Peter Gabriel's video for his 1986 Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, a collaboration with Aardman Animations which set new standards for the industry and became one of the most awarded videos in history.
Stephen R. Johnson
The talented creators of "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time" clips re-team with Peter Gabriel for another artistic and visual experience, creating another great concept echoing life and its ways ... See full summary »
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'Weird Al' Yankovic,
Tony De La Rosa,
Higher! "Peter Gabriel: Big Time" is the 2nd part in a trilogy of visually mind-blowing clips started in "Sledgehammer" (1986) and finished in "Steam" (1992), with all the spectacular creations by Stephen R. Johnson. It's hard to top "Sledgehammer" in so many ways but this video has a special place in my heart and to many people out there, even more to those who watched it when of its release back in a time where promotional videos for an artist made not impact but they were part of popular culture of a whole decade.
The technique is the same of the fore-mentioned clips: stop motion, claymation effects and strata-cut animation. Johnson makes a nature's ground turning into ugly monsters and other visually striking combination of effects and concepts. But this time he didn't put more pressure on Gabriel (that first clip had the performer acting and moving very slowly, one small action at a time in order to capture the desired effect, truly a Job's patience). Gabriel isn't much in animation form, he dances and interacts with some of the animation elements. And there's the song, a significant and realistic statement to the excesses of human life with its constant need for getting more and more from anything. It's all about getting bigger, better, faster, more and higher!
And the images beautifully portrayed here follow such intentions: Gabriel's entrance in this tiny house where his gigantic head and diminutive body occupy the whole window frame echoing the line "the place where I come from it's a small town, they think so small, they use small words" and countless of other images. The song isn't so right on the nose with its critique neither the video with its colorful frames. But the intention is right there for curious and wiser minds to see and that's what transforms "Big Time" into one of the most intelligent, captivating and memorable video clips of all time. A perfect combination between sound and image. 10/10
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