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Director Jonathan Glazer on the State of Music Videos

From a fantastic interview by Collider.com with director Jonathan Glazer about his new movie Under The Skin and his music video background — which includes the classics Jamiroquai "Virtual Insanity," UNKLE "Rabbit In Your Headlights," and Radiohead "Karma Police."  ...

Jonathan Glazer:

"Well looking back, I think we were in a period of time when the language of music videos wasn’t yet fully formed. It was still nascent somehow. There was a relationship between the filmmakers and the bands who wanted to keep pushing and challenging the form. There was great artistry around, absolutely. And when I think there’s a group of people fortunate enough to work in the same field and the same time, it’s not competitive, but there’s a great sense of, “he’s done that so I’ll have to push further.” There was a lovely sense of theater around that period with MTV, I suppose. There was a stage that we all played to. And now I haven’t made a music video in about 4-5 years. I hear from people who do make music videos that there are a lot of complaints about how controlled it is now. How people pitch music videos for $2000-$3000 and lose to people who then take ideas from everyone else’s pitches. It feels quite tragic to me. It’s become homogenized and controlled by certain people. The artistry has left the building, I think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t brilliant people around. I just think it’s much harder for them to do interesting things than it was for us, which is ironic because the work is so immediately available online. But that’s not all of it. It’s about faith that the band show you and the freedom the record company give you to pursue your ideas, the controversy that might follow and embracing that. It’s a very different time. But I think it’s just the period of time and it’s a cycle. It’ll change and people will break through. I haven’t seen any in a while, but that’s probably because I’ve had my head down making this film."


Jeff Justice's picture
Truly innovative vids seem to be few and far between these days.
Rab Media's picture
One of my (and everyone-in-our-office's) most significant idols growing up, and unfortunately he's spot on.
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