It might be next to impossible to find a music video on MTV these days, but the medium is definitely not dead. Websites like YouTube have allowed, not only musicians, but also their fans, to showcase their videos. Some fan-made videos rival their official counterparts in terms of quality (or, at least, uniqueness).
Unk – “Walk It Out (Remix)” Ft. Andre 3000 & Jim Jones
The official video for “Walk It Out” is typical hip-hop fare and it pales in comparison to the majesty of this fan-made gem, set to footage of Gwen Verdon performing a dance choreographed by Bob Fosse. Nearly every dance move lines up perfectly.
MGMT – “Kids”
MGMT took their sweet time crafting an official video for “Kids,” allowing everyone in the world to get very, very sick of the song before hand. In the meantime, this fan-made video by USC student Jon Salmon (apparently thrown together at the last minute in order to meet a deadline for film class) garnered over fifteen million views and caused bucketloads of confusion about whether those two face-painted guys are MGMT (they aren’t). While the official video may be slightly superior (that’s Joanna Newsom carrying the kid around, by the way), the fan-made version stole all the thunder.
Lil Wayne – “Lollipop” Ft. Static Major
Created using The Sims, this video sticks closely to the script for the official “Lollipop” video (ridiculously large limousine, microphone inexplicably rising out of the backyard patio, etc.). Remarkably, though, the Sims version of Weezy actually looks more human that the man himself (uncanny valley be damned).
Death Cab For Cutie – “Little Bribes”
Official Video: N/A
Death Cab liked this fan-made stop-motion video so much that they declared it the song’s official video. The band’s label even hired stop-motion animator Ross Ching to make another video in the future.
Grizzly Bear – “Two Weeks”
The official video for indie quartet Grizzly Bear’s single “Two Weeks” is neat, but there’s something magical about Vimeo user Gabe Askew’s animated version. He estimates that it took about four weeks to complete. He explains his intricate production process in an interview here.
Throwdown – “Never Back Down”
Official Video: None exists. None could ever top this masterpiece.
Straight-edge hardcore band Throwdown has a relatively small, but fiercely loyal, fan base. It’s unknown whether one of the band’s fans created this video (which uses footage from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ “Out of Their Shells” tour in 1990), but I can’t imagine a tribute that Throwdown could be more proud of.