ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

While it's pretty common to have a preferred film director, it's not so often that you have a favorite music video director. However, as it turns out, sometimes they're one and the same!

Take a look through the list below and learn how some of the most well-known Hollywood directors have also dabbled in directing music videos. Don't forget to tell me in the comments below which one surprised you the most:

1. Michael Bay

Artist and song: Meat Loaf, "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)"

That's right, the man responsible for Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Transformers: Age of Extinction and the upcoming Transformers 5 is also responsible for the epic music video for Meat Loaf's 1993 ballad.

The music video is based on both Beauty and the Beast and Phantom of the Opera, features Meat Loaf in makeup that took two hours to apply, and in true Hollywood fashion, went spectacularly over budget. However it was Bay's work directing music videos that sparked the interest of producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, who chose him to direct Bad Boys, his first feature-length film.

Bay also directed the music videos to Meat Loaf's "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are" and "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" as well as Faith Hill's "There You'll Be."

2. Spike Jonze and Roman Coppola

Artist and song: Fatboy Slim, "Praise You"

As a kid I found this music video hilarious, and as an adult I was delighted to find out that it was actually the genius work of Spike Jonze (Her) and Roman Coppola (Mozart in the Jungle). Not only did Jonze direct but he also starred in the clip, using the pseudonym "Richard Koufey," and performing alongside the fictional dance group The Torrance Community Dance Group.

The whole film was shot guerilla-style outside a movie theater in California, and one of the theater employees actually makes a cameo when he turns off the group's boombox part way through their performance. Fatboy Slim himself, Norman Cook, also briefly appears in the video.

Despite the music video apparently costing just $800 to produce (with the bulk of the costs going toward food for the cast and crew), it won three awards at the 1999 MTV Music Awards.

3. Martin Scorsese

Artist and song: Michael Jackson, "Bad"

Long before Martin Scorsese directed Gangs of New York, he directed another gang as part of the video clip for Michael Jackson's "Bad." While we're more familiar with the edited version of the "Bad" video, the full clip actually clocked in at a massive 18 minutes, and was written by novelist and screenwriter Richard Price (The Wire).

The video was heavily influenced by West Side Story, and featured Jackson as Daryl, a kid returning home to Brooklyn from an expensive private school. After failing to mug a man in a subway station, Daryl's friend Mini Max (a young Wesley Snipes!) accuses Daryl of not being "bad" anymore, and at that point the music part of the video kicks in. At the end of the clip, Daryl and Max shake hands, and Daryl watches him walk away.

Michael Jackson also collaborated with An American Werewolf in London director John Landis for his epic video clip for "Thriller."

4. Sofia Coppola

Artist and song: The White Stripes, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself"

Her older brother, Roman Coppola, may have already featured on this list, but Sofia has also dabbled in directing music videos. Coppola has directed five music videos since 1996, with the most famous being The White Stripes version of "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself."

In addition to being directed by a big Hollywood name, The White Stripes video also starred supermodel Kate Moss pole dancing dancing in her underwear. Something for everyone!

5. Spike Lee

Artist and song: Public Enemy, 'Fight the Power'

Malcolm X director Spike Lee directed not one, but two video clips for Public Enemy's "Fight the Power."

The first clip featured different scenes from Lee's Do The Right Thing (the song plays throughout the film), and the second was filmed in Brooklyn. Lee used hundreds of extras to simulate a political rally in Brooklyn, having them carry signs featuring Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, Chuck Berry, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

6. Kathryn Bigelow

Artist and song: New Order, "Touched by the Hand of God"

Who knew that the woman who helmed Point Break and Zero Dark Thirty was also in charge of the video for New Order's "Touched by the Hand of God"?

While the video might look like absolute '80s ridiculousness, it was actually a clever parody of the glam metal groups of the same era as New Order. The band donned long wigs and cut-off leather vests, and lip synced to the words while things exploded all around them. The clip was also intercut with a love scene between Rae Dawn Chong (The Color Purple) and Bill Paxton (Titanic) to give it that full over-the-top vibe.

7. Tim Burton

Artist and song: The Killers "Here With Me"

Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton teamed up with long-time collaborator Winona Ryder to create the 2012 video clip for The Killers' song "Here With Me."

The bizarre video clip was inspired by the 1935 film Mad Love, and told the story of a young man who is in love with Winona Ryder. Unable to have her, settles instead for her wax mannequin.

The clip for "Here With Me" was actually the second time Tim Burton had directed a music video for The Killers, having also directed the 2006 video clip for "Bones."

Which music video director surprised you the most?


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