This Sunday, the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards telecast will premiere at 9 p.m., before airing hundreds of additional times throughout the next few weeks until you’re left wishing the network would, gasp, bring The Andy Milonakis Show back, just to prevent any more VMA reruns. But look at the event’s title. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Aside from the not so readily available spinoff channel MTV Hits, the once musically inclined company’s programming has been noticeably light on actual music videos in recent years. Gone are the days of Total Request Live, Yo! MTV Raps, and 120 Minutes, frequently aired shows that offered the latest and greatest in music videos; now, we get a barrage of (admittedly addictive) reality shows, original shows for young adults, and the occasional scripted and painfully awkward “reality” competition show.

So why exactly does MTV continue to honor videos? Because, even though they’re quicker to find online than on television sets nowadays, recording artists’ visual components are as vital as ever. There’s a fresh crop of aspiring filmmakers out there, upstart directors who, more than likely, hope to use their musical portfolios to land movie gigs. The blueprint for such a career transition has been perfected by several of Hollywood’s most prolific scene orchestrators working today; whether their films have been creative winners or all-out losers, former MTV regulars are omnipresent throughout the world of cinema.

Many of them, in fact, have even won multiple VMA moon-man statues. So, as movie producers get ready to study this year’s nominees in hopes of discovering the next big thing, re-familiarize yourselves with The 15 Most Accomplished Music Video Directors, current Hollywood power players who have successfully made the leap from MTV to multiplexes.

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