Music Video Director: Nigel Dick

I was looking back on music videos this past weekend (which, by the way marked amy-wong.com’s 4th anniversary) because I was watching Michael Jackson music videos and thinking “wow, how come I don’t like watching music videos now” – at least I don’t watch videos of most music I listen to in English, though I’m generally impressed with Asian Pop Music Videos.

When I was little, well… a pre-teen and teenage girl fuzzing about the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears with my friends at school, I began to notice director’s names. MTV (which I pretty much used to watch almost 24/7) used to show the Name of the Song + Name of the Artist + Name of Album + Name of Director. They did this until the beginning of 2002 or 2003 when the Director’s name suddenly disappeared from the credits. I dunno if it’s back, and I dunno if it was because I just went to Canada. LOL

One of the first names I noticed was, of course, Nigel Dick.

If I could describe Nigel Dick’s style of music-video-making when I was a kid, I would say “simply brilliant” – not because I was naive and didn’t really know much about the business, but because his videos were simple, but yet so full of life. Perhaps, the easiest way to show it is with a simple video such as Oasis’ Wonderwall.

If that video isn’t simply brilliant, then I don’t know how else to say it. xD

Of course, I grew up in the 90’s and this is why I probably feel Nigel Dick was one of the most popular music video directors. He was everywhere! From Indigo Girls‘ 1995 video Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, Eros Ramazzotti‘s 1996 Piu’ Bella Cosa, Savage Garden‘s 1997 I Want You, Cher‘s 1998 Believe (which my little cousin couldn’t stop singing, LOL), and M2M‘s 1999 Don’t Say You Love Me.

And that’s only just picking a video a year in the 90’s. In reality, Dick’s (once a dick, always a dick) work expands to work with Tears for Fear, the Temptations, Toto, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Kenny G, and Guns ‘N Roses in the 80’s, to videos for Oasis, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Celine Dion, Matchbox 20th, and flooding the market with pop video sensations in the mid-90s with the BackStreet Boys, UK’s 5ive, *Nsync, Savage Garden, the Corrs, Ace of Base, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears.

After some of the examples above, you begin noticing Dick’s style. Colors, camera movement, editing… lights, and it just seems familiar. =D

In the new millennium, he’s continued his work as a music video director with work for Westlife, Travis, Mel B, Anastacia, Good Charlotte, Train, BBMak, 3 Doors Down, Meat Loaf, Nickelback, Dashboard Confessinal, Delta Goodrem, Brian McFadden, Lifehouse, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow and Il Divo, while also working on some feature film projects as well as live concerts.

His current website (nigeldick.com) contains some nice tidbits of info on the concepts of some videos, as well as complete concept write-ups, which reminds me when I did that for songs I listened too. Crap! I remember them having on a disc, I wonder if I didn’t throw those away.

Comments on BSB’s As Long As You Love Me
I’d first written this treatment for “All that I have to give” but the label hated it. When they needed a second video from the boys just two weeks later they rang me up and said, “Remember that great treatment you wrote 2 weeks ago? Any chance you could use it on this song?” When it came time to cast the FIVE girls the label asked for a sixth girl – and the girl they chose became Brian’s wife.

Comments on Britney’s Baby One More Time
The first time I’d attempted a treatment for this song I’d written something truly awful (an idea someone had suggested I’d should use sometime). Britney got on the phone and said, “Can’t we do something where I’m in a schoolroom dreaming about boys?” Um…yeah. OK. And by the way it was her idea to wear the school uniforms…

Comments on Britney’s Oops@ I Did it Again
This video will be very different for Britney. Janet Jackson meets Metropolis meets Fellini meets Capricorn One, meets surreal! It will have a simple story-line running through it (Britney meets gorgeous space-adventurer on surface of Mars and dances her butt off) and the end result will feel warm, light-hearted, energetic. And it will feature dance, dance, dance. It will be CRAZY X2!
[…]
A note from your sponsor…Before writing this concept I had a word with Britney. She said, “I want a video with a cute spaceman set on Mars but with no rocket ships.” I replied, “But isn’t the dialogue in the m middle something to do with ‘Titanic’?” Britney replied, “Don’t worry, you’ll make it work.”

I’ll make you a Nigel Dick’s YouTube Playlist later ;)

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