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Top 10 Most Creative Low Budget Music Videos

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Written by Owen Maxwell These musical artists managed to produce video magic without breaking the bank. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Creative Low Budget Music Videos. For this list, we're looking at those music videos that managed to blow us away without a huge bankroll behind them. We're basing our picks on a mix of unique concepts, clever execution and how well they got around their financial constraints. Special thanks to our user liam_schell for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Most%20Creative%20Low%20Budget%20Music%20Videos
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Top 10 Most Creative Low Budget Music Videos

 
These musical artists managed to produce video magic without breaking the bank. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Creative Low Budget Music Videos.

For this list, we're looking at those music videos that managed to blow us away without a huge bankroll behind them. We're basing our picks on a mix of unique concepts, clever execution and how well they got around their financial constraints.
 

#10: "Yellow" (2000)
Coldplay

This has become of the band’s most iconic music videos, but had it not been for an intervention by mother nature, it would have looked very different. The initial concept involved an elaborate beach party, but after hours of rain, the extras all left. Singer Chris Martin had already missed a funeral for the shoot, so he pulled the director and cameraman down to the beach to try something else. Martin delivers a delicate balance of joy and sorrow, driving the emotion through one walking take. To achieve the slow motion, Martin had to sing at double-speed while getting soaked in the rain. Powering through the bad day, they spontaneously crafted a simple masterpiece.
 

#9: "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965)
Bob Dylan


Shooting a promo for his tour documentary 'Don't Look Back,' Bob Dylan inadvertently kick-started the lyric video craze. Dylan flips through cue cards surprisingly fast, showing key lyrics from his song. While it seems simple enough, sharp viewers will spot intentional typos and even miswritten words throughout the video. Using just a marker, Dylan managed to make an innovative ad for his movie for next to nothing. INXS gave their own take with 'Mediate' two decades later, leaving in the spelling errors. "Weird Al" took the whole concept even further on 'Bob,' making an entire song out of palindromes.

#8: "Cornerstone" (2009)

Arctic Monkeys

On first glance, it would be easy to mistake the video of 'Cornerstone' as fan-made. Directed by Richard Ayoade, the video follows Alex Turner trying to seduce the camera on his own. While it looks amateur on the surface, Turner's charisma and style make the whole video hypnotizing. Turner even uses the perspective, cutely hiding out of frame and then popping up in front of the camera. The no-frills approach puts the focus on the lyrics, making the emotional story all the more impactful. The low-res look also gave the video a timeless quality, helping it age more gracefully than the CGI seascape of 'Crying Lightning.'
 

#7: "Use It" (2005)
The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers are no strangers to odd music videos, but being turned into puppets? That’s out there even by their standards. Making their whole day needlessly complicated, the band has their every move controlled by a gang of masked men. From simple guitar strums to signing autographs, the band's movements are comically overdone by their masters. Featuring comedian David Cross, Nardwuar The Human Serviette and musician Shane Nelken as the puppeteers, the clip is unsurprisingly hilarious. It might be elaborate, but it’s certainly effective. As viewers, it's hard to keep it together as the bandmates struggle to pour a drink or take a shower.

#6: "Daylight" (2008)
Matt and Kim

While most bands need a music venue or studio in which to perform, Matt & Kim play 'Daylight' pretty much anywhere they can fit their instruments.Squeezing into cramped spaces, the duo really don't seem to mind, giving it their all and smiling despite the close quarters. From a closet to the shower, they prove that their music knows no bounds. Somehow hailing a taxi with all their equipment, they manage to pull off a concert in a car. Matt & Kim even perform from a fridge, despite the fact that their bodies barely fit inside. Earning a viral following with this inspired video, their lack of claustrophobia certainly paid off.
 

#5: "The Hardest Button to Button" (2003)
The White Stripes


Choppily moving along to the beat of their own song, Meg and Jack teleport as if by musical magic. Through the creativity of director Michel Gondry, the band travel thanks to an old-school technique called pixilation animation. Gondry would film Meg on the last drum in her line and remove a drum each time he cut.  As the shots play out in reverse order, the band appear to create the instruments as they move.  Using 32 identical drum kits and amps, along with 16 microphone stands, Gondry was able to accomplish the illusion without pricey digital effects. It was clearly a labor of love, but the end result… was priceless.
 



#4: "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" (2001)
Cake

Instead of waiting for professional reviews of their song, Cake asked average people to review it on camera. Passing their single out to random pedestrians, the band earn some fairly mixed reviews. One psychologist calls the track therapeutic while another person tells them to cut out the "Na na" section. Thanks to some dynamic cuts of people singing and dancing along, the video never feels too stale on visuals either. They've even recreated the video in Toronto and New York, with equally bizarre reactions.  Even throwing in their negative reviews for good measure, this video easily passed the six million view mark.
 


#3: "Oxford Comma" (2008)
Vampire Weekend

Just like in their video for 'A-Punk', Vampire Weekend filmed this artsy video in one long take. Telling the story of a weird turf-war, the video follows Ezra Koenig through four chapters and an epilogue. The camera slides along a dolly, capturing all the action in one continuous sweep. The video also draws a lot from Wes Anderson movies, using preppy outfits and cutesy fight scenes. Despite the modest budget, the video still captured the band's classy aesthetic. Director Richard Ayoade controlled the massive cast, managing to get the extended shot on the 17th take.
 
 

#2: "Praise You" (1999)
Fatboy Slim

Making the most out of minimal finances, Spike Jonze danced his heart out to Fatboy Slim. In the video, Jonze leads the fictional Torrance Community Dance Group through a guerilla performance outside a cinema. Capturing the group's goofy dance moves thanks to some sneaky camerawork, the video shows us Jonze at his zaniest. Fatboy Slim himself even makes a brief cameo at the end of the video. Jonze allegedly used the measly $800 budget on a boombox and food for his crew. The barebones aesthetic worked out however as the video won three MTV Video Music awards.



Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:



"5 Years Time" (2008) 
Noah and the Whale   



"10 A.M. Automatic" (2004)
The Black Keys 



#1: "Here It Goes Again" (2006)
OK Go

While unbelievably complex videos have become a trademark for OK Go, it was also their key to success. Dancing around on treadmills in one mesmerizing take, the band wowed audiences with their unique video concept. The four band members managed to nail it in 17 takes, with bassist Tim Nordwind lip-syncing the entire song. Even though the dancing looks fairly improvised, 'Step Up: All In' director Trish Sie choreographed and directed the video. A YouTube classic, the video has over 80 million views between its various releases, and has even been parodied by The Simpsons.




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