Music Video Director: Wayne Isham

There’s no gain without Wayne, or there’s no pain without Wayne. I know it’s something like that. It’s been years since I first heard Wayne Isham saying that on one of those episodes of MTV’s Making the Video, back when making a video was very important for MTV.

Wayne Isham was another name that really popped up when I spent all day watching MTV. If I could describe Isham’s music video style with one word, it would be “woosh!” even though that’s not a word. His videos captured a very energetic vibe with fast cuts and, what I call fade-in wooshes — it’s when Isham would be focusing his camera on the singer/group and there would be a fade-in from one shot to the next one that made it seem like pushing in or away from the subject in a very funky way.

Of course, the best way to understand that woosh concept is to see it in action. For instance, those fast cuts are very prominents on Metallica’s video of I Disappear (from the Mission Impossible II OST) xD

I am not entirely sure when this woosh effect came into being or stopped — I don’t think it was very used in his early 90s videos, and I haven’t seen new Isham videos — however, videos like Bon Jovi’s It’s my Life (2000) or Say it Isn’t So (2000), Ricky Martin’s Livin’ la Vida Loca (1999), Shake your Bon Bon (1999), as well as 98 Degrees’ Because of You (1999), BackStreet Boys’ I Want it that Way (1999), and Nsync’s It’s Gonna Be Me (2000) use this editing style quite frequently.

To a lesser extent of woosh factor, Britney Spear’s I’m not a Girl Not Yet a Woman video wooshes in slower motion for the sake of the ballad. Ricky Martin’s La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life) video for the 1998 World Cup contains faint hints of wooshes, just like in his video for La Bomba (1998). And Aaliyah’s video for Romeo Must Die Try Again uses the effect in the choreography’s intersections with Jet Li — with a great homage to Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon Mirror Scene [1].

Of course, I know Isham as a pop music video director, but apparently he’s most known for his rock music video contributions with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Pink Floyd, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, The Rolling Stones and Megadeth.

Obviously, I think Isham’s best contribution to the pop music scene were the videos he created with NSYNC, which happen to be the height of pop music in America.

Isham’s work has continued with work for 3 Doors Down, The All-American Rejects, Muse, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, and Faith Hill. Of course, you can still see faint hints of the woosh effects on Faith Hill’s Mississippi Girl (2005) and Keith Urban’s Days Go By (2004)

Check out the Wayne Isham playlist.

3 responses to Music Video Director: Wayne Isham

  1. I think Wayne Isham is the best Video Director of all times.
    I think he would be a wonderful addition to American Idol as a judge.
    Everyone that I have mention it to had also agree 100%.
    Who better then him that knows the bussiness, and knows talent.

  2. Hi, Laurie.

    I don’t really follow AI, but Isham could be a very useful guest judge there. I would be awesome if AI would devote an episode to video making. I’m glad people keep talking about his videos… it’d be awesome if he left a comment here. xD

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. personal.amy-wong.com – A Blog by Amy Wong. » Blog Archive » Wayne Isham Playlist Update - August 29, 2010

    […] If you missed my write-up on Isham’s work, here you go~ […]

Leave a Reply