The collection of clips nominated for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards is one of the most eclectic bunch in the nearly two-decade history of the show. Lady Gaga leads the way with a record 13 nominations, with plenty of recognition for Eminem, Ke$ha, B.o.B, Katy Perry and Florence and the Machine as well. You’ll have a hard time finding any lines that link the clips together or find a particular trend that permeated the past year’s crop of music videos, as most of the artists are incredible singularities who manage to put their personalities up on screen, whether it’s Katy Perry’s Technicolor dreamscapes or Lady Gaga’s glam-goth theatricality. But there is one particular thing that keeps popping up among the nominees: This appears to be the year of the one-named director.
For example, Paramore’s “Ignorance,” nominated for Best Rock Video, is directed by the mono-named Honey (who has also directed clips for Ke$ha, Crazy Town and Dave Navarro). Elsewhere in the Best Rock Video category, there are a number of direction collectives who go by single names, including Hydra (who helmed Muse’s teddy-bears-destroy-everything romp “Uprising”) and LEGS (who are responsible for Florence and the Machine’s trippy clip for “Dog Days Are Over”). In the Best Pop Video category, you’ll find Syndrome, another collective who took care of Ke$ha’s clip for “Tik Tok” (and who also have clips for Eminem, T-Pain, Lupe Fiasco and Alicia Keys to their credit).
Of course, there’s no shortage of directors with full names responsible for VMA-nominated clips, including the immortal Hype Williams, the versatile Anthony Mandler and the visionary Jonas Akerlund. Also included on that list: The excellent Hiro Murai, who pulled off the incredible clip for B.o.B’s “Airplanes,” which is as pretty and wonderful as music videos get.