Contact: Camille Espada, [email protected]
Most Recent: The Latin from Manhattan
At a time when music videos for heavy bands tended to embrace a darker aesthetic, director Thomas Mignone was at the forefront of a new trend when he created Mudvayne’s “Dig” video in 2001, which won the first MTV M2 Video Music Award and featured the heavy metal artists against a bright and colorful backdrop. “We lit the band with flashlights, and pulled the shutter out of the camera,” Mignone says of directing the video. “That was a unique way to shoot, and it allowed the video to be super vibrant. It kind of went against the grain and established a new look for metal videos—they didn’t have to be dark and gloomy.”
Drawn to the art form as it married his two passions of music and video, Mignone got his start by chasing down indie punk and metal bands and offering to create their music videos, and he credits MTV for pushing the art form of visual music forward. “Artists want a director who understands how much passion and work they pour into their music and will give that same level of detail and originality when it comes to their videos. That’s what I try to bring to those music video projects,” says Mignone, who directed the No. 1 MTV Buzz Clip for The Dirty Heads’ “Lay Me Down.”
Eventually, Mignone transitioned to directing feature films, often collaborating on scores and soundtracks with some of the musical artists for whom he created videos. Most recently, he directed The Latin From Manhattan, based on the life of adult film star Vanessa Del Rio.
Mignone says those aspiring to create have so many tools and resources at their fingertips today, there’s no excuse for a mediocre product. “When I listen to a piece of music or hear a song that inspires me, I immediately think about how I could visualize that in an exciting way. That synergy is something that you should take seriously,” he says. “Something I’ve always heard from artists: ‘You really brought out what we were trying to say musically.’ If you’re an unknown music video director, you have to ask yourself how can you create something that will represent what the artist wants reflected?” •