Idolator’s Tribute-Video Treasury Feeds The Pretenders And The All-American Rejects To The Sharks

kater | July 30, 2007 4:03 am

Ed. note: Once again, Idolator intern Kate Richardson scours the video sites, looking for the best fan-made music videos. In this entry, she celebrates Shark Week:

Shark Week is upon us, which means countless people nationwide are becoming increasingly apprehensive about their upcoming beach vacations. And who can blame them? If given the opportunity, sharks will not think twice about robbing you of a limb. But then again, according to Shark Week, every year about four people are killed by sharks, while approximately 40 million sharks are killed by people, which brings us to this week’s topic: Save the sharks! Despite its various puzzling eccentricities, the tribute-video community is nothing if not open-minded, making room for even the most fearsome predators in the animal kingdom. This week we’ve got something for the sharks-of-a-certain-age and their teenage offspring, too.

Video 1 (Embed disabled on this one. Sorry!)

Song: “I’ll Stand by You” by The Pretenders Concept: Sharks as sensitive souls in need of a friend. This song is about friendship, loyalty, and emotional turmoil–presumably the top three things a shark will never feel. As far as we know, the only real emotion a shark can feel, according to Jaws, is cold hard revenge. So it is incongruous, to say the least, to view sharks in the context of Chrissie Hynde’s sappy power ballad about devotion. Judging from some of those awful images, sharks really could use some sympathy, and there’s a fair amount of footage–especially the shot of hammerheads under the sunlight–that looks pretty majestic when combined with the music. This clip has a good mix of horrifying PETA-style atrocity footage and less gruesome stuff, and it’s all edited together skillfully, but ultimately it cannot fully rise above its own unintentional humor. Hey, Mr. Shark? “Don’t be ashamed to cry.” Best music-to-image sync-up moment: One minute in, when the chorus breaks in as two people nobly release a struggling shark from a net. Silliest music-to-image sync-up moment: I hate to call it silly, because this really is a serious and sad topic, but any time the song mentions crying it’s pretty amusing to consider sharks’ inability to produce tears.

Song: “It Ends Tonight” by The All-American Rejects Concept: Sharks as angry teens in a tumultuous relationship with mankind. What I like most about this video is its attitude. The sharks look pissed and the text slides are presumptuous, snotty, and grammatically flawed (“Sharks are the worlds most magnificent creatures,” “To bad we’re killing them off”). This attitude would be increased tenfold by some dramatically edited video clips, but unfortunately we get only stills, which we all know by now is a disadvantage in the tribute-video world. This song is about as ridiculous as “I’ll Stand by You” for a shark-themed video, but also about as surprisingly appropriate at times. After all, sharks really can’t “explain [themselves] at all,” which is maybe why they have to go and bite us while we’re trying to boogie board. They think that “maybe it’s best [we] leave [them] alone.” It makes sense! Another video with only the best intentions, but this one falls short a bit in form. Best music-to-image sync-up moment: 2:50. The video makes an abrupt shift toward raising awareness of cruelty to sharks, the music peaks, and for a moment there is only Tyson Ritter’s voice and a piano as pictures of dead and injured sharks flash. It’s surprisingly effective. Silliest music-to-image sync-up moment: At the very beginning, the lyrics, “Your subtleties, they strangle me.” It’s funny to think about a shark picking up on subtleties of any kind of relationship.

Verdict: Despite two very noble contenders this week, there’s only enough room in the waters of this peaceful island town for one video. The “I’ll Stand by You” clip is more graphic, but also weirder and more skillfully-assembled, making it the winner of this week’s match-up.