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This Day in Pop: 'Oops!... I Did It Again' music video premieres in 2000 (April 10)


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On April 10, 2000, Britney Spears released the Oops!... I Did It Again music video, the lead single off her second studio album of the same name. Wearing the instantly classic red catsuit, the music video went on to become one of the most iconic music videos of her career, and pop culture in general, with a space theme that jumped on the futuristic trend of the beginning of the millennium and a distinctive choreography that made all the viewers try to dance along to the song. 

 

Oops!... I Did It Again was directed by Nigel ****, who had already worked on her first three music videos: ...Baby One More Time, Sometimes and (You Drive Me) Crazy. It was filmed in March in Universal City, California. It was a success around the world, becoming a staple on MTV's TRL countdown and in Latin America, on MTV's Los 10 + Pedidos, where it was also voted as the #1 video of the year 2000, as well the overall #1 at the 2000's decade Top 100 countdown that took place in 2009.

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The video starts with an astronaut walking on Mars as the scientists back on the Earth station are communicating with him. He finds a picture of Britney buried in the ground, and suddenly a whole city emerges surprising the astronaut. Britney makes her entrance descending from a platform wearing the red catsuit, and starts singing the song, including the choreography during the chorus. She eventually suspends the guy in mid-air and we now see her lying barefoot on a white pad, wearing a white crop-top and skirt. For the breakdown of the song, Britney flips in the air to land where the astronaut is and he gives her a jewel as a symbol of his love, as they say the spoken interlude that references the Titanic necklace while the people on the Earth station watch the scene. She takes it and walks away, and the astronaut leaves defeated. Britney continues to perform the song until the end.

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You can find the transcript of the video treatment here.

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Despite the obvious hint at Britney "not being that innocent" that we get in the song's chorus, Nigel recalls that the video wasn't strategized as such in an interview he gave to MTV for the 20th anniversary of the clip:

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"Very often, the label rings you up and says, 'We want to project this artist into a different age group now.' To my memory, there was no discussion like that at all," **** told MTV News. "It was quite simply, 'Britney's got a new single. Can you get on the phone with her? She's got a couple ideas.'"

The two had a brief conversation, during which Spears laid out her vision: "'I want to be in a red suit, I want to be on Mars, I want there to be a good-looking spaceman, and I do not want a rocket,'" **** recalls her saying. "And the rest was left up to me."

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In an interview Britney had during a showcase in Japan, she was asked about how she came up with the concept of the video: "Actually, I love the whole futuristic thing with me going to Mars and everything, and it's never been done before! And no one's been ever dancing on Mars, so that's what made me come up with the idea. [...] Because the song has so much energy, I definitely had to incorporate my dancing, of course".

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The MTV crew was at the videoshoot filming an episode of Making the Video. In it, Britney talks about the meaning of the song: "The song is basically about a girl. All these guys fall in love with her, and she just can't help it. When I meet a guy that I'm seriously attracted to, I get butterflies in my stomach, I get a total brain fart, and I don't know what to say." (16 years later though, she'd forget about all that and say "I think it's just a song :idkney_britney_glory_carpool_karaoke_unsure_idk_nervous:"  )

"This is Mars. You own Mars, you are the Queen of Mars. This is your city and these are your subjects. You're here to dazzle them." Nigel would tell Britney while directing her in the filming of the video.

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The now iconic red catsuit was a last minute decision. It turns out that the day before the shoot, Britney called Michael Bush, a designer who had worked for Michael Jackson in the 80's and 90's, and told him she wanted a different suit. Nigel says:

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"We had picked a gorgeous catsuit, which I loved," he said. "It was much softer material. It wasn't shiny. It was more feminine. And of course, the problem now is that it's been supplanted by this rubber thing, or whatever the material was, which I felt was not very flattering."

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For its 20th anniversary, Britney remembered the outfit being "freaking hot" though the dancing being fun made the shoot fly by. The red suit has become one of the most representative of Britney, being worn by fans and included in many different media. In 2016, Kevin Bacon wore a similar outfit for an Apple ad, were Britney also made a cameo, and in 2020, Mexican singer Thalia also paid tribute to the look in a Tik Tok video she did during the shoot of her Ten Cuidao music video. Funko has also announced a Pop! Rocks series figurine inspired on the Oops outfit, set to be released later this year.

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The red catsuit was also on display at Planet Hollywood during her Las Vegas residency from 2013 to 2017.

