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MTV Directors Who Made Films

Updated on October 3, 2014

Gore Verbinski, David Fincher and Michael Bay.

These are names of well-known movie directors in recent times. They have another thing in common, which not many people might know. And that is making music videos before they stepped into the movie industry.

What I like about their movies, is that they contain the influences from music videos, with shots that are complex, and usually more slick and stylised.

Alex Proyas (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Alex Proyas (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Alex Proyas

Knowing He Directed It

Alex Proyas born 23 September 1963, is best known for directing fantasy thriller, The Crow and science fiction films, Dark City, I Robot and Knowing.

His other films are Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds and Garage Days. And his next film announced is Paradise Lost, scheduled for a 2012 release.


Proyas' first feature film was the independent science fiction thriller Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, which was nominated for two Australian Film Institute awards in 1988, for costume design and production design and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.

Next, Proyas directed the 1994 fantasy thriller The Crow starring Brandon Lee. Lee was killed in an accident during filming, only eight days before the completion of the film in March 1993. After Lee's death, Proyas and his producers decided to complete the film, partially rewriting the script and using a stunt double and special effects to film the remaining scenes. The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.

Read more on Alex Proyas at Wikipedia

Best scene in Knowing

Here's a scene from Alex Proyas's film Knowing. I'm showing this as it is one of those sequences that were shot without cutting. The sequence starts at 0:33.

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILER in this video if you've not watched the movie yet.

Uncut sequence starts at around 0:33

Alex Proyas is a very good director. Dark City is suberb. So is I, Robot.

What's Your Favorite Alex Proyas Film?

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Antoine Fuqua (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Antoine Fuqua (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Antoine Fuqua

Makes Crime Busting Look Scary

Antoine Fuqua, born on January 19, 1966, has directed many well-known films, including the award-winning film Training Day.

The other prominent films were Bait, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, Shooter and most recently, Brooklyn's Finest.

Fuqua's directorial debut was the 1998 American action film The Replacement Killers. It stars Chow Yun-fat and Mira Sorvino. Coincidetally, this movie was Chow's American debut.

The film earned $8 million during its opening weekend in the U.S. and a total of $19.2 million in U.S. box office.


After going to school for electrical engineering, with the hope of going on to fly jets in the military, Fuqua began his career directing music videos for popular artists like Toni Braxton and Prince, and then went on to become a successful film director. He is perhaps best-known for the award-winning film Training Day. Fuqua was scheduled to direct Prisoners, based on a storybook from Aaron Guzikowski, but has left the project.

CBS Films has hired Antoine Fuqua to direct a new movie based on a Vince Flynn novel, Consent to Kill.

Learn more about Antoine Fuqua at Wikipedia

The Equalizer

Here's Antonio discussing his new movie, "The Equalizer" which he reunites with Denzel Washington.

My favorite Antoine Fuqua film is the underrated action thriller, Bait.

What's Your Favorite Antoine Fuqua film?

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David Fincher (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
David Fincher (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

David Fincher

Visual Stylist Genius

David Fincher, born August 28, 1962, is known for his dark and stylish movies like Se7en and Fight Club. He also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

His other films are Alien3, The Game, Panic Room, Zodiac and also recently released The Social Network, a drama about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg.


Inspired by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Fincher began making movies at age eight with an 8 mm camera. Fincher eschewed the film school route, getting a job loading cameras and doing other hands-on work for John Korty's Korty Films. He was later hired by Industrial Light & Magic in 1980, where he worked on productions for Twice Upon a Time, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In 1984, he left ILM to direct a commercial for the American Cancer Society, that would show a fetus smoking a cigarette. This quickly brought Fincher to the attention of producers in Los Angeles and he was given the chance to direct the documentary The Beat of the Live Drum featuring Rick Springfield in 1985. Though he would continue to direct spots for companies like Revlon, Converse, Nike, Pepsi, Sony, and Levi's, Fincher soon discovered music videos and went on to direct many promos.

Learn more about David Fincher at Wikipedia

David Fincher Films

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The $600Million Lawsuit

Here's the trailer for David Fincher's The Social Network. Go watch it if you have not. It's really good.

My favorite David Fincher film gotta be the susenseful crime thriller, Se7en. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button came close though.

What's Your Favorite David Fincher Film?

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Gore Verbinski (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Gore Verbinski (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Gore Verbinski

Turns A Theme Park Ride Into One Helluva Ride

Gore Verbinski was born March 16, 1964. Verbinski's famous for his work on Pirates on the Caribbean trilogy and the American remake of the Japanese horror film, The Ring.

So far, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has grossed over $2.68 billion worldwide.

