In celebration of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s 50th anniversary of their songwriting partnership, Elton John has collaborated with AKQA, Pulse Films and YouTube to give undiscovered creative talent from all over the world the chance to create official music videos for three iconic songs: “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Bennie and the Jets.”
As these songs were released before the rise of the music video, this competition gives aspiring creators the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase these best-loved hits like never before.
Music video entries for each of the songs will feature different artistic elements - submissions for “Rocket Man” will feature animation, “Tiny Dancer” will be live-action, and “Bennie and the Jets” will feature choreography. Together with a panel of YouTube creators and celebrated music and industry judges, Elton John and his writing partner Bernie Taupin will select three winners, and those winning entries will premiere on YouTube in the summer of 2017.
Applicants of the three winning submissions will be provided with the resources necessary to realise their vision, from funding production to use of the YouTube Space facilities. The production of the final music videos will be supported by Pulse Films - a world-class production studio and the talent behind Beyonce’s Emmy nominated “Lemonade” film. YouTube will also award the prize fund of ten thousand U.S. dollars to the winning creators to support future video-based creative projects.
AKQA worked closely with Elton John to create the initiative from idea to brand design and web experience.
Elton John said: “We’re excited to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling. YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can’t wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs.”
AKQA Managing Director Sam Kelly said: “Sir Elton John has always empowered others to create change. This is a fantastic platform which offers the next generation of filmmakers an opportunity to be part of some of the most iconic songs ever written”
“Elton John: The Cut” will launch at YouTube’s end of year show Brandcast, hosted by James Corden, on 12 December 2016, with entries officially opening to the public on 9 January 2017. Applicants can find contest details and advice on how to enter the competition at: eltonjohn.com/thecut