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Before you e-mail me, please make sure your question is not answered on this page. If it is not, then feel free to contact me.
1 - QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DATABASE
1-1. Where and how do you get all your information?
1-2. How accurate is the data?
1-3. How accurate are the dates?
1-4. Is there a way I can help?
1-5. Why is there sometimes a space before a question mark or an exclamation point within a song title?
1-6. Why don't you use upper casing in titles, like everybody else does?
2 - QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SITE
2-1. I'm a webdesigner -- can I redo your site?
2-2. But your site really sucks...
2-3. Why don't you offer streaming videos?
2-4. I've noticed the use of different colors throughout the site, what do these mean?
3 - QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSIC VIDEOS
3-1. There's this video I saw a long time ago but I don't remember the title or the artist, can you help?
3-2. Do you sell videos? I really REALLY need to get this video...
4 - QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MUSIC VIDEO BUSINESS
4-1. How is a music video made?
4-2. What is a treatment?
4-3. What is a video commissioner?
4-4. How do I become a music video director?
4-5. I am an actor -- can I send you pictures?
4-6. I am an actor -- can you get me a job on a music video?
4-7. How do I contact ____?
4-8. Can you tell me who represents ____?
1 - QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DATABASE
2 - QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SITE
- 1-1. Where and how do you get all your information?
I have many different sources. First off, I've spent many hours watching music video networks such as MTV, VH-1, CMT and Z Music. This constituted the original data which was used to create the site. In addition to this, I do a lot of research on the Internet, nearly everyday, and compile the information found scattered all over the Web. I also get some credits off video compilations - most of the time these are send in by fans of a given artist. And finally, last but not least, individuals have been contributing a lot of information - including more and more industry people who submit their own credit listings.
To see a full list of all people who have contributed to this site, please check the credits page.
- 1-2. How accurate is the data?
This is difficult to answer, as it highly depends on the source used. As has been demonstrated time and time again, even "official" sources (like MTV or VH-1) can make errors and this has created a number of miscredits which are still to this date circulating over the internet. To fight this I have started keeping track of the sources used for all the information I gather. This allows me to double check conflicting data when they appear and to correct errors (ie. you will in some cases find notes saying 'sometimes miscredited to ___' those mean that the information was verified, usually through a person who worked on the concerned video). Please note that the existence of multiple versions for many videos also often help spread miscredits (which is why it is important to keep track of who works on which version). However, since more and more industry professionals are submitting their own credits, this should help fix the conflicts which still exist and make the data more reliable in the long run.
- 1-3. How accurate are the dates?
This is as tricky as the data question above. The intent is to provide the date any given video was first AIRED (as opposed to shot, although shoot dates are also added to the base when known). This, however, is not always possible. Firstly because sources rarely specify what a date represents and secondly because an air date is, quite simply, difficult to find. Usually, it is much easier to find the corresponding single's release date. Since a video's first airing is usually fairly close to the single's release, I have often opted to use the latter. So please keep this in mind and think of these dates more as a guideline. Also note that the most accurate dates are indicated through the use of different colors (see the User's Guide for details on what each color means). Also, when the exact day of first airing is known, it will be indicated on the video's detailed page (just click on a song title to pull it up).
- 1-4. Is there a way I can help?
Sure. Many ways, actually. The first, and most obvious way is by submitting data. If you are an industry professional, please check this page to see why you should submit your credits. If you do not work in the industry, but have access to information that is not yet included in the database (from video compilations, magazines, books, or even simply by watching music video networks) you can of course submit this information. Please specify what your source was whenever possible, as it can help fix potential conflicts. Submissions can be done either through the online forms or by e-mail.
If your native language is not English or French, check the language page to see if yours is available. If it is, click on the name to check the existing translations. Perhaps there are errors you can help correct, or maybe you can provide additional words that are currently missing. If your language is not included, feel free to use the appropriate link to add a language and start translating some words.
Other ways you can help: if you notice a bug or even a typo, let me know!
- 1-5. Why is there sometimes a space before a question mark or an exclamation point within a song title?
This is linked to the way punctuation works within each language. By default (ie. when I don't know the rules of a specific language) the English way is used (no space). If a space is required in your language (as it is in French, for instance) do let me know so I can make the appropriate changes. Please note that this will ONLY affect song titles in the concerned language.
- 1-6. Why don't you use upper casing in titles, like everybody else does?
Because it's silly and unjustified. Titles are like sentences, and you're not supposed to capitalize every word in a sentence. It's an old practice that's turned into a bad habit, and you know what they say about habits... Today, the use of upper casing within titles has become totally obsolete. It was initially used in the early days of printing when it was the only way to make a title stick out within a text, before the invention of boldface, italics and perhaps even underlining. Today, there are MANY ways to make a title stick out, including the above, but also with the use of color, different fonts and font sizes, etc. And in case you hadn't noticed, yes, I do feel strong about this. As a writer, I find the use of gratuitous upper casing to be an aberration. So the rules of basic grammar will be followed throughout this site (ie. capitalizing will only be used at the beginning of a sentence and within names). And hey, seriously, which of these looks better (and is easier to read): "I Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star" or "I want to be a rock and roll star"? Nuff said. (PS. I highly recommend people to start losing their upper casing habits -- or at least think about it).
3 - QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSIC VIDEOS
- 2-1. I'm a webdesigner -- can I redo your site?
I'm a webdesigner too. So no.
- 2-2. But your site really sucks...
- 2-3. Why don't you offer streaming videos?
