Somewhere, the über-mysterious director Bartholomew Cubbins is smiling, as his epic music video for 30 Seconds to Mars' "Up in the Air" has netted the band three 2013 MTV Video Music Awards nominations. While Cubbins did not exit the shadows to revel in the glory, the band chatted with MTV News from the south of France about their nominations, sitting in the sunshine while yachts cruised by.
"We woke up this morning in one of the most beautiful places in the world, in the south of France, and we found out that not only did we get an MTV award nomination, but we got three MTV award nominations, so we were completely blown away," frontman Jared Leto told MTV News. "It was totally unexpected."
The band is currently playing shows abroad in support of their fourth studio album, LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS. "Up in the Air," which comes off of that album, was released as a single in March of last year in the most unconventional of manners: It was placed aboard a SpaceX rocket and sent off into space, where it docked with the International Space Station.
The video for the single is no less extreme. An eight-minute-plus mini film, the clip includes cameos from the likes of Dita Von Teese, artist Damien Hirst, author Neil Strauss, the U.S. women's gymnastics team, a menagerie of wild animals, and many more artists and performers.
"We worked really hard on the video," Leto said. "We shot for four days. Had hundreds of hours of footage. Edited for three months. Worked our asses off and ended up with something that I think we all love a lot."
"Up in the Air" is nominated for Best Rock Video, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography, pitting Mars against the likes of Mumford & Sons for "I Will Wait" (Best Rock Video), Lana Del Rey for "National Anthem" (Best Art Direction) and Yeah Yeah Yeahs for "Sacrilege" (Best Cinematography).
When it comes to voting, the band is urging their fans — a.k.a.
the Echelon — to "vote until your fingers bleed" to drive them to what could be their first VMA victory since "Kings and Queens" scored Best Rock Video in 2010.
"The Echelon is going to come out in full force," Leto said. "And we are going to make our voices heard. We love you guys and thanks for all the voting in advance. This is going to be a blast."
Watch the 2013 VMAs live from Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday, August 25 at 9/8c.