Director Says The ‘RUN’ Trailer Is Actually The Music Video For Beyonce & Jay Z’s ‘Part II (On The Run)’ Track
In a interview with ELLE, Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas talked about longing to work with Jay Z for years and how the fake star-studded trailer came about.
Check out the highlights below
This “Run” video was straight-up epic. Take me through the process of how it came to life.
Obviously I’ve worked with Beyoncé quite a bit; I know Jay through the years. We’ve been trying to work together for a couple of his albums and it just never came to fruition. I’d been dying to work with him and I love working with her so it just felt like the perfect combination. With this song, it’s actually a music video — I know everyone’s calling it a trailer, which I guess it is as well. But it’s a music video for his song “Part II (On The Run).” I feel like in Jay’s career he doesn’t want to just do a normal music video. So we were trying to come up with a way to visualize the song that wasn’t something that we’ve seen before. So I came up with this whole movie trailer idea and it just kind of progressed from there. We were talking about trying to hide the fact that it was a music video and the idea was to release this trailer for this blockbuster that you’ll never see.
It sounds like the idea was largely yours. How did Bey and Jay feel about it when initially pitched on it?
Beyoncé was definitely really excited. Jay was a bit skeptical but we were able to kind of force him into it. He’s always interested in doing something different so I think that part was exciting to him. I think he was hesitant about ‘Oh, now I have to be an actor.’ I was like ‘If it works, great. If not, then we’ll cut around it and make it a more typical video.’
When did you shoot this?
We were supposed to shoot in January, but he was on tour. We cancelled [that] shoot the day before because it was just too much. It came back up last month because the tour [together] was starting and they really wanted a visual for the song. I was excited because I loved the idea and wanted the chance to visualize it. We started shooting and all those cameos came last minute. Once we got one then we got everybody.
You’re being modest. You landed Sean Penn!
That was phenomenal. That was totally Jay. We were working on all these cameos and obviously there were a bunch of people on our list but some people I just thought would never do it. Jay put in a call for Sean Penn. It was the end of us shooting the first day. One of Jay’s creatives came up me and she’s like ‘OK, we need to call Sean Penn now. He’s coming tomorrow.’ And I’m ‘What? OK.’ So I’m driving back through the desert and my phone’s not working and it didn’t work that night and I wake up the next morning to a text from Sean Penn. So I talked to him about the project and what were thinking of doing with him. And he’s like ‘I can be there at 3.’ I’m like ‘I kind of need you there in an hour.’ And he went home and got dressed and came camera-ready. It was all improv so it was kind of perfect. [Jay and him] discussed where their characters were at that point in our faux-film. He came up with his own dialogue. That’s actually one of my favorite scenes.
I take it Bey and Jay were pleased with how it turned out?
They loved it. Once I sent the edit out they were sending me all kinds of emails of encouragement. They went crazy for it. So I was really excited in the end. It was all worth it. It was definitely a challenging ride.
Let’s just put this to rest: so we’re definitely not getting a full-length feature film from this project?
It’s coming never! Sorry guys! Unless Beyoncé and Jay Z decide to change that.
Check the full interview here.