Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

L.A. director Andy Bruntel wins Vimeo's best music video competition for Liars clip

October 27, 2010 |  3:25 pm

Liars' "Scissor" from A Bruntel on Vimeo.

For music video directors and fans of the medium, the video sharing platform Vimeo has been a beacon of high quality viewing for a few years now, ever since high-definition video became more widespread. The vibe is completely different from YouTube, its monstrous kin in function only. If YouTube is the corporate megamall, a seemingly endless fount of videos of kittens lapping water from kitchen faucets (not that we don’t love that), then Vimeo is its much cooler small-scale sibling, selling handcrafted goods from organic materials. In other words, high-definition videos from people who regard pixel counts with the same giddy reverence as the luxury hotelier regards his 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets.

With the first international Vimeo Awards, feted earlier this month, the company based in New York sought to capitalize on its specific brand of high-end chic, the kind that has drawn discerning artists such as Kanye West, a longtime Vimeo user, and Ruben Fleischer, director of “Zombieland.”  Selecting from more than 6,500 entries from more than 80 countries, Vimeo eventually narrowed it down to five videos in each of its nine categories, including narrative, experimental, documentary and music video.

The judges, including M.I.A., Roman Coppola, David Lynch, Morgan Spurlock and local artist Charlie White, have the kind of hipster cachet rarely seen outside a Jim Jarmusch project. They crowned their winners Oct. 9 in New York, choosing Andy Bruntel of our fair city as the winner of the music video category.

If you haven’t seen Andy’s video for the Liars’ “Scissor,” now is clearly the time. Beating out competitors including Yeasayer’s “Ambling Alp” and the Justice remix of Lenny Kravitz’s “Let Love Rule,” Bruntel’s video is a stark and simple mood piece, a little like something dreamed up by Joseph Conrad if he were a violent-eyed art rocker like Liars frontman Angus Andrew. With dead band members in chalky whiteface makeup and ghoulish scars, “Scissor” can also be conveniently displayed at your weekend fright fest.

Since launching in 2004, Vimeo has cultivated a rich sense of community for its more than 3.5 million registered users. Blake Whitman, director of community and product for Vimeo, describes the viewership as “friendly, positive, encouraging and passionate about video.” With very little advertisement on the site, Whitman said, “we hold video to be very sacred. Our audience knows to come here for the latest creative eye candy.”

-- Margaret Wappler