Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Diplo aren’t personally nominated for their “Where Are Ü Now” video at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). But the art-packed visual has been nominated in three Professional/Technical awards categories.
As revealed on the videostatic.com website, as opposed to Beats 1 on Apple music where the rest of the VMAs nominations landed Tuesday, Brewer — the brotherly directorial duo behind “Skrillex & Diplo w/ Justin Bieber ‘Where Are Ü Now'” — scored three nods.
Best Art Direction, Best Editing, and Best Visual Effects are the three awards categories Brewer is nominated in. As one would expect, after something of a banner year for music and videos overall, they are facing tough competition.
In the Best Art Direction, “Where Are Ü Now” goes up against art director of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” ft. Kendrick Lamar video. Also, Snoop Dogg’s “So Many Pros,” Jack White’s “Would You Fight For My Love?” and The Chemical Brothers’ “Go” videos.
Moving to best editing. Brewer (wearing the editor’s cap) faces off against Beyoncé, co-editors Ed Burke, and Jonathan Wing, for the “7/11” music video. Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t” also contends. Swift’s “Bad Blood” and A$AP Rocky’s “L$D” complete the five.
In the Best Visual Effects category, studios get all the shine. “Where” will do battle with the “vfx” effects team behind Tyler, The Creator’s “F****** Young/Death Camp” video, Childish Gambino’s “Telegraph Ave,” FKA twigs’ “Two Weeks,” and Swift’s “Bad Blood” videos.
— Dancing Astronaut (@dancingastro) July 16, 2015
After the Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack U album dropped in February, “Where” went on to garner acclaim across the board. The single has so far peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, and has held top positions on the Hot/Dance Electronic chart and Dance/Electronic Streaming Songs chart.
The track is officially certified platinum in the U.S. and is certified in multiple countries. It has generated over 150 million streams on Spotify worldwide and achieved high placings in a number of charts in different territories.
Bieber, Brewer, and Diplo shot the “Where Are Ü Now” video in a Los Angeles studio on May 22.
Jack Ü later extended an open invitation to Los Angeles based artists and fans to attend an art event held at The Seventh Letter Gallery in L.A. during the last three days in May. Those who rocked up were given individual stills of Bieber from the video to draw on. The contributions were later re-photographed and re-animated into the final edit of the video. Brewer reportedly curated the art selected.
At the start of the video, the bittersweet stutter intro sees the camera pan over the gallery before appearing to jump into one of the wall drawings, before Bieber is seen lamenting a loss in a darkened space.
The fan-made/artist-created art is then seen for the first time when the beat drops. Some of the art contains messages about Bieber’s former girlfriend, Selena Gomez, racy phallic pictures, conspiracist notes, “Where” lyrics, encouragements to the star from fans, semi-abusive insults from non-fans — all of this and more is seen in the frantic, kaleidoscopic, trippy, surprising slideshow of images.
And that’s what makes the video so startling.
It will be interesting to see whether Brewer walk off with all three “Moonmen,” as the award statuettes are called. The Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Editing awards categories are non-fan voted.
In the rest of the 2015 MTV VMAs nominees, Swift led with nine nominations. Seven nods were for “Bad Blood.” Two — Best Female Video and Best Pop Video — were for “Blank Space.”
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran scored six nominations for “Thinking Out Loud” and “Don’t.” Beyoncé and producer-DJ Mark Ronson punched in five nominations.
— MTV (@MTV) July 20, 2015
The VMAs will be hosted by Miley Cyrus at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 30, 2015. To see the full nominations list for the 2015 VMAs, head over to MTV.
— MTV News (@MTVNews) July 21, 2015
[Images via Sony]