» Spotlight: [PMV] Smile Song (Tombstone Mix)

In this installment of Remix Culture Spotlight, Isaak, Fenster, and Dr. Dinosaur take a look at a musical PMV by NoPonyZone which combines The Living Tombstone’s mix of Pinkie’s Smile song with NPZ’s brand of visuals.

Read beyond the break to read their thoughts and reactions.

Isaak: The video is a blend between kinetic typography and motion graphics; a music video set to The Living Tombstone’s remix of Daniel Ingram’s Smile. We have our favourite pink pony hopping to the beat of the song, the lyrics popping up and scrolling by as the song progresses.

fenster: This claim to be a typography video, like The Hush Sound and Shop Vac, which means a genre of video that highlights text by having the text move and change shape as opposed to how text is predominately static in videos.  However, for the most part this video does not do this as the text scrolls and comes onto the screen in the same predictable manner (which is a key thing to go for in typography videos), and the text barely goes through any distinct forms or changes.  As it stands, it’s more like a karaoke video of showcasing the lyrics as the appear. I don’t think this makes it unenjoyable or any less of a video, but it stands out as a little misleading, though there is the section later on which does feature typography.

Isaak: I think the blend doesn’t always combine into something tasty, dropping a few balls here and there that end up hurting the video. It doesn’t seem to have a goal beyond “Take music video, put visuals to it”.

DrDinosaur: I really don’t think the video was trying to say anything in particular. The creator likely just really liked the song, and decided to do a neat little motion interpretation of it. And that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s just not Kinetic Typography.

fenster: What makes this funny is that NoPonyZone HAS done some cool typography stuff with the BBBFF video and the Good Ole Days.

Isaak: The one thing that really stood out was the pop-up storybook segment where the background flips into view. It works really nice with the comic book and paper texture laid over the video. It’s a great way of bridging the lyricless gap. Stylistically the video is very pleasing to the eye, the colors complement each other and it mostly makes one coherent whole.

DrDinosaur: I really liked the consistency of the video. Everything had the cool comic book feel to it that you mentioned. And that style was consistent throughout the whole video. The animated parts with pinkie jumping were spectacular. I kind of wish more of the video was done like that. There was good attention to detail in the backgrounds, little in jokes, lots of stuff so I didn’t get bored. Also on the typographic front, the denim part was extremely well done, and I think the best example of kinetic typography in the whole thing.

fenster: It’s super cute! Pinkie’s hop feels fantastic with the beat , and the popping backgrounds with all the funny elements like the statue, popping heads or the dog are all fun. Not to mention I love that detail of, when in the actual typography portion of the video, replacing the “I” in the “All I really need” portion with the actual portrait of pinkie.

Also special shout out to NoPonyZone for basically taking elements from the Sonic Generations aesthetic! I immediately noticed it and loved it like the big dumb sonic nerd I am.

Sonic Generations loading screen Loading isn’t so bad when it’s pretty.

Isaak: It’s funny, you two are pointing one of my big gripes with the video: a lack of thematic focus, it throws in seemingly random gags, photos, even a celebrated Leninist leader which completely pull you out off the experience. They don’t blend at all with the clean-cut graphic style. I’m left wondering why they’re there, whether they have a point at all. Though admittedly points have to be awarded for propagating The Living Tombstone’s face as a meme.

fenster: Ignoring the whole “not really typography thing”,  I generally think that the least could be done with the text would be to be more consistent with having the strongest words of every phrase be larger than the surrounding text, as certain words don’t match up near the end, but for the most part this is fine.  Also, as much as I like the Sonic Generations aesthetic,  I feel like it’s almost too much of a rip off without proper usage. Sometimes it really pops out to make me jump, but at other points some of the arrows and other such designs don’t feel like they fit.

DrDinosaur: Honestly, the font throughout the whole video kind of bothered me, the really thick stoke and unchanging font got kind of boring. I watched through this entire video not really considering it a typographic video because the text itself was not the focus of the entire thing. And this is a minor thing, but the oscilloscope effect during the pop up section was entirely unnecessary.

Isaak: Kinetic typography means the text doesn’t just show what’s being said, those would be subtitles, but also the way it’s being said. Tone, inflection, intonation, volume, that’s what the text should reflect; the way it moves into the frame, colour, font, bold, italic.

There are these interjections like “Awesome!” and “Rock on!” which do play off of this and that’s when it really works. I wish it had more like that.

How about this: consciously combine assets from the show and kinetic text to sort of retell the story of the song. At times I feel this is being done, for instance when Pinkie pulls herself out of the literal gutter, other times it just completely misses the opportunity. There’s this part where Pinkie sings “That’s when I talk to my friends to get them to smile!” and nothing happens beyond the text appearing on screen. Why not have actual ponies smiling?

Pinkie Likes to Bounce Equestria styled like a pop-up storybook

fenster: But the most obvious flaw in the video was…




DrDinosaur: So, is this a great example of kinetic typography? I would say it wasn’t. I did, however, really like the Animation segment where pinkie was hopping to the right This was absolutely fantastic and the creator should be congratulated. But most of all I had fun watching this video, and isn’t that all that matters? As much as we like to pick on personal preferences and technical details, it all boils down to ‘did I enjoy watching it?’ the answer in this case is yes. I had a grin on me the whole time.

Isaak: I’m not as enthusiastic, I feel if a bit more thought had been put into it it could’ve been elevated to something really cool. All the ingredients are there, so why not? There isn’t anything really bad about it, but I can’t shake that feeling of missed opportunity, potential unfulfilled, which make me a sad pony.

fenster: In conclusion, Play Sonic Generations! It’s a good game!

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