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Job Title: Video Director, Music Video Director, Or Director

Job Overview

The music video director is responsible for the visual presentation of the artist's music on film, from devising the concept and pitching the idea to the record label and artist, to directing the shoot and editing the video.

Special Skills

Video directors must possess filmmaking experience, creativity, imagination, and have a friendly personality and strong communication skills.

Advice for Someone Seeking This Job

“There is no easy route,” says director Steven Goldmann. “You can make a music video while you're in film school, and be looked down on by your peers who want to make movies, or you can realize it's a great way to make little movies and just get some experience. Find a friend's band and shoot them; try to make something that looks like a video. Then start meeting with video companies. The hardest part of getting someone to give you a shot in the professional world is that you really have to show people that you've shot someone singing. Singers want to know how you're going to portray them. Find a local band and practice shooting them and build a reel.”

Professional Profile: Steven Goldmann, Director and Co-Owner, The Collective

Most of Steven Goldman's early life in Canada revolved around film and music, from the television commercials he acted in as a child, to the mobile sound system he operated as a teenage disc jockey. The proceeds from both financed his entry into the film school at New York University. During a summer job working at the United Nations for UNICEF, he began directing and editing short instructional films. Through contacts made at the time, he landed work as an assistant manager on some episodes of Tales of the Dark Side, and as an apprentice editor on Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson. Following work for an editing facility on a series of toy commercials, he was hired by an advertising agency to direct projects for Milton Bradley, Franklin Mint, and others.

It took several false starts, but Goldman finally landed a job as a director at a startup video production company. After doing some pop and country projects, he began to make a name for himself as a director of heavy metal bands. When the demand for that music declined, so did the demand for his services, until all he could find was the occasional job editing television commercials. “It was one of those crazy tailspins that life can take. I was practically out of work. It was a very low point in my career,” recalls Goldmann. Then a series of phone calls turned his career around.

What do you like least about your job?

“The hardest part, over the long haul, is that it's hard to grow and stay fresh.”Steven Goldmann

What do you love most about your job?

“I love what I do. I love coming up with ideas. I love reading and writing. I love people, so I love that my job allows me to be around a lot of people. I love being on the set. I love editing; I love being in the editing room and seeing it all come together. I've got a job that allows every side of my personality to shine.”Steven Goldmann

The first call came from a New York company that had seen his work and wanted to hire him as a director. When he got to the firm's office, he received another telephone call from a Montreal production company that wanted to represent him. Minutes later, he got a third call from Cynthia Biederman, a former colleague who was now working at Scene Three, a Nashville-based film production company. Biederman had a project she wanted him to direct. The year that started without much promise ended with Goldman being named Country Music Television's Director of the Year for Michelle Wright's “Take it Like a Man” video. After that, his career took off.


* “I prefer to say I have ‘goals,’ rather than dreams. I feel like dreams are unattainable, but goals are something you can define and work towards.”Steven Goldmann

Over the next few years, Goldmann divided his time among New York, Montreal, and Nashville, building a reputation as one of the most creative and sought-after directors of music videos and music specials. When an offer came to direct the television music series The Road, Goldmann moved his family to Nashville to join the newly opened office of High Five.

Goldmann continued to direct videos, mostly produced by Biederman, and in 1996 joined with her and fellow director Thom Oliphant to form a production company called The Collective. Since that time, he has won numerous awards in both the United States and Canada, including the CMA Music Video of the Year award for Kathy Mattea's “455 Rocket” in 1997 and Faith Hill's “This Kiss” in 1998, as well as twice being named CMT's Video Director of the Year. In 1999, Goldman opened a second office in Canada. To date, he has well over 100 videos to his credit that include acclaimed work with artists like Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, and Tricia Yearwood.

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Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in Film and TelevisionDIRECTORS AND ASSISTANT DIRECTORS - Job Title: Director, Job Title: First Assistant Director, 1st Ad, Or Assistant Director