Skip to main content

One Video: Half a Million by The Shins

One Video: Half a Million by The Shins


Sorry, it’s 2004 again

Share this story

Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video? Maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.

This week’s video: “Half a Million” by The Shins

Lizzie: Kaitlyn’s on vacation this week, catching some rays or eating Jell-O by the pool or whatever it is she wants to do on vacation. One thing she’s not doing is working, and although One Video is more of a deranged passion than work, I’m still left here to steer the ship alone this week.

I like to think that One Video is usually pretty cutting edge, but this week’s winners are the classic soundtrackers of unrequited love in junior high: The Shins. In fairness to me, this video didn’t have a lot of competition. Pink (P!nk) and Gorillaz both released videos this week.

Who are The Shins and who are LAMAR+NIK?

I don’t mean to embarrass you, but I’m sure you know who The Shins are. They’ve been around since 1996, but they got a bunch of attention after their track “New Slang” was featured in Zac Braff’s 2004 movie Garden State, a fact which they probably are sick of hearing.

LAMAR+NIK are Jesse Lamar High and Nik Harper, the directors behind this music video. They’ve made music videos for the Pixies and MNEK.

What’s special about “Half a Million” by The Shins:

What’s special about “Half a Million” is that it’s a stop-motion video made from 5,566 stickers. Handmade stickers. First, LAMAR+NIK filmed the band playing the track against a white background, then edited it, and printed out 4,868 frames. Then, they stuck each frame on top of the next in various locations, like a library, a spa, and a pile of cheese and meats. The effect is like high-brow vandalism created by highly motivated vandals.

How long everyone should watch “Half a Million” by The Shins:

It probably took a long time to make this, so I think you can dedicate the 3 minutes and 22 seconds of your day to watch it. Thanks!