EXPLORING: The music videos of Gregory Dark

As we’ve spent an entire week covering the mainstream films of Gregory Hippolyte Brown, also known as Gregory Dark, there’s an entire other list of directing duties that he worked on that you’ve seen but may have not recognized.

Yes, we understand that he had quite the career in adult, but starting in 1996, Dark started directing music videos — back when that was a thing and MTV played them — and achieved plenty of success.  The idea that the man who made Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout White Chicks was making preteen friendly videos was a big story to magazines like Esquire, who published the Tom Junod article “The Devil in Greg Dark,” which starts with this: “He was a pornographer. Maybe the worst pornographer. Now, through Britney and Mandy, he’s teaching our teenage daughters about budding desire.” and perpetuates Dark’s legend by saying that the director “…might be the devil.”

It also explains why so many bands hired him.

“There’s a whole generation of kids who learned about sex from my fucked-up movies. A lot of gangster rappers and guys in heavy-metal bands still come up to me and say, “Gregory Dark, I had my first sexual experience watching New Wave Hookers!””

Click on any of the song titles to see these videos.

The Melvins “Bar-X the Rocking M“: The first video that Dark sort of fell into, this definitely has the feel of the adult work that he was making in 1996, but was the start of his video career. Adult actress Roxanne Hall, who told Dark in the adult film Snake Pit that ”  like knives, I like to be cut, I like to be choked. I like weird sex. I like it rough and I know one of these days I’ll end up dying with a smile on my face,” appears in this video. You can learn more about the video in this incredibly well-written Diabolique article.

Sublime “Wrong Way” and “Doing Time“: Sublime lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose on May 25, 1996 the day after their last live show and two months before their third album would become a success. With no band to actually perform the songs, MTV put both of these Dark-directed videos into heavy rotation. Doppelganger cameraman Vance Burberry was the cinematographer for “Wrong Way,” while Kim Haun, the cinematographer on “Doin’ Time,” was the cameraman on Malibu HighThe makeup on “Wrong Way” was by former adult actress Kelly Nichols.

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies “Zoot Suit Riot“: Co-directed with Bob Murawski, the Academy Award-winning editor of The Hurt Locker, this was the second video for this song, as the first “wasn’t up to MTV standards.” It won the band a nomination for Best New Artist in a Video at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. This was shot by Julian Whatley, who ran camera on se7en.

Onyx Feat. DMX “Shut ‘Em Down“: Mike McPadden said of Dark, “At the time we started Animal Instincts III, Greg was heavily into hip-hop music and had expanded his intense martial arts regimen to include knife fighting. So his ONLY instructions to me were: “Make sure the movie has hip hop music and knife fighting.”” That’s because at this point in his career, Dark was making several videos for Ice Cube (“We Be Clubbin’ (Remix),” “Fuck Dying” and “Pushin’ Weight“), Outkast (“Rosa Parks” and “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 1)“), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (“Ghetto Cowboy“), Kurupt (“Behind the Walls“), Smilez & Southstar (“Who Wants This” and “Tell Me“), Snoop Dogg (“Undercover Funk“), Busta Rhymes (“Shorty (Put It on the Floor)“), Bizzy Bone (“Nobody Can Stop Me“), Goodie Mob (“Black Ice“), Inspectah Deck (“Word on the Streets“), Game Related (“Soak Game“), Delinquent Habits (“Here Come the Horns“), Tha Alkaholics (“All Night”), Krazyie Bone (“Thug Mentality“), 1 Life 2 Live (“Can’t Nobody”), Sole (“4,5,6“), Tyrese (“Criminal Mind“), Res (“They Say Vision“), David Banner (“Cadillacs on 22s,” “Crank It Up” and “Ain’t Got Nothing“) and Xzbit (“What U See Is What U Get“), a video that Dark said got him most of his work.

Orgy “Blue Monday“: At the time of this cover song’s release, more people probably knew the Orgy version than the original New Order version.

Mandy Moore “Walk Me Home” and “So Real“: The dichotomy of the man who directed Traci Lords as a preteen — unknown to Dark — and the preteens who shaped the buying and romantic identity of other preteens is fascinating, particularly when you consider that Dark’s father was an occult-interested anthropologist and his main father figure was a psyops military analyst (from Dark’s interview with The Rialto Report).

Dark would also work on teen-friendly videos for Britney Spears (“From the Bottom of My Broken Heart“), LFO (“I Don’t Want to Kiss You Goodnight“, “Girl On TV“), 2gether (“The Hardest Part of Breaking Up“),  Krystal Harris (“Supergirl“), Leslie Carter (“Like Wow“), No Authority (“Can I Get Your Number“), R Angels (“I Need to Know“), Hoku (“How Do I Feel“), Take 5 (“Shake It Off“), Lennon (“Brake of Your Car“) and A*Teens (“Can’t Help Falling In Love“), which is astounding because it’s a Disney video.

Vitamin C “Graduation“: Dark discussed this video on The Rialto Report, saying that while he didn’t like the song, he recognized the challenge of showing the changes in a woman’s life in a short video and that’s why he enjoyed the results. As Colleen Fitzpatrick, Vitamin C would appear in several movies, including Dracula 2000.

Linkin Park “One Step Closer“: Another big song in its era, this video had tons of airplay. Dark also directed videos for rock bands The Cult (“Rise“), The Calling (“Wherever Will You Go“), Adema (“The Way You Like It“), Breaking Benjamin (“Polyamorous“), The Verve Pipe (“Hero“), Staind (“Mudshovel“), The Counting Crows (“Hanginaround“), Snake River Conspiracy (“How Soon Is Now“), Disturbed (“Voices“), Everlast (“I Can’t Move“), Crazy Town (“Revolving Door“), Stroke 9 (“Kick Some Ass“), Flaw (“Payback“), Drowning Pool (“Sinner“), Switched (“Inside“), 12 Stones (“The Way I Feel“), Stone Sour (“Bother“, “Inhale“), Theory of a Deadman (“Make Up Your Mind“), Franky Perez (“Something Crazy“) and The Shins (“Past and Pending“), which he co-directed with Matt McCormick.

You can also see this YouTube playlist of Dark’s music videos.

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