The 14th annual Music Video Production Association (MVPA) awards were held May 12 at the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles. The opulent movie palace was a fitting venue for a ceremony that celebrates the process of creation and collaboration in music video, an art form that often takes inspiration from the world’s great filmmakers.From creating a Mad-Hatter world for Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For” to the flaming intensity of Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks,” the below-the-line crafts made their creative marks in imaginative, fanciful, haunting, dramatic, gritty, comic and sometimes outlandish ways.The Universal Studios Award for Best Art Direction went to Zach Matthews for Stefani’s “What You Waiting For.” The video also garnered an award for Best Direction of a Female Artist and the Adbeast Award for Pop Video of the Year for director Francis Lawrence and DNA Inc. Lawrence was also honored with the Sony Pictures Studios Award for Director of the Year based on his body of work, which includes “What You Waiting For,” Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get Started” and Janet Jackson’s “All Nite (Don’t Stop).”For their work on The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” Carol Beadle received the award for Best Styling and Gina Monaci received the award for Best Makeup. Best Hair went to Danilo and Suzette Boozer for the Gwen Stefani featuring Eve video, “Rich Girls.”The Panavision Award for Best Cinematography and Rock Video of the Year went to Samuel Bayer and Black Dog Films for Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Dave Hussey took home the award for Best Colorist and Telecine for Modest Mouse’s “Ocean Breathes Salty.”Best Editing was awarded to David Blackburn for Blink 182’s “Always.” Brand New School garnered Best Special Effects for Muse’s “Hysteria.”Animated Video of the Year went to Partizan and director Lauri Faggioni for Davandra Banhart’s “The Ribbon.” Faggioni also received Best Choreography for the Gary Jules/Michael Andrews video “Mad World.” Director Chris Milk also took home a couple of trophies: the Sunset Edit Award for Best Directorial Debut for Kanye West’s “All Falls Down” and Adult Contemporary Video of the Year, in association with @Radical Media, for John Mellencamp’s “Walk Tall.”Director Mark Romanek and Anonymous Content were honored with Hip-Hop Video of the Year for Jay Z’s “99 Problems,” for which Romanek also received Best Direction of a Male Artist. Best Direction of a New Artist went to director Marc Webb for My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not OK I Promise.”Alternative Video of the Year went to director Spike Jonze and MJZ Inc. for Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Y Control.” Director X and HSI Productions received R&B Video of the Year for Usher’s “Yeah.” Smuggler and director Brian Beletic were awarded Electronic Music Video of the Year for Fatboy Slim’s “Don’t Let the Man Get You Down.” Will Ferrell’s “Afternoon Delight” from the film Anchorman garnered the Cross Promotion Video of the Year for The Malloys and Black Dog Films. International Video of the Year went to director Johann Renck and Exposure Films for The Streets’ “Dry Your Eyes.” Rockfight and directors Shafei & Levitz won Best Video Produced Under $25,000 for Gift of Gab’s “The Rat Race.”Several honorary awards were presented. R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” (1993), directed by Jake Scott, was entered into the MVPA Hall of Fame—a collection comprising videos that have had a lasting impact on the creation and evolution of music videos.The Eastman Kodak Award for Lifetime Achievement, given to a person or organization that has made a significant and lasting contribution to the music video industry, was presented to director Peter Care, whose imagery and relevance helped establish music video as a viable artistic medium.The Kratz Award for Creative Excellence recognizes creative ingenuity, the courage to take risks and the pushing of commercial boundaries to allow fresh ideas to flourish. It went to music industry veteran Jeff Ayeroff for his consistent launching of new talents, his support of artistry in music video.The passings of casting czar Scottie Lazarus of Scottie’s Bodies and MVPA CPA Seymour Tenney of Tenney and Company were memorialized for their contributions to the music video industry.On the Below the Line Award-O-Meter scale, we’re happy to report that the German chocolate brownies were to die for and the post-show open bar was a definite plus. The entertainment was excellent, with the wardrobe running the gamut from simple T-shirts and jeans to leopard coats and orange fish-net stockings. Parking was five bucks. Your reporter got the Doris Day spot directly across from the front door of the theater and—shades of a by-gone era—also got to ride the theater’s manually operated elevator.
Written by Mary Ann Skweres