BioName: Jonas Akerlund DOB: November 10, 1965 Nationality: SwedishHas had an exhibition named “A Jonas Akerlund Experience” in Frankfurt, Seoul and Stockholm. Has also won a host of awards for both his music videos and other projects.
Awards2010 - MVA Awards - Lady Gaga feat Beyoncé " Telephone" Best collaboration. 2009 – MVPA Awards – Lady Gaga “Paparazzi” 2008 – MVPA Awards – James Blunt “Same mistake” 2008 – Grammy – Madonna’s NBC Special “The Confessions Tour” 2008 – Silver Addy – Dell “Work it Out” 2007 – MVPA Hall of Fame – Prodigy “Smack My Bitch Up” 2006 – Cannes Grand Prix 2006 – “GTI Campaign” Volswagen 2006 – Cannes Gold Lions – “Pimp my Auto” Volkswagen 2004 – MVPA Awards – Robbie Williams “Come Undone” 1998 – Grammy – Madonna ”Ray of Light” 1998 – The Swedish Grammy Jury’s special award 1997/1998 – several MTV, Video Music Awards – Madonna “Ray of Light” (including Best Video, Best Director) 1997/1998 – several MTV, Video Music Awards – Prodigy “Smack My Bitch Up”
WorkAkerlund first burst into the public eye with the highly controversial video for The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” which showed drug use, violence and nudity – all of which have become iconic to some extent of Akerlund’s work. The following year, he worked with Madonna on “Ray of Light”, leading to work with artists such as Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, U2, Blink 182, Rammstein, and Britney Spears; this shows how versatile he is genre-wise.His first film, “Spun” debuted in 2002 and he also made a short film entitled “Try” which stemmed from his work with The Smashing Pumpkins on “Try Try Try”. He also directed Madonna’s documentary film “I’m Going To Tell You A Secret” strengthening his long-time relationship with the queen of Pop.
Controversy“Smack My Bitch Up” was universally banned from television with some channels even refusing to show the name of the song. However, massive demand from the public forced MTV to show the video but only ever after midnight and an official MTV News warning. Even with all this, the video still won Best Dance Video and Breakthrough Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2010, the song was voted the Most Controversial Of All Time in a survey run by PRS for Music.Recently, his video for Rammstein’s “Pussy” sparked massive controversy due to the fact that by the end of the video, it is essentially explicit pornography. Some level of voyeurism is always apparent in most music videos, but here Akerlund takes it to the extreme going so far as to depict male ejaculation right at the end of the video.
StyleMany of Akerlund’s videos take the form of mini films, normally with a strong narrative and a striking visual style (like in Lady Gaga’s Telephone). He uses a lot of taboo subjects in his videos such as lesbianism (Telephone), drug use (Smack My Bitch Up) and sexual explicitness (Pussy).
Things we can learn from him- Be daring: Whilst “Smack My Bitch Up” was highly controversial, it is now a milestone in music video production. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to conventions and rules.- Be resourceful: A lot of Akerlund’s work is very low-scale but visually striking to look at. We need to focus more on the aesthetics and clever use of editing than we do on going wild with impressive locations. Photography and shot composition pay an important role as well as semiotics and the connotations of each shot.- Be different: We shouldn’t restrict ourselves to the run-of- the-mill camera shots or editing techniques. Experimentation is key.