The search for the first official music videos for Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, “Tiny Dancer” and “Bennie and The Jets” has reached its conclusion with the winning works premiering at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 and on YouTube
Elton John said: “I’ve been moved and amazed by these re-imaginings of our songs and pretty humbled by the process overall. The future of creativity is clearly collaborative, fusing art and technology and it’s been fantastic to open up our work to the next generation of creative talent and to share that process with the world on YouTube.”
The videos were revealed at an exclusive private screening following the global competition giving undiscovered creative talent from all over the world the chance to create official music videos for the three iconic songs.
Adhering to three specific visual mediums, the winners are Majid Adin for “Rocket Man”, which had an animation brief; Jack Whiteley and Laura Brownhill for “Bennie and the Jets”, which features choreography; and Max Weiland for “Tiny Dancer”, which has a live-action creative concept.
Majid Adin’s winning video for “Rocket Man” is a poignant animated work which draws on his personal experiences as an Iranian refugee making his way to England – giving a new perspective to the lyrics and themes of travel and loneliness.
The “Bennie and the Jets” video has been interpreted as a futuristic talent show. The set and central structure take its inspiration from Fritz Lang’s 1927 science-fiction film, Metropolis, while the synchronised choreography is inspired by Busby Berkeley movies, and the black and white aesthetic is a nod to the classic Hollywood era.
Max Weiland’s winning video for “Tiny Dancer” is a tribute to Los Angeles. The British director’s work shows cars trapped bumper to bumper in the city’s famous traffic jams with all walks of life represented in the different vehicles.
The Cannes premiere included on-stage discussions with songwriters Elton John and Bernie Taupin, with all the winners in attendance. The contest was launched with the aim to give aspiring creatives a unique platform to showcase their work for these much-loved hits, as well as giving the songs new meanings in 2017 – the 50th anniversary year of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s writing partnership.
The search for the video creators was launched in collaboration with AKQA, Pulse Films and YouTube in December 2016, with entries received from over 50 countries worldwide. The winners were selected by Elton and Bernie, along with Barry Jenkins (Oscar-Winning Director), Jeffrey Katzenberg (CEO and Founder of Dreamworks Animation) and Melina Matsoukas (Grammy Award-Winning Music Video Director).