The Cut, proudly supported by YouTube, invited filmmakers to create new music videos for old Elton John songs, none of which ever had music videos before. The three winning videos for Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer and Bennie and The Jets (all shown here) were judged by a panel of impressive film and music industry experts, including Elton himself and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.
New Music Videos for Old Elton John Songs
The pair were a hit machine in the 1970s and 1980s producing the memorable hits: “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” and “Candle in the Wind.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their songwriting partnership, Elton John and Bernie Taupin gave new filmmakers the chance to create official new music videos for old Elton John songs; Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer and Bennie and The Jets. These iconic hits – released in 1971, 1972 and 1973 – were made before the emergence of music videos, yielding an opportunity to breathe new creativity into some of the most loved music of all time.
A panel of industry renowned judges selected three winning filmmakers who went on to receive support from YouTube and top production studios to bring their ideas to life.
The full judging panel for The Cut, made up of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, along with Barry Jenkins (Oscar-Winning Director), Jeffrey Katzenberg (CEO and Founder of Dreamworks Animation) and Melina Matsoukas (Grammy Award-Winning Music Video Director), gathered in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
They were joined by the YouTube mentors for each category, Kurt Hugo Schneider (Live action – Tiny Dancer), Parris Goebel (Choreography – Bennie and the Jets) and PES (Animation – Rocket Man) who presented their shortlist of 5 choices for their category to the judging panel.
A final winner was selected for each category winning the opportunity to make the official music video and $10,000 to support future creative endeavors.
First, videos of Elton and Bernie talking about the inspiration behind the three famous songs.
Rocket Man: The Inspiration
Tiny Dancer: The Inspiration
Bennie and The Jets: The Inspiration
The Judges look at the shortlisted contenders:
The three winning videos
1972 video style: animation
In his own interpretation of Elton’s iconic hit, Iranian filmmaker and refugee Majid Adin reimagines “Rocket Man” to tell a whole new story of adventure, loneliness and hope. Co-directed by Stephen McNally, the pair worked with the Blinkink on the video.
1971 video style: Live Action
Building on Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s Californian inspiration, Max Weiland filmed a video for “Tiny Dancer” that reflects on life in Los Angeles from a dozen different people, all unfolding behind the wheel of their cars.
Bennie and the Jets
1973 video style: choreography
Jack Whiteley and Laura Brownhill tell the formation story of “Bennie and the Jets” with their futuristic video of Elton’s hit song, which features breathtaking choreography and striking sci-fi fashion.
All three brand new music videos premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Elton John The Cut