Film directors that started as music video directors (18 GIFs) May 16, 2021 admin All funny 1 GIFIt’s one of the most common occurrences in the world of music videos: Someone directs an incredibly popular video, Hollywood scoops them up for a major film project. Usually, you either sink or swim. You either knock it out of the park or get sent back to music video purgatory. Here are some directors that (mostly) left the music video game to become incredibly well-known directors of film. Almost every single one of these directors still makes music videos, but they’re a bit higher budget these days. Can’t imagine why. 2 GIFAlex Proyas I don’t expect anyone to be able to pick out Alex Proyas’ name out of a lineup, but you’ve at least heard of a couple of his movies. Originally an Australian film student who moved out to L.A., Proyas directed music videos for the likes of INXS, Mike Oldfield, Yes, and Sting. While his directorial debut was a movie called Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, his next movie was a bit more well-known. 3 GIFThe Crow was a massive hit, and while his follow-up film in 1998, Dark City, didn’t make a whole lot of money, it’s considered to be his best film to date. Other well-known projects include I, Robot, Knowing, and Gods of Egypt. 4 GIFMichel Gondry This eccentric motherfucker has a LONG career in music videos that stretches well into the modern day. We don’t have another fifty fucking GIFs to demonstrate the range of Gondry’s clients over the years, but they include the likes of Björk, The White Stripes, Beck, The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Sinead O’Connor, Daft Punk, Sheryl Crow, and many MANY more. 5 GIFAnd goddamn does his film career speak for itself too. While his adaptation of Green Hornet didn’t quite work out, he earned an Academy Award for writing the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He also directed Be Kind Rewind and Mood Indigo. He hasn’t actually directed many films, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is kind of all you need under your belt. 6 GIFMark Romanek Mark Romanek is kind of similar to Michel Gondry as far as both of them having not directed many films but still directing a metric-fuck-ton of music videos. Romanek’s most famous music video client is by far Jay-Z (“99 Problems,” and many more) but he also directed the incredible music video for Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” frequently worked with Nine Inch Nails in the 1990s, and directed the “Flithy” music video for Justin Timberlake just last year. 7 GIFIt really almost feels like cheating including Romanek at all since he’s only directed three feature-length films in his entire career, but one of them is the truly excellent One Hour Photo. If you’ve never seen it, get on it. It’s one of the best performances in Robin Williams’ entire career. 8 GIFGore Verbinski I don’t expect people to know Verbinski’s name on site, but this guy has made a massive film career for himself. Actually, his music video career isn’t super long and really only includes one major artist, Bad Religion (who hired Verbinski for a total of four videos). But let’s just jump into his filmography. 9 GIFHis debut film was MouseHunt, a comedy film of the 1990s that I grew up with, so I’m pretty nostalgia blinded by it. But shortly after, he directed the American remake of the Japanese horror shocker Ringu as The Ring. I don’t have to say a damn thing about this movie, it’s unbelievably famous. But not nearly as famous as what he did directly after that. 10 GIFNot only did he direct Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, he directed Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End (he did not direct On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales), but he also tried to get The Lone Ranger franchise started, but that didn’t exactly work out. He also directed Rango and The Cure For Wellness. 11 GIFMichael Bay Arguably the most successful music video director turned film director of all time (at least, monetarily speaking), Michael Bay’s career before he completely fell in love with explosions isn’t very long. He made videos for bands like Styx, Meatloaf, and Vanilla Ice, and that’s kind of it? Not a ton to talk about there. 12 GIFAs for his film career… Do I even have to do this? Bad Boys. The Rock. Armageddon. Pearl Harbor. Bad Boys II. The Island. Transformers. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Pain & Gain. Transformers: Age of Extinction. 13 Hours. Transformers: The Last Knight. 13 GIFOnly TWO of those movies made less than $100 million, and six made over $500 million (and of those six, two made over $1 billion). Say what you will about the quality of those movies (and you can say a lot, and not a lot of it is going to be nice), but there’s no denying Michael Bay’s unbelievable success. 14 GIFDavid Fincher If you had to ask me who I thought the best music video director turned film director is, I don’t think I’d ever give a different answer than David Fincher. That’s partially because his music video career is almost as incredible as his film career. Fincher’s list of clients is LONG, but the most famous music video he made was “Vogue,” for Madonna, one of the most famous music videos of the 1990s. 15 GIFAs for his film career… Where do you even start? He’s rarely directed a bad movie in his whole life. In fact, he started his career off with his “worst” movie, Alien 3, a movie he literally had almost no control over whatsoever. (An actual quote from David Fincher: “No one hated Alien 3 more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.”) 16 GIFAnd his next movie was Se7en, which instantly took his career to the next level. After that, he directed films like Fight Club, Zodiac, and The Social Network. While his last film was in 2014 with Gone Girl, he’s helped produce (and direct) some major Netflix projects like House of Cards and Mindhunter. 17 GIFWhile his music video output has slowed down considerably from his heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he has directed three music videos in the 2000s, “Judith” by A Perfect Circle, “Only” by Nine Inch Nails (which, in a roundabout way, is how Trent Reznor found himself composing music for Fincher’s movies), and “Suit and Tie” by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. 18 GIFGoddamn, what a career. 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