Tag Archives: Marc Webb

The Music Videos of Marc Webb

I’ve been watching a few old My Chemical Romance videos on YouTube (don’t ask why), and I noticed that Marc Webb was their go-to guy for direction.

Webb, of course, directed one of my favourite movies of last year, (500) Days of Summer, and is slated to helm the new Spider-man reboot (which I’m feeling more optimistic about. Andrew Garfield! Emma Stone! Dennis Leary!). But, like a lot of contemporary directors, he got his start directing music videos. And since this all happened in the early-to-mid 2000’s, he inevitably ended up directing videos for a lot of post-grunge and “emo” bands that were popular at the time.

Being in middle school around this time, I was greatly influenced by what my peers were listening to. And I actually watched Much Music back then. So, without knowing it, I’m pretty familiar with this guy’s back catalogue. Looking at the list of videos that he’s directed, I can immediately and vividly remember the following videos (in chronological order):

And that’s not even close to half the videos that he’s done. There are a few others that I don’t remember, and a bunch that I never saw, including some with Green Day (first in 2001, and then for their 21st Century Breakdown album), Good Charlotte, Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be”, Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day”, and Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe”.

This might not be a shining era in music history, but you have to admit that Webb directed videos for some pretty prominent songs of the time. And the fact that I can actually remember so many of his videos means that they’re at least somewhat interesting (either that, or I just watched them so many times that they’re permanently engrained in my memory).

In fact, I think that a few of those videos are actually quite good. My Chemical Romance’s “The Ghost of You” is probably one of the best directed videos I’ve seen in a while. And even though it’s melodramatic and over-the-top, the theatrical tone is spot on for their fanbase. Same goes for their gothed-out “Helena” video, and the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” rip-off that is “Teenagers”. I’m not surprised that the band worked with Webb so often, because it seems to me that he deserves a lot of credit for helping them to cultivate a very specific and successful image.

And videos like “Start All Over” and “Move Along” are surprisingly memorable, too. Their concepts are simple and certainly not groundbreaking, but whenever I think of those songs (which, admittedly, is not very often), the music video immediately comes to mind.

Despite working with such a wide array of artists, I’m surprised by what a unique, recognizable style Webb has. I can’t really pinpoint it, but most of those videos have a signature Marc Webb look to them. I had no idea going into (500) Days of Summer that this guy had defined my middle school years, to an extent.

Not to get too sentimental, but I think that time period was the twilight for the music video. Sure, you can find some really innovative videos online by smaller artists, but mainstream videos are largely dead, as far as I can tell. With the exception of Lady Gaga, it seems like the big artists today and their labels are barely putting any thought into music videos. Of course, it doesn’t help that television stations barely play videos anymore, but there’s still the while “viral” market for them online that they could try to tap into. I’m not saying that music videos from the mid-2000’s were great, because most of them weren’t. And maybe I’m just fond of them because that’s when I came of age. But artists like Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and Billy Talent at least attempted some kind of visual style (no, I don’t count Katy Perry’s penchant for sepia tone as a “style”).

So there’s a look at some of the highlights from Marc Webb’s video career (you can see a more complete list on his Wikipedia page here). You can also watch a few of the videos below. I’m hoping to write up some future segments on the music videos of Mark Romanek, Samuel Bayer, and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.


Too Much Andrew Garfield? Never.

Well, this is my second Andrew Garfield-related post in less than 24 hours, but I feel obligated to share a couple of photos of Garfield from the Spider-Man casting announcement yesterday (more can be found over at /Film). The press conference took place in Cancun, and apparently Garfield had only been informed of the casting decision thirty minutes before being trotted out to pose for reporters. Also, check out video here of the casting announcement. The highlight is easily a stunned Garfield rehearsing a jovial “Hey, guys. How’s it going?” over and over.

All this attention for Garfield is a bit strange (and I can only imagine how HE feels), but certainly exciting (even if it’s mostly people going “Who’s that?”), and the more I see about the casting, the more interested I am about it.

Andrew Garfield to Play Spider-Man

Casting rumours for the Spider-Man reboot have been swirling for what feels like forever. We’ve heard Logan Lerman, Jamie Bell, and (just yesterday) Josh Hutcherson tentatively tied to the Peter Parker role. Aaron Johnson, Anton Yelchin, and Frank Dillane have also been mentioned frequently in discussion. But one of the other potential Spideys, Andrew Garfield, has officially been hired. /Film, Hollywood News and IMDB all say that it’s a done deal, so I guess we’ll have to assume that the casting saga has finally come to an end. The Spider-Man reboot will be helmed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), and the film is set to hit screens in 3D in July of 2012.

Now for the editorial portion.

I don’t know how I feel about this. I take every opportunity possible to sing the praises of Andrew Garfield. He was amazing in Boy A, understatedly wonderful as a robot in Spike Jonze’s short, I’m Here, and so charming opposite Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. He’ll also be appearing in two highly-anticipated films later this year –Never Let Me Go and David Fincher’s The Social Network. Part of me is excited that one of my favourite actors is getting this kind of attention (it’s cool to see him on the front page of IMDB). But the other part of me doesn’t really need to see a new Spider-Man franchise, and would kind of like Andrew Garfield to keep making smaller, more challenging films. I guess a lot of people want to keep their favourite little-known actors and bands a secret, as contradictory and ridiculous as it all seems.

And isn’t this reboot supposed to be following Peter Parker through high school? Garfield turns 27 this August. I kind of would’ve preferred Logan Lerman or Aaron Johnson in the role based on age alone, but I’m sure Garfield will bring all of his charm, wit, and acting chops to even the most high-profile roles Hollywood has to offer.