5 Inspiring Music Videos every Media+Design Student should watch

Who said study couldn’t be fun? If you’re interested in Digital Media  or Art+Design, here is a couple of videos that will engage, inspire and  genrally “wooh” you into thinking there is actually some badass uses for your skills.

Number 5            Kud Cudi: “Day n’ Nite”

Day N’ Nite makes me think Kid Kudi  lives in some shroomed up super-mario verion of that AH HA video from the 80’s, it’s kind of disturbing. Its that kind of new age video that causes a million hipsters to simultaneously drop stirrers in their Starbucks. The animation here is all a hand drawn by French graphic designer/art director  “So Me” (No idea why he has a Japanese porn name but we’ll just go with it). AND MY GOD, is it no glorious? The pacing is perfect, the merge between actor and animation is not just passable, it’s fluid.  This proves you don’t have to be Van Gogh to fill a couple of adjustment layers in After Effects with some quirky pen-drawn goodness and make art. Just don’t do shrooms kids, because making videos is fun, but being trapped inside that video would be an absolute pants-filler.

Number 4           Coldplay: “Hurts Like Heaven”         

A comic book style video that grabs attention through its mix of 2D and 3D animation. This is a feat the animators have achieved in such unison that the depth changes are virtually transparent. Boomtastic! 3D Lighting and slick 2-Node cameras bring the fictional cityscape to life while retaining that classic cell-shaded comic book spirit. Telling a complex love story using only the power of your key-frames is no small task, no less with weird blue alien characters. Seriously man, what are those things? Extras from Avatar?

Number 3    Professor Green Feat. Ed Drewett – “I Need You Tonight”

I’m going to call this song a guilty pleasure. The green screen work is pretty basic, but if you’re looking for inspiration, there is no shame in aiming mid-range, right? Possibly the best thing about this video is that you could quite easily pull off almost every shot in here with practically no budget and only a sliver of the time some of these other videos would take to emulate. I also like the post-production work done on the time-lapse shots and the cool little lens flares, sometimes that’s all a video needs to get swag all up in that heezy.

Number 2           Bad Meets Evil: “Fast Lane” (ft. Eminem, Royce Da 5’9)

The director here has pulled an absolute humdinger example of bare-bones 2.5D animation (I’m pretty sure they didn’t even touch the ray-tracing checkbox). The realistic way in which Em and Royce interact with the objects makes me feel warm and fuzzy… which is weird because I think I’m suppose to feel rappy and angry. While it’s not the prettiest video on this list, the sheer bulk of ideas realised here is impressive, and it certainly supports the weight of its own ambition. Quick mention also to the plain warehouse setting being an AWESOME IDEA, not once did I get that “oh hell they’re using green screen so hard right now” feeling. Very cool hippedy hoppidy video.

Number 1                   Swedish House Mafia: “Greyhound”

I imagine the conversation going down between the Chef Advertiser of Smirnoff and his Boss, both drunk on a balcony at his Tuscan villa. I can picture how they talked into the wee hours of the morning about how to make kids buy their cheap vodka made from 10 Stroke Oil and yams. I can smell the sweet smoke of a poorly lit cigar rolling into the summer air, thickening the atmosphere to critical mass before… “Boss! Iv’e got it!” that is when they hired the Swedish House Mafia build and race robot dogs for them, selling tickets to the event at a premium and...[interruption as consultant walks into the room] Oh… Oh my. OK, Iv’e just been told that the events in this video aren’t real and no real robot dogs exist. Wow. In that case, this is some bomb-diggedy animation. Shit… I really wanted to start a robot puppy racing league. What? Come on, there’s money in that idea and you know it. 

Anywhoooo, is this video slightly cheapened by the fact that Smirnoff clearly bankrolled it as an advertising venture? Only if you hate money, expensive animation and undeniable quality. This is an Autodesk Maya job, and truly serves as a benchmark for budding animators out there, I mean really, the 3D robot dogs are close to feature film quality. While Autodesk Maya costs an arm and a leg… and the holy grail… and your first-born son (OK, we get it, its expensive software) Students doing animation courses will no doubt have access to a copy on Univesity or Unitec computers and can start the long road to becoming this good.

