August 06, 2010
A remix of this song had been released through Sony. This was my treatment for the video, but was WAAAY too expensive and almost impossible to produce. What can I say? It was my first music video pitch and I was too used to huge commercial budgets.
We place the most iconic person of all time in the most iconic situa- tions of contemporary cinema, music and celebrity culture.
The core of this concept is that Elvis is alive today and fully active as the super megastar that he has always been. He is the king of con- temporary music, cinema, television, fashion and celebrity culture.
This is how we do it.
When you watch Elvis’ earlier performances, he has an electrifying charm. They are absolutely captivating and you can’t take your eyes off of him. By his third Ed Sullivan performance he had become the largest icon the world had ever seen. He had reached a stardom that was completely unprecedented.
We want to capture this energy and bring it to the forefront of contemporary entertainment culture in a way that speaks to today’s young audience and excites them in the same way that teens were excited about Elvis in the 50’s. We want to create something epic.
To do this, we collect footage of recent iconic people and moments; music videos, films, paparazzi and “behind the scenes” footage, and perfectly place Elvis’ young persona in place of today’s megastars. Think of Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, Kanye West, Jay Z, Leonardo DiCaprio... To today’s audience, all of these stars combined would represent the power and stardom of Elvis. We could show clips of Elvis walking down the red carpet with Angelina Jolie, performing on-stage with Beyonce, partying with Lady Gaga at an afterparty or performing in place of Bono in a giant stadium.
This is not the old “Forest Gump” trick of placing old footage into different scenarios, but really using the bodies of these megastars and placing Elvis, almost literally, in their shoes. This is something completely new, as one has ever been brought back to life this way.
In addition to using existing footage, we can also shoot new scenes of the young Elvis in contemporary places and scenes with other huge celebrities of today.
This concept works twofold. By placing Elvis into the body of today’s coolest male celebrities, we are also paying tribute to him by saying that he has had a great influence on the images and careers of these people. There is definitely a piece of Elvis in Justin Timberlake. Kanye West pushes boundaries just like Elvis did. Elvis could definitely be cast in some of the same roles as Brad and Leonardo. These celebrities and so many more, in some way, are following in the Legend’s footsteps. This is not an Elvis comeback - he has always been here.
The basic idea transforms Elvis into something new while retaining his original legend, opening up the possibility of creating an entirely new following based not only on Elvis himself, but also fans of the celebrities that we use. This treatment is simply a starting point – a discussion of a music video concept – but from these ideas, we can generate a full range of exciting visuals.
We could start at a red carpet event at night. Thousands of fans are screaming as lights flash from every direction. A limo pulls up and a man steps out of it as the crowd goes wild. The camera would be handheld as if being held by a paparazzi. Everything is close up and we never see who this person is who has just stepped out of his limo. All in a single shot in super slow motion (500fps), we follow this man up the red carpet.
Fans break the line and rush in, surrounding our mystery celebrity. Women grab for any piece of him, some fight to give him a kiss, but body guards push the crowd back as our man reaches the darkened doors at the end of the carpet. The camera cuts or pans directly in front of him and we see the face of Elvis for the first time, with the crazy mob of fans behind him jumping and fighting. Elvis gives a smile to the camera right when the song picks up at 1:00 and time speeds fully back up to 24fps as he pushes the doors in front of him open and walks right by us.
We could then follow Elvis as he is walking backstage at a huge concert venue. Other celebrities are backstage; Beyonce, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, etc and throughout his long walk we catch moments between each of them and Elvis. All Excited and flirtatious, perhaps Gaga accosts him in a dark corner and gives him a huge kiss. Here we see only female celebrities, as Elvis encompasses every great male performer today.
While this backstage walk is happening, we can cut back and forth with shots of Elvis in other contemporary situations. Here, we see him in place of other celebrities in their music videos or paparazzi shots. In some cases when appropriate and natural, we see him singing “Suspicious Minds.”
Right before the music stops down again at 2:18, fireworks in a huge outdoor concert explode up into the air. We then see very iconic closeup shots of Elvis’ face. He closes his eyes and looks up as the colored firework lights shine brightly on him. We see his silhouette from behind him, with tens of thousands of screaming fans lining the stadium in front of him.
The song kicks back in at 2:30 and
the concert has begun. Think of this
like a huge, outdoor U2 concert.
We see both closeup and long, swinging concert shots through the stadium. It’s the biggest event of the millennium.
In the end, we can wrap up nicely with quick cuts of Elvis getting back into his limo with some of the female celebrities we saw before, driving off into the sunrise.