Chris Milk’s heartache

  • Published in Film + Web


Gnarls Barkley: Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
Director: Chris Milk
Production Company: Radical Media

In comments on videos.antville.org, a critical consortium of anything-goes posts on music videos where the video was voted Best Narrative Video, Milk added some inspired feedback on present state of music videos:

I was going to write a quick simple acceptance, but something the Encyclopedia Pictura guys said is leading me to go further with this than I normally would, or probably should. And I’ve got time today as the video I was to do for my absolute favorite “all-I-want-to-do-is-a-video-for-this-band-before-I-die” band, died because 12k total was too much to spend on a music video at the end of 2008. So, in the dawn of this new year, and hopefully a new direction for our shattered war-mongering country, a word to my most beloved ville… If you work in music videos in this market, you are by definition a struggling artist. Respect. There is a lot of hate on this board. It’s fun to sling it, entertaining to read it, and most of the time, somewhat crushing to receive it. If you love music videos, realize we are all in this together now. No one is buying any houses in Malibu with video money, they do it for the love of the form. Pro co’s are closing, labels are laying off whole video divisions, reps are writing children’s books, directors are moving back in with their parents. And while I’m at it, on the topic of directors… I’m not aware of any other art form or medium where the artist, not just a director, but a writer as well, essentially create their works almost for free now, with multi-national corporate conglomerates as the clients, and while owning absolutely no rights or interests in their own art, which is being sold as content, for profit. Respect that, even if you don’t respect the work. Music video is a dying art. MTV, our birth mother, has abandoned us on the stairs of the internet like a shriveled up old man baby. Imagine if radio suddenly switched to all talk shows, all the time. That happened to us. The web is our last hope of survival, antville is one of its most visible outlets; instead of just lobbing stones at the art form you love behind a cloak of anonymity, try being positive and constructive, show some love for your fellow mv kind, cause right now no one else out there is.

Respect one and all, and to all a good night.


Thanks to CJ Roy for forwarding the link.


Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site


First of all, how awesome is Chris Milk for sending this personal message out to everyone at antville?

Not only is he one of the most talented music video directors out there, but it’s so refreshing to see that he’s not too high and mighty to have a conversation with us lowly folks.

And about what he actually said, I hope people actually listen. Us filmmakers are all a struggling breed and I’ve noticed that there’s far too much negativity out there. If we can all keep supporting each other, we’ll all be much better off for it.

Chris Yi #

This state-of-the-union is tragically accurate: A large corporation created the industry, exhausted it, made all the money they could with it, and abandoned it in favor of low-cost reality television that they could cram adverts in and around. All in the timespan of about 20 years.

MTV might have influenced the art of an entire generation, but before the whole of that generation even got a chance to grow up to create their own work, they’ve already deemed the music video to not be worth the 3 minutes 30 seconds of airtime it takes to show it.

If they can’t put an ad in it or place a product in it, they don’t want it on their network.

Tom #

[…] Chris Milk's Heartache Excellent commentary from the music video director, including "MTV, our birth mother, has abandoned us on the stairs of the internet like a shriveled up old man baby." […]

10 Best Posts of 2009 - Blog – FWD:labs #

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