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Watch: Nominated for the 2018 Grammys, these music videos are an absolute treat for the senses

From visual effects and animation to subversive messages, the line-up will make it hard to choose a winner.

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Music videos have long been a wildly creative medium. And some of the most striking among them are brought together by the “Best Music Video” nominations for the Grammy Awards every year.

The shortlist for the 2018 awards lives up to the expectations. Take Jay-Z’s subversive video (above) for The Story of OJ. The brilliant video is a retro-cartoon-style animation that portrays the racial stereotypes seen in children’s cartoons and books before politically correct times. Not only is it accompanied by a stellar track, which has also been nominated in multiple other categories include “Best Song”, but the poignant lyrics are also succinctly and engagingly captured in the video.

Then there is the intriguing video for Beck’s Up All Night. The catchy song is accompanied by an equally upbeat video that shows a young woman in armour – a feisty role model as she battles at what can only be a frat party.

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One of the best things about the music video category is it often includes lesser known acts. The French musician – and recently discovered music sensation – Jain is one such musician to benefit from this category. Not only has she become an underground hit this year, but the Grammy committee has also recognised the visual quality of the music video for Makeba, the track that won her fame. The video combines rich African culture and choreography with visual illusions to culminate in a mesmerising, dance-worthy video.

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Kendrick Lamar has established himself as a strong, steady contender for the Grammys year after year. Everything about the rapper’s music career is award-worthy – the subversive rap, the powerful, stunning videos, and the catchy yet experimental music. Humble was no different – fresh and hard-hitting as always, with stunning visual effects.

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The fifth nomination in the category is perhaps the most poignant and touching of the lot. Politically relevant and emotionally charged, Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 is a powerful message for suicide prevention and an ode to the stigma on the LGBTQ community.

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Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

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So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.