When MTV hosted its inaugural VMAs ceremony in 1984, the channel created the first major awards show explicitly related to recognize artistic achievement in music videos. And since the annual broadcast has since become known as the site of celebrity unpredictability—a launchpad for anything from a new feud to a new baby—the show remains a valuable (if mostly symbolic, move from MTV’s infamous move). The music video is given away from the programming) monument to the format and the artists behind it.
The founders of MTV deserve a lot of credit for seeing a future in short-form music video work, creating the necessary infrastructure and promotion for an ostensible marketing tool to become a giant. But the VMAs have struggled to be quite forward-thinking when it comes to long-scene projects coming out of the industry – even as the lead cast has moved on to mass production and sometimes more in recent years. Self-directing has also led to long-form material, and the term “visual album”. entered the popular dictionary, Look no further than this year’s re-introduction of a dedicated long-form award that producers have been on and off for three decades, but haven’t fully committed to.
The August 28 ceremony will see six nominees compete for Best Longform Video, one of the VMAs’ many fan-voted awards. KC Musgraves is “After Divorce” Project star par (a Paramount+ exclusive), Taylor Swift’s romantic drama All Too Well: The Short Filmand theatrically released horror-comedy studio 666, starring Foo Fighters. The other three nominees are live performance movies attached to recent(-ish) albums – Olivia Rodrigo’s Drive Home 2 U (A Sour Film) and billie eilish Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles (both Disney+ exclusives), and Madonna madam x (Another Paramount+ exclusive).
At a glance, the nominees range from 15 minutes to nearly two hours, from scripted to unscripted, and even from music-driven to musical-sparse; studio 666 There is a narrative film starring musicians and there is no such thing as a musical or a musical film, let alone a music video. (It’s also probably best not to think too hard about star par And madam x Both are produced by MTV Entertainment Studios.) So, how did we get here?
Like short-form music videos, long-form ones were already an established industry practice over the years, when MTV first appeared on the scene in 1981. Until then, from the artists the Bee Gees To David Bowie had experimented with stringing together an album’s worth of videos to make one long film; The Beatles spent much of the 1960s releasing such projects theatrically. In 1979, Blondie also released the less narrative-driven eat for the beetA video album (until Beyoncé helped popularize “Visual Album”) featuring separate videos for each of the 12 songs on that album.
Although MTV’s early years coincided with the release of recognizable long-form projects in their full-length iterations – David Bowie Jazzin’ for the Blue JeanEurythmics’ savageand Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation 1814 Comes to everyone’s mind – the VMAs didn’t officially reward such work until 1991, 10 years after MTV first raised its flag at the time. However, the nominees for “Best Long Form Video” were pretty messed up. belonged to aerosmith things that get pumped up at night, a video album for the band’s 10th studio album; Madonna’s immaculate collection, a video compilation from her career to that time; And two concerts – REM’s tourfilm and Peter Gabriel pov, The award eventually went to Madonna’s visual equivalent of a greatest hits album.
But for reasons unknown, it immediately went on a hiatus of at least 25 years—as a “breakthrough long form video” until its abrupt return in 2016. some people guessed To be inspired by the release of Beyoncé’s visual album lemonade, That year saw the superstar’s film compete against several similar projects: Justin Bieber’s Purpose: MovementVideo composition for each track purpose, Chris Brown’s royalty, eight serial videos of his project of the same name; Florence + Machine Key the Odysseya movie companion how big, how blue, how beautiful, and Troy Sivan’s Blue Neighborhood TrilogyA narrative video series in their . is linked to blue neighborhood LP, The VMAs seem to have refined their idea behind the category, apparently getting narrower with their definition of “long form video” than in 1991.
Jesse Ignjatovic, executive producer of the 2016 show, Explained To mtv news That was the year when the VMAs were trying to “always stay on top and reflect the culture and what the artists are doing.” He stated that the longer-playing videos were “moving the music landscape more than in the past”, suggesting that there were now enough of them to fill an entire category.
It wasn’t wrong, even if artists didn’t quite stop making them between 1991 and 2016: The streaming age, especially YouTube, created less barriers than ever to get into your fans’ eyes and ears. During 2010, they will begin to pop up at a remarkable rate; Kanye West, marina, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gagaand (with his first self-billed “Visual Album” in 2013) BeyoncéAmong others, all released projects visually describe a substantial portion of the album – if not the album as a whole – in the first half of the decade.
but the following lemonade2016 win, prize disappeared once again – too bad for take a tow, Janelle Monas, solange, machine gun Kelly, or any other artist who made lengthy videos in the years between then and now. And of course, it is not that there is never any dearth of concert films in the industry; The absence of a long-form category for the past half-decade was probably more due to a lack of supply, or an identity crisis on the part of said award than the fluctuating nature of the VMA categories.
now that award Is Returned after another rebrand, it appears to be back near the VMAs’ early 1991 approach. While other categories of shows are specifically divided by genre (e.g. Best Latin) and format (e.g. Best Collaboration), this again pits wildly different projects against each other; The only thing that unites all six is that they are not short-form videos. (Interestingly, though, All Too Well: The Short Film Elsewhere at the festival is competing as a short-form video – featuring the iconic Video of the Year – while a scene from “Easy Time”, star parAlso up for Best Art Direction.)
Apart from the logical question marks here, such a catch-all framework usually requires unfortunate deductions during the enrollment process. For example, one of this year’s biggest surprises was the removal of Halsey’s critically acclaimed film component. If I can’t love, I need power, In fact, streamers these days rely heavily on original music content – other contenders may include The Beatles: Get Back on Disney+, The Weekend x The Dawn FM Experience on Prime Video, or Jean-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy Enough projects were released during this most recent eligibility period to sketch at least two different long-form categories — on Netflix.
Which brings us to another obvious point: While genre is a tricky and often debated topic, more than half the nominees for Best Longform Video this year are… well… not video. Even MTV classified itself home driving 2 u As a documentary ahead of the Movie & TV Awards in June, where the film took home Best Music Documentary. So there’s probably as much filth in the award’s name as it is in her makeup; If the best longform video is really suffering from an identity crisis, why not follow the lead of so many other VMAs and go with the “best longform” until it’s resolved?
Despite it being a fan-voted category (as with most of the VMAs since 2006), there’s no reason why it still couldn’t mirror and better respect the type of visual innovation coming out of the industry at this cultural moment. when we have an hour long visual album Premiere in IMAX and pop stars Talking about his work at Tribeca, The show could seriously consider another restructuring ahead of next year’s ceremony—if only to avoid the secret irony of their longtime honor as one of their most fleeting.
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Reference from www.billboard.com