08 November 2010

The Music Video

MTV wants to bring back the music video with a new series called Supervideo, according to Vulture, which would pair a famous director with a popular musician in hopes of creating something great. 

Sound familiar? It should. As much as people like to joke about the lack of music videos on MTV and VH1, MTV's Making the Video was on air from 1999 till 2007 and kind of did exactly this. The goal of Supervideo seems to have artistic ambitions that are loftier than merely observing the mediocre videos that 'Nsync or Jennifer Lopez were going to make anyway, but I have my doubts. 

MTV is claiming that they want to give a voice and a lift to new directors in the way that earlier in the decade, music videos really did help to launch the careers of Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, and Michel Gondry, but at the same time, they clearly want to get more established directors and artists in order to make the series enticing. Their first attempt was released late last week (and hyped for weeks in advance on Pitchfork): LCD Soundsystem's "Pow Wow" directed by Training Day writer David Ayer starring pretty young Oscar nominated starlet Anna Kendrick. 

Sure it's cool and expensive-looking, but I think the way we consume music videos has fundamentally changed, and for the better. Music videos are thriving on YouTube and Vimeo thanks to both artist-funded productions and the success of talented amateurs and their fan videos.  MTV is trying to recreate a world that only existed in the absence of MP3s and video sharing sites, and I think will just come across as some antiquated albeit well-funded bully trying to reestablish their old hierarchy of distribution. Unless they somehow manage to get some really unbelievable pairings (Martin Scorcese and Yeasayer? Sofia Coppola and Lady Gaga??), I fear that it'll only be a matter of time before the show turns into another vehicle for Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, McG, and those other Twilight media whores.  

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