Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video is a dark sci-fi thriller about birthing a new race of non-judgmental people. Gaga’s Little Monsters have been consuming the Nick Knight-directed, Laurieann Gibson and Haus co-created clip at epic proportions.
The visual spectacle is part fashion shoot, part alien horror flick, and all Gaga. MTV News rounded up some of Mother Monster’s collaborators — her choreographer (Gibson) and Born This Way musical director Fernando Garibay — to talk about the meaning behind the visuals.
“This is the first statement and the opening statement of this Born This Way album,” Garibay explained.
“When she played it for me, it took me a while to find out the visual interpretation that I could give back to her. And so I woke up one night and I got it, and I said, ‘I got it: We have to birth a new race,’ ” Gibson recalled. “From the gate, Gaga was like, ‘I want Nick Knight for this video. I want a visual.’ She was always birthing something visual in her head, and Nick Knight is just, well, he’s prolific but he’s so genius.”
The video, complete with its messages about acceptance and love, fit with the theme of the song. “To write, particularly a dance record, I think dance records are the most hardest songs to write,” Garibay explained. “But to write a statement within a hit record, I think is the holy grail, and I think she was able to do it this time.”
Gibson recalls having to work with Gaga on the dancing in the video. “It took two days, and when Gaga was making the album, she wanted it to be in New York. We shot the video in Brooklyn over two days. We had to hide the location,” she said. “To get her to be a better dancer, it’s just a process of getting it out of her and getting her confident. So I just told the story of the record. There’s lots of pushing and birthing. There’s lots of punching the adversity. It’s very symbolic.”
“We were just blown away, of course,” Garibay said of seeing the video be made from beginning to end. “It’s amazing. Her talent, I mean, she’s so talented, but in combining the imagery, the dance and how it’s expressed with the song is truly amazing … It’s of cultural relevance, and hopefully helps people that are an outcast, bullied. Hopefully makes people aware that it’s OK to be yourself.”
Gibson admitted there was one main goal with this video: “It was about pushing the bar of what a music video should be and can be,” she said. “It’s a different time; it’s a different era; there are no limits. It is a viral message. I think that there’s something in there for everyone, and that’s what’s so amazing about the video and so specific about the message.”
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