Katy Perry is all grown up, kicking ass and taking names in the new video for her song Part of Me directed by Ben Mor for Little Minx/Black Dog Films US. The video, made on the heels of her media-soaked breakup with husband Russell Brand, shows Katy as a small-town girl who discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her and in a fit of determined rebellion joins the Marines. Despite the seeming similarity in the situations, Ms. Perry notes that the track was actually written years before she was married. As Katy says, "I guess the universe is kind of - we're kind of like, dancing together in some weird way."
The story turns Katy's usual bubble-gum sweet image upside down, sometimes literally, as she transforms from a naive girl in love to a tough-as-nails, war-torn grunt. Gone are the days of California Gurl innocence and in its place a bad-ass reincarnation of G.I. Jane. The seed of the idea came from Katy, who wanted to do something military-themed and heroic as opposed to a mopey breakup victim. Director Ben Mor ran with the concept and conceived the boot camp and flashback structure of the video with a strong emphasis on visually iconic action sequences that would make Katy look her most badass. In addition, extensive storyboarding and an animatic were made to the track in prep for the ambitious shoot. DP Trent Opaloch, who shot District 9, brought an additional wealth of experience to the military/action piece.
"It was understood from the beginning that we were trying to do something Katy has never done and really push the realism aspect of it. We did not want to make a stylized, corny version of the military. A huge factor in the authenticity was the fact that Katy was the only civilian on camera surrounded by 100% active duty Marines," remarks director Mor. "Katy didn't need much encouragement to do every physical action with enthusiasm and skill, down to soaking in the freezing cold ocean for what seemed like an uncomfortably long time. She was committed to getting it right."
"The video was filmed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside by San Diego," continues Mor. "We worked closely with the Marines to ensure we were being authentic down to the last detail of how the uniform needs to look and be worn. Nothing was filmed that didn't reflect exactly how a Marine looks and moves. As expected, the Marines were extremely disciplined, respectful and hard-working. I have a newfound respect for all our service men and women."
Other work from Ben Mor includes The Black Eyed Peas Just Can't Get Enough and I Gotta Feeling, Sean Paul's Got 2 Luv U, and NAS's Thief's Theme, among others.
Recent Little Minx/Black Dog work includes Katy Perry's The One That Got Away directed by Floria Sigismondi, and Florence And The Machine's Shake It Out directed by Dawn Shadforth.
"Prepping Katy's Part of Me on Valentine's Day was very rewarding for all of us women. We wanted this video to be authentic, real and moving, and we pulled it off, I think," says Rhea Scott, President of Little Minx.
Watch Katy discuss director Ben Mor and the concept behind the video: http://www.mtv.com/videos/news/751548/katy-perry-explains-concept-behind-part-of-me.jhtml#id=1681409
Artist: Katy Perry
Track: "Part of Me"
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Production Company: Little Minx
Director: Ben Mor
President: Rhea Scott
Executive Producer: Jill Hammer, Coleen Haynes
Producer: Danny Lockwood, Tony McGarry
Production Supervisor: Cisco Newman
DP: Trent Opaloch
Production Designer: Richard Lassalle
Art Coordinator: Caitlin Reilly
Stylist: Johnny Wujek
Key Hair: Pamela Neal
Key Makeup: Jake Bailey