Taylor Swift "Bad Blood" Breaks Viewership Records

Yes, we know Taylor Swift is popular, but just to make sure you realize how big she is on the heels of her star-studded "Bad Blood" video, take a look at the numbers:

  • 20 million - "Bad Blood" broke the 24 hour VEVO record for most views in one day, getting nearly 20 million views in one day.
  • 37 million - Total "Bad Blood" views as I write this, four days after the premiere.
  • 5 billion - Total view count for all her videos.
  • 11 million - Total estimated viewers to the Billboard Music Awards, which televised the exclusive world premiere of the video.

It's like there's the music business, and then there's the Taylor Swift business, with the only similarity being that they use some of the same notes... 

LA Music Video Festival 2015: Call For Entries


We are thrilled to announce the official Call for Entries for the 5th Annual LA MusicVideo Festival!  As always, the most important part of the festival is THE VIDEOS.   Head to Withoutabox to see all the deadlines, rules, and official categories: Narrative, Non-Narrative, Student, Unofficial, and Animated.  Regular deadline is June 30th for just $20.

Stay tuned for all festival updates and announcements at

Meerkat and Madonna Get a Video Premiere Mulligan

Everyone loves to be the first to premiere a music video on a new platform, and any new platform would certainly love if that artist is of the caliber of Madonna. That's assuming the technology works, of course.

New app/service Meerkat, which allows any Twitter user to livestream video to all their followers, took a bow for Madonna's new "Ghosttown" video yesterday. Or, they were supposed to, but apparently technical difficulties got in the way.

So, if you were too busy on Periscope, you get another chance: The Meerkat/Madonna (re)launch happens at 1pm ET / 10am PT, where you'll get the first look at this new Madonna video directed by Jonas Akerlund (who also directed her "Ray Of Light" video)

The End of the Free and Open Video Era?

Want to watch the new Rihanna "American Oxygen" video? Unless you're willing to at least take a free Trial membership for the new audio/video streaming service Tidal, then you're stuck waiting. And then there's subscription video startup vessel, which has a deal with Universal Music Group and Warner Music for early access premieres for certain music videos.

Then we have YouTube announcing a subscription tier, which as of now isn't promising any exclusives, but will strip away all those annoying pre-roll ads (sorry, they're annoying). Plus Facebook beefing up their video offerings, while VEVO continues to refine and expand their service.

If this isn't the start of the end of the free music video era, it's at least a sign that the era of the YouTube monolith is showing some cracks...

The Videostatic Interview: Emil Nava, director

It may seem like director Emil Nava came out of nowhere in 2014 with a prodigious output of creative videos for the likes of Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris. But, it's the culmination of many years as an AD and then a director in the UK — in addition to the fact that filmmaking is in his blood with his entire family in the film industry, including brother Jake Nava, who is also a music video director. 

We recently caught up with Emil to chat about his transition to the US market, and what was inarguably a smashing year for him, by both creative and commercial standards with Nava nabbing an MTV VMA for Best Male Video via Ed Sheeran "Sing," while also getting two Brit Award Best Video nods for Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud" and Calvin Harris "Summer".

Former Music Video Exec Sam Aslanian Announces New Photo Exhibit

Former DNA executive producer Sam Aslanian has announced his latest photography exhibition, Looking South, an artistic exploration of forgotten places in the Southern U.S.

Sam Aslanian, photographer: "n the late spring of 2014 I took a photographic journey through the back roads and the byways of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. These photos are as my cameras see the South — timeless, silent, still... untouched by the clamor and commotion of our lives."

And then the conspiracy theories came for Maroon 5 "Sugar"...

Cosmopolitan finally applies their investigative reporting skills on something important like the Maroon 5 "Sugar" video.

The charge is that — wait for it it — some of the weddings in the video were set-ups, and not the surprise drop-ins as presented and that one of the brides in question might be America's Next Top Model contestant Raina Hein. 

So, if music videos were the last place where you had a vestige of hope — I assume you gave up on the sanctity of marriage long ago — then you might be in for a letdown, even though it'd only be fair to note that Adam Levine has stated in interviews that the Grooms were in on the surprise, with each doing what they needed to do to facilitate the guest performances.

Conspiracy theorists and/or cynics (realists?) can check it out at Cosmopolitan

UPDATE: The floodgates are now open with lots of actors being recognized and/or admitting that they participated in staged marriages. Of course, anyone who's ever seen a typical wedding video can tell you the different between shooting video and shooting a music video. And "Sugar" is surely lit and blocked like a music video. (That said, is anyone really worked up about this? Will it crush you when I tell you that most artists don't live in the mansions you see in their videos, or that they're not surrounded by booty 24/7?)

