So what did this one cost to make?
Like any popular song, an inspired video needs a hook. In this case the ‘hook’ is the band substituting their instruments with iPhone aps to play one of their recent songs ‘spontaneously’ on a New York subway. It feels real so it probably is, and if it’s not, it probably won’t matter. Did they do it in one take? Did they overdub some music in the studio? Was any of this really spontaneous? Perception is reality.
The band Atomic Tom delivered on a very simple idea – play your song using iphone aps instead of real instruments… in a public place. The video is certainly helped by good shot planning and structure: Start slow to limit expectations and build engagment as you go; Include crowd reaction shots to build interest and show that you should take notice of what’s going on; Include close-ups of the instruments to demonstrate how impressive (or ‘improbable’ for skeptics) the feat of playing a 4 inch sheet of glass can be. And it certainly helps that the song they are promoting is a good one.
Like the experience of Sons of Maxwell, this video will lift the band from obscurity and guarantee them their 15 minutes. The question remains, are they now on the same viral treadmill as OK Go where their future success is tied as much to the quality of their videos as it is to their music?
It’s a great video, and will no doubt inspire a thousand different (and lesser) variations on this theme.
… and yes, Steve Jobs has to be really happy with this video.