Like a normal film a music video will have a director, this director could be a band member when the band have a strict budget, but quite often film directors may have a go at directing a music video or a even a music video director may turn to directing feature length movies.
Spike Jones & Michel Gondry are two of the biggest names when it comes to music video directors. Both have a impressive back catalogue of work spanning across
- TV Ads (Such as Spike Jones's trailer for Arcade fire's live from new york show)
- Films (Shorts & Feature length) such as Spike Jones latest feature length Where the Wild Things Are (2009), the film was directed by Spike with a estimated budget of 100 million. The film was met with mostly critical acclaim and appeared on many year-end top ten lists.
- As well as Music videos
Spike Jonzes has led a interesting career, he started off working as a photographer and a editor for a Youth BMX club and freestyling magazine which kicked off his creative career.
He then spent the last 18 years jumping between directing some feature length movies, directing some note able commercials and still managing to fit directing some award winning music videos in between.
Being John Malkovich (1999) was Spike J's first venture in feature length movies, "The plot brings to the forefront several issues in contemporary philosophy of mind, such as the nature of self and consciousness, the mind-body dichotomy, and sensory perception." quote taken from Wikipedia.
Even though the film received limited release it scored 92% on rotton tomato and was nominated for:
- three BAFTA Awards, winning one for Best Screenplay
- five Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, winning one for Best Screenplay
- six Chlotrudis Awards, winning three, Best Director, Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay
- four Golden Globes, winning none
- three Independent Spirit Awards, winning two, one for Best First Picture, and First Best Screenplay.
Spike Jonzes also n 2006, he was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Achievement in Commercials in 2005." He was nominated for a body of work that included Hello Tomorrow for Adidas, Lamp for IKEA.
He was a producer and co-creator of MTV television series Jackass and Jackass: The Movie, also directing some of the segments.
Jonzes biggest body of work lies with music videos, he has worked on just under 50 music videos with around 30 different artists, He has a unique concept style which he seems to use for the majority of his videos
- He has used concept ideas for a lot of his videos, usually the concepts are quite humour such as the idea for California by WAX, where the concept is simply a man on fire running to catch a bus with the idea being very similar to The Pixie's Velouria with it being only 1 shot that lasts around 20-30 seconds but is sped up to fit the song, the song is also taken from the backseat on a car.
- Another similar motif in Spike's videos is the use of diegetic sound at the start and during the videos, such as Da Funk by Daft Punk, "It focuses on the character Charles an anthropomorphic dog in a leg cast with a crutch wearing urban clothing. Charles, who has lived in New York City for only one month, is shown walking around with a boombox blasting "Da Funk" at a high volume. His hobbled walk is made fun of by a pair of children. He is turned down when he attempts to participate in a public survey. His boombox annoys a bookseller on the sidewalk from whom Charles buys a paperback novel entitled Big City Nights. Charles meets a woman named Beatrice who was once his childhood neighbor. They agree to have dinner together at her home, traveling by way of a city bus." taken from wikipedia.
- Daft Punk have said that the video is simply a story with the song played in the background and during the song they is a lot of diegetic sound in the form of cars, people talking and general sounds, at times you can barely hear the music. Link to video
- Spike Jonze is well known for the creation of the music video for Praise you by Fatboy Slim. He did things a little bit differently this time. The following paragraph is quoted from Wikipedia,
- Jonze has many alter egos, including Richard Koufey (alternately spelled Coufey or Couffe), the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, an urban troupe that performs in public spaces. The Koufey persona appeared when Jonze, in character, filmed himself dancing to Fatboy Slim's "Rockafeller Skank" as it played on a boom box in a public area. Spike showed the video to Slim, who loved it. Jonze then assembled a group of dancers to perform to Slim's "Praise You" outside a Westwood, California movie theater and taped the performance. The resulting clip was a huge success, and "Koufey" and his troupe were invited to New York City to perform the song for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The video received awards for Best Direction, Breakthrough, and Best Choreography, which Jonze accepted, still in character. Jonze made a mockumentary about the experience called Torrance Rises.
- Spike's latest music video for Canada's indie rock band Arcade Fire is The Suburbs, the video looks like a teen drama set in the suburbs. NME described it as "this is a look at the dramatic, violent side of the suburbs". The video follows a group of teenagers around a suburb while a military force is taking control, The meaning of the video is very unsure.
- Both Spike Jonze & Arcade Fire have been working on a short titled "Scenes from the suburbs" which was expected to be released in Summer 2010 but has been pushed back due to their new album and is now expected to be released 20th December 2010. The music video for the suburbs is made up of parts of the short film.
A DVD has been released titled "The Work of Director Spike Jonze" 2003. This DVD documents a lot of his videos throughout the ages.
Link to DVD on amazon.com
Michel Gondry (Born 1963) is a french film, commercial and music video director as well as a award winning screenwriter. He is known for his inventive visual style and manipulation of mise en scene.
- He started his career as a filmmaker making music videos for the french band Oui Oui which he was the drummer for. His music videos attracted the attention of Bjork who enlisted his intresting style to help with his video. This kickstarted his career in film making.
- He pioneered the "bullet time" technique later adapted in The Matrix which was used in a 1998 Smirnoff TV commercial that was also directed by Michel.
- He went on to work with big names in music such as Daft Punk, Radiohead, White Stripes, Foo Fighters and many more. The style of Gondry's music videos often relies on videography and camera tricks which play with frames of reference. The White Stripes - Fell in love with a girl, heavily uses videography to create the lego stop motion effect.
- Gondry has also worked creating feature length movies. His first successful movie was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which was released in 2004 and received very favorable reviews. In this film he used a lot of film making styles he used while creating his music videos.