So how do you get attention on an Internet that pukes up a zillion new videos a day? It’s easy: You collect a whole bunch of money and then use it to buy a stripped-down Dita Von Teese on a pink mechanical bull; you purchase Olympic it girl Jordyn Weiber to work some of her magic in slow motion; you toss some cash at a morbidly obese woman and ask her to do a seduction dance wearing just a bikini; you call up a lion, a zebra, and some of their pals from the zoo to come hang; you kidnap two fencers and force them to fight; and then you stage a good old fashioned, multi-colored chalk fight to close the whole thing out. Oh, and it helps if you have a shirtless Jared Leto in full-on rock star mode—he does it so well—belting out his band 30 Seconds to Mars‘ epic new single, “Up in the Air.” Over 2 million views later and voila, you have a video success. We found this clip so mesmerizing, so baffling, that we went to Leto himself for some answers.
How much creative control does your band have over your videos?
Absolute. It’s the only way I know how to work. It’s important that there not be too many decisions by committee with creative endeavors like this.
Did you conceive “Up in the Air” or did you trust your director to take care of it?
Bartholomew Cubbins and I have a very unique relationship. You could say that he and I are almost one in the same. There isn’t a move he makes on these little films without me and vice versa.
In an age of shrinking attention spans, why make an 8 minute video?
I felt it was appropriate given the material. I also think that if content is compelling enough it can be longer. Not everything has to be “Charlie Bit My Finger.”
The video is full of striking, surreal imagery. Is there meaning behind those images, or are you trying to make a video that looks awesome?
Although I purposefully threw out the idea of narrative, it is still very metaphorical. In a way, it’s a love letter to art and design.
The video has been viewed more than 2 million times on Youtube. What’s it like to be able to see how the exact number of people clicking on your video?
I love the immediacy. And it’s exciting to know it’s connecting with people around the world. I make a lot of short form content but there is something magical that happened with this latest project. Very grateful it has found an audience.