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In the various interviews Nigel has done, he also talks about one of the other outfits, the white one, and how that was a decision made on set too. Britney had chosen a more revealing outfit to wear, but Nigel told her to go back to the trailer and find something different, which apparently Britney didn't like a lot:

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Turns out, that all-white 'fit was another last-minute decision — **** says that Spears initially wore a much more revealing two-piece that he describes as a "cheap Vegas stripper outfit." And while it probably wouldn’t be too risqué by 2020 standards, **** notes that the "Oops!" video was filmed not long after Spears's then-scandalous Rolling Stone photoshoot, which accompanied a 1999 cover story that invited readers into the underage star's "heart, mind, and bedroom" (the article opened with cringey descriptions of her "honeyed thigh" and "ample chest").

Taking that into consideration, **** and Spears’s team convinced her to reconsider. "We went back to Britney's trailer," **** said, "and looked for something else, and we came up with what you're seeing in the video now."

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He talked a bit further for the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast:

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“I questioned whether it was right for her to be wearing it in the video for her audience, and both management and label said, ‘Yeah.’ But they didn’t want to say anything, so I said, ‘You know Britney, we need to go back to a trailer and see what else you’ve got. And she wasn’t terribly happy about that.” **** never worked with Spears again after that video: “I’m guessing that had quite a lot to do with me questioning that outfit she was wearing.”

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MTV News pointed out at the various men that we see in the Oops!... I Did It Again video: "The video featured a gaggle of buff, shirtless guys operating mysterious levers in the background of Brit's lair — in one cute scene from Making the Video, the pop star giggles, 'I don't know their names but they're hotties! I don't mind looking at them!' :yeahhh_britney_oops_red_fist_cheer_yeah_smile_happy: "

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Another man, the protagonist of the space romance, Eli Swanson, was the actor who played the astronaut that tried to conquer Britney's heart, after his head almost exploded when losing his helmet, only to be rejected by the ruler of Mars. He then goes back home, not before doing the moonwalk (or Marswalk?).

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Britney met him on set after Nigel selected him to portray the character. Swanson used to be a model for Ralph Lauren, Nike and Adidas, but eventually quit the business to become an orthopedic surgeon. Apparently he changed so much, that Britney didn't recognize him during a 2013 Superfan Showdown on ET.

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Speaking of which, the spoken interlude scene (which is not voiced by him) that's the peak of Eli's acting career, didn't make a lot of sense for the director of the video.

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"But I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean in the end," Spears sweetly says. He answers, "Well, baby, I went down and got it for you." Her response to this impossibly acquired gift of the most symbolically romantic treasure of the late '90s? "Aw, you shouldn't have."

"I'd obviously heard the song before I spoke to Britney about what the video was going to be like," **** remembers. "I said to her, 'Well, hang on, there's a bit in the middle about the Titanic? What are we going to do about that? Are we supposed to suddenly cut back to 1912?' And she said, 'Oh, you'll think of something.'

"So you throw together this little sequence and nobody ever questioned it," he continued of Spears and Swanson's scene. "Everybody just said, 'Yeah. That'll work.' For me, I had no idea why that sequence was in the song at all, but it’s lighthearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

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However, the man the stole the video according to Nigel, was the one at the control booth back on Earth:

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"I like the guy in the control booth. I love the fact that he's real. He's not a super-hunky, spaceman type," **** said of the Rivers Cuomo look-alike who speaks to Swanson's astronaut through a headset. "It's like, it's just another day on the job at NASA. Yesterday, he was looking at the Backstreet Boys on Saturn, and today, he's got Britney on Mars. These are things you come up with and you're always frightened that the label is going to go, 'See that guy grooving at the desk? Take him out.' But it all stayed in."

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Without a doubt, a main component of the videoclip is its dance moves. It was choreographed by Tina Landon, and it includes the classic "heart move" that everyone remembers. Not too long after the video was out, her fans already had memorized the steps, and Britney even danced along with one lucky fan during an MTV special.  Tina also released a video where she teaches the choreography for the chorus of the song.

Perhaps Britney could watch it again, who in 2013 said she had forgotten about it in a Good Morning America interview after her Desert Performance Las Vegas residency announcement.

