DVD coincides with director receiving MTV honor.
Palm Pictures and UMVD will on September 12 reissue "Hype Williams: The Videos, Vol. 1," a collage of influential videos directed by Williams. The DVD comes in conjunction with Williams' receiving MTV's Video Vanguard Award this year, to be handed out tomorrow (Aug. 31) at the 2006 Video Music Awards in New York. The award is given to musicians and video directors who have greatly impacted the MTV generation.
The repackaged 45-minute DVD contains audio tracks, a video interview with Williams, videography and trailers. The videos featured on the disc include Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'," TLC's "No Scrubs," Wu-Tang Clan's "Can It Be All So Simple," Craig Mack's "Flava in Your Ear (Remix)" and LL Cool J's "Doin' It."
According to Williams, several of the artists whose videos are featured on the DVD will perform their previous hits during the award show, including Busta Rhymes ("Put Ya Hands Where My Eyes Can See") and Missy Elliott (“The Rain"). "Since the same artists are performing some of the same songs on the DVD, I thought it would be a cool idea if we repackaged it," Williams tells Billboard.biz. "It's a one-of-its-kind DVD where you get to see some of the history of music video and rap music video in particular."
The Palm Pictures Web store (store.palmpictures.com) will offer the DVD collection on sale for 33% off, and the first 75 fans who order the title will get an autographed version from the director. On the day of the VMAs, Williams will launch his official Web site (hypewilliams.com), as well as his personal MySpace page. "We want to go big on the MySpace idea because it's an opportunity for me to communicate to people not just about the release of the DVD but step-by-step for the rest of my career I intend to really use it as a guideline and a filmmaker's tool," says Williams. "It's specifically designed and dedicated to the audience that this DVD reaches out for."
The videos are Williams’ handpicked favorites from his 200-plus catalog. "It's nostalgia basically," he says of the selection process. "'Big Pimpin',' for example, not only was it probably the most fun I ever had on a production, it happened to also be the first music video to highlight lifestyle, particularly the lifestyle of Roc-A-Fella. That video created a movement that still exists in music videos today. I've had that a lot in my career but that's one of the videos on the DVD that really puts a fine point on the moment when Roc-a-Fella, Jay-Z and Dame Dash became a lifestyle. Rocawear also launched the same year."
The MTV Vanguard Award was last handed out to rock group Duran Duran in 2003. Previous honorees include Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and LL Cool J. "I was a little shocked because when I got the phone call I was expecting them to work on the award so I was already in work mode," says Williams. "I just felt like for the first time in a long time MTV reached back to me to say thank you and I spoke with [MTV Networks Group President] Van Toffler about it and he made it very clear: 'you gave a lot of people a lot of work over here. The stuff that you've done has kept the network fueled creatively.' That means a lot."
MTV’s process of selecting Vanguard Award recipients has been criticized for overlooking certain influential figures such as Run-DMC, Nirvana and Tupac Shakur. "Honestly I believe it's a climate thing. I think they really read into the people and the stuff that's relevant every year on MTV,” says Williams. “There are many icons in music and music videos that have not been acknowledged with this award. I think [MTV] reads into what the people want on a yearly basis. I view it as an opportunity for me to take that stage and thank all of the really relevant people who have given so much of their time over the years and dedicated themselves as artisans to making sure that we have something beautiful on MTV.”
Williams' most recent directing credits include Pharrell Williams' "Number 1" featuring Kanye West, Janet Jackson's "Call on Me" featuring Nelly and Mary J. Blige's "Enough Cryin'."