What The ‘Telephone’ Producer Thinks Of ‘Telephone’ Video

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By: Vibe / March 22, 2010

Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” music video extravaganza featuring Beyoncé has been a topic of water-cooler discussion since its premiere. There’s plenty to take away from the comprehensive mini movie, as well as some things you might have missed on the first go round.

But the song’s producer, Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins, is just glad the video wasn’t a literal translation of the song’s concept. Jerkins had high hopes when he spoke to the pop star while she was shooting the video, which was directed by Jonas Akerlund.

“It’s exactly what I expected from Gaga, knowing that she’s an artist that will really be creative and push new boundaries with everything she does,” Jerkins told VIBE. “I was looking forward to seeing how she was gonna do this. She didn’t give me too much insight. She just told me it was a Thelma and Louise mixed with a little bit of Kill Bill.”

Gaga is clearly one for testing artistic limitations. So having the video take place in a club or in a phone booth was not an option.

“When you do videos, I think when you stick to the plot of the song a lot of directors don’t like doing that because that doesn’t make it creative,” said Jerkins. “When you listen to [‘Telephone’], you expect it to be about her in the club dancing and the phone ringing off the hook ’cause that’s what the concept of the song is, but they went against the grain with the video.

“It’s become a conversation piece,” he continued. “It’s been a few times where I’ve been in atmospheres where people didn’t even know I produced the record and I hear people talking about it over dinner at restaurants. She did exactly what she wanted to do.” —Clover Hope

BONUS: 3 THINGS RODNEY JERKINS LOVED ABOUT ‘TELEPHONE’ VIDEO