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This Day in Pop: 'Hold It Against Me' music video premieres in 2011 (February 17)


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On February 17, 2011, Britney Spears released the music video for Hold It Against Me, the lead single off her seventh studio album Femme Fatale, after a looong waiting accompanied by 14 teasers.

 

The music video was shot in January at Paramount Studios, produced by Hagai Shaham and it was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, with whom Britney had fallen in love since she saw the Ray of Light video he directed for Madonna in 1998. Larry Rudolph explained that they never worked together in the past due to availability or timing conflicts. 

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The music video is one of the darkest ones Britney's ever done. It's filled with symbolism and imagery, a lot of hidden details on top of the already bizarre, most obvious narrative that we see of Britney playing different characters, that engage in a fight, basically, Britney fighting with herself. The topic of the media seems to be present in the form of a ring of microphones, but we also see a Britney wearing a long white dress, surrounded by TV screens that show videos of her past career, such as ...Baby One More Time, Sometimes, Overprotected and even excerpts from For the Record.

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After the first day of the shooting, Britney tweeted a picture on set wearing a red outfit and surrounded by the microphones.

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Brian Friedman, a long-time collaborator of Britney, was in charge of the choreography for this video. The auditions to pick the dancers were held in December 2010.

 

On his part, Brian Friedman also chatted with MTV News about what could be expected from the music video, without getting into too much detail:

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"I didn't necessarily have pressure with this — it was more excitement," he said of working with the pop diva again. "I haven't been with Britney in five years on a project, so it was excitement to be back with her. It was excitement to get her dancing really hard again 'cause she's had a couple of years where she's been dancing different styles of dance and it hasn't been me.

"I can tell you that Britney is wearing a couple of hats in this video — not literal hats, but she's playing roles in this video. That is what I can give you," he explained. "In every role, she is dancing. She is going to be dancing throughout the whole video. Like I said: Dance is the focal point of this video."

He also teased a bit about the costumes: "She's taking fashion risks. Things we've never seen her wear before she's wearing in this video, and I think it's just very **** and it's a little bit playful," he added. "She's going to be doing something in this video that we've never seen her do. I'm not gonna tell you what that is but she's going to be sweating and she's going to be getting bruised and battered."

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Larry Rudolph talked to MTV News about the collaboration with Jonas, comparing her upcoming album to Madonna's Ray of Light

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"I feel like Jonas is a really good fit for her. They worked so well together so I gotta believe that they'll work again on this album project," he said. "I'm hoping that that happens and we do see more of that."

For Britney, working with Åkerlund was a passion project that, according to Rudolph, turned out to be an incredibly creative collaboration.

"She's always been a huge fan of his and his name has always come up. And there's always been something that stopped us from doing it, whether it be his availability or her timing, but we were really determined to make it happen this time," he said of hooking up with Åkerlund for the video.

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"He immediately had 20 different ideas and they got together and they talked about it and it took on a life of its own. We're really excited about it. In my opinion it's one of the top two or three videos of all time. It's a total departure for her. It's more mature. [There are] interesting things going on there that you have to dig deep to see."

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After the shooting of the video, TMZ released some accusations that said they had to use a body double for Britney because she didn't learn her moves. They also claimed she left the set crying after the first day of shooting, but her party denied it: "The accusations could not be further from the truth. Britney worked extremely hard on this video and rehearsed for six weeks prior to shooting. Brit and Jonas got along great. ... Fans will immediately see how inaccurate these claims are once they see the video."

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Jonas Åkerlund also told TMZ that "[Britney's] been great throughout the entire process. At the end of the shoot I got the warmest hug I ever got from an artist, and I look forward to hugging her again very soon! I've been around long enough to know when an artist gives it their all, and to me it doesn't get better than this. This video is gonna be f---ing awesome. It's all Britney."

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After the video was released, Larry finally clarified the confusion about the body double to MTV News. He explained: "Of course, there was a body double in there that she was fighting most of the time, which is where some confusion came in. ... I heard some rumors that she used a body double. The reality is, she used a body double for the fight scene, 'cause it's all the fight herself."

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About the concept of the video, and having the "two Britneys":

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"There are really two different Britneys," he said. "There's a public Britney and there's a private Britney, and they're very different. Maybe the world doesn't really know that, maybe those of us who do know her really well understand that, but there really are two different Britneys. Maybe at some times the two Britneys are at odds with each other; most of the time they're not. There's some of that going on. I think it's also about Britney just being strong and still on top after all these years. ... But there's a few different ways to look at it."

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Steven Ho was the martial artist that choreographed the fighting scene. He also talked to MTV about the process of rehearsal and the actual shooting of these scenes, praising Britney for her hard work.

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"I've been very fortunate to have worked on a wide range of high-profile projects, and the video's producer, Hagai Shaham, thought my style would be a good fit with Jonas and Britney. I was brought in to train Britney, choreograph the fight and set up wires for the levitation shots"

"I've always wanted to work with Jonas," he continued. "I knew that a stylized fight would translate well with his trademark visuals, so I was thrilled about doing this project. Jonas wanted a superhuman fight with elements of brutality — that's right up my alley of how I approach an action scene, so we were definitely all on the same page throughout the process."

"Britney was really excited throughout the whole process. It was a grueling shoot of dance and stunts, but her passion for the video and professionalism never wavered," he explained. "There were some pretty tough insert shots where we needed Britney to actually get hit in the face by 'herself.' We did several consecutive takes of this, and she had a lot of fun with it and was a great sport.

"Britney was very enthusiastic about learning how to fight; she's an athlete," he added. "I got that Jonas' concept was partially about the duality of self — we all deal with that, so who wouldn't have fun fighting their alter egos?"