30 + 2 Reasons Why Joseph Kahn is Your Most Important Video Director

Buzzfeed has 30 Reasons why Joseph Kahn is the most important video director ever.

Here's two more:

Go check it at Buzzfeed. Or, just watch his new Taylor Swift video again and again and again...

The 55 Best David Fincher Music Videos

And by that I mean: These are the 55 music videos that David Fincher has directed. So far.

Indiewire's Playlist Blog compiled them all, ranking them from worst to best. As with all Best/Worst lists, it makes for great/silly arguments.


They have Madonna "Vogue" at #1, which is hard to argue with, although I would argue that "Express Yourself" is better. 


Loverboy "Love Will Rise Again" which you will likely recognize as some Loverbody song other than "Working For The Weekend"

But most surprising here is how many of these videos weren't hits — we're talking lesser singles by various '80s acts like Eddie Money, The Hooters, Foreigner, Rick Springfield, and more Rick Springfield. It wasn't all super smash all-star artists #1 hits all the time. And he was seemingly very loyal to artists, coming back to work with several of them again again. For example, he not only directed the Gipsy Kings video for "Bamboleo" but he also directed another video for "Bamboleo" two years later.

So, check em all out... Chances are you've never seen them all, unless you are very '80s...


The last installment of our syndication of The 405's music video series Loud Visionaries, focusing on the new wave of music video directors and creatives.


There's a lot to love about John Merizalde's quick rise to prominence in the world of engaging, thought provoking music videos. His asking everyone to lift their game, is keen to put it all on the line, and is passionately pushing through the industry at a ferocious pace.

405: You've got a great origin story, can you break it down for us and what your influences were growing up?

John Merizalde: I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I watched an unhealthy amount of movies as a child, and I had an equally unhealthy obsession with Kurosawa, Kubrick, and PT Anderson. Growing up I spent most of my free time making mindless short films on mini dv.

I tried the college thing but that didn't work out too well. I dropped out after two years and spent some time bumming it out, living in a glorified crackhouse for a while. I got bored of that eventually and started making videos again.

I had always wanted to direct features, and it wasn't until fairly recently that I started to see the potential in the short form. Seeing challenging music videos from the likes of directors like Daniel Wolfe and Romain Gavras inspired me to go towards that medium.

405: Formal education vs. School of Hard Knocks?

Merizalde: School works for some people, but it's just not my thing. Everyone has the internet. You have all the resources you need to learn and grow right in front of you. Film school used to be a major socio-economic barrier to success, but it's a level playing field now.

The best education is to just watch and make films. It's evident when you look around that most successful young filmmakers are self-motivated and self-taught.

405: How did you engineer your first big break?

Merizalde: Dumb luck. My first music video opened a lot of doors. At the time I was making short films for a church. As you can imagine, not the most creatively fulfilling gig. I scoured through Facebook looking for musicians to collaborate with and stumbled across a small local artist: Snowden. Luckily they needed a music video, so I directed an ultra-low budget piece for them. To everyone's surprise, the video blew up on VEVO and ended up getting a lot of attention. About a year later I made the move to LA and here I am.

continue reading...

Seth Rogen and James Franco Talk "Bound 2" and Kanye

Say it ain't so, Kanye, say it ain't so...

Seth Rogen revealed on a Tales From The Set piece for The Tonight Show that Kanye West told him that his puzzling "Bound 2" video was "supposed to be bad, that it was bad for the purpose of being bad." And that Rogen and James Franco may have spent more time making the video than Kanye and Kim Kardishian.

Check out the interview for that and many more insights — some of which are about Rogen's sexy back — via The Tonight Show...

And, of course, check the original "Bound 2"...

David Fincher Teases A TV Show About 80's Video Production

Because I happen to know the one person who actually does read Playboy for the articles, I got tipped off to this amazing nugget at the very end of an interview with director David Fincher:

"This TV show I’m doing about music videos in the 1980s and the crew members who worked on them"

That's all we know: One of the most famed and esteemed music video directors of all-time, and the Executive Producer of House Of Cards and director of too many great movies is developing a TV show about music videos in the '80s and the people who made them.

I'm pretty sure it will be awesome. If it gets made... Can we Kickstart it??