There are only two more days left until the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards invades our collective consciousness, whether we want it to or not. And despite the creeping sense of inevitability that comes with such award shows, we’re hoping the mysterious judging panel will award Florence and the Machine‘s “Dog Days Are Over” video a clean sweep of the four categories in which it is nominated: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Rock Video and Video of the Year.
Yes, Flo is our fav and that’s why we fired off a few questions to Georgie Greville and Geremy Jasper of directing collective Legs about working with the British rock star on the dazzling “Dog Days” vid. (It might be the underdog, but we all know that “underdog” is really just mediaspeak for “the best“.)
Read the full Q&A with Legs after the jump!
Geremy Japser and Georgie Greville of Legs.
Why did Florence decide to do a second music video for the song “Dog Days are Over”?
Georgie Greville: The original “Dog Days” was camcorder DIY so the label wanted to do something with a bit more production value since Flo was becoming a big star. There was no real brief other than they wanted something colorful with dancers all based around Flo’s amazing performance style.
Is the idea you pitched the same as the idea that ended up on screen?
Geremy Japser: Our original idea was to have every character played by Florence: blue girls, choir, drummers, etc. Flo’s lack of vanity didn’t want to see that much of herself so we changed it. From there the video is pretty much exactly as we presented in our treatment.
How involved was Florence in the creative concept and in shaping the idea?
GJ: Flo was very gracious. She loved our ideas and just let us run with it. All we had to do is put the camera on her and she transformed into a force of nature.
How many looks did you have to style for Florence and the back-up performers? Can you break down each look?
GG: We had to style three different looks for Florence: The ethereal look, The Kabuki/Sex monk look, and the tribal look. The blue backup dancers’ look was Vishnu-blue full body paint and Ronettes beehives and makeup. The gospel singer’s had a gold-leaf painted mask covering half of their face and the tribal drummers had a strip of turquoise across their eyes. The Harp player had a reverse mask of white paint covering his face and the two little kids had ghostly wide faces and colorful circles on their foreheads.
The costumes were each made with a combination of vintage, costume and custom-made pieces created by Aldene Johnson and her amazing team. They made the blue girls’ gold dresses from scratch, for example and created Florence’s tribal look by layering tons and tons of furs and chain-mail-like tops finishing it with various multicolored ribbons. There was almost nothing designer in the shoot except for Florence’s ethereal look, which included gorgeous couture YSL heels.
You’ve directed two videos in a row that feature choreographed dancing (Goldfrapp “Alive” being the other). What is the appeal of choreographed dance videos for you and how have you tried to put a twist on the genre?
GJ: The track is our visual guide and both songs just naturally inspired us down the dance road. Choreography in music videos is such a clichéd and expected thing that we love turning it on its ear: black metal jazzercising or Hindu girl group explosions. It’s the combination of the familiar and unexpected that we like to play with.
Who’s a better dancer: Florence Welch or Alison Goldfrapp?
GG: Very different styles. Alison is very in control, cool, solid and locked in like her music. Florence is the exact opposite: wild eyed, flailing free. Both fit their respective songs like a glove.
What’s your favorite music video dance sequence of all time?
GJ: We love us some Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation” and Poison’s “Unskinny Bop”.
What’s your least favorite choreographed dance sequence in a music video?
GG: We love them all equally.
Who do you think will win Video of the Year?
GJ: Gaga and Beyonce without a doubt.
Does an MTV VMA nomination (or win) mean much for the career of a director? Does all the glory go to the star?
GG: We’ll have to wait and see. We hope some glory comes our way!
Did “Dog Days Are Over” ever air on MTV?
GJ: Yes, it is has been and is currently airing. My mom calls us every time she sees it.
Good luck to Florence and Legs at the VMAs! If you haven’t watched “Dog Days Are Over” yet, check it out below: