Pharrell’s next video, “Can I Have It Like That,” has so much action in it — thanks to helicopters, Learjets, boat races, fireballs and naked women — that it’s supposed to look more like a movie trailer than a video. And that movie would be a spy film.
Shot over the weekend with director Paul Hunter and guest star Gwen Stefani, the concept behind the clip is that not only are we watching Pharrell, but so is some secret organization — the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, who knows? The group is tapping his phones, taking shots of him with telephoto lenses and recording Pharrell with voice satellite discs so that the video actually becomes part of the organization’s surveillance of him.
The camera angles add to the paranoia, according to the treatment, always moving left to right, or circling as someone walks by. Throughout this, Pharrell acts as if he knows someone’s watching — but he doesn’t care. He talks on his cell to a mysterious woman, but doesn’t hide his conversation (she’s later revealed as Stefani).
While he’s not exactly trying to outrun them, they’re in hot pursuit everywhere he goes, whether it be an exclusive boat party with his bodyguards in tow or to an even more exclusive party in his penthouse, where naked women painted like exotic animals step out of wallpaper matching their patterns. No matter — he eventually makes his escape, with a helicopter taking him away.
The song will be included on Pharrell’s solo debut, In My Mind, which is slated for release on November 15.