Okay, so maybe they're the only two fan videos I watched in 2009. And maybe I don't like the idea of fan videos in general because, for the most part, they're awful. But somehow, this year managed to turn out two that I not only happened to see, but actually enjoyed. Let the shortest countdown on this site begin!
2. Discovery - "Swing Tree" (by Dolezal06)
When it comes to fan videos, I'm betting less usually clocks in as more. This clip adheres nicely to that aesthetic, simply setting one of the better tracks off Discovery's (mostly terrible) LP to footage from what I can only assume is the most misleading Navy recruitment video of all time. It's a nice fit with amusing results.
1. Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks" (by Gabe Askew)
It turns out that there are fan video exceptions to the "less is more" philosophy—at least one, anyway. 100% computer animated, this clip uses some of the newest technology available to create a shockingly realistic world of diorama-like simplicity. (How post-modern can you get, right?) Characters and set pieces appear as toy miniatures, stuffed animals, and cardboard cut-outs, all rendered with such meticulous attention to detail, it's easy to forget you aren't actually traveling through an elaborate cardboard maze of art. Add to that the absolutely masterful lighting and camera movement, along with the deftly creative representation of the song's lyrical content, and we're left with a work so captivating, so strikingly beautiful, and so, well, professional, it's downright baffling that no one was paid for it. This is not only the best fan video I've ever seen, it is one of the best overall music videos I've ever seen.