Why Music Video Directors Make Great Commercial Directors

  • Tai Campbell
  • 06 Apr, 2018

When you think of adverts and music videos, you would tend to think they would require a different skill set. However, Music Video Directors aren't solely limited to music videos. Here's why they make great commercial directors.

If you researched some of the most innovative advert Directors you may learn that quite a few come from a Music Video background. Why? Music Video Directors have a keen eye, wildly creative mind and a deep understanding of branding. That doesn’t fully answer the question so here is why Music Video Directors make great commercial Directors.

There is a clear path for film makers that starts with Music Videos then Adverts followed by TV and then Films. Now that’s not to say this is the only path or that it reflects a hierarchy but it is a visible path. A Director takes what they’ve learnt at one stage and uses it to contributes to the next. It’s also a proving ground for Directors to show their skills, skills that brands would like to see advertising their products such as storytelling elements, visual techniques and emotive tools that create affinity within the viewer.
These talents are regularly used by Music Video Directors which are becoming more and more recognised and in demand.

What would a Music Video Director know about brands? Well aren’t artists brands? In a sense they are not only brands, they are products. They have their own look, style, message and audience. Directing for multiple artists means directing for lots of brands and that’s something we do often. There’s a level of versatility to Directing Music Videos for different artists, sure you can have your own style and stamp on things such as irony, spectacle and emotive story telling but a Director will often find themselves adapting their style to different artists and different songs.
The Director’s understanding of artists as brands and their ability to communicate those ideas are key skills when it comes to approaching adverts.

Think about your favourite adverts. If you don’t have any think about the most memorable ones. There’s a reason they stick in your head. I mean yeah they can touch you emotionally like the John Lewis adverts, make you laugh like the Specsavers ads or visually impress you like the Oreo adverts but they all have something in common – they are creative. Oasis telling a story about a boy who is part cactus, a faux film trailer starring Nicole Kidman for Chanel, Cadbury’s featuring a guerrilla playing the drums to Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ are all incredibly creative videos.
Adverts use different creative tools to sell to people, make them memorable or make people think. Some are visual feasts full of bright complimentary colours, some have a serious set up with a funny pay off, some use VFX and camera trickery that make you wonder how they did it and some use empathetic and story telling techniques that tug at your heart strings and stays with you long after you’ve seen it (yes I’m referring to that first John Lewis advert but damn it it was beautiful).
Creativity is the single greatest talent a Director can have. Every Music Video needs to stand out, they need to show people something they’ve never seen before or something they have seen before but in a way it hasn’t been seen. Music Videos become memorable by being feasts for the eyes, making people laugh, amazing people and giving people emotional experiences, just like adverts.

So we’ve talked about how adverts have unique creative elements that can be visual, content or story based and when it comes to these elements; Music Videos is the best place to start. Why’s that? It’s where we try new things and grow as Directors. It could be a new piece of hardware like a Ronin (Steadicam) and end up falling in love with it’s outcome and ease of use, it could be a visual approach like double exposure where you learn how best to film it and ways to improve it, it could be an approach to unfolding key points of a story – Music Video Directors have tried and tested a lot of stuff, we know what works, how to apply it and the effect it will have.
Our experience adds to our versatility and understanding of video purely because we’ve tried a LOT of things and know how to make them even better.

This is the area where the full production team gets to shine, we are VERY practiced in working within budgets. We’ve made videos for a wide range of budgets from small to large and we aim to put as much production value into our videos as physically possible, by that I mean if we make a video for a budget of £5,000 we aim to make it look like it cost £10,000 and you can see that in our work. Clients have budgets and it’s not just about delivering a video for the budget but delivering and exceeding all expectations.
Making Music Videos teaches us to do more with less and finding creative solutions to realest of obstacles.

So why do Music Video Directors make great commercial Directors? Simple. We have the skill, experience and creativity. Our wide range of experience provides us with the tools to interpret a brand and deliver a video that’s memorable, effective and original.

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Last modified on Friday, 06 April 2018 18:02
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