Read on for another hearty serving of nugus placed under the Kpopalypse microscope, for your education and amusement!
Something I've known ever since I started doing the Nugu Alert series is that it's the most unpopular of all the different types of blog posts that I do. The most recent survey reflected this with many people being annoyed at having to choose their favourite Nugu Alert series and not having an "other/none" option, plus several readers helpfully clarified that they just didn't give a shit about these posts at all. Of course, the fact that so many readers don't care about these performers is the whole point, therefore this feedback means that I'm on the right path. As a thank-you to Nugu Alert readers, the following videos are all reader submissions!
The usual Nugu Alert rules apply, these are:
This episode of Nugu Alert is themed around outstanding budget cinematography. The following videos all contain notable examples of music video directors going the extra mile on a shoestring budget to bring you something visually memorable. Be sure to support them!
Cupid - I Feel Good
Since the objective of this series is to highlight videos you haven't seen before, I don't usually bother with featuring videos that have already been featured elsewhere on other blogsites. Cupid's "I Feel Good" has already made sufficient impact to acquire its own article on Asian Junkie so because of that I wasn't going to write about it at all, yet I got so many requests to cover this song anyway that I thought I'd slot it in here just to keep Nugu Alert fans happy. Due to the existing Asian Junkie coverage the video collects few nugu points, yet still gets over the line for inclusion here due to a few key points:
1. Pseudo maid uniforms are always a positive point which enhances sex appeal of k-pop girls and is therefore relevant to Kpopalypse fap.
2. No attempt was made to hide the fact that this MV was partly shot in a strip club, stripper poles unused yet conspicuously intact. Removing stripper poles from a strip club dancefloor is an easy job, you just undo a few bolts at each end, using a ladder and an electric drill with the right fittings it takes about three minutes (don't ask me how I know this). The fact that they didn't even bother to perform such a simple task for the sake of the girls' image shows that they don't care who knows that these girls are a bunch of stripping whores. This is a positive thing - Kpopalypse approves of stripping whores, as both a noun and a verb.
3. Look, their faces are blacked out! According to the legions of dummies on the Internet these days, all incidences of faces being blacked out are always racism regardless of context, therefore so must this be. Meets required standards of oppression of women and minorities.
4. The CGI backdrop of the group logo isn't in Comic Sans font, but it's close enough to Comic Sans to make people think that it it's Comic Sans and piss people off anyway.
On top of all that, the song is actually alright. I hasten to add not Song Of The Year material, but I'd rather listen to this chirpy electronic pop than the 693rd iteration of the same half a dozen western pop songs that k-pop keeps templating, or whatever shit ballad is being mercilessly shoved down our throats as the greatest thing to come out of Korea this week.
YouTube views at time of writing: 12372
Notable attribute: CGI lens flare added at 0:22 because the cinematographer couldn't figure out how to get the lenses to actually flare
Nugu Alert rating: low
In & Choo - Suite Room
Here's a question: how do you come up with a video like EXO's "Growl" on a budget? "Growl" was shot in one seamless long take of perfectly choreographed precision... or maybe it's wasn't, with the directors stitching separate scenes together using the "spinning" sections where the camera focuses on nobody to swap between takes... but the point is that the end result looks seamless, as one would probably expect from a high-budget SM production. However when the budget is more like $30000 than $300000, you've got to cheat a lot more. Long takes have a lot of rehearsal time involved in making everything flow smoothly, and if there's one obvious fuckup everybody has to start again, which takes more time with a longer take, which means more money. Sure, k-pop performers rehearse their ass off all the time and hardly get paid anyway, so the expense and extra time required for getting them up to speed is minimal - I'm talking more about the rehearsing that the film crew does for actually shooting, all the behind the scenes people also have to rehearse their movements, and unlike k-pop performers who you can always wave the carrot of "you'll get rich one day" in front of, technical behind the scenes people with qualifications and mastery of equipment actually insist on being paid there and then, or at least within the next week or two. It's all too much of a fucking time and money sink for a nugu.
