I have tried to cover a wide variety of genres in this list, browsing through and watching hours of videos. In my opinion, a good music video director should truly understand the kind of video that is expected, the artist he is showcasing, and also knows how to complement the music with his video to create an exceptional experience for the viewers.
Thus, as far as the rankings are considered, after I had picked the top 10 videos, they have been rated through a formula Total Views/ (Total Likes – Dislikes)*100, according to the number of views on their official YouTube Video.
10. Fiona Apple - Every Single Night
With the kind of videos that Fiona shoots, we can expect a challenge every time someone sets out to direct her in a video. However, Joseph Cahill has matched the shrill of her voice with a stare that peers down your heart. The result is a creative and abstract video that justifies Fiona’s style and randomness.
09. tUnE-yArDs - My Country
A music video that is set to make a political statement, how does one direct it? Going from playful to random to edgy in under 4 minutes, Mimi Cave surely scrapes past boundaries and touches a few nerves. Even though we love the cause and the adorable kids, is clipping a child’s hair to the ceiling a bit too much?
08. Grizzly Bear – Yet Again
Directed by Emily Kai Bock, this video follows a young girl practicing on her skates. Starting off with an immaculate light and camera work that captures her in all her grace, it follows her way back home once she falters and finds her in a deep pit. As symbolic as it can get, this video is truly inspiring and leaves you with lasting visual impressions.
07.Grimes - Oblivion
Emily Kai Bock once again manages to paint a stunning picture of the wishful fantasies of an ordinary girl. Shot beautifully, this electro-pop video plays on the dualities of a girl’s mind. This feminine music video, directed by Emily, is a welcome change from your usual run of the mill girly pop.
06.The Shins - Simple Song
DANIELS, the two man directorial team makes its presence felt in this video. Their penchant for special effects and destruction is once again lived, and well, through an emotional roller-coaster as a dead father brings his children together through a video will. This simple song full of flashbacks, beautiful camera work and a lot of SFXs, is a visual treat.
05.Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
Directed by Mihai Wilson and his team at WEWEREMONKEYS, this video does absolute justice to the song. Surrounded by stunning visuals and an engaging story line (not to forget a touching voice), the video narrates a story of five sky sailors who discover a lost mythical female creature in a meteor and travel through fantasy worlds to bring her home. An audio-visual treat, it is also my favourite pick.
04. David Guetta - She Wolf
Directed by Hiro Murai, this music video has ranked up in the charts ever since its release. A stunning array of visuals, a naked girl that transforms into a wolf and a pack of riders chasing after her in a backdrop that feels like an old Hollywood movie. Watch Guetta’s music lend superpowers to the she wolf as Hiro lets you in on the action by concentrating on every miniscule detail.
03. M.I.A. - Bad Girls
Bringing the American culture to the heart of Middle East is director Romain Gavras. Pulsating scenes filled with testosterone and oozing attitude with blazing guns is what would usually be the written definition, if not for the setting. Action packed visual impact that makes us want to die young!
02.Jack White - Sixteen Saltines
AG Rojas directs this creative masterpiece of a video with absolute precision. Holding true to the genre is the tendency of destruction and the rhythm in it, which is portrayed through a mix of colours, kids and unpredictability. Directed entirely through a moving camera, it will surely keep you engaged.
01.Drake - HYFR
Director X (Julian Christian Lutz), handles this creative video idea to perfection. A lot of slow motion style partying scenes and shot through a smooth camera, all the experience of veteran Director X is visible as he directs Drake along with his rapper friends, including Lil Wayne.
Almost made it to the list:
The Family Bones - If You Ever Need Someone - Index: 1.06
Cloud Nothings – No Future / No Past - Index: 1.05
David Wax Museum - Harder Before It Gets Easier - Index: 1.02
Benjamin Gibbard – Teardrop Windows - Index: 0.97
The Shins - The Rifle’s Spiral - Index: 0.77
Shubhit S., Epik Music Videos