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The Pharcyde

Please give a very warm welcome to Anna Ginsburg, animator and filmmaker responsible for such classics such as this synchronised swimming video for Bombay Bicycle Club and this candid, beautifully crafted animation Living With Depression. Like a lot of the filmmakers we ask to help out with this feature, Anna had a bit of a hard time choosing her favourite ever music video, but I think we can all agree she’s chosen a particularly good one. Here she is telling us why Spike Jonze’s video for The Pharcyde’s Drop inspired her so much. Don’t forget to check out Spike Jonze’s treatment for the video below her article – amazing!

Anna Ginsburg – The Pharcyde: Drop

This video has a giddy, youthful energy which totally consumes me every time I watch it. Shot by a young Spike Jonze. Its playfulness, together with the commitment of the four members of The Pharcyde to Jonze’s vision, result in an addictive music video which makes you wish you were there in 1995 downtown LA to witness its making.
 
Drop is brilliantly simple. Shot entirely in reverse, Jonze relies on a single camera trick to create an entire video. The result is not only endlessly bamboozling and satisfying to watch, but groundbreaking in its approach. Every action brings a new sense of astonishment and anticipation for the next trick.
 
Imani from The Pharcyde tells it straight: "we got the talking backwards thing, we got the walking backwards thing, we got the water backwards thing, we got the glass smashing backwards thing and we got nudity!” Their own nudity, I’d like to point out, set Drop apart from every “rap vid” stereotype. The making-of video (below) shows a bemused middle-aged linguist helping The Pharcyde to learn a surreal backwards language in a matter of days!

Here’s Jonze’s one page-long treatment for this video. I love the childlike list of “weird” things the group could do backwards which includes “eating chips” and “wearing a clown suit.” It’s this unpretentious sense of fun and the mutual respect between artist and director which makes this video so damn cool.

Spike

Spike Jonze’s treatment for Drop

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