Who do you think will win the six professional categories at the MTV Video Music Awards? Videos by Taylor Swift, Skrillex and Diplo, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar lead the way, but are they the frontrunners? Start making your predictions below, and to size up the rest of this year’s VMA races, click here.
Most categories at the VMAs are decided by fans, who vote for winners online, but that’s not the case for these six races, where music industry professionals pick the winners. The categories are: Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Choreography, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
Swift and Lamar’s “Bad Blood” is the most nominated video of the year with seven total bids, and a whopping five of those are in professional categories: Direction, Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing and Visual Effects. All it missed was choreography. Does that mean we can expect it to sweep the technical fields?
Such domination is not unheard of. In recent years, Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance” won three professional categories in 2010 on its way to a total of seven victories. Adele similarly won three out of her four professional bids for “Rolling in the Deep” in 2011.
But winning all five would be a rare feat. The last video to dominate the professional fields that thoroughly was Fatboy Slim‘s “Weapon of Choice,” which went five-for-five in 2001: Direction, Choreography, Art Direction, Editing and Cinematography. Fun fact: that video was directed by future Oscar-champ Spike Jonze (“Her“).
“Bad Blood” is helmed by Joseph Kahn, who contends for Best Direction for the fourth time. He previously won for Eminem‘s “Without Me” in 2002. In fact, Kahn is the only director in this year’s lineup who has ever been nominated before. Does he have an advantage against a field of first-timers?
Lamar is represented three more times in the professional categories. His video for “Alright” is also nominated for Direction (as well as Video of the Year), while his collaboration with Flying Lotus, “Never Catch Me,” competes for Choreography and Cinematography.
Like “Alright,” the remaining nominees for Best Direction have no other nominations in the professional categories: Hozier‘s “Take Me to Church,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars‘s “Uptown Funk” and Childish Gambino‘s “Sober.”
Skrillex and Diplo’s collaboration with Justin Bieber, “Where Are U Now,” was left out of the Direction lineup, but it nevertheless picked up three professional bids: Best Art Direction, Best Editing and Best Visual Effects.
Sheeran has three nominations for two different videos: Best Choreography and Best Editing for “Dont” and Best Cinematography for “Thinking Out Loud.” “Thinking” was photographed by Daniel Pearl, the most nominated cinematographer in VMAs history with nine bids; he won the very first award given out in this category, for the Police‘s black-and-white “Every Breath You Take” in 1984.
Who do you think will win this year’s VMA contests?
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