards show and ignore the most visual category? But I digress. The award goes to the music video director, the producer, and the artist.

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards choose a great range of music videos that should make other video music music video awards feel embarrassed. Here are the nominees, a little info, and my prediction for the category.

Adele, "Rolling in the Deep," dir. Sam Brown, prod. Hanna Chandler

"Rolling in the Deep," Adele's mega-hit single nominated for three other awards, is a stylish rock video. Repeated images of breaking objects are split up by moody shots of Adele singing. It's quiet and effective.

Memory Tapes, "Yes I Know", dir./prod. Eric Epistein

A mysterious light appears over a black and white-shot city. A man's body starts to erode in the center of all of his flesh and bones before reforming in new shapes. Outside, bodies begin to evaporate under the presence of the light. It's a well-done effects showcase that matches the tone of the song.

OK Go, "All is Not Lost," dir. Itamar Kubovy, Damian Kulash Jr, and Trish Sie, prod. Shirley Moyers

The band, with help from a dance troupe, perform an elaborate choreographed routine over a thick plate of glass. They form kaleidoscope-like shapes and experiment with bending flesh with pressure. It's visually the most striking and original of the nominees.

Radiohead, "Lotus Flower," dir./prod. Garth Jennings

In a video that seems to be boring on paper but works wonders on film, "Lotus Flower" is five minutes of Radiohead front man Thom Yorke dancing and singing the song. Yorke's movement perfectly matches the arrangement of the song. I'm not even a Radiohead fan and can see how great this video turned out.

Skrillex, "First of the Year," dir. Tony Truand, prod. Noah Klein

My personal favorite of the nominees. Skrillex's video sees an epic battle between a child molester and an unexpected power of ultimate good. It has a great story and a really interesting look to it. The filters on the lights and digital manipulation make it look cold and real.

Weird Al Yankovik, "Perform This Way," dir. Weird Al Yankovik, prod. Cisco Newman

Weird Al does a spot on parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" video that manages to simultaneous mock and transcend the artistic sentiment of Gaga's work. Weird Al does it better in drag with his tongue in cheek than Lady Gaga did it with a huge creative team. Did I mention that the entire video is a composite of Weird Al's head on a model/dancer/contortionist's body? It's parody of artificial art and it just works.

Who Will Win?

I think it's a three way race. Skrillex is hot right now with the Academy and the video is brilliant. Weird Al's video is memorable and a parody of a still-hot Grammy darling. And Radiohead is a perennial favorite in just about any category they're nominated in. My gut says Skrillex's video will turn off too many voters with the violence and Weird Al's head on a dancer's body will put off too many voters. I'm predicting a Radiohead victory for stylish simplicity.

Thoughts? Love to hear them.

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