So there we are folks, get inspired and have a go!

And be sure to check out my other NZ student top lists below:

5 FREE Things AUT can do for YOU right now

Top 10 Songs to Impress Your New Flatmates

Pre-town playlist Fridays: O-Week Edition


5 FREE Things AUT can do for YOU right now

University is expensive, your boss doesn’t like you, cats meow. Now that we have those galring realities out of the way, lets take a quick look at the things that AUT or “Auckland University of Technology” provides absolutely FREE for young lads and lasses that have chosen to study there. So, strap on your cheap caps on ladies and gentlemen, its open season on free-stuff…

Number 5                                             O’Week  134306_10151366352411121_6078934_o Lets get the obvious ones out of the way first. AUT O’Week events are FREE for all AUT students. BAMMIE WHAM! This year it includes a rock concert by Villainy. You can take your girlfriend and listen to her complain about how she thought it was going to be “Like Skrillex” OR alternatively, have a few brews with the lads and head out for a blistering feast of NZ Rock and Roll goodness. When I saw Villainy at Kings Arms tavern last year, tickets were $30 a pop, so GET IN ON THIS concert 13th March FREE with a valid AUT Student ID! Another event which is an oldie but a goody is the O’Week Foam Party. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this unique chance to get shot with massive foam cannons and listen to DJ CXL drop the funkiest of beats in the AUT courtyard. Spill DAT beer on your shirt homie? it’s all good cos you’re covered in bubbles! AHHH I like bubbles way too much for a grown man. I apologise. For more details on O’Week festival happenings go check out the AuSUM facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ausm1/events

Number 4                                 Microsoft Office 365 (2013) Office-Pro-Plus-2013 Mac or PC user, chances are you are running some ancient version of Microsoft Office on that shiny machine of yours. Now, I sincerely hope you didn’t go out and buy a copy of Office 2013 because Ol’ daddy warbucks up in the AUT Managerial Offices has bought us all a subscription to Microsoft office 365. What is Office 365 you ask? Its all your favourite essential Office programs such as Word, Power Point and One Note made available download to your desktop for offline use,  and thanks to cloud computing, all of your devices (if you install the corresponding android and iOS apps). This service usually costs $145 a year on its most basic plan, so AUT has really done us all a solid here. COP IT NOW (available from the 24th February according to the AUT website).  Simply login here to download: https://unicentral.aut.ac.nz/Pages/default.aspx

Number 3                                                Lynda.com  Lynda Last year AUT subscribed to the online training video encyclopaedia www.lynda.com and it couldn’t have happen at a better time. I had just entered the Digital Media stream of my communications course and had opened the Pandora’s box that is Adobe After Effects… anyway, my suffering was short lived, after signing using the AUT Portal (instructions below) I was able to pull up a series of professional, helpful tutorials that suited my scatter brained –let’s go walk to the microwave and pet the cat then maybe watch another video– learning strategy. Whatever you might want to learn about (your new copy of Microsoft Office 365 perhaps?) they have a software tutorial for it, complete with exercise files to download so you can actually follow along with exactly what’s happening in the video on your own computer! GENIUSSSSS! If you have software learning needs, look no further than Lynda, I use this site weekly and I’m hooked like a puppy on cat treats. Information on the one-time set up to login through the AUT portal can be found that the bottom of the page in this link:  http://www.aut.ac.nz/being-a-student/current-undergraduates/academic-information/academic-and-study-support/student-learning/useful-links-and-resources

Number 2                                        Debate Magazine  13375_431947703566805_655831309_n

Debate Magazine is the official AUT student publication available FREE year round. The O’Week edition last year was jam packed with advice on being a first year student, including the cheeky tip about brewing your own beer! I had a daily 15min bus ride and would some times find myself thumbing through the pages of a Debate when it got lonely (oh how I longed for your company dear reader) and I always found at least one section that could hold my attention. You can also sign up to write for them if you have an interest in journalism, or just want to have a crack at getting your voice printed on to that shiny, shiny paper.

