Some of the earliest memories of commercial music videos I have are watching and loving "Come to Daddy" by Aphex Twin, "All Is Full Of Love" by Bjork and "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. Little did I know at the time that those were crowning jewels of various brilliant directors' catalogs. I just knew what I liked. When music and imagery line up just right, I can't think of a more visceral impact except for maybe drug experiences and making love. It can be used for good or evil, but synchronizing music and pictures is one of the miracles of the modern age we live in. Whether its Leni Riefenstahl combining shots of Hitler and 100,000 cheering Germans with intoxicatingly triumphant music, or Francis Ford Coppola playing that signature romantic theme when Michael Corleone goes back to Sicily and falls in love, music+imagery is incredibly impactful. It cuts across all colors and creeds. It sends goosebumps up your spine.
My brain has always just been wired this way. When I was 5, we would bring a boombox out to the backyard and act out impromptu music video theatre to the songs we were hearing; jumping on the trampoline listening to Weird Al's "Jurrassic Park", screaming and flailing our arms.
I took great inspiration from Ryan Geiss' winamp plugin
"Geiss". This thing was years ahead of its time. I would blowoff homework and social events just to sit at home with my headphones on, listening to music and watching the imagery. I did this everyday for hours, for years. It was a trancendant experience for me. I would experiment with how well certain songs synched up, fast paced, slow paced, shuffle rhythms, beat synch, the whole deal. I would just get lost looking for 'that feeling' you get when the imagery and music synch up perfectly. After revisiting these memories for this post, its clear what a HUGE impact this had on me and my forming brain. I only stopped when Wonka and I started making music videos of our own. I was thirteen.
I'm sure a lot of people here see images in their head all the time. I always have. I can listen to a song and within seconds, entire visual sequences will form in my head, complete with characters, colors, events, and camera movement. If I had to pick only one thing that inspires me however, it would be music, which I've listened to for roughly 5-8 hours every day for 15 years. There are songs that I plan on using in my movie that I've heard 409 times. Other ones, only 203 times.