A one shot or a one-take music video is defined by the continuous action on set framed and captured by a single video camera, free of cuts or edits from other takes. By creating a music video within a single take, it can either be so simplistic to the point of imitation by anybody in possession of a lens, or so creatively complicated it carries a charming mystique that leaves viewers in awe or denial. From the original minimalism of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Home Sick Blues in 1965, to the head scratching effort of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”*, the one shot has survived the test of time as a creative concept. It’s even saved some musical careers. (*
that studio must have been huge and the animal characters seriously creep me out yet why I have already decided on my Halloween outfit this year #itsfebruary)
Australians acts are no strangers to the idea with Missy Higgins, The Jungle Giants and Nick Cave all releasing one takes to great effect. Yet what has captivated me, along with the interested public, is the idea of others creating their own take on a video.
In 2008, Brisbanites, DZ Deathrays released a video their slurring track “The Mess Up”. The clip equates to “2 guys, 1 bottle of jagermeister, 3 minutes.” in which Simon and Shane consumed the entire bottle while staring down the lens in a flash of strobes and imminent regurgitation. The video saw viewers take inspiration from DZ to attempt the feat and upload it straight to YouTube. Fellow Brisbane bruisers and abusers, Dune Rats, took the challenge themselves and painted it green for their video “Red Light, Green Light” trading the 700ml Jager glass for some strategically prepared Gatorade bottles.
Another Australian example of clip imitation shows Triple J Host, Lindsay McDougall/The Doctor in clown garb shaving his head assaulted ala Children Collide’s ‘Loveless” after attaining a considerable 10,000 likes on a facebook status.
The aforementioned videos were created intentionally as a direct imitation to the original with the original creators having full knowledge of and, in these particular cases, a starring role in the clip. Yet, in other circumstances, some similarities tiptoe the line of homage and plagiarism.
The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” & Green Day’s “Redundant“
The Replacements’ “Bastards of Young” & Against Me!’s “New Wave”.
Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” & The Matches’ “Salty Eyes”