Why Spike Jonze Winning An Oscar Matters

Spike Jonze winning an Oscar in the Screenwriting category for Her is perhaps the best lesson any up-and-coming music video director can learn.

The old rub against music video directors making movies is that it's all flash and action, but no substance or structure or story. Video people have been trained that every second needs to be amazing, needs to be impressive, even if it's at the cost of narrative cohesion or emotion.

And while Spike has delivered plenty of amazing visuals and brain teasers over the course of his feature career, it's his ability to nail emotion and story that's establishing him as primarily a movie director for a new generation of viewers. 

It's like the story about Bruce Springsteen, who initially gained notice as the "Fastest Guitar in Asbury Park." It was a good niche, one he may have been able to ride into a nice career, but nowhere near as nice as the promised land he entered by learning to write and perform a perfect song.

So, Spike winning his first Oscar for WRITING and not directing — for prioritizing story and emotion over cleverness —  is probably a very sweet moment for him. And a reminder that a video without an idea is... well, you can fill in the metaphor of your choice. 

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