The Youth Gone Wild. In Reverse.

I stumbled on this a while ago and forgot to share… The controversial UK teen show came to the USA.

Let’s skip the debate about the morality of the content–whether it’s exploitative or informative or neither. On a purely visual basis, I’d say Writer/Director Evan Silver comes up gold in the promotional intro to MTV’s “Skins” about the youth gone wild.

IMHO it’s dope. Inspirational cinematography that’s not over the top technically. Well written. A killer edit (by Nathan Byrne). An elegant use of timeline, speed ramps, and the content marries exceptionally well with the shooting style. Perfect beats for the piece as well. It’s got RVI. Raw visual impact.

[BTW, if you took moral issue with the spot… (or if there’s cynic in your soul) then you’d better watch the parody version here. You’ll be happy to know that the kids are all perfect–monopoly, sunny delight, and bubbles–just like you thought they’d be.]

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Evan says:

Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate the positive as much as the negative ones. This promo is definitely not for everyone which was kind of the point from the show’s perspective. Cheers! – Evan

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Pascal T says:

This is absolutely dope!
But what is the song in the video, can i loadet in this version?

J Rainey says:

Sleigh Bells makes this video! I wonder what the process was for this. Did they have a direct outcome in mind or did they plan to do a party scene and hope it looked good in reverse? I think my brain would explode planning for/thinking how a video in reverse would look, or at least from rocking Sleigh Bells too hard

J Rainey says:

Sheesh, didn’t realize the cluster F of replies this video got…

David Haut says:

I agree with this vid having raw visual impact, but “teens partying” seems a little cliché to me. Kudos to Ethan Silver for trying to throw a fresh spin on it. It took some guts for Chase to put this up on his blog…. so Chase, respect.
I won’t comment on the questionable morality of the content, but I do think I saw an old dude in the background somewhere ………

Jens says:

okay… did I miss something .. this is like all new productions only out of the brain of adults …. i know alot of teenagers who would tell me “what is that bullshit” in the video.

it´s nothing to do with feelings, emotions and so on… its like “stockfotos” … deadsouls kissing deadsouls

marco says:

Subliminal sex.- rinse/repeat Hash wishwash that Danny Boyle did over 14 years ago….. /snore. When will there be something actually unique.

I say peeps need to jump offline for a year or two and then really start being creative instead of pumping out the same old regurgitated crap. Death to the net.

Greg says:

YYYeeaahhh Im so glad the photography skills I’ve worked on for years (some payed hundreds of thousands for schooL), we get to participate in the >>> DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA <<<<>> SOCIAL ENGINEERING <<<< agendas!!… 3333 coincidence I think not.

Tim says:

Why can’t MTV just play DEVO videos?

Chase says:

@tim. that, my friend, is the best question of the lot of em…


Cynthia says:

Not terribly original, IMHO; this style of shooting stories in reverse, the use of “speed ramps,” etc. are all fairly frequently used nowadays. No doubt these visual tropes will eventually start to feel trite and overused. As for the content, hmm, also not “dope” — especially given the target audience… And I thought I was wild in my youth!? When the occasional skinhead would get thrown through a window at a punk show/party. But at least the girls wore clothes and usually kept them on (dressing like a stripper or a hooker was generally frowned upon; wearing a slip as a dress could easily pass for risque). And the booze went into our mouths, not all over our faces and the furniture. (At least not intentionally.) But maybe I’m just getting old & cynical.

Guillaume K says:

You should check out the trailers from the U.K. original series… Well done too ;-)
Specially the series 2 & 3 ones.

Links: (SERIES 2) (SERIES 3)

Skins is not controversial here in Europe…
People have their own & different mind though.
Some people thinks it’s too easy. Some too much. Some others thinks it’s a good panel of today’s youth.

Ron Dawson says:

Now come on Chase. You can’t post a video like this and not expect there to be conversation about the content. You’re smarter than that. :)

Personally, I think there are significantly more exceptionally edited videos in the world that could have been shown on one of the most trafficked photog blogs around. I totally appreciate all you do to highlight great content. I am a staunch supporter (and will continue to be). But, I must admit, I was disappointed to see you give praise and more exposure to this show: even if it’s “just the editing” you’re praising.

