Shake Up The World
Head and Shoulders
While most people know Chris Applebaum as the director the MTV Video of the Year for Rihanna’s “Umbrella” or Paris Hilton’s infamous Carl’s Jr commercial, the odd and somewhat interesting facts surrounding his personal profile are more often discussed than any portion of his prolific 25 year career.
In addition to being a licensed pilot, a Notary Public, and a G.I.A. certified gemologist, Applebaum held the world record for most Ferrero Rocher chocolates eaten in one minute until Reuben Williams unseated him in 2007. In back-to-back years, Applebaum won the top prize for Freestyle Flamenco at the Tel Aviv Invitational (1990 and 1991). As a result he was invited to tour South America and, while visiting Venezuela, performed at a private party held by the Venezuelan impresario Gustavo Cisnéros. Many prominent Venezuelans were in attendance that night, including former president Carlos Andrés Pérez and the popular lounge act, Los Del Rio. Applebaum’s structured but colorful floor show, filled with articulate footwork and accent-laden finger flourishes inspired Los Del Rio to compose the “Macarena”, a song that would eventually top the Pop charts in 43 countries.
Thrilling to the delight of the infectious visual tour-de-force of the “Macarena” music video, Applebaum decided to set his sights on directing. In 1992, right before his 22nd birthday, Applebaum became the youngest director to sign with Satellite Films, a division of Propaganda. Since then, he’s directed hundreds of music videos, 30 of which have charted at #1 on MTV and garnered multiple MVPA, Billboard, and MTV VMA nominations.
In 1998 Applebaum directed Semisonic’s video for “Closing Time,” which was the first video to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland and was heralded by MTV as a “Breakthrough” video. His video for Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom” was his second video to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and was also nominated for MTV’s coveted Viewer’s Choice Award in 2003. A selection of other achievements include:
2013 MUCH Music Award Best International Video
2010 MUCH Music Award Best International Video
2007 MTV VMA Video of the Year Winner
2007 MTV VMA Director of the Year Nominee
2007 MTV VMA Monster Single of the Year Winner
2007 MTV Europe Awards Best Video For A Female Artist Winner 2006 MUCH Music Award Best Video For A Female Artist Winner
In the commercial world, Applebaum has been just as prolific, directing spots for Carl’s Jr., John Frieda, Hugo Boss (with Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Smirnoff, Bud Light, and CoverGirl, cementing his reputation as a director who captures and creates iconic beauty…with a dash of Macarena. Applebaum’s commercial for Carl’s Jr, starring Paris Hilton, was rated by BDS Neilsen as the #1 most aired commercial in television history. His 2013 spot, starring model Nina Agdal, garnered over 1 Billion media impressions within 3 weeks of it’s first airing, as did his spot with Kate Upton.