As YouTube continues to grow in its web prominence, and, as a result, the esteem of its YouTubers grows along with it, one creator whose popularity hasn’t caught up to his creativity is P.J. Liguori.
The British-Italian filmmaker has been on YouTube since 2007, but his videos have evolved considerably since his debut. The comedic host has a variety of talents, but his artistic videography is perhaps his most famous trademark. So, whether you’re familiar with Liguori, whose YouTube moniker is KickThePJ, or not, here are three of the most visually stunning, artistically impressive videos he’s made.
1. Colour Bandit
Back in June 2013, Liguori set on creating the “Colour Bandit.” In addition to creating his own sets, Liguori also often creates original soundtracks for his videos, a talent he puts on display in this video. The clip begins with a subtle guitar riff that plays softly as Liguori reads what sounds like a poem.
“Sitting before you is not a man, but merely a cracked shell,” he says. He is seated on the floor in a completely white outfit, with a white backdrop, as the Colour Bandit. When the camera focuses in on him, you can see his cracked face and hands are covered in white powder, as is the rest of his body, including his clothes. As he speaks, Liguori is pelted with colored dust, the hues corresponding to the words of his poem. The guitar tune transitions from a classical ballad to a more Western-gunfight type tone.
Rising from his knees, the Colour Bandit prepares for war, his goggles covering his eyes and a scarf protecting his mouth and nose. As the words begin to slow down and the first stanza comes to a close, a single shot of red powder flies across the screen. The Colour Bandit dramatically grabs his chest as the music and words slow to a pause. In his hand, over his heart, a fist-full of red powder has stained his pure white clothes.
The guitar picks up again, as does the pace of his narration, before the Bandit is blasted with blue powder, which mixes with the red. His voice grows angry, and soon he is being pelted all over by a variety of colored powders. He tries to fight back against the onslaught, letting his fists fly through the air and striking the powders with his ukulele as if it were bat.
He is soon covered in color, the pigments seeping into his mouth and sticking to his teeth. He falls to his knees and utters his final words, an allusion to the first line of the poem. “Standing before you is not a man, but an occupied shell, defeated,” he trails off.
While I can’t say exactly what the meaning of the performance is, the video is visually captivating. The music makes your heart race , and Liguori’s voice is entrancing.
2. Cyber Party
Where the “Colour Bandit” is strange but still somewhat literal, “Cyber Party” is an exercise in metaphor. In an effort to raise awareness for internet safety, the short video communicates its message in a strange, albeit effective way. “The internet is a strange and glorious place. I think I’m gonna celebrate it,” Liguori says as the video begins.
In what looks like a room made of orange cardboard, Liguori, who dons a fox facemask, tells his computer to invite “everyone” to the party he’s throwing. Slightly nervous, the computer questions whether Liguori is doing the right thing by inviting EVERYONE, but obeys the order anyway.
Everything is fine at first, as Liguori and his friends party and dance together, but soon a number of strangers show up and interrupt the get-together. Panicking, Liguori tries to get everyone he doesn’t know to leave. Things get weirder when Liguori gets a phone call and an evil clone of him shows up.
The videographer’s artistry shines in these few seconds, because the footage warps and bends through a number of colors, making the whole experience feel like a hallucination.
As Liguori panics, his clone reminds him that he did in fact invite “everyone.” As the faux Fox begins to sabotage the plans that the real Fox has already made, the imposter explains, “Buddy, I’ve even checked your internet history.” Liguori then retorts, “Yeah? Well, you are internet history.”
With that, all the other unwanted guests vanish from the party, and Liguori and his real friends continue their celebration in peace.
A short-and-sweet stop motion production, “Bloom” never fails to amaze me. Sponsored by Grow Wild, Liguori’s task for this video was to create a short about flower seeds. In addition, the entire set was created by hand using common crafting materials, such as cardboard, pipe cleaners, fuzz balls, paper, figurines, etc.
Set in a tiny town, the video shows a small flower shop with a sign that reads “Closing Down.” Around the store, fictional townspeople go about their day and tiny toilet-paper-roll cars zoom up and down the two main streets.
Night falls. The dark sky is purple, thunderous and rainy, with a single car zooming by, not a person in sight, giving the hamlet an eerie feeling.
Suddenly, a god-like hand pokes onto the street, placing a pink box of “Wild Seeds” by the closing flower shop. The hand retrieves seeds from the box, then slowly plants a seed in front of the flower shop, on top of the hair salon, atop another building, etc. Once the hand is done planting its seeds, it then removes the flower shop’s “Closing Down” sign.
When morning comes, the town is saturated with color. The little people begin fixing the sign that is now mysteriously on the concrete floor, before, out of nowhere, the city begins shaking, cars begin skidding across the sidewalks and a massive flower sprouts around the main building.
New grass covers the once-plain concrete, and red flowers burst through the tiny flower shop. More flowers bloom at the sides of the building, and the miniature citizens gather around the flower shop and fountain, joined by humongous bees, butterflies and ladybugs, bringing life back into the teeny town.