By rights the new MGMT music video should be terrible.

Time to Pretend features the nauseatingly-clashing colour palettes of last year's reinvention of the Cult of Ugly -- epitomized by Wolff Olin's universally-despised London 2012 Olympics logo , the hipper-than-people-who-are- hipper-than-thou fashion magazine Super Super and anything to do with the Klaxons and the 'New Rave' music/fashion movement.

This is mixed with the surreal cut-&-paste approach of the puerile/hilarious b3ta crowd and its twin kings of Rob Manuel and Joel Veitch -- plus that site's obligatory kittens and badly-drawn monsters. Throw in green- and bluescreen keying so bad that it makes Knightmare seem like 300, and you end up with a result that should make your eyes vomit.


But somehow it's great. It's so endearingly innocent, over-the-top and madcap that it'd even raise a smile from the grumpiest art director. And that there's a cracking slightly-psychedelic pop song behind it helps you warm to it too.

The promo can be watched as a QuickTime or on YouTube. Also on YouTube is a behind-the-scenes video.


The Time to Pretend video is an object lesson on how to use poor post-production as an artistic technique. The first thing you need to know is that creating a poor-on-purpose video is not cheap. You need to work with the same production values as creating a glossy video -- which means high-grade lighting, shooting on HD or film, professional hair-&-make-up, and attractive leads -- otherwise your results will just look cheap and nasty. And high production values cost. A lot.

So even if you skimped on post costs, the overall cost wouldn't be much below a 'proper' video. But creating naively-shoddy post takes as much work and talent as giving it a sparkly sheen, so you don't save any money doing faking tinpot post. So while Time to Pretend would have cost less to create than the travel budget for a Beyonce video -- and possibly less than the catering budget -- it would have set the record company back as much as a video foe any other relatively obscure indie/dance outfit.


The other rule for this sixth-rate style is that it also has the fit the piece. Time to Pretend is a song about adults missing the freedom and comfort of childhood, so charmingly crude artwork matches the hopefully naivety of the track perfectly. And that's why it works so well.