At the height of the popularity of music videos, many of today's great directors were cutting their teeth by churning out short videos for music artists as a way to gain enough experience to eventually segue to bigger films. This was before the indie-film scene really took off, and so commercial and music video directing was really the main gateway to Hollywood (in a lot of ways it still is). David Fincher was one of those directors who began his career in music videos, eventually going on to direct some of the most iconic music videos ever made. Fincher is responsible for everything from Madonna's "Vogue" video to Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun" video to Billy Idol's "Cradle of Love"... and we can keep on going.
Fincher stopped making music videos regularly in the mid-'90s when his film career took off, but he returns to his former trade every now and then, with his latest being this music video marking Justin Timberlake's return to music. In some ways it's fitting -- one of the great pop artists in recent years is taking a break from movies to make music, and one of the great directors in recent years is taking a break from movies to make the music video for said pop artist. Check out the video for "Suit & Tie" below, featuring Jay-Z.
And in case you're curious to see where it all began for Fincher, here's the first-ever music video that he directed. It was for the Rick Springfield song "Bop 'Til You Drop," and it's this odd postapocalyptic sci-fi thing with dancing aliens and plenty of bizarre characters. If anything, we can see why Fincher was chosen to direct Alien 3, as some of that vibe can be seen here.
Regarding this video, Fincher would later tell Moviefone, "That one got me out of ILM. I mean, I would make that video very differently today... And for a 22 year old and the first $150,000 I've ever had to spend... yeah, we did the best we could with what we had. Rick was incredibly sweet to me to give me that opportunity, but I honestly don't know what any of that had to do with that song. At least it was different."