Enter In & Choo's "Suite Room" which tries to give you the same seamless feel of EXO's "Growl" but without the accompanying budget. Scenes are transitioned with panes of darkness (0:20), aimless shots to the roof (0.39), fast movement (0.29) and hands over the camera (1.08), the expensive steadicam of "Growl" is swapped out for a cheaper (and wobblier) handicam, and the expensively-rigged carpark is substituted for the agency's mini-gymnasium and some spotlights. It all doesn't work too badly apart from the colour-matching fuck-ups which ruin a couple transitions, pity their song is only marginally better than "Growl".
YouTube views at time of writing: 9631
Notable attribute: a girl has clothing with the word "swag" on it, signalling the imminent downfall of humanity
Nugu Alert rating: high
Xin Seha - Matdaheum
You want a cool looking artsy k-pop MV for your smooth, sensual sounding 80s-style electro song, but you don't have the kind of cash that's sitting in SM or YG's vault earmarked as "must spend on square bits of paneling with diodes and mirrored surfaces", so what do you do? The easiest solution is often location scouting, because there's lots of outdoor locations out there that can be used for free and look great with a little imagination. The problem is finding them - I've been on modeling shoots where I've accompanied photographers looking for that perfect location to shoot a model and half the time a photographer will drive halfway across town to "that perfect spot" only to find out that they can't use it because the light's all wrong, or they can only get permission to use the location from certain sub-optimal areas, or someone's parked a truck right next to it, or any other of dozens of potential things that can fuck up the scene. It's such a pain in the ass to roll the dice with outdoor locations and you can waste days on it if things go bad. Indoor locations have their own problems too, there's less chance of environmental factors ruining everything but there's also less chance of you being able to access them, because people are a lot more precious about letting some camera team use their indoor spaces, and also it's harder to find good spaces just by virtue of them being indoors and thus hidden from plain sight (which is why the same ones tend to get used all the time).
Whoever did the scouting - both indoor and outdoor - for Xin Seha's video shoot however consistently hits budget MV location gold. Check out these rad locations:
1. Here's Xin Seha looking badass in front of a stairwell with graffiti. Fuck yeah, you can't fuck with this dude. He'd kick you down the stairs but you're already at the bottom, chump.
2. Here's Xin Seha looking badass in front of some sewer pipes. These sewer pipes are so pipe-like that they could have come straight out of a computer game with sewer pipes in it (which is all of them). However these pipes are real, just like Xin Seha's withering stare.
3. Here's Xin Seha looking badass in front of a metal fence, with some buildings behind it. Xin Seha doesn't even care if the incidental people in the background turn around and look at him posing like he's about to take a crap, because he'll fuck them up if they say any shit. Also note Kpopalypse-endorsed bucket hat.
4. Here's Xin Seha looking badass in front of some sewer pipes again - but with a twist, this time he's on the pipes! This pose is implying that he's waiting for some hapless prey to wander down below that he's about to leap down on and knock out and grab their spare ammunition and Praxis kits. Badass.
5. Here's Xin Seha looking badass on a roof with some tube things with lights coming out of them. How did he get up to the roof level? Probably through the sewer pipes, because he's such a badass who isn't afraid of sewer pipes, or a roof, or tube things with lights. There's also some fog here so you can see the lights better.
6. Here's Xin Seha looking badass with a wooden frame. You wanted to convert your rear verandah into an extra bedroom but you didn't count on Xin Seha turning up and rapping at you in his smooth voice while staring at you with his piercing gaze. What are you gonna do now, punk?
7. Here's Xin Seha looking badass in front of a metal fence, wait... no, this time he's behind the metal fence, and there's a door there! It's like he's in prison, or something! Our location scout has mixed it up a little, keeping things fresh, yet thematically consistent. Look at him stare menancingly through the fencing. Just be glad that fence is there to protect you.
And on and on it goes. These are only from the first minute of the video, it only gets better from here. I dare not spoiler any more of them here, just watch the video for yourself and prepare to be blown away.
YouTube views at time of writing: 11036
Notable attribute: Ladies Code's manager spotted doing an illegal U-turn at 2:55
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
This concludes another episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Feel free to enjoy/be annoyed by/disregard these nugus as you so choose, and Kpopalypse will return with more nugus in a future episode!