It?s official – I?ve directed over 250 music videos. Which was the REAL quarter millennium gig depends on your counting method, but it seems I am now the most prolific music video director of all time. What does it all mean?
Well, nothing really. From an artistic perspective any decent critic would ignore a purveyor of quantity for a producer of quality though my irreverent pride smiles mischievously at the ?never mind the quality feel the width? relevance of my personal landmark. A kind peruser of my resume could conclude that I have certainly directed some videos of amazing resilience and supposed relevance however a more skeptical evaluator might also start referring to an aphorism that mentions monkeys, typewriters and the complete works of Shakespeare. Let?s be honest the Vinnie Vincent Invasions, the Great Whites and the The Verve Pipe clips are hardly pinnacle achievements are they? Quite simply I?ve thrown so many darts at the rock video wall that it was inevitable that some of them would lodge firmly in the bullseye of the collective consciousness. How or why a one-time Sewage Division photocopy clerk has managed to create such a body of work I?m not quite sure but I confess I?m immensely proud of my achievement.
A number of years ago a friend of mine worked as a production assistant on the ?Walk The Dinosaur? video by Was Not Was. He then set off on a round the world trek and sent me a postcard from Shanghai where he?d visited a disco and seen hordes of young Chinese doing the ?Walk The Dinosaur? dance as Don and Dave?s song blasted over the PA. It was the first time I truly realised how much power I have at my finger-tips. I am old enough to have bought ?I Wanna Hold Your Hand? the weekend it was released yet young enough to get a buzz out of shooting Staind this last week. I think I can now reasonably conclude that I have had some part in the evolution of this wonderful thing called rock n? roll that has been the central force of my life and there?s a wonderful ?Bloody hell!? feeling about that. It?s the same feeling that Carson Daly talked about after he interviewed Michael Jackson on TRL last week. What?s a one-time counter clerk doing interviewing the King of Pop?
What life-lessons can I dispense from the rock video front-line? Perhaps the greatest is that film-making is a collaborative art. Certainly no-one has been there to watch me in the cold, dark hours writing countless concepts and sketching endless storyboards but I have been helped in my journey by many special people who have travelled the world with me to create this massive pile of video tape. If you look at the ?dickfilms? page on my site you will see the same names appearing over and over again: Nina, Vance, Liz, Brian, Declan to name just a few. Those 250 videos represent millions of hours of work yet I?m the guy who gets the name-check and the web-site. Doesn?t seem entirely fair does it? If you are someone who did one of those hours of work can I say a belated thank-you?
It?s perhaps significant that I?ve reached this milestone in the same week that Propaganda, the company I co-founded, has finally closed its doors – proof perhaps that people endure though companies can fail. I?m in a hotel room thousands of miles from home preparing to shoot video #252 and once again I find the need to remind myself what a privilege this is.