Best Music Video Directors
This topic is all personal preference and opinion. I based my picks on who had made my Favorite Videos of All Time list, as well as who had made The Most Epic Music Videos of All Time list. I also based my decision on what these directors are doing now; were they able to evolve and keep up with the times or was their career success a one trick pony? For these reasons, my Music Video Directors list is only going to include three directors.
Number Three on my list is Michael Bay, known for his blockbuster hits Bad Boys (1995) and Transformers (2007). Bay got his start in music videos and was responsible for one of most groundbreaking music videos of all time: “I’d Do Anything for Love” (sung by Meatloaf) in 1993. I remember watching that video every time it came on, and it was like watching a feature film or rock opera.
Number Two on my best music video directors list list is Spike Jonze. Jonze has made my two favorite music videos of all time: “Buddy Holly” (sung by Weezer, 1994) and “Sabotage” (sung by the Beastie Boys, 1994). Both videos are extremely entertaining and have huge lasting power. Both are set in time periods at least 30 years prior to their filming dates, which ultimately prove that content and not timely or modern “flash” is king. It’s not always about huge budgets; a simple, interesting, fun concept is what matters at the end of the day, as well as the ability of that video to connect with the artist’s audience. Spike Jonze has also had tremendous success in the film industry, with such silver screen hits as Being John Malkovich (1999) and Her (2013). It’s no surprise considering that everything he has ever directed has such an original feel. Even his more recent music videos–such as “Weapon of Choice” (sung by Fatboy Slim, 2001)–retain that unique quality.
Number One on my best music video directors list is David Fincher. David Fincher, in my opinion, has the best track record of groundbreaking music videos. He is responsible for “Vogue” (sung by Madonna, 1990), “Freedom” (sung by George Michael, 1990), and “Janie’s Got A Gun” (sung by Aerosmith, 1994). His epic success with music videos has translated over to film; he has directed The Game (1997), Seven (1995), Fight Club (1999), and the Social Network (2010).
Music Video Companies
Ultimately, there aren’t that many successful working music video companies out there. The people who have found most success in this line of business are those who have worked by themselves and have outsourced what they have needed when they needed it. I think this is directly correlated to the nature of this line of work. You never really know when your next music video is going to be booked. You can have five music videos scheduled to film in one month and then not another for the next three months. It all depends on availability and timing in this industry, as well as potential clients’ ability to find you. On this same note, there really is no such thing as “great” cheap music video production out there… although there is certainly a need for it! This results in finding a lot of directors who work by themselves rather that incorporate a larger crew in order to save money for artists. Sometimes this is successful; sometimes it is not. My favorite music video company right now is Daniels, the duo who is responsible for the wild DJ Snake & Lil Jon video “Turn Down for What.” If you have not seen this video yet do yourself the favor and take the time for a good laugh.
Music Video Producer
You’re going to be hard pressed to find the best music video producer. Most directors in this industry are their own producer, especially when working with independent artists. You would be more likely to find a music video producer within a music video company. In this industry, people have to wear multiple hats for years because you never know what kind of budget the artist is going to be working with. Sometimes there is room for a ten person crew, and sometimes there is just room for one person on the crew. Also, producers don’t get any of the real credit; it’s all about the director in this world. You will see the director’s name on the video most of the time and never the producer’s.
If you just love music videos and want to watch them all be sure to check out the music video database by clicking the blue link. This will give you an endless amount of music videos to view. Music Video Companies