Music Video Director

Tell the visual story of a song through film.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$45,000 – $112,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Music Video Directors do?

As a Music Video Director, you create a video to accompany a song, usually telling a story or providing effective imagery for the music. You’re hired for your ability to take a song and creatively represent the tone and message through a short film.

Imagine watching a film on fast-forward. Your video you create as a Music Video Director must contain all components of that film in just a few short minutes. Your creative Music Video Director vision must work with that of the song’s Artist, matching the theme or story behind the music.

Most often, the production has a specific budget and time frame, and it is your responsibility to make sure everything goes according to plan. The actual shooting can take a long time, with horrible hours. You have to keep the filming going and be alert throughout the whole process in order to get the perfect take.

There’s also extensive prep work prior to filming. You must conceptualize how every scene will appear, how all aspects will fit together, and what sets and Actors are necessary. Additionally, your job requires casting calls and auditions, as well as hiring Choreographers.

The music video industry follows the music industry, which means you likely work in New York or Los Angeles. The great news is that, depending on the content of the video, filming occurs on location. Traveling to tropical places or to Europe is possible.

This field is changing, as music videos are becoming less common on network TV. Don’t let this fact scare you, however, because there’s more opportunity for creativity with the rise of Internet videos. Viral videos are huge, and companies pay well for a visionary Director to craft them.

Should I be a Music Video Director?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • How to become a Music Video Director

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Music Video Director-related education!
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