“It’s so much more satisfying to do something like this Nick Offerman video, where a month after shooting everyone in the world can see,” says Alex Italics (MFA/FP ’18). In early January 2018, a music video Italics directed for the band They Might be Giants, gained over 60K views and an article on rollingstone.com. The video stared actor Nick Offerman lifelessly lip-syncing along to the words of the song, The Greatest. Italics is currently working on his grad thesis which will consist of three separate music videos.

The immediacy of music videos is attractive to creators wanting to participate in the democracy of new media. Streaming services are dictating the media landscape and while the demand for content is high, it can be challenging to make a feature length or short film.

Alumna Ariel Fisher (BFA/CRPR ’13) is one such director, whose early career is focused on the short form. Her distinct style is threaded through each of her projects, though the musicians she works with are not always the same. “Film is a collaborative medium,” she says, “when you’re working with artists, it’s important to know this is the way the world will see their art. I like to make sure what we are making will serve their vision as much as my own.”

Fisher knows collaboration is key for these projects, “Music videos are the most unpredictable forms of filmmaking I’ve experienced, which is why I love them. For this medium, your gut is the most important tool.”

Another successful alum whose career began in music videos is Chris Marrs Piliero (BFA/FTV/FTP ’01). Since graduation, Piliero has worked with Ariana Grande, The Black Keys, Britany Spears, and more. “I am a narrative based director,” he says, telling stories with each video. “This is something I would encourage students to think about, there are so many opportunities to basically make a short film directing a music video. Use it as a proof of concept for a bigger idea.”

Check out the unique storytelling style of these visionaries below: