Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you may haven gotten wind of all the hoopla surrounding Lady Gaga’s latest video, “Express Your Vogue” (oops sorry my bad, it’s actually called “Alejandro”) release.
The video was directed by fashion photographer Steven Klein. This is actually a trend I’ve noticed of late, fashion photographers moving into the music video realm.
Music videos are going through a critical period. Their birth father MTV gave up on videos to move into reality television turf and the record labels complete misunderstanding of the internet as a medium, has them trying to spend as little money possible, because well, most people now watch videos on youtube, and youtube’s quality isn’t all that. There are probably a lot of talented people out there, who mostly have to resort to ingenious thinking to stand out (Ok Go, come to mind), because of budget constraints. The Michel Gondry‘s, Mark Romanek‘s of this generation just don’t have nowhere near the same resources they had back in the day, making it much harder for this newer crowd to make a splash.
Fashion photographers doing music videos isn’t anything new (Anton Corbjin, Herb Ritts are examples of it), but given the current lack of faith in this medium, it may be that they seem like easy bets.
Their natural propensity for visual eye candy assures that the video will look good, even if they lack any kind of narrative or cohesion and are just a succession of pretty pictures. Nothing wrong with that, just the other day I read an interview with Jean Pierre Jeunet, the director of Amelie (who has a really cool looking movie Micmacs coming out soon), where he says he films his movies in such a way that each frame could almost be an individual photo. The trick in that though, is still managing to sustain your attention and create a bond with the viewer, that will make you want to sit through the duration of the video.
A couple of videos that caught my eye recently were directed by fashion photographers.
Watching these videos it’s interesting to see how they’ve stuck to their personal style.