What makes for an innovative music video? You kind of just know it when you see it, really.
For weeks, fans have been voting for their favorite boundary-pushing, genre-expanding clip over at the O Music Awards site, and today (at 4 p.m. ET on OMusicAwards.com and MTV.com), they can watch as a winner is crowned — after some spirited debate from producer/ Global14.com creator Jermaine Dupri, acclaimed video director Wayne Isham, Mashable's Brenna Ehrlich, Popdust's Maura Johnston and MTV News' James Montgomery.
"The idea of a visual coupled with audio, it was the first time you would see your favorite artist who was played all over the radio," said the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am about the early days of MTV and music-video artistry.
From Michael Jackson and Peter Gabriel to the Cars and A-Ha, the push to make groundbreaking music videos became an obsession of sorts among bands in the 1980s.
Elaine Bradley of Neon Trees remembered how innovative A-Ha's hand-drawn animated clip for "Take on Me" felt in 1985. "I remember being very, very little and just awestruck watching the video like, 'Oh my gosh, and now he's pencil, and now he's real!' "
With advances in technology and increasingly bigger budgets, acts like Madonna, Björk and, yes, Jackson continued to push the envelope. Even hard-rock bands got in on the action in clips such as Korn's "Freak on a Leash," which used the bullet-time effect from "The Matrix" to enhance their promotional videos.
The first decade of this century was a boom time as well, from the White Stripes' mind-bending Lego video for "Fell in Love With a Girl" to Cold War Kids' "I've Seen Enough," which allowed fans to interactively mute out bandmembers if they wanted to change the sound of the song.
The past decade has also proven that you don't need a lot of cash to make great videos, either. The best example is OK Go's "Here It Goes Again" treadmill classic, which made use of nothing more than a series of treadmills, some killer choreography and lots of patience to create one of the biggest viral music videos of all time.
"Very clever, the concept was really fun and quite genius," said Jane's Addiction co-founder Perry Farrell, who knows a thing or two about making great video art thanks to his band's beloved "Been Caught Stealing."
The O Music Awards debate for the Most Innovative Music Video, presented by FUZE®, will stream live on OMusicAwards.com and MTV.com at 4 p.m. ET today.
The inaugural O Music Awards will stream live from Las Vegas at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on OMusicAwards.com. Tune in to see who will reign supreme in categories like Most Viral Dance, Funniest Music Short and NSFW Music Video!