Nine Inch Nails - Closer
This video is one of the biggest influences in my life. It inspired my into a world of art, film and photography. I was twelve years old when this video came out (1994).
Romanek's "Closer" also set a new standard in music video and you can see its influence even today. Throughout the 90's, bands like Prodigy, Marlyn Manson and even tv commercials used this style(basically ripping it off). Even today, music video directors still do it, but now it has diluted to pop singers like Rihanna.
NIN: The Making of the "Closer" Video from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.
In the commentary, Mark Romanek is very knowledgeable artist, funneling several artistic influences (Man Ray, Joel Peter Witkin and Brothers Quay) to set the tone/ theme of this video. You could say he ripped these artists off the same way the videos I mentioned earlier, but he's placing these influences into an entirely different media and genre.
I really like it that he wasn't just doing it because "it looks cool." He meticulously made this elaborate set and took great risks to make this possible. I think this one of the most important things an artist (or anyone) must do to be successful. Take well planned and executed risks. Some of these risks will fail, but you will never know or learn unless you try them.
Here are other amazing videos by Mark Romanek: Janet Jackson, Fiona Apple, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lenny Kravitz to name a very few. They a few similar themes he carries in most of his videos (silhouettes, floating, fun with various forms of lighting)
Sorry for all the hyper link. hope you will enjoy them.