Number 1                                           AuSM Free Feeds 429292_10151086094526121_76228107_n

Sweet mother of food. One thing nobody can fault AUT on is its capacity to treat its students well in the food department. All year round, for barely any reason at all, these beautiful little stalls shot up on the North Shore and City campuses bearing the sweet nectar of hamburger, sausage, american hot-dog and hash-brown. Expect decent lines on occasion, but always stay for the food, free food is worth the wait, ALWAYS. Save yourself a dime and have AUT make lunch for a change. Now if only they would acknowledge my many letters to include free beer in these stalls. hmm, oh well… a man can dream.

The END…?

Anyway, that tops off our list young people of Auckland and beyond. Be sure to follow on WordPress for more Uni Student lists of interest and good luck with finishing O’Week under budget! Regards, Taz

Pictures via AuSM facebook, go give them a like!

Other posts of mine:

5 Inspiring Music Videos every Media+Design Student should watch

Top 10 Songs to Impress Your New Flatmates

Pre-town playlist Fridays: O-Week Edition

Pre-town playlist Fridays: O-Week Edition


You made it to University, congrats! There are going to teach you some important things for sure, but thanks to Friday nights, you’ll probably forget every single on of those scarring morning lectures worth of expensive tuition! Ah bless University. Now I caution you, on my O-Week after indulging in… perhaps a few beverages…  I left a pie in the microwave for 30 minutes, setting it on fire and resulting in a 3am alarm and my entire housing section being marched outside. Not so great for them, but apparently I hugged a fire chief, so its not all bad, you don’t get to do that everyday, right?. All I remember about that night is *Blur blur Blur blur blur* then the village security guard woke me up the next morning with full a run-down of my mischief. True Story. Ah 2013, times were different then, more raging. 

I bet you’re wondering “Dang nabbit Taz, I sure would like to be a rebel like you, but I just don’t have the correct playlist for such mayhem, guess i’ll have to spend my O-Week inside reading Mark Twain.” But to these people I say. Sadly you will

Unless you download Spotify free music player at this link: 


OR even better, you already have it and can just swag-click on the songs below for instant playing goodness!

In which case, here is your O-Week top 10 playlist to spark that Friday night. Just promise me you will figure out the microwave at your accommodation before you start drinking.


In the Spirit of Friday, I did this blog in it’s entirety, while drinking. Getting pretty tipsy now. Taz out. 

Top 10 Songs to Impress Your New Flatmates

Moving to a new flat or student hall can be a stressful time, especially when you don’t know who you might be staying with. So this week for my Student top 10, I’m doing “Top 10 Songs to Impress Your New Flatmates” so you can be packing the right heat on your iPod when it comes time to leave the nest. The list has spotify embedded so to check the tracks all you have to do is press play.

 Number 10               The 1975: “The City”


There is a lot to like about the 4 piece synth-rock from Manchester. While the lead single “Chocolate” was the heavy hitter at this years festival scene (including our own Big Day Out) , “The City” takes this spot for capturing that melodic overtone Brit-rockers do so well, while not typecasting the band as obscure hipster music. Its impressive to hear the bassy synth through a sound system with decent lower end. Even your EDM loving flatmate will appreciate a little bit of  “The 1975” goodness. Maybe.

Number 9          Big Boi: “Apple of My Eye”

Big Boi

So your idea of rap is Justin Beiber’s “Boyfriend” … (I’ll order your therapy now). In all seriousness though, walking around with an iPod without any rap music doesn’t project a well rounded musical persona Dawwwg (We boys now so I can call you that). That’s where Big Boi’s “Apple of My Eye” comes in. A simple old school sample with that OutKast spirit will have you wanting to put it on repeat.  Lyrically it’s a gem, and if you enjoyed the tracks “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” you will dig the New School/Old School crossover vibe at work here, a sure flat pleaser.

