With 'The One That Got Away,' Director Floria Sigismondi Embraces Digital
Katy Perry's blockbuster, record-breaking album Teenage Dream seems unstoppable. It came out over a year ago and is still producing hit singles, the latest being the wistful pop anthem "The One that Got Away," whose recently released music video was directed by The Runaways helmer Floria Sigismondi.
Sigismondi came up with the memorable concept for the video, about a 70-year-old woman (Perry in striking aging make-up), reminiscing about a passionate love affair that ends in tragedy. Says the director, "I was inspired by Katy's lyrics. If you think about regrets, you don't really think about them when you're young. You think about them when time has passed. And the big twist I brought to it was what if you couldn't go back? What if the situation was you couldn't actually call up the person and say 'I'm sorry.'"
To shoot the clip, Sigismondi turned to a new tool in her arsenal—one she had only used once before—a digital camera [the ARRI Alexa]. "I'm not really a digital filmmaker," she says. "Even when I shot The Runaways, they wanted me to shoot digital and I fought it tooth and nail because it was a period piece. But I shot this music video for Living Things digitally [on the RED MX] also with the same director of photography [Larkin Seiple] and I was just really surprised with how wonderful it looked--how you could get some grit and mood out of it and not be so pristine-looking. I was really pleasantly pleased with it."
"I would shoot with [the Alexa] again," the celluloid-loving director asserts, admitting that even for her next feature she probably won't be so adamant about sticking to film.
Sigismondi has been a part of the music video world for almost two decades and the woman behind such iconic and controversial work as Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People," Christina Aguilera's "Fighter," and—most recently—Katy Perry's "E.T." Her embrace of digital imaging goes beyond just her own work. "I think we're actually coming into an exciting time right now," she says when asked about the future of music videos.
"I think it was kind of a dull time for a while where budgets were so small that you actually couldn't do anything with them," she says. "But now, with the digital possibilities that everyone's got at their fingertips, it really opens it up for young, creative artists to come out and also to expose their music to people in a different way. The Internet is a freer medium than television and a freer pad for people to launch off of."
"The One That Got Away" co-stars Mexican actor Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También, The Terminal). Sigismondi says she selected him because of his innate ability to portray the bohemian, free-spirited lifestyle she was looking for in the male character.