Posted by Glenn Lazzaro for his series “Adventures in Television”
1992. National Video Center. NYC.
One day Mark Pellington called and said he wanted to come over and play 2 songs for me that he would be directing Music Videos for. I could choose which one I wanted to edit. I had been working with Mark for a number of years while he was a writer/producer/director at MTV and he had made the transition to full time director by this time. The songs were “Beautiful Girl” by INXS and “Jeremy” by a new band called “Pearl Jam.”
After listening to both songs I decided on “Beautiful Girl.” INXS was huge at the time and I had not heard of Pearl Jam nor did I think they were going to be very popular. (When I was a kid I also though that “The Dave Clark 5” were going to be bigger than “The Beatles”)
The song was written by INXS composer Andrew Farriss about how wonderful having a newborn daughter was. It was basically a love song to parenthood.
Mark was always challenging preconceived notions in popular culture and this Video was not going to be an exception. He intended the music video for “Beautiful Girls” to call attention to the increasing cases of anorexia in young girls. Mark remembers, “Michael Hutchence and his girlfriend at the time, supermodel Helena Christenson, were supportive. (it was) ironic because the video bashed models and the entire culture of dismorphia, female body image etc.”
The footage of the band was shot in London by Nick Evans shooting multiple exposures in camera. The 7 layers were created by back-winding the camera on one roll of film. Mark shot the girls or as he said: “real girls- not models” with Christophe Lanzenberg in NYC.
The edit was very straight-forward. Mark had great footage so very little editorial trickery was needed. Straight-cuts and juxtaposing his iconic footage alongside text got the message across very effectively. We did some layering of footage and also used the Abekas A62 to loop sequences. We also shot some magazine tear sheets under the title camera. The opening 40 seconds of the song has no lyrics and no drums so I used the single-note piano line to create a rhythm. It looks a little out of sync here because I got the video from YouTube but I assure you it was not.
The Video was nominated for a Grammy award.
Mark’s “Jeremy” Music Video won four MTV Video Music Awards in 1993, including Best Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video and Best Direction. And “The Beatles” are still bigger than “The Dave Clark Five.”