Video Launched the Cinema Star: The Top 8 Music Video Directors to Hit the Silver Screen
Director Francis Lawrence (far right) with the 'Hunger Games' cast [photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes out this week, as we're sure anyone with access to the Interweb (i.e., anyone reading this) is well aware. But are you aware that the movie's director, Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer), was behind some of the biggest music videos of the past decade and a half?
Lawrence made his silver-screen directorial debut in 2005 with the big-budget blockbuster Constantine, but he has lensed dozens of big-budget videos for blockbuster pop stars throughout the 1990s and 2000s — including iconic clips for Britney Spears ("I'm a Slave 4 U"), Gwen Stefani ("What You Waiting For?"), Jennifer Lopez ("Jenny From the Block"), Lady Gaga ("Bad Romance"!!!), and Beyoncé ("Run the World"). With such a long history of filming famous ladies, who better than Lawrence to focus the camera on America's current sweetheart, J.Law?
Francis Lawrence isn't the only director to make the leap from MTV to motion pictures. Here are the other biggies whose careers caught fire, so to speak, when they moved to the multiplex.
Any struggling music video director or movie director no doubt aspires to one day have a career like David Fincher's. Box office buffs definitely know Fincher from his impressive filmography (Seven, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), but the man's dark, sometimes creepy aesthetic can be traced back to his work on some of the most memorable videos of the classic MTV age: Madonna's Metropolis-inspired "Express Yourself," starkly glamorous "Vogue," and child-abuse lament "Oh Father," Don Henley's noirish and nostalgic "The End of the Innocence"; George Michael's supermodel-haunted "Freedom '90"; the Rolling Stones' monsters-take-Manhattan "Love is Strong"; and Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun," which actually looked like one giant crime-scene outtake from Seven. Fincher still directs videos from time to time, coming out of semi-retirement this year to direct "Suit and Tie" by Social Network star Justin Timberlake.