Cat Velez - 11th Feb 2015

Madonna's at it again: topless men, bodysuits, high-powered dance numbers – and that infamous glint in her eye like she's letting you in on a little secret...

And for the video for Living For Love – the first single from her upcoming thirteenth studio album – Madonna's also been doing what she does best, and been recruiting the best new music video directing talent.

And so, fresh from their success with their 'red' and 'blue' videos for Christine & The Queens, the Living For Love video is directed by French directing duo Camille Hirigoyen and Julien Choquart - better known as J.A.C.K. And we spoke to Camille and Julien to get an insight into what its like working with the Queen of Pop herself...

PROMO: When did Madonna approach you to script on the video - and did it come as a surprise?

J.A.C.K.: We were shooting in Prague when we received a phone call from Guy Oseary, Madonna’s manager. It was so insane that for a quarter of second we thought it was a joke.

What was the brief, and what in your idea for the video appealed to Madonna? 

There was no brief. One month after the phone call from Guy, we were convened to a meeting in Paris where we had the opportunity to listen to the track for a whole hour in order to come up with ideas and a concept. Then we left the place without the music. We had only a few days to reflect on the project and sketch it, the schedule was really tight.

What Madonna liked about it was the pureness of the idea: build up an emblematic character from scratch, the matador, and then create a choreographic play both sensuous and violent.

"Madonna needs to understand. She is a huge professional who knows perfectly the techniques to make a film. It was really impressive!"

Who were your other key collaborators for the video?

The dream team was composed of: DOP Philippe Lesourd, stylist B. Akerlund, choreographer Megan Lawson, editor Danny Tull.

What were the big problems and limitations you faced in bringing the idea to life - and how did you overcome them?

Time was the major issue. We had a very complex choreography that was still in progress: 20 dancers, harnesses, very physical moves for Madonna… and only four days to rehearse the whole thing. 

We really worked very closely with Megan, the choreographer – who is the most amazingly energetic and optimistic person that we have ever met - thence things worked out just fine.

What was it like working with the Queen of Pop herself?

Before going to NY, we had a long conversation on the phone with her where we detailed our vision. That’s what sealed our relationship for the entire process. Madonna needs to understand. She is a huge professional who knows perfectly the techniques to make a film. It was really impressive!

Even if she is surrounded by a big staff, communication between us has always been smooth, straightforward, without any intermediary. On set, mistake was not an option; each take had to be the one.

PRO Credits


Production CompanyWanda Productions
Director of PhotographyPhilippe Le Sourd
Executive ProducerJerome Denis
ProducerCarla Georges
Production designerAnthony Asaro
StylistB. Åkerlund
ChoreographerMegan Lawson
EditorDanny Tull
Director's Rep (UK)Alexa Haywood at Free Agent UK

Cat Velez - 11th Feb 2015

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