Rihanna talks about ‘Only Girl’ video and So Kodak commercialOctober 6, 2010
Rihanna sits front row with her glam squad at a faux fashion show during her So Kodak ad campaign shoot, which was shot at Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York last week. JustJared.com had the great pleasure of interviewing the 22-year-old Loud singer on Steiner Studios set. She spilled the beans on all of her new music videos!
JJ: What’s the concept of this commercial shoot?
R: We’re doing three commercials and this is the first one. The concept of this one is we’re at a fashion show, and I get there fashionably late, as usual. And then I receive a picture on my phone from Drake or Trey and then I take my own video, send them back. Of course my video is going to be better than the picture they sent me. So we’re at a fashion show and actually the girls in the front row with me, the three girls, they’re actually my friends for real. My assistant Jennifer [Rosales], hairstylist Ursula [Stephens], and stylist Mariel [Haenn].
JJ: So the Kodak EasyShare Digital Camera can receive and send pictures?
R: Well the camera takes pictures and you can share them. You just press the share button, tag your friends and then pick and choose which pictures you want to send to the people on your list. Whether it’s Facebook or your friends, you just plug the camera into your computer, and it automatically sends to all of those people. It’s so simple.
JJ: You’re joining Drake, Trey Songz, and Pitbull as spokespersons for Kodak. How did you know the brand would be a great match for you?
R: I actually didn’t know until I started hearing about the product. I didn’t want it to be just a corny relationship. I wanted it to be something that I really felt good about and would really use myself. After [Kodak] sent me pictures and the whole rundown of the camera’s technology, I was really impressed. We’re going to have a really big billboard in Times Square in November, which is going to be around the release of my album [Loud], so it’s going to be a lot of big things happening at the same time. I’m really excited about it.
JJ: What’s the concept of “Only Girl In The World” video? You tweeted a picture of yourself in a field…
R: It’s really, really beautiful shot in these crazy, crazy, crazy places. We shot landscapes that we found a couple hours outside of L.A. It looks so unreal. It looks fake, like something out of a postcard with the beautiful hills. There’s just something about how the light hits the grass and when dust caught the light, it’s just beautiful. We had a lot of sunshine those couple of days, so it really worked with the whole essence of the video. But really, the video just shows this big landscape and the only person there is me.
JJ: So there’s nobody else in the entire video?
R: Nobody else in the video. Nobody else. Except a lot of f–kin’ bugs and s–t like that. (laughs) There were a couple of snakes. Ugh! It was so creepy but it was so good. It was so worth it in the end. Okay, I’m going to spill the beans. We did this one really, really cool shot where they put me up [in harnesses]. I was suspended in the air on a swing that was just feet, feet, feet, feet high. It was crazy. They held me up on a crane, suspended in the air on top of a hill, over a cliff. We just swung back and forth. It was really scary but it was fun.
JJ: Have you done crazy stuff like that? Bungee jump and skydive? Would you?
R: Nuh uh but I probably will. Maybe bungee jump one day. I feel like there would be such a thrill or like a moment of liberation.
JJ: You decided to work with director Anthony Mandler again for this video, right?
R: Yes. Well, I didn’t decide to work with him. I didn’t even want to work with him. We hate each other! (laughs) No, but really, I didn’t expect that he would be the one writing the song or even to get this video because it’s so not like any of his work he’s ever, ever done. He just tripped me out. I sent out picture references and a couple of video references to a few directors and gave them a quick rundown of what I wanted. And then they sent me stories of what they came up with. Everything was just so contrived. Some things were right but then the other half of it wouldn’t be right. And then Anthony, he sent me nine photos one day. And I just looked at the photos – no treatment, just nine photos – and I looked at them and automatically I knew that he was on the right page. Like, he got it. He cracked the code! I cracked the code! And he just sent it to me.
JJ: Were they photos he took?
R: No, just old photos. New photos. Just references that were visually inspiring for the essence of the video. It’s going to be so cool. I can’t wait to see it and I can’t wait for everybody to see it!
JJ: And you just shot wrapped on your video “What’s My Name?” at 2AM last night!
R: Yes, we finished this morning. It was amazing. It was so cool to be in the streets of New York.
JJ: Banging your drum sticks!
R: Yeah! Well, I didn’t realize what we were gonna do until we got out there on the streets. But just seeing the reception, and all the people around. I pulled over some of my friends and got them in the video. Some people like walked right out of their houses with shower caps on. There were the cutest little kids on the street. It was so awesome and that’s the first time I ever worked with [director] Phil Andelman. I’m actually really impressed with his work. I’m excited to see what he turns out.
JJ: What’s the concept of the video?
R: We wanted it to feel really light and free, especially with the clothing because the song has such a West Indian vibe. I wanted that feeling to come out in the video and we wore this really colorful outfit that was West Indian inspired.
JJ: You wore a cute pair of Missoni shorts!
R: Yeah. And then Prada actually gave us this really, really beautiful two-piece suit from their resort collection. I just want to keep it. It’s so beautiful. It’s baby blue and floral. We used it for a performance shot that we filmed inside of a loft.
More of JustJared.com’s exclusive interview with Rihanna coming soon. Lots of Matt Kemp, her “badass” Battleship co-stars, and her Halloween plans.