Exclusive: Interview with "Work Bitch" Director Ben Mor
We asked you the fans what you wanted to know from the director behind Britney's "Work Bitch" video, and Ben Mor has delivered! He spills on everything from the conceptualization of the video to what it was like to work with Britney. Take a gander at your exclusive look behind the lens with Ben - and thank you to all the fans who sent in questions for him + @RealBRITannica!
@PopLovah: What was Britney's vision for the video? Were any of the ideas her's?
Working with Britney on a video is a very collaborative process, she let me know right from the start that she was interested in creating great backdrops that will feature the dancing and she also wanted elements of the video to take place in a desert setting and give a slight nod to her upcoming Vegas residency. I used this as a foundation for my initial treatment/concept and presented Britney with a variety of ideas some of which she really liked and some she wanted to modify, after a few creative back and forth rounds we were both happy with the direction and overall vibe of the video and we got straight to work preparing for the shoot.
@RoarAshley: During the shooting of the video, were there any bloopers? If so, what happened?
For me most video shoots are highly stressful simply because there is never enough time to film all of my ideas so the last thing I am looking forward to are 'bloopers' unlike on a movie or a television show 'bloopers' on video shoots are never that funny.....that being said every shoot has unexpected moments that you just can't control or predict. One that comes to mind was how hard it was for us to get Britney's flowing white fabric when she was on top of the inverted pyramid in the desert to open up and catch the wind like it did, we got it to work in the end but in hindsight it shouldn't have been that hard. Even though the scene only lasts a few seconds in the video it had to look dramatic.
@sunny961: What was Britney's favorite outfit?
Well that's obviously a question for Britney but if I had to guess I think she really loved the gold metallic two piece that she wore against the white wall with the dancers as well as when she was lit up by the Lamborghini lights in same outfit with the added 'capelet', I think that's what (Stylist) B Akerlund called it? . Pretty sure she also loved the Yellow bustier and pants outfit during the Vegas Penthouse dance sequence.
@BritsHotBitches: What does the song mean to you?
Very simply: If you want to achieve anything great in life you better be prepared to work very hard...... 'bitches'
@Britmille64: What do the exploding mannequins represent?
I always hate to give an exact literal meaning to some things as I do believe that images can have multiple meanings and they would all be correct. That being said I'm horrible at keeping my opinion to myself so for me the mannequins can represent Fake Plastic People that are just 'blindly' following the herd and whichever trend is hot at the moment. The opposite of free thinking individuals. Which is why they were all identical and also why the were all 'blinfolded'
@britneyftkesha: What was Britney's favorite scene?
Again a great question to ask Britney but my guess is her favorite set-ups were the interior dancing sequence in the Vegas Penthouse (with the yellow top) because of the energy of the whole scene and the scene where she was just up against the white wall and lit by the headlights of the Lamborghini. As simple as this set up was she thought it had a hard edge to it and she loved the look of it. (and I couldn't agree more)
@danew26: What do the sharks represent? (Some say it's a connection to the media/paparazzi.) Who came up with the idea? I like dolphins better.
Same as with the 'What do the Mannequins mean' question The sharks can have multiple meanings and they would all be correct. But before I answer that question it's worth mentioning that my goal with the entire video was to match the fierceness and attitude of the song itself and that meant that Britney had to look as Iconic and badass as she's ever been. And what's more badass than standing in the middle of a pool with Sharks circling around you? It was an image that I got excited to try and create because it was just so over the top badassness.
While the Sharks can indeed symbolize all the negative people trying to get a piece of Britney they can also have a more positive meaning that Britney is 'untouchable' like a precious diamond and they are protecting her. If you want to touch Britney you have to cross a pool full of sharks! And yes the sharks were definitely my idea.
@Doctor_Ignatius: Is there anything you wish you could have done for the video that you couldn't?
There is always more that I wish to do. I always have more ideas than time to film them. That being said I can't complain as Britney was a super trooper and busted her ass for 3 long days and I couldn't be happier with the finished result.
@AndresBrit: Why do you include explosions in every video you make?
I DON'T always have explosions in every video I make thank you very much....... just the ones with Britney ;).... Scream & Shout and now 'Work Bitch' ?...And now in defense of explosions, I am a fan of Photosonics filming (Extremely slow motion camera work 1000 frames per second and above) and shit just looks cool when it explodes and especially when its in slow motion. Also explosions can work as a visual exclamation mark for climactic parts of a song and really amps up the energy of the track when shown at the right moment.
@PieceofBritney: What was the thought behind having Britney randomly whip a woman?
Britney does not 'randomly' whip anyone. We wanted a fierce way of communicating the idea of Britney telling someone to get to 'Work Bitch' and wagging her finger at them was not as cool.
@Rnatoarce: What does the woman with the blue glowing eye mean?
Nothing it just looked cool, When watching back the footage of the actress flying backwards at extremely slow motion this composition randomly happened and I really liked how it looked...and by accentuating the color of her eye you more easily notice that it closes.
@carlosuleon: Are there any hidden messages in the video besides the Vegas residency?
I don't think the Vegas Residency was any 'hidden message' as it was an intentional running theme throughout the video. Something maybe more hidden is the License Plate of the Lamborghini which reads BB72. The BB is of course Britney Bitch and the 72 is my birth year (i'm old...ish), couldn't resist.
@GodneySpearit_: Will you do any more Britney videos? You're amazing!
It would be an honor and a pleasure to work with Britney again...I hope she feels the same way?
@leogmz: What does the upside-down triangle in the desert represent?
I wanted a scene that was larger than life, and that really made Britney look super heroic and Iconic. and myself and my Production Designer Charles and I came up with the idea of building this surreal pedestal for Britney to stand on. I loved how it looked physically impossible for a pyramid to balance upside down on it's tip and it also made a great and dramatic platform for Brit to stand on. Her stance and action resembled the action of riding a mighty chariot while holding the reins. One of the funnest things about Directing such videos is you get to dream up fantastic imagery such as this that at the end of the day just has to compliment and enhance the energy of the song and hopefully stick in the viewers mind long after they finished watching..
The Entire Britney Army: Will a director's cut (or dance version) of the video be released? If so, when?
To be honest I was never aware that Britney Videos sometimes have different versions? Britney and I worked very hard to make this version as perfect as we could get it and we are very proud with the results. It was never filmed with the intention that an all dance version might be possible, The dance sequences were choreographed to the specific parts of the song in which you see them happen in the video and not for the complete 4min so cutting it different might not make sense.
Maybe when the video gets 200 million views Britney will ask me to re cut it who knows? in the meantime I really hope that the fans enjoy the video as it is and realize the tremendous hard work that Britney and I put into making it just the way it is.
Worst case I will go to Britney's concert at Planet Hollywood, film her dancing for 2 full hours!! and post it online for all the fans! (i'm sure I wont be the only one)