If you all like cool videos so much, with great cinematography and editing, I strongly suggest you watch a few of these:

It’s funny how people who support this show say that we parents are over-protective tight-asses who are burying our heads in the sand. You totally miss the point. We are fully aware of what goes on in schools nowadays. The issue is not about being over protective or naive. The issue is about concerned parents (like myself) trying to deal with issues that will have a profound impact on my 16 y/o daughter. Whether it’s guys in her school that will look at and treat her a certain way because of what they see on TV that enforces treating women/girls like objects. Or whether it’s making drug use look glamorous enough that kids will not see the harm in trying it: even once.

It’s not about keeping things “taboo.” It’s about giving our kids something inspiring, enlightening and constructive to look up to. Showing them there is something more to them than what is portrayed in this show. Studies have shown that kids will live up to the expectations that we place on them. This show, and others like it, have greatly reduced those expectations. It says, “This IS what we expect of you.” Then we act so surprised when teen pregnancy, drug use, and drop out rates in this country are increasing.

As far as I’m concerned, shows like this are to teen kids what “Stepin Fetchit” was to African Americans.

fas says:

MTV is responsible for creating havoc in the minds of the youth.

nate parker says:

i love Jenga-bangin!

Adam Leahy says:

Is the “visual” here really that interesting or new? No. Content trumps visual as the dominating factor in an art piece sometimes. The art here is certainly good enough to get a lot of kids to watch this show, and promote an empty uncaring lifestyle. Everyone has forgotten the conclusion 10 seconds into the scene. As a person that works with teenagers, and sees how things like this effect them, I find it disgraceful. At the end of the day, it’s your art, your voice, and what you say, says who you are. By putting this on your blog, you sponsor it. Is this really what you want to be saying with your voice Chase?

Chase says:

now adam. seriously. putting a racy video on my blog because i like the visual styling and specifically call out that i find the morality of the video in question certainly does not place me in the category of a “sponsor”.

To use your own words “At the end of the day, it’s your art, your voice, and what you say, says who you are”.

To my recall i haven’t made any art or voiced support of any that encourages moral decline. If anything i’m encouraging a critical conversation that style and content can be different.

Adam says:

Agree to disagree. Have a good one!

jetgreen1 says:

I was looking for charlie sheen all the time….I missed it!

Shabazz says:


Saw something like this on Gizmodo last week, can’t for the life of me find it but it’s a great idea!

morality has nothing to do with it…… if you want to live a lifestyle that can kill you, as I think what happened to this girl…. go right ahead….. but to me…. thats no life at all……… life is fragile and precious, not to thrown away on some drug crazed fucking orgy……..

Chase says:

i was suggest that we be be talking about the filming content and style here, not whether or not what the teens are doing is living life or throwing it away.

(which is a moral question by the way, so has everything to do with your comment ;)

I have found that the UK (Original) version is actually more appealing from a storyline/acting perspective. I agree the agressive camera work and editing is what makes this show compelling.

Sean says:

Very formulaic. Every person in there looks like a youthful stereotype and they look like they were cast from a pool of people that look good on a set.

Guy says:

Actors casted cause they look good and represent the target group. Oh no, say it ain’t so! What will these shrewd movie execs come up with next? Non-realistic scripts? Special effects thar depict actions not possible? Run for the hills…

That was some seriously fly ass $h1t right there!!! I liked it a WHOLE lot! Very creative.

Mike Wilson says:

What’s with all the reverse-storytelling videos lately?

There was this one someone pointed me to a week or two ago that I think does this whole thing better, though this one’s fine too.

jeremy says:

i’m one of those people, that if i find the subject … uncomfortable…I just can’t get past that to see the “art”. Like you can take awesome photos of junkies shooting heroin as a dramatic artistic peice, and I just can’t look past the subject to ever see the art…same with this.

