Many of pop music's best and brightest filed into the Staples Center in Los Angeles last night (Sept. 6) for the 2012 MTV VMAs, and although One Direction were the night's big winners with three awards, that still left plenty of room for other artists -- including Coldplay, M.I.A. and Skrillex -- to take home their own moon men.

Coldplay took home Best Rock Video for 'Paradise,' the second single from their chart-topping 'Mylo Xyloto' album. Although the clip was cobbled together at the last minute after the band scrapped an earlier treatment by well-known director Hype Williams, it turned out pretty well; voters clearly responded to its surreal tale of a man in an elephant suit (played by singer Chris Martin) hitchhiking his way to freedom after escaping from the zoo. (According to the song's Wikipedia page, 'Paradise' is the most-viewed rock video of all time on YouTube.)

M.I.A., meanwhile, took home two awards for her 'Bad Girls' video -- one for Best Cinematography and another for Best Direction. Helmed by director Romain Gavras, whose prior credits include M.I.A.'s 'Born Free' and 'No Church in the Wild' for Kanye West and Jay-Z, the clip earned widespread acclaim for its eye-catching imagery -- as well as its political subtext, which boldly drew attention to women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

The Best Visual Effects of the year prize went to Skrillex for 'First of the Year (Equinox),' the leadoff single from his 'More Monsters and Sprites' EP. Directed by Tony Truand, a French MC and director who has worked with artists such as Noisia, Grems and Foreign Beggars, it blends supernatural elements with a disturbing storyline involving a creepy predator at a playground.

To see a complete list of winners and clips from the show, head over to MTV's 2012 VMAs recap page.