Music Video Directors
What is a music video?
A music video is a promotional tool for an artist. It sometimes serves to bring
attention from a label, but more often it is a starter for CD sales or artist song
downloads. A hit video can do a lot for the director but its primary goal is to serve
the music artist and make them achieve higher sales and promote them to the
What do music video directors do?
Music video directors are responsible for storyboarding and composing a shot-by-
shot vision for the music video. They must listen carefully to the song and
synchronize their video with the rhythm of the song. Music video directors must
collaborate with the production crew and the actors to create a unified music video.
A director is responsible for determining how the film moves, sounds and looks, as
well as for the performances of the actors. On set, the director takes charge of the
artistic and technical aspects of the video. They hold auditions, conduct rehearsals
and approve music, costumes, scenery and locations.
Some examples of music video directors:
Music directors are the people behind the production of music videos and are driven
by a certain track and their main aims are to promote the artist and make them into
a potential star, some examples of music directors and the work that they have done
in the past are:
• Jonas Akerlund was born on November 16, 1966 and
is a Swedish film and music video director. He is best
known for his stylish music videos, which often mock
movie trailers and short films. Some of the latest
examples of his music videos are; Paparazzi for Lady
Gaga, When Love Takes Over" for David Guetta
featuring Kelly Rowland, Celebration for Madonna,
We Are Golden for Mika.
• Chris Applebaum is an American music video director
and was born in Los Angeles in 1970. He has directed
music videos for many pop singers including Aly & AJ,
Vanessa Hudgens, Rihanna, Hilary Duff, Mandy
Moore, Willa Ford, Jessica Simpson, Natasha
Bedingfield, Britney Spears and several other artists.
At the age of the age of 21 he is the youngest music
video director to sign with satellite films and has
directed over 100 music videos.
• Chris Cunningham is an English music video film director and
video artist. He was born in Reading, Berkshire in 1970 and
grew up in Suffolk. Cunningham has had close ties to Warp
Records since his first production for Autechre. Videos for
Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy" and "Windowlicker" are
perhaps his best known. His video for Bjork's "All Is Full of
Love" won multiple awards, including an MTV music video
award for Breakthrough Video and was nominated for a
Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video. He also directed
Madonna's "Frozen" video.
• Joseph Kahn was on born October 12, 1972 in Jersey Village,
Texas and is known to be a notable American music video,
advertising, and feature film director. Kahn has worked with
diverse artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Christina
Aguilera, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, Ashlee Simpson,
Muse, Ciara, Monica, Courtney Love, Rob Zombie, Backstreet
Boys, U2, The Chemical Brothers, Blink 182, Eminem, TLC,
Katy Perry, Moby, George Michael, KoRn, Janet Jackson,
Black Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa and many more some of his most
recent videos are; Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Swizz
Beatz - "I Can Transform Ya" and Lady GaGa - "LoveGame".
• Jake Nava is an English music video, advertising and feature
film director. He grew up in Hackney, London, England and
later moved to the United States. Nava has worked with
diverse artists such as Britney Spears, Shakira, Beyoncé,
Utada, Usher, Pink, Robbie Williams, George Michael, Mariah
Carey, Leona Lewis, James Blunt, Destiny's Child, Mis-Teeq,
The Rolling Stones, Brandy, Enrique Iglesias, Ciara, Dido, and
Kylie Minogue. Some of his most recent music video
producions are; Britney Spears — "If U Seek Amy" and Shakira
— "She Wolf ".
• Sophie Muller was born on 31 January 1962 and is a British
music video director. Sophie Muller was born in London,
United Kingdom, but spent her early years growing up on the
Isle Of Man. Muller has directed seven No Doubt videos and
six solo videos for Gwen Stefani & seven Sophie Ellis Bextor
videos. Some of her most recent work is; Beyonce - Broken-
Hearted Girl and Pink - I Don't Believe You
• Ray Kay was born on July 10, 1978 in Norway and is an award
winning Norwegian film director and photographer, now
based in Los Angeles at Rockhard Films. He directs music
videos and has worked with artists such as Lady GaGa,
Beyonce. Amerie, Sean Paul, Destiny's Child, Enrique Iglesias,
Christina Milian, The Dream, Backstreet Boys, Diddy, Ciara,
Monica, Fantasia, Cassie, Nick Lachey, Mario, Trick Daddy,
Snoop Dogg, and his most recent work is as follows; Sean
Paul - "So Fine", The-Dream - "Rockin' That Thang" and
Christina Milian - "Us Against The World".