Brian Friedman describes working with Jonas Åkerlund on video.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Matt Elias
Jonas Åkerlund certainly has the resume to pull off an epic clip for Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me." Having already directed spectacles like Lady Gaga's "Telephone," Madonna's "Ray of Light" and Pink's "Sober," Åkerlund is known for creating sexy, controversial and sleek pop videos. So, working with Spears was a natural fit, said her choreographer, Brian Friedman.
"[When] Jonas and I got on the phone for the first time, I was actually jumping on a plane somewhere, so the conversation was very brief, but I am a huge Jonas Åkerlund fan," Friedman dished to MTV News. "Anything that he does is magical. His eye for art is insane, so I was excited to work with someone who loves art so much and it's not just a job, it's not technical; it really is a string aesthetic to what he does."
When Friedman and Åkerlund finally did get the chance to hash it out, the conversation was about how to ensure the video would be focused on what Spears is known for: her tight and sexy dance moves.
"So with that said, I had a meeting with him at his house. We went through the video from top to bottom, and I gave him as much input from the dance side, 'cause it's a dance video, as I could to try to help bring his story to life," he recalled. "And the collaboration was incredible."
Friedman said Åkerlund completely understood his and Spears' ideas on the project, and the results, he said, are no less than stellar.
"I really feel like bringing two artists together in a way like that — where the director really loves the dance and understands the art of the dance and doesn't try to cover it up and water it down — is the best way to go," he said. "He was genius for me with dance."
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