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Music Video Directors Alliance

www.mvdga.org

We apologize for the bumping up of this post. We feel it is a more than important issue that all antville directors need to take part in.

Who we are not:
The DGA
The record labels
The MVPA

Who we are:
We are a group of working music video directors, some of which are also DGA members. You know our names, and you know our work. Our feeling is that there has just been a paradigm shift in the music video business where our work has gone from being a promotional tool to sellable, revenue generating content. We are the creator/writer/directors of these works and our interests need to be represented. The only entity that has the clout and infrastructure to do something like this is the DGA. For instance, they already have an entire department whose sole responsibility it is to audit, collect, and distribute residuals for the tv/feature film director members.

We have had over 250 directors sign thus far. We can assure you, close to all of antville's hero directors are represented . Not only have the A list directors signed but it has crossed over to DGA feature film members signing in support of our cause as well. Here are some of the comments left by directors so far, www.mvdga.org.

A song on itunes is 99 cents. A song with the video is 1.99. That means that video is worth one dollar. The director is the creator, writer, and director of that video. As with every other format be it television, feature films, short films, internet films, etc where the work is being sold for profit, the director needs to be compensated on the back end sale of their intellectual property.

The director is in fact one of the very few people left on a video set that is not represented by their union. The way the business has changed recently, there is really no way we as directors can continue without having a larger entity represent our collective interests.

Please sign our petition at www.mvdga.org. Every signature is important. Thank you.

Sincerely,
MVDA


         
spyguy, November 3, 2005 9:50:21 PM CET

Have you read the article from our good friends at apple yet ?
If not have a read here
www.apple.com


         
captainmarc22, November 3, 2005 10:39:37 PM CET

why can't we see who signed it? What's the purpose of an anonymous petition? Are directors ashamed to be known? Is this really how things like this are done?


         
music video directors alliance, November 3, 2005 11:05:42 PM CET

It is not an anonymous petition. At the moment it has over 275 names on it, all of which the DGA will be able to view. The reason you can't see the names is few directors would sign it if you could. We work in a business where blacklisting is certainly not out of the range of capabilities of the people we work with.

Make no mistake though, this is not a formal stance or declaration against the record labels (we are looking forward to working with them to find a resolution to all of this). This is a petition to the DGA to demonstrate how many directors want their involvement and support. We need all the signature we can get, hence us protecting the identities of the signers.

Sincerely,
MVDA


         
progosk, November 3, 2005 11:29:08 PM CET

why would you want to know, captain?

275 so quickly is pretty impressive. (i take it not only via antville...) u.s.-only? also: some interesting comments there.


         
jva, November 4, 2005 12:20:02 AM CET

i'm all for this, but:

am i too paranoid? is there any way of knowing that there actually was a dialogue with Michael Apted? of course it's ridiculous to imagine someone would go to all this effort to get 300-odd emails for spam . . . maybe i've read too many craiglist "we work with top industry names we can't reveal" postings.

seriously: please prove me wrong. this sounds right on.


         
kevathens, November 4, 2005 12:50:36 AM CET

Sorry to widely generalize and otherwise be ignorant, but is this part of why almost all of the great (90's) directors have hit the road? Besides doing features, I mean>>

I'm talking the entire DLabel crowd, then add Coppola, Mills, Shynola, Dayton/Faris, Jonas Akerlund, even Sanji, Sigismondi, Pedro Romhanyi, Jake Scott, even Traktor's staying away. etc etc

It feels like we don't have many classic directors around nowadays, just firms (MK12, Traktor, Shynola, Waverly, Tomorrow's BM).

Not to make it a whatever-happened-to (although I'd love to have that topic anyway)...


         
salad fingers, November 4, 2005 5:04:05 PM CET

wait, what do you mean - that the older directors are staying away from the petition or that the lack of residuals has driven them away?

also, you put shynola in both old and new catagories.


         
kevathens, November 4, 2005 5:31:14 PM CET

Lack of residuals


         
salad fingers, November 4, 2005 5:39:19 PM CET

i don't think it's specifically that there's no residuals. it's just lower budgets, more corporate control. it sounds like the older days of MTV were freer and more fun.

if you have to undergo the headache of shooting something while catering to a client's lame whim, then you might as well just shoot a commercial and make a bunch of money.

and for those who've gone on to features - well no shit, features are more interesting than music videos.


         
lusk81, November 4, 2005 6:36:35 PM CET

KEV: I disagree man. Residuals have nothing to do with why the kings would leave promos. Besides, they've never paid residuals in the first place.

Understand that in the commercial world, you can walk away with a 100k check for few days work on a spot. In music videos, it's incredible to do a promo in that range. Furthermore, we've somewhat passed that magic hour of the promise of music videos. I'd argue 2001 was the last great year (so to speak).

Moreover, IMO, why fight to do a video when one could make a short without limitations? Which in turn could lead to making a feature...? I know I'm not the only one, but one of the hardest things for me is looking at a one's promo work and finding any substance or intention of thought. At best I'm left with an interesting aesthetic approach. Maybe...

In the words of Alex Rutterford: Doing promos is like "taking a bite out of the shit sandwich".

www.warp-net.com

I understand the desire to petition the DGA, but this seems a little muddy. I feel like we're trying to fight for some kind of back end simply because of the trendiness of apple. Why did this petition not begin in the early days of MTV? Understand that when you're hired to direct a promo, it's pretty much a "buy out". The label owns the work you do.

I don't know. Am I the only one a little skeptical of this rush to claim revenue?


         
ameervisit, November 7, 2005 7:08:43 PM CET

Hardly a "rush". These issues are twenty years in the making. This is a perfect time to negotiate. There may not be another one for twenty years.

It's not only about revenue, which in 99% of cases will be irrelevant. There are also creative rights issues, not least of which is getting credited.
















 

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