Number 8         Lorde: “Million Dollar Bills”
 Lorde 1

 Takapuna’s darling, the 2 time Grammy award winner Lorde (or Ella if you know her personally, which every 2nd person I meet in Auckland seems to claim) has a lot of reasons to be singing happy, upbeat songs like “Million Dollar Bills.” A stark contrast to other tracks on her debt album, the track loops her voice but doesn’t come off sounding annoying or incessant, on the contrary, producer Joel Little shows his best form on “Million Dollar Bills” while Lorde is no slacker in providing a delightful and well thought out hook to fill out the otherwise linear soundscape. Give this one a go and you’ll have your male and female flatties asking for your Spotify creds in no time.

Number 7    Fenech-Soler: “In Our Blood”

I can’t really get a beat on these guys. They are  Indie… kind of… electronic… some ahhh. The point is, they sound fresh. While it doesn’t break any records for variety, it is catchy and fun, especially after a few drinks. The purpose of this track is to sooth you into a good pre-town mood without having to actually play music the DJs are going to be spinning in town. If that makes sense. Have you seen the picture, you see that? Pretty much explains how I feel about how this caption turned out. Just listen.

 Number 6                            Mausi: “Move”

 If you didn’t get on board with this track last year, now is the time to pick it up. Mausi knows how to compose a song, from its solid vocal build at the start to the wash-echo at the end of each chorus, the track seems effortless and epic at the same time. It does walk the awkward line between danceable and chillable (that’s a word now because I say it is) BUT you wont be thinking about that, instead, you’ll be singing along loudly with your flatmates.

Number 5       Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Eighty4 Fly): “Gold “
ryan lewis

 This track know’s what it is, a cheery little tune that doesn’t want to be rap. Macklemore does what he does best, producing what is closer to radio-pop than Grammy-worthy Hip-Hop. Still, you must give the man credit where credit is due, this song is a mood elevator and you can’t deny that chorus, it’s the kind of hook that gets you like its standing at your window tap, tap, tapping away until you let it in. If you’re lucky, one of your flatties might even start up a “Kendrik was robbed” monologue; that alone is a good enough reason to hit play.

 Number 4              Tegan And Sara: “Closer”


 What Tegan and Sara lack in Hype, they make up for in style. This track could get your grandmother dancing, no kidding, it’s that good. Again, I will class this as pre-town music (although I have put it into several of my DJ sets and it always went down well). Whatever mood you are in, bang on “Closer” if it doesn’t make you a little bit more ready to energetically beat up a room of people have a good night in town, I don’t know what will.

Number 3              Maroon 5: “Lucky Strike”


How was this not a single? The song actually makes your speakers quiver with euphoria, gets your girlfriend pregnant to Adam Levine and makes your pool briefly turn to marshmallow icecream (disclaimer: none of these things actually happen). But my god, it comes close. Breaking the top 3 because you can’t honestly tell me you didn’t listen to this track twice-to-twenty times more after your first play. Adam sings like Morgan Freeman narrates, undeniably sexy.

Number 2                 BANGLADE$H: “Lean”


These talented little kiwi blokes snag number 2 for their track that just makes you want to roll your shoulders and grin like an idiot. Flatmates will nod in approval if you play this while the weather still warrants a cheery pop romp. Quickly! before the rain comes!

Number 1     Kendrik Lamar: “m.A.A.d City”

kendrick 1

Now, I know this probably seems like a bad idea, but NUMBER ONE goes to Kendrik. Now i’ll let the music speak for itself, but just remember, white girls from Cali to the hardest crips in Compton jammed this tune, and for good reason. A rip-snorting rap beat and absolutely poetic lyrics that are drenched in intelligence and double meanings. If you play this and a drinks at your flat and you don’t hear a minimum of 4 people share an excited “ohhhhhhhhhhhhh”  you have permission to never read my blog again. O.K. Taz out.

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