His other notable films are Mouse Hunt, The Mexican, The Weather Man and Rango, an animated feature starring Johnny Depp, Timothy Olyphant and Bill Nighy. Rango is scheduled to be released in early 2011.


His first films were a series of 8 mm films called "The Driver Files" circa 1979, when he was a young teen. Although most associate Verbinski with feature films, he started his career directing music videos for bands like Bad Religion, NOFX, 24-7 Spyz and Monster Magnet working at Palomar Pictures. This was not surprising to his friends in Los Angeles, since he had been in various punk and rock bands; the Daredevils, for instance, included then-departed member of Bad Religion Brett Gurewitz.

Verbinski moved from music videos to commercials, where he worked for many brand names including Nike, Coca-Cola, Canon, Skittles and United Airlines.

One of his most famous commercials was for Budweiser, featuring frogs who croak the brand name. For his efforts in commercials, Verbinski won four Clio Awards and one Cannes Advertising Silver Lion.

Learn more about Gore Verbinski at Wikipedia

"Cowboys of the Sahara"

The trailer for Gore Verbinski's Rango is awesome!

My favorite Gore Verbinski film has to be Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. But that might change when Rango gets released in cinemas!

What's Your Favorite Gore Verbinski Film?

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Michael Bay (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Michael Bay (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Michael Bay

Makes Talking In A Phone Booth Look Cool

Michael Bay, born February 17, 1965, is best known for directing high-budget action films with fast edits and LOTS of pyrotechnic explosions.

His films include Bad Boys I & II, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island and the recent Transformers franchise. All his films together, have grossed over three billion dollars world-wide.

Bay is now directing Transformers: The Dark of the Moon, the 3rd Transformers movie scheduled to release on July 2011.


Michael Bay began working at Propaganda Films, directing commercials and music videos, two weeks after finishing his post-graduate degree. His 90-second World War II-inspired Coca-Cola ad was picked up by Capitol Records. His first national commercial for the Red Cross won a Clio Award in 1992. He created the Got Milk? advertisement campaign for the California Milk Processors Board in 1993.

Learn more about Michael Bay at Wikipedia

Michael Bay Films

Click here for more Special Editions

Got Milk?

Here's a commercial from Michael Bay's Got Milk? ad campaign.

My favorite Michael Bay film is The Rock. It rocks!

What's Your Favorite Michael Bay Film?

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Michel Gondry (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Michel Gondry (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Michel Gondry

The Bullet Time Guy

Michel Gondry was born on May 8, 1963. Gondry's more notable films include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep. His other lesser-known films are Human Nature and Be Kind Rewind.

Gondry is now finishing up The Green Hornet, the superhero movie soon to be released in 2011.


His career as a filmmaker began with creating music videos for the French rock band Oui Oui, in which he also served as a drummer. The style of his videos for Oui Oui caught the attention of music artist Björk, who asked him to direct the video for her song "Human Behaviour". The collaboration proved long-lasting, with Gondry directing a total of seven music videos for Björk. Other artists who have collaborated with Gondry on more than one occasion include Daft Punk, The White Stripes, The Chemical Brothers, The Vines, Steriogram, Radiohead, and Beck. Gondry has also created numerous television commercials. He pioneered the "bullet time" technique later adapted in The Matrix, in a 1998 commercial for Smirnoff vodka, as well as directing a trio of inventive holiday-themed advertisements for clothing retailer Gap, Incorporated.

Learn more about Michel Gondry at Wikipedia

Michel Gondry Films

Click here for more Special Editions

Bullet Time before The Matrix

Check out this brilliant 1998 Smirnoff vodka commerical, where Michel Gondry utilises bullet time effect even before The Matrix.

I've not really seen alot of Michel Gondry's films. But Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was pretty good.

What's Your Favorite Michel Gondry Film?

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Thanks for Visiting!

I hope you've enjoyed this lens!

Feel free to leave your comments below.

And share with us any MTV directors who turned film directors that you know of. :)

Comments - Readers' Comments

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    • Joeyyip profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 

      9 years ago

      Fantastic presentation! I learned a lot with you.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Fincher is the best!

    • profile image

      the777group lm 

      9 years ago

      @TopMovieSoundtr: I agree.

    • LawrenceTekk profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      @TopMovieSoundtr: Thank you :)

    • TopMovieSoundtr profile image


      9 years ago

      Cool lens idea.

    • LawrenceTekk profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks arncyn :)

      Ahh... Spike Jonze. Yes, he should be in the list. I may have come across Mark Romanek, I guess I'll go read up on him.

      I'll see if I can add them in when I'm free. :D

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      9 years ago from Quezon City

      Great list! I think it's missing Spike Jonze and Mark Romanek though. (:


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