Prediciton for 2008 – The “Non Commissioned Video” Will Take Over

by Winston "Stone" Ford

The new trend for 2008: consumers making their own videos of their favorite tracks and posting them on YouTube with little or no budget and no artist approval or intervention. (i.e., the “Non Commissioned Video”)

Probably the most recent “Non Commissioned Video” that most of y’all would think of is NYC-based video director Va$hite’s interpretation of CRS’s (Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell) “Us Placers,” from Kanye’s Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ Mixtape. Even though it was shot on a shoestring budget, the video itself has high production values, complete with child actors, dogs, models and the like. Is it MTV quality? Not exactly…but it comes pretty damn close.

With music sales down double digits in 2007 and no recovery in sight for ’08, I have a feeling that artists will get behind these non-commissioned videos and might even privately fund them. Why pay Hype Williams $500,000 to shoot your video, when Roger Williams could do it for $5,000 and get the same response? With the cost of professional video equipment going down, and the fact that the average YouTube video gets more spins than MTV these days, its almost not even a choice.

What’s the only thing stopping directors like Va$hite from getting her meal ticket? The record companies. Major labels, who are nervous already, would go crazy over the lack of creative control, not to mention the numerous copyright violations that happen when a director uses an artists image and work as their own. Add to that the fact the possibility that a YouTube video for a track might actually be better than the one showing on MTV, which might bite at their ego. Even still, the Non Commissioned Video is yet another way that the average consumer is taking their love of music into their own hands and in this climate, a record company shouldn’t refuse to embrace the free advertising they’re getting.

Another non-commissioned video dropped today, RogueLionFilms interpretation of Kanye and John Mayer’s “Bittersweet.” (via Concrete Loop)

Also, my favorite “Non-Commissioned” video evar is actually a video for a non-commissioned album.