Kanye West’s ‘Paranoid’ Video Director Talks Leak, Casting Rihanna

'Who wouldn't want to look at Rihanna?' Nabil Elderkin asks of clip's guest star.

If anyone knows just how much [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] cares about his music videos, it’s Nabil Elderkin. The photographer and director has been working on ‘Ye’s “Paranoid” video around the clock since a rough version of the clip leaked online recently.

“That wasn’t even an old version,” a sleep-deprived Elderkin told MTV News. “That wasn’t even the video. It was just a bunch of footage, like a timeline type of thing to show the idea. That was pre-rough cut.”

Elderkin said he just submitted the final version to West on Friday afternoon (May 29). The version that appeared online featured an opening with West, then guest star Rihanna appeared in a bedroom scene. Later, the singing beauty was posing onscreen with the camera centered on her, then she appeared in a car-chase type of scene. West, as one can imagine, was upset that an unfinished version leaked and took to his blog to clear things up.

“It hurts me to see the old and very wrong version of the ‘Paranoid’ video get leaked over the Net while I was on an 11-hour flight and couldn’t do anything about it,” he wrote in his characteristic all-caps style.

Elderkin has worked with West in the past, on the “Champions” video and “Welcome to Heartbreak.” For this effort, the director said he initially wanted a “Clockwork Orange”-style aesthetic, but later he and ‘Ye settled on an abstract, art-noir style.

“It’s fantasy meets paranoid, when you get into that frame of mind and get trapped into your thoughts,” Elderkin said of the video’s premise. “It starts out subtle, but then it just builds. So I wanted to get that into the video, to build that into her dream sequence and get her into that paranoid state of mind.”

[artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] was cast as the lead in the video by West, Elderkin said. “That wasn’t too much of a decision,” he said of West’s recommendation. “That was somewhere between ‘hell yeah’ and ‘yeah.’ Who wouldn’t want to look at Rihanna?”

The final version of the video will be more of a narrative compared to the original idea Elderkin had. Once he began filming, some elements didn’t allow for the sequencing and projections he had hoped for, so ‘Ye recommended tweaks. Elderkin said West’s behavior will be wolf-like in the final version, and Rihanna will be in more car scenes. West posted stills from the video on his Web site Thursday.

As of press time, it’s unclear when the “Paranoid” video will debut.

Elderkin is also finishing up West’s coffee-table book based on the Def Jam star’s Glow in the Dark Tour last year.