The world of media is so vast nowadays that we must re-evaluate the categories that films exist in. Music videos can have more of a narrative impact than some feature-length motion pictures. Independent productions can affect the world in more ways than a Hollywood budget. Thus, these are my favorite YouTube videos this year.
Death Grips- Double Helix
Named Spin Magazine's Artist of the Year, they are a gang of firepower that ignited the scene. This particular video struck me as an ingenious use of cameras, intimating a jarring narrative thanks to MC Ride. Although they are from Sacramento, I have yet to see them live, or even on the streets trailing behind minivans.
Flying Lotus- Putty Boy Strut (Until The Quiet Comes)
Not only is the music animated, the video is lyrical. I enjoy seeing robots engulfing the world like the Prince of All Cosmos with a Katamari. FlyLo came into his own this year, and it shines on this joint. He recently unmasked himself as the rap enigma Captain Murphy, which lends more strength to his virtuosity on stage and behind the deck.
Frank Ocean- Pyramids
For a video about strippers, the accompanying song is laden with mystical imagery. Not many tracks in mainstream sound go through three suites of movement, culminating in a powerful John Mayer spazz solo. The music world has tuned in, Mr. Ocean, and we are on Channel Orange.
Lindsey Stirling- Dubstep Violin
Two worlds meld in juxtaposed beauty on the visual and audio track. One of my least favorite musical sub-categories meets one of my least recognized categories of instrumentation. Strings and oscillated bass dance in harmony just as seductively as the violinist herself. Let us be thankful there were no vocal samples harmed in the making of this video.
Turquoise Jeep- Ooh Ahh Sound (A Short Turquoise Film)
Every time they come into Sacramento, I miss them by a narrow margin called my bank stub. Nevertheless, the KTJR crew bring a whimsical sound that helps me overlook the obvious parody they present. That apex of talent comes in the form of this short film that brings their characters to life. No sign of Pretty Raheem, though.
H+ the digital series
It is undeniably ambitious for Warner Entertainment to enter the YouTube arena with a concept of this scope. Being an ardent believer in transhumanism, I followed the dramatic events that drive the plot. As compact installments, the show is a gripping quest that is reminiscent of the bite-sized chapters of The Guild.
Video Game High School
The child-like nerd in me was delighted by this series that featured teens competing in a prestigious academy. One part bishōnen manga, another part hard-boiled Freddie Wong action, VGHS was the ultimate triumph of indie web videos. Look for various cameos of YouTube celebrities.
Push To Add Drama
Normally, I am unaffected by commercials. Especially gimmicked publicity stunts. This one sliced through that indifference and executed roundhouse kicks much like the characters involved in the controversy.
The internet is an awe-inspiring hub for documentation that highlights the spirit of the determined masses. This kid is a shining example of what people are capable of when they do not succumb to environment. Rather than playing video games at a friend's house, this kid made his own games. Brilliance.
Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen
Where Caine is a lesson of objective determination for kids, this is a warning for the mindless youths in America. There is a conversation for both sides of the subject, but only one real statement to be gleaned: parents are not to be fluxed with. Tough love is still a form of love, hah!
This is the power of the internet. It will be proven time and time again, whether through Twitter-enabled uprisings or YouTube human rights campaigns. As a video with some of the most views on YT, we can only fathom the resounding effect of a documentary in The Social Age.
Rewind YouTube Style 2012
...and, of course, there has to be some PSY and other pop sensations to finalize this list. It makes me believe that fifteen minutes of fame must be re-phrased as five minutes of YouTube fame.