For many reasons. First of all, because the goal of the site has always been to be an *encyclopedia*, ie. a place to gather information about videos rather than the videos themselves. Another big reason is that there are already many places available online to watch videos. Yet another reason is that it would take way too much disk space, and would likely require moving the site to a new (and paying) server. However, since videos are, by definition, a visual art form, it did seem odd not to offer videos. So I've opted for a compromise and have started including on individual video pages (starting with mvdbase 3.0) links to places where you can watch or download the corresponding video (if a link is known)... Feel free to suggest or submit more links.
- 2-4. I've noticed the use of different colors throughout the site, what do these mean?
Please check the User's Guide for details on the use of colors within this site, and other useful information.
4 - QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MUSIC VIDEO BUSINESS
- 3-1. There's this video I saw a long time ago but I don't remember the title or the artist, can you help?
Probably not. My memory is fairly bad, and I haven't seen everything (not by a long shot). If you can remember the artist, I would recommend trying to contact fans of that artist (look up fansites). If you only have a description to go off of, you can always try to ask on the music video mailing-list, perhaps one of the members will recognize it. Click here for more details on the list (including a subscription form). I also receive the list myself, of course, so this really is the best way to ask something like this.
- 3-2. Do you sell videos? I really REALLY need to get this video...
Okay, let me get this straight and out of the way once and for all. I DO NOT SELL MUSIC VIDEOS. Nor trade, for that matter. This site is NOT a store. mvdbase.com is a database, ie. its sole purpose is to collect information ABOUT music videos. If you wish to buy a video, try online stores like amazon.com which offer some video selections. There are also a number of DVD shops online. Please please please do NOT ask me where you can find or buy such or such video. I just, quite simply and honestly, don't know.
For those who are desperate, many videos have been 'ripped' and can be downloaded for free on the internet through P2P (peer-to-peer) softwares (KaZaA, e-mule, etc). Please note that there are legal issues involved and that mvdbase does NOT recommend or condone the use of P2P softwares, nor provide further information (don't bother to ask). This is your sole responsiblity.
- 4-1. How is a music video made?
The process goes about like this:
1) The label and/or artist decide to make a new video and pick a director they want to work with (typically based on the director's previous work.)
2) The video commissioner then hunts down the director and contacts him/her through their agent or production company.
3) A copy of the song, with the lyrics, is sent to the company who then assigns someone (usually the director himself, but this isn't always the case) to write the treatment. Sometimes the artist will have an idea what he wants to do with the video and will write the treatment himself, or a first draft of it anyway.
4) If the treatment is approved, then a date is set for the shoot and a crew is put together by the production company. Usually this is done fairly fast.
5) The video is shot. This typically happens over a day or two, rarely more.
6) Once the shoot is done, the film is sent to post-production companies where the telecine (ie. coloring), special effects and editing are handled.
7) When the video is completed and ready, it is sent back to the label which then releases it to appropriate outlets. It should be noted that the label typically holds the copyright of the finished product.
- 4-2. What is a treatment?
A treatment is a synopsis, ie. a short text describing the concept of a music video.
- 4-3. What is a video commissioner?
A person at a record label who is specifically assigned to work on music video projects. They typically are the ones who hire production companies and directors.
- 4-4. How do I become a music video director?
There are two ways to go about it. Go to film school or get an intership.
Although there are some independent directors out there, typically a director will be signed up to a specific production company. Before you get hired, however, you will need to make a reel to show people what you can do. If you have go to film school, or if you have the appropriate equipment, you can shoot a short film and use this as your reel.
Internships are another way of getting your foot in the door. It's a good method to learn the tricks of the trade through experience, not to mention allow you to meet people who work in the business and make some contacts. This can, of course, potentially lead to the director's chair (or other positions, if you are interested in another branch like photography or editing).
If you are interested in doing an internship, I would recommend checking the production section and asking individual production companies about current opportunities. Keep in mind that this might require working for free, at least in the beginning.
- 4-5. I am an actor -- can I send you pictures?
Unless you have previous music video experience, I don't really see what I would do with them. If you DO have such experience, I will be happy to place your picture (only one please) on your credit page. If there is no page up for you yet, please also submit your credits so I can add one.
Note that pictures will ONLY be used to illustrate your page on mvdbase.com. I cannot and WILL NOT submit them to directors or production companies. Why not? Because it's not my job. Get yourself an agent.
- 4-6. I am an actor -- can you get me a job on a music video?
No. Get yourself an agent.
- 4-7. How do I contact ____?
For artists, the official way is through the record label. You can also visit the artist's official site. In some cases, you will find a direct e-mail address, but this is fairly rare, especially for big name stars. (You're more likely to find an e-mail for an independent artist than for, say, U2 or Madonna).
For music video directors, you will need to contact them through the production company they are currently signed with.
For other music video professionals, you can contact them through their agents or in some cases post-production companies (for editors and visual effect technicians, for instance).
Sometimes individual contact information will be available on mvdbase.com if and only if this information is either already publicly available (like on another website) or that I was allowed to post the information.
Please do NOT ask me for e-mails or phone numbers and such. If I have the information and am allowed to reveal it, it will be on the site. If it's not there, don't ask. Unless, of course, it is a professional request (ie. you want to hire an individual).
- 4-8. Can you tell me who represents ____?
Directors are usually represented by a production company. Check a director's page on mvdbase to find what company they are currently signed to and click on the name for contact information. Please note that if no company is mentioned, then I simply don't have the information at this time (so asking by e-mail would be pointless) and you will have to check the page again later.