Ugly Boy, Die Antwoord, 2020

Music videos are on Flim!

Posted on Apr 6, 2021

From mainstream to alternative music, from the 1980s to the early 2020s, we've uploaded 29,661 HD screenshots extracted from 1,235 music videos so far. Pop, hip-hop, electronic, rock, rap, R&B, indie… All genres are on our images database! We especially appreciate music videos because they're certainly one of the video genres that experiment the most with visual creations: they combine a wide range of styles (narrative, abstract, documentary…) and techniques (anime, live-action, live…). Thanks to all this experimentation and the artists's ingenuity they've become very important in the music industry and in the audiovisual world as a whole.

The history of music videos is a story about the combination of images and sounds. Early musical shorts, cartoons such as Fantasia, musical films like Singin' in the Rain or West Side Story: the connections between video and music have marked the 20th century. Promotional videos have flourished from the late 1950s with the introduction of the Scopitone (in France first!), but the real beginning of music videos as we know them started in 1981 with the launch of the MTV video channel.

From the mid-1980s to the 2000s, music videos explored all genres and grew to play a central role in popular music marketing. We dedicated an article to music videos remastered in 4K from this period we have. Go take a look: Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Pink Floyd, Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.i.g., The Cranberries… It'll bring back good memories.

Since then, music videos have been the vehicles of an aesthetic experience that's not limited to what they say or depict, but that aims above all at what they make people feel, precisely thanks to the combination of music and images.

So let's start with one of the most obvious connections and the resulting iconography: music and dance. Many music videos are an extraordinary catalog of different choreographies designed to make the viewer dance and immerse him or her in the flow of the music. And you're in luck, we collect all styles!

For example, pop music videos often feature long or medium-length shots with groups of synchronized dancers, like Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Lil Nas X and all the kings and queens of pop music, while electronic music videos can feature hypnotic choreography like Sweat by Major Lazer and directed by the great Ryan Staake or the slow-motion and solo shots in The Blaze music videos like Territory.


To find more examples of interesting stills with dancers you can search "synchronized people dancing", "hypnotic solo dancer", "disjointed body dancing" or "lascivious dance" throughout music videos or in a specific genre.

As for hip-hop music videos, we also have a large collection of still images with one of the typical codes of this genre: shots where the singer makes expressive gestures and is surrounded by his team. Try it out! Just type in "singer and his crew" in the hip-hop genre and check it out: Drake, Orelsan, The Notorious B.i.g.etc.

The interesting thing about music videos is that the music exists before the video. The music is the source for the movement of the images: They illustrate both the lyrics and the musicality, so there's a primacy of music over images - which is uncommon in the audiovisual world where music usually accompanies images. That's certainly why music videos are an extraordinary field of experimentation, because the goal is to create a total work of art. And that's why some directors have a narrative approach and tell a story (with or without illustration of the lyrics) like Romain Gavras for the disturbing and violent Born Free by M.i.a., or Dave Meyers in Way 2 Sexy in which Drake alternates between various pop culture's ideals of sex appeal, while others take a much more conceptual or abstract approach.

Some artists actually choose not to tell a story but to show images based on the sounds, atmosphere and general mood of their music. This is very often the case with electro, electropop or alternative music but not only. The results are conceptual videos like Hostage directed by Henry Scholfield for Billie Eilish, Projector by Eden, in which the artist moves in a dream-like and unreal universe, T69 Collapse by Aphex Twin or Tides by Bonobo, completely abstract and without character. For more, you can type « abstract » or « conceptual » and our AI will provide you with these kinds of still images.


Moreover, some music videos are shot during concerts, like as Niggas in Paris by Kanye West filmed in Paris or during studio recordings (or reproduce them) as Leave the Door Open by Bruno Mars directed by Florent Dechard, in which the singer seems to show himself more authentically than in other of his music videos. Some others combine concerts and studio recordings with filming, like Don't speak by No Doubt.

In addition to the iconographic elements that are inherent or at least widespread in the music video, such as choreographies, concerts or abstract approaches, music videos also offer images of extraordinary settings and costumes. Just think of the outfits of Lil Nas X and Cardi B. And we also have a lot of lesser known artists in our database as . Try out "dream-like landscape" or "fantastic costumes", for example, and discover artificial and crazy images from all over the world, from all genres.

Hope you enjoyed this brief overview of what we have. Our teams work hard to bring you the best stills from music videos and new stills are uploaded every day, so keep an eye on them!

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