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He also explained that it was very helpful to work with Brian Friedman on the set, and kind of incorporate the fighting scene with the style of the choreography

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"It was really great working with Brian; he's an absolute professional. He was diligent about our fight style being cohesive with the dancing, and that's why it worked so well," Ho recalled. "Our rehearsals were on the same stage, so it was very helpful to have Brian's feedback from a dancer's point of view."

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Finally, he talked about a particular shot where we see Britney doing a quickstep in the middle of the fight, which was all her idea, and how the outfits that were chosen for this scene (designed by Jonas' wife, B. Åkerlund, who had worked with Lady Gaga in the past) represented a bit of an issue as well as a safety concern, and they actually thought about cutting them off, but they finally decided to incorporate them as weapons.

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"Britney was fantastic about incorporating what we had practiced in rehearsal, and as a consummate performer, she was able to take ownership by adding her own flavor to the fight. There's a quick cut in the video that features Britney taking a series of small shuffle steps in her heels. This is something she came up with herself that I thought added a nice break of 'cuteness' in the fight," he said. "Jonas drowned out the music here to highlight the tapping sounds, and it's really one of my favorite beats of the video."

"The wardrobe was one of the stars of the fight," he explained. "At first I was concerned about how to approach the long trains. There were discussions with Jonas and [stylist] B. [Åkerlund] and [fashion assistant Renelou Padora] about possibly shortening the train for safety issues. After I showed my wife [designer Nina Petronzio] the pictures of the dresses, she literally said, 'I will kill you if you cut those trains down.' We ended up incorporating the trains as 'weapons.' We treated them as if they were sharp blades, giving Britney reason to jump and evade around them."

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B. Åkerlund gave a detailed explanation of all the people and brands she collaborated with for the outfits of the video, calling it a "punk-rock couture look, with a touch of glam". Tom Tom Fashions helped with the giant wedding dress, there were accesories by La Cracia and Dannijo; Faguni and Shane Peacock worked on the fighting scene dresses, with shoes by XTC. Skin Graft Designs, Tom Binns, Yasmen Hussein, Loree Rodkin and Bordelle were also named, and almost all of the outfits had some sort of decoration with Swarovski crystals.

In Latin America, fans of Mexican pop singer Fey accused Britney of copying one of the looks from the 2009 video Lentamente, in which we can see Fey in a similar futuristic set, wearing a long white dress, similar to the one from Hold It Against Me, though the claims lack any support.

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Hold It Against Me music video is always subject of interpretations by fans, trying to decipher all the symbolism that appears throughout the rapidly changing scenes. More details can be better appreciated on the Director's Cut of the video, which can be seen on Jonas Åkerlund website, which basically removes most of the product placement.

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After getting behind the other FF videos, Till the World Ends and I Wanna Go, in terms of views, HIAM finally hit the 100M views mark in 2015, and it currently has over 130M views.

 

 

 I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean

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On February 17, 2011, Britney Spears released the music video for Hold It Against Me, the lead single off her seventh studio album Femme Fatale, after a looong waiting accompanied by 14 teasers.

Wow the amount of information in this post  @PokemonSpears smashed this!!

The 14 teasers:  

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5 hours ago, PeterPaul said:

I actually didn’t know this song until I became a stan and now this definitely it one of my favorites!!!!! And the vid is so special :gobaby_cheering_yes_yas_wow_proud:

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In my defense I was like 10 when it was released :deserves_kim_kardashian_smirk_pink:

 

I was 5 when BOMT and I've known Britney ever since :lessons_preaching_telling_hand_smack:

:haha_britney_laugh_lol_lmao_hehe_haha_bw_black_white: jk, at least you've had plenty of time to catch up with her videography 

 I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean

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I know you got shaded in another post that we shall not mention :taylor_swift_evil_smile: but I wanna say thanks for these nostalgic posts. I :sendinglove_kissing_heart_love_blowing: them and love memories.

Anyway, back to HIAM. Isn’t it ironic that Erika Jayne was the body double in this MV and now shes divorcing her well known California attorney Tom Girardi. Heres where it gets weird...Tom is being investigated for embezzling millions of dollars and now he’s all of a sudden in the early stages of dementia...so now the California courts have granted his request to be put into a...CONservatorship :tired_so_there_head_tilt_annoyed_see_rose_mcgowan:

 

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HIAM music video has a special place in my heart, I used to watch MTV near lunch time everyday and my mom, who was treating a cancer, used to lay down on the couch to see the top10 music videos of the day with me. We used to bet on what place HIAM would end up. Great times, plase send Brit Brit good energies from above mom.

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I always remember hearing rumours around that time of her being really upset on set. She looks really tired and medicated in this video and I always wonder if she had bad memories from this whole time in her life hence why she doesn’t perform HIAM.

It’s definitely one of her better videos but she looks sad in it and you can tell there’s inner pain.

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The song that made me a fan 10 years ago. I was really into EDM/Dubstep at the time and when I heard the beat, Britney's sultry vocals, the song composition and that BRIDGE/breakdown, oh my. I remember blasting this song through my speakers. Poor neighbours. 

I remember being a bit let down by the music video - too many fast shots, too much product placement, no dancebreak. But I mean, the hype was REAL with this one. The teasers were a killer. I grew to like it though. The symbolism is really good. It's one of her artsy videos. 

I sincerely hope she performs this song again some day. 

Btw Brian did an amazing job with the choreography. I've always loved it - the dancers, the composition. The final chorus dance break. So good! It's one of the more technical choreographies. 

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