The Wonder Years – “Cardinals”
Kevin Slack didn’t want to go with a typical narrative and band performance for “Cardinals” when he was tasked with directing the video, so taking inspiration from videos by Wax, Radiohead and Against Me!, he set out to create one shot riding on frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell’s expressive face. Campbell running with the actor (and Slack’s brother) only lasted 38 seconds, but the impact of it is drawn out for the three-minute track.
Against Me! – “I Was A Teenage Anarchist”
This 2010 Against Me! track features frontwoman Laura Jane Grace (prior to publicly coming out as transgender in 2012) running through a public space from cops, and what follows is a slow-motion struggle with plenty of onlookers.
Light Years – “Living In Hell”
Light Years peruse a neighborhood street, dealing with the chaos caused by having the guitar stolen out of your hands and a ninja attack for a literal interpretation of “Living In Hell.”
LIGHTS – “Up We Go”
Between wrestlers fighting and a couple’s make-out session in the small vicinity of an elevator car, Lights deserves major kudos for maintaining her composure while belting out this electric track.
Death Cab For Cutie – “You Are A Tourist”
While visually this is not a single pan or steady take, as it is clear there are numerous camera angles, it is technically one shot: The band revealed it is the first live, scripted, one-take video ever.
Saves the Day – “At Your Funeral”
Beginning with frontman Chris Conley walking in an empty room, the video focuses on him as the background soon rotates through different scenes.
I The Mighty – “The Lying Eyes Of Miss Erray”
With the intent to capture the feeling of being stuck in a weird dream, I The Mighty nailed this one-shot venture through a spooky-looking motel.
The Smashing Pumpkins – “Ava Adore”
Vocalist Billy Corgan moves from scene to scene in a mix of slow and fast motions that add to the eeriness of the atmosphere. According to the commentary on their Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991-2000), the extensive calculations required to make sure the song was accurately synced almost caused them to call off production.
The Front Bottoms – “Laugh Till I Cry”
As a music video within a music video, “Laugh Till I Cry” has the band hanging out in a room full of screens, the biggest of which is playing footage specifically shot for the song while the band were in Maine. As somewhat of a controlled chaos, the other screens include footage of their Native American tour guide in Alaska dancing, frontman Brian Sella riding his motorcycle in Jersey City and a bird in New York City.