For many directors, the path to making a movie is by proving one’s worth via some other medium. For example, Saw II, III, and IV director Darren Lynn Bousman’s first directing gig was a music video for Static-X. And that path wasn’t just one he alone went down. For many director’s music videos are the beginning of what may become a long and exciting career, one that brings them praise and accolades.
Since there are some really high profile directors who ventured into horror but also dabbled in music videos in the early days of their careers, I figured we could take some time to give them some praise and recognition! Besides, I’m willing to bet that you had NO idea some of these directors were behind these videos!
Alright, here we go!
Crowded House “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Alex Proyas
The director of The Crow and Dark City directed this video for these 80’s Australian new wave rockers! The song was wildly popular, reaching #2 on the Billboard Top 100 in the US. Eight years later, he would direct Brandon Lee in the gothic action thriller that would become one of the biggest reasons teenagers ventured down the goth path.
Nine Inch Nails “We’re All in This Together” – Mark Pellington
Before the man who brought us the deeply unsettling The Mothman Prophecies and the shocking Arlington Road, he worked with Trent Reznor for this black and white video. He also directed videos for Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Pearl Jam, The Screaming Trees, Silverchair, and more! If you want to see something he did recently, you should watch Lone, the long form video he directed for doom folk artist Chelsea Wolfe.
Paula Abdul “Straight Up” – David Fincher
This one blew my mind. I honestly had no idea that Fincher, who brought us Alien 3, Seven, and Panic Room, was the same man who was behind the video for one of the 80’s catchiest songs. No joke, I honestly love the hell out of this track and knowing that Fincher was behind it just makes me a very happy person!
New Order “Touched By the Hand of God” – Kathryn Bigelow
The same year that Bigelow released Near Dark, she also directed this video for New Order, one of the most successful bands of the 80’s. Essentially a mockery of the glam metal videos that were being pumped out left and right, there’s also a strange narrative of a man chasing a woman in a car only for him to break through the windshield and then the two make out. Oh, and the man and woman? Apparently that’s a young Bill Paxton and Rae Dawn Chong!
Monster Magnet “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” – Gore Verbinski
Yup! The guy that brought us the US remake of The Ring, which is a fantastic adaptation, as well as the action/adventure epic Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (and the two immediate sequels) first cut his teeth in the music video world, mainly with punk and rock bands. I grabbed the below video, which was done towards the end of his music video career, because I fucking love me some Monster Magnet.