Music videos have become a significant promotional tool in contemporary Korean music industry. Although some companies still rely on videos that focus on choreography, some spend more money and effort to create artsy visualization of the songs. Truth be told, 2PM doesn’t have visually mind-blowing MVs. Most of their videos expose their choreography more, or if there’s any plot it’s not a surprising one (Tik Tok might be one exception). Nevertheless, they still have videos that you can watch again and again for its eye-catchiness. Here are three of my favourites, and I basically chose them because each manages to capture the essence of the song.
Hands Up is a tacky party anthem, and the MV does a great job in visualizing this spirit. Shot in a club in Singapore, the MV portrays everything that is shiny, entertaining and wild. This formula works well. Hands Up sent 2PM to huge popularity.
Besides the club setting, the MV builds the party atmosphere by its effective use of camera. For solo shots, a camera is strapped to the member’s hips and it sways (and sometimes rocks) everytime the member moves. This technique of camera positioning allows viewers to see the members’ ecstatic face, as you can see from Chansung’s shot here.
The fast-cut editing depicts the craziness of the party, and to follow the beat of the songs, the MV uses this kind of ‘stuttering’ cuts in some scenes. The setting, the outfits and the cinematography: everything is just unified in Hands Up MV. No wonder it’s a massive success.
If in Come Back When You Heart This Song MV each member of 2PM represents one deadly sin, in A.D.T.O.Y it seems that 2PM portrays only one, which is lust. It can’t be ignored that the MV sells sensuality, but like Nichkhun said A.D.T.O.Y is “sexy but not overly done”. That, I agree with.
For A.D.T.O.Y, black and white tone is used. While it makes the MV look classic, at the same time it conveys the duality of the feeling. Is it love or lust? Or maybe both?
You know what’s so good about A.D.T.O.Y MV? The sex is there and is also not there. The MV uses fast-cut editing to follow the tempo of the song, but this editing also succeeds in building the emotion. The make-out scenes are mostly shown in quick, close-up shots. Before they kiss or move on to higher level of steaminess, the camera already moves to another scene. We hardly have time to identify the girl’s face. But that’s what makes this MV so tense and thrilling.
2PM’s MVs like Without You and Masquerade highlight their muscular and manly figures, and fans go crazy over them. Funnily, it’s when they show less I fall in love with them even more. In Only You MV, the boys basically just hang around, enjoying the wine and the sunlight, and everything looks warm and peaceful. If I could live in one MV, it would be in Only You.
The natural lighting and soft filter contribute warmth and serenity to the MV. Meanwhile, close-up shots are applied in capturing the member’s expression when, for example, reading fans’ letters. Long shots are also used to portray the six members in one frame, displaying their togetherness.
More sweet moments are shown in a scene when the members are flipping their album photobooks, remembering what they’ve been through and achieved. Released as the single from 2PM Member’s Selection, Only You also reminds us that 2PM doesn’t depend on their muscles only. They could just sit down and still captivate our hearts.