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5 amazing directors who began their careers making music videos #PitchPerfect3


It’s time to start warming up those vocal cords, Bellas, because Pitch Perfect 3 is set to take the stage on 22nd December.

There’s a lot to look forward to this time round: there’ll be more comedy, loads more acapella fun, and it’s all being directed by newcomer Trish Sie. Apart from one other feature film she has made her career (rather appropriately) in the music video industry.

You might know her work through her collaboration with the indie-rock group OK Go where she created the quirky and stylish videos for Here It Goes Again, All Is Not Lost, and Upside Down & Inside Out. We have no doubt that Sie will bring the same energy and style to Pitch Perfect 3.

Every great career has to begin somewhere and, for a lot of amazing directors, that somewhere is in the music video business. Directors are able to get their name out there by making their videos as expressive and unique as possible to demonstrate their talent and creativity. Here are 5 amazing directors who did just this, in whose footsteps Sie is sure to follow.

5. Marc Webb

You might know Webb best for his breakout indie-rom-com hit 500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man series, or, more recently, the heart-warming Gifted.

Before he hit the big time, however, Webb was working with big name rock and punk bands such as Green Day, Disturbed, Yellowcard, Avril Lavigne, Weezer and Evanescence. He even worked with Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff back in their Disney heydays.

It’s clear from the large Hall & Oates song and dance sequence from 500 Days of Summer that Webb's love of music has stayed with him after turning his hand to the silver screen. With so many iconic videos under his belt and now with a growing repertoire of feature films, Webb has shown himself to be a man of limitless talent.

4. Michael Bay

That’s right. Michael Bay, one of the biggest names in Hollywood today, began his career making an extensive list of music videos long before the Transformers series existed including Vanilla Ice’s I Love You; Donny Osmond’s My Love Is a Fire; Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits and Love Thing; and Meat Loaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love.

From the latter, it appears that Bay found his own preferred spectacular style. The video opens with a helicopter chasing motorbikes, it’s full of fast editing and spinning camera movements, extreme use of lighting and contrast, and there is a fantastic use of production values.

Since then, Bay has put this style to use in Bad Boys and perfected it within the Transformers series. So, in a way, we should be thanking Meat Loaf for helping Bay find his own voice.

3. Michel Gondry

French filmmaker Michel Gondry may be best known for his stylishly quirky and moving comedies such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, and Be Kind Rewind but his career is rooted firmly within the music industry.

With only a handful of feature films and documentaries over his long career, Gondry has spent most of his time creating music videos for many artists including The White Stripes, The Chemical Brothers, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Vines alongside legends like Paul McCartney as well as an assortment of French artists.

If we were to watch them all, we’d be here all week but, from what we’ve seen, all his videos contain the same quirky creative style that’s made Gondry’s films so unique.

2. Jonathan Glazer

UK-born Jonathan Glazer is himself relatively new to the movie scene with only a handful of feature films to his name. Most recently, he gave us the though-provoking and surreal sci-fi oddity Under The Skin which saw alien-in-disguise Scarlet Johansson drive across Scotland in a white van searching for victims.

Before giving us brain-bending nightmares, Glazer made his mark in the music scene with iconic bands Blur (The Universal), Massive Attack (Karmacoma) and Radiohead (Karma Police). There is no news on what Glazer’s next project will be as of yet but, given how visually striking all his other projects have been, we cannot wait to see what he’ll come up with next.

1. David Fincher

Fincher is one of the heavyweights in modern cinema who gave us the classics Fight Club, Alien 3, Se7en, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Social Network and Gone Girl. There's no doubting Fincher’s filmmaking accomplishments or the fact he has left a huge imprint on cinema, but what you probably weren’t aware of is that he has made just as big a mark in the music industry too.

Before he was given the keys to Alien 3, Fincher had already established a name for himself in the mid-eighties with his work with Foreigner, Sting, George Michael, Paula Abdul, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Aerosmith, Madonna, and Michael Jackson just to name a few.

Out of the many collaborations he worked on, he’s remembered best for Madonna’s Vogue. Its black and white art house aesthetic set itself apart from the other videos at the time and its hypnotic style made sure that his video stuck in your mind just as much as the song. It was both a defining work for Madonna and let the world see exactly what Fincher could accomplish.

With so many amazing directors starting their careers in the music industry, it’s impossible to tell who will be the next to rise up to become one of the next great directors.

Although Pitch Perfect 3 is only Trish Sie’s second feature film, her talent has already shone through with her collaborations with OK Go. We expect great things from her in the near future and we can see exactly what she can do when Pitch Perfect 3 is released in Cineworld on 22nd December.

Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.