Directed By
Tyler Measom, Patrick Waldrop
Documentary Feature

I Want My MTV

A touchstone in the lives of millions of young people, as well as a home for musicians and filmmakers to display their frequently offbeat sense of artistic vision, upstart music network MTV burst onto televisions on August 1, 1981. Via a combination of the scrappy handful of young adults serving as hosts, the fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants production style, and the music mini-movies that were the foundation of the original channel, MTV was like nothing Americans had ever seen before.

A nostalgic and thrilling ride, Tyler Measom and Patrick Waldrop’s I Want My MTV takes its audience back to the beginning, when the idea of a television channel devoted solely to screening newfangled videos from music’s hottest stars seemed destined for failure. From DEVO and Cyndi Lauper to David Bowie and Madonna, the film provides a peek into how the videos that defined a generation, as well as how the team of young executives—now some of the most prolific and powerful leaders in American media—tasked with growing this seed of an idea, would quickly flourish into a beloved but often controversial cultural juggernaut. Features commentary from Sting, Billy Idol, The Eurythmics, Tegan and Sara, Pat Benatar, Jerry Cantrell, Tabitha Soren, and more.

Programmer's Notes: I Want My MTV looks at the creation of the station from the people who lived it. For those who remember the dawn of MTV, this film is full of behind the scenes details you may not have been aware of, and for the younger generation more familiar with today's version of MTV, it's an engaging history lesson on one of the first true entrepreneurial start-ups in the entertainment industry. If you've ever been asked, "Remember when MTV played music videos?" or HAVE asked, "MTV used to play music videos?", this documentary tells the story of the juggernaut that started out as the little station that could.

Cast: Sting, Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Nancy Wilson, Dee Snider, Darryl McDaniel, Tegan and Sara, Michael Nesmith, Mark Mothersbaugh, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart

Directors: Tyler Measom, Patrick Waldrop

Producers: Tyler Measom, David Kennedy, Patrick Waldrop, Nick Quested

Previously Screened At: Tribeca Film Festival (World Premiere), San Francisco DocFest

More Film Information


at Bay County Historical Museum