The music video has had a rather strange life. Its early days were simple enough; capture the band on film and you’ve got a video. Then along came MTV and changed the game forever. Budgets of all sizes entered the scene. Cinematic elements and plot devices were added in the best cases but although there were innovative moments — like Michael Jackson’s Thriller, they were few and far between.
While the 90s seemed to have a firm belief that dumping tons of money into music videos was the way to go, the early 2000s gave us a new wave of innovation from directors like Chris Cunningham and Spike Jonze. Excellent directors, if you you can afford them, but that’s unlikely. So what can you do with a low to no budget?
Beach House’s video for their track Walk in the Park is at least to me a perfect example of low budget success. It has enough heart to make up for its shortcomings, if indeed there are any. I keep coming back to it, mostly because I think its hilarious, but I also notice that it contains a lot of key elements to a successful video. For one, its rather bizarre characters and plot are wonderful and the performances, as silly as they are, contain a lot of emotional content. And probably even more importantly, the video never takes itself more seriously than its budget will allow, and in fact seems to take full advantage of it, making its cheesier moments charming instead of tacky — a lesson anyone dealing with low budget can surely learn from.