Kalle says:

Really well done. Watched the first 4 seasons. The shooting style doesnt really change through all of them. We dont get it up here in Canada because of our igloos and copyright issues.

What does IMHO stand for?

GaryB says:

“On a purely visual basis” this is propaganda disguised as “art”. Its design and editing are stating “as long as something is edited and shot well it’s content doesn’t matter”. Wow, now that’s “killer”.

Anonymous says:

I used to think Chase javis was cool. I don’t anymore. Sick morals.

Giovanni Arteaga says:

Awesome show and video. I hate the conservative American TV critics. They killed public American talk radio and now want to kill cable TV programming. C’mon, turn off the TV if you don’t like it. :)

DanielKphoto says:

A good job indeed, thanks for sharing Almighty Chase :)

Ben says:

there’s a great compare and contrast to be done here, as Channel 4 (who show Skins here in the UK) sink millions into their promos.
Season 1 – way more grimy and explicit than the USA version (this is 4 years old now):

Season 2 – Directed by Nigel Gorringe, uses Radiohead and dance to really abstract the “misunderstood teen” vibe (season 2 of skins was dynamite, btw)

So in all, it sits well in the canon of sexy, dirty, well shot promos for the show. I haven’t seen the US version, but the UK version lost it’s way terribly after the original cast left.

I was just about to post links to those Ben!

Love the radiohead one!


Michelle Knight says:

Oh good grief. You can tell I’m getting old. From all that language I can’t actually work out whether you like or hate the thing. It was bad enough when bad meant good, chilling meant hot and hot was something other than the temperature.

Chase moving from “sweet” and “sick” to “dope” … man, I can’t keep up.

Mike says:

Visuals are great but the show is hilariously stupid and contrived.

I like it the general feel of it, specially the back lighting going on, with all the smoke, it creates a lot of depth on the environment.
As for parents being outraged about kids doing what they see….Well…morals and good decisions making start at home.

P.S: I agree, the U.S is uptight about all these things.

Rob says:

This show is now in season 6 here in the UK, hugely popular and is not considered controversial at all. This is clearly a case of American parents being way too over protective. But then again over here you can swear on tv, have sex at 16 and drink at 18 so we don’t consider any of the things featured in this show as a big deal. By making things more taboo the more trouble your kids are going to get in to.

More on topic, this is an cool advert!

it shows how kids gradual “get into” trouble, the individual choices they make, that lead to that last point. It also works well as a nice 30 to 20 second skins previews on MTV. Its nice to make something that works well as a complete narrative but also in snapshots cut up.

Amy says:

The parody is money. So well done and a great contrast to the original replacing all of the controversial stuff with kids games.

I agree that the trailer is dope. Better than the actual show IMHO.

the parody was able to create so much tension about what they were going to use instead of r-rated material, the first time i’ve ever seen monopoly money like in that slow motion kid kudi video (pursuit of happiness)

Dan says:

Music by?

Amy says:

Sleigh Bells

David Angel says:

Reminiscent of the drug party scene from Garden State, though in my opinion less artful.

Ben says:

Ya, the GS one is awesome!

David K. says:

I suppose as a parent of an impressionable teenager, that raw visual impact largely serves to endorse conduct I would rather discourage my teen from. I doubt that the kids are all perfect, but I do know that they all take cues from popular culture. It’s like the show I watched about how the modeling industry eats up young talent, which everyone said was awful, but which no one seemed to be willing to take a single action to stop. If we want realism, then these types of things should show a drunken girl being raped, an adult with a lifelong drug addiction problem, and probably someone dying in a car crash. Talk about RVI.

you know they have this, its called new french extremity ( and the movie your talking about is Irreversible ( and I stand alone by gaspar noe. how awesome!

Ben says:

So did that dude come into the bathroom without a shirt and then she put a shirt on him? Or did they reverse the reverse for that scene?

Very cool. And if they were trying to push moral controversy, I don’t think they missed any chances! I guess I didn’t see them burning any holy books, but there is always next season! Ha!

Adam Mizrahi says: Check this out I just put it together from my trip to see my family in Miami!

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