David Bowie’s Latest Clip: Can Anyone Make a Video for 13 Bucks?
Given that he boasts a net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars, it's safe to say David Bowie can afford to do pretty much whatever he wants; including create whatever kind of music video catches his fancy.
So that's what makes his latest clip, for the new tune "Love is Lost," all the more remarkable -- the rock icon filmed it for a mere 13 bucks!
Bowie kept costs down -- way down -- by adopting classic D.I.Y. tactics. He worked with close friends, called upon existing resources (his NYC offices and archival puppet collection), and adhered to a tight deadline (the video was shot over one weekend). The only concrete cost ended up being a $12.99 thumb drive to store the finished file.
Fans and critics alike are unanimous in recognizing the homemade clip's cool/eerie vibe, especially the creepy doppelganger puppet representing an '80s era Bowie. But before you grab your smartphone/video camera/whatever cool props you have lying around to try and do the same -- let's take a look at what worked and didn't work in Bowie's bargain-basement production.
WORKED: The puppet (duh).
Bowie's freaky puppet, representing his "Ashes To Ashes" persona, is undoubtedly the star here, and commands an appropriate amount of screen time. The sheer uniqueness of this prop (and the fact that it is a work of art that in itself probably costs far more than any ordinary person could afford) carries the video.
Budding filmmaker's lesson: Don't try this with something you pick up from Toys R Us.
DIDN'T WORK: Bubbles.
In an attempt to create texture, Bowie's video shows him filmed straight-on in a stark bathroom...then an overlay of bubbles (not real ones; these are light-projected) flows across the screen. Simple and effective atmospheric trick? Or, well, kinda reminiscent of a disco ball at a teenage birthday party? We'll go with the latter.