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Another well known incident during the filming of the video, was a head injury Britney had while doing the scene where she's lying on the ground and a part of the camera fell off, landing on her head. At the time, Lynne Spears, Britney's mom, wrote on her website that Britney began bleeding and they had to call a doctor that put her stitches. After four hours of rest, she was ready to go back to shoot the rest of the video. But Lynne says that after the videoshoot wrapped up, she flew to Michigan where she slept for 17 hours, before performing there the next day. Lynne said:

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"These are the times that I worry most!" Britney's mother Lynne writes on the site. "I worry about her pushing herself too hard because she's a perfectionist. I worry about those freak accidents that seem to occur when you work crazy hours. I obsessively worry about her flying so much. And, of course, all of the above happened this week."

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Nigel **** clarified the situation for MTV:

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"Firstly, nothing like that should ever happen on set," he said. "I was extremely upset that in a scene like that, where the gear is over Britney's head, that it was not properly secured. I don't believe I've ever worked with that camera assistant ever again.

"The second thing is, no, the camera did not fall on Britney," he continued. "If it had, that would have been the end of my career. A part of the camera which fits on the very front, the matte box, was what fell on her because it was not properly secured. And it's still quite heavy; not to minimize the effect of it. It has threaded screws in the top left and top right corners. I believe one of those hit her in the head."

**** said that the medic on set advised Spears to rest in her trailer for a couple hours, to make sure she didn't have a concussion. The crew powered down, but, "being a trooper," **** said, "Britney came back and got on with the work."

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Britney herself also talked about it in 2012, calling it a very bizarre experience:

 

In 2012 there was also a Twitter exchange between Britney and the NASA:

Which was continued in 2020

 

Nigel really praises Britney's professionalism, recalling the amount of effort they all put on rehearsals, as well as the stunt she had to film with a harness, in front of the green screen:

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"You need time to practice with that stuff when you're wearing the magic outfit and you've got a harness on under your red Mars suit and whatnot."

"She rehearsed for like, five days. And it wasn't, 'Oh, we'll show up at two in the afternoon, have a couple of lattes, and then we'll do a bit of dancing,'" **** said. "They were there at 10 in the morning, and I would go and see a run-through at five at night. They looked like hell because they'd been sweating all day, their hair is ratty, their T-shirts have stained. I mean, it's ******* hard work. It's Olympic-level athletics at that stage."

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"The thing you have to remember is, you can't fake that," **** said. "All the videos I did for her, I felt captured something magic about her. I think the beauty, in inverted commas, of Britney was that she truly was the girl next door. She obviously had this great passion for dancing and she seemed so happy all the time, which is why I think people loved her so much.

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However, he's also mentioned how much things have changed from the first video he did for her, to the time they did Oops!... I Did It Again, and how she was surrounded already by this huge fame machine

 

The video received four VMA's nominations in 2000: Best Female Video, Best Dance Video, Best Pop Video, and the Viewer's Choice, but it didn't win any of them. In June 2016, the video surpassed the 100M views mark on her official YouTube channel, becoming the 11th video of hers to do so. However, in recent years, it got a rapid increase in views, currently being the fifth most watched video on her channel, with over 300M views.

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Alternative footage of the video was released on her Greatest Hits: My Prerogative DVD in 2004:

 

 

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Related:

 

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

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On April 10, 2000, Britney Spears released the Oops!... I Did It Again music video, the lead single off her second studio album of the same name. Wearing the instantly classic red catsuit, the music v

lol i love how exhale's filters censor nigel d/ck's name 

I was in my 5th grade  bullied at school for my gay nature  and then there was Britney on MTV with her Iconic Music Video   Queen rebalanced everything for my young and troubled gay heart 

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I was in my 5th grade :tiffanycries_ny_new_york_miss_tiffany_pollard_crying_tears_sobbing_sad: bullied at school for my gay nature :wendycry_wiliams_panicked_crying_tears_upset_sad:

and then there was Britney on MTV with her Iconic Music Video  :tifftear_miss_ny_new_york_ms_crying_wipe_tears_sad:

Queen rebalanced everything for my young and troubled gay heart :kidcries_crying_sad_tearing_up_sobbing:

thank you, Oopsney! :tysm_beyonce_thanks_wow_gratitude_love_you_ily:

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love this post Pokemon you did such a great job, love this song and video it's what made me a stan i cant wait to get the funko pop later this year

<<<Magic Begins at Midnight>>> 

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8 hours ago, Midnight said:

love this post Pokemon you did such a great job, love this song and video it's what made me a stan i cant wait to get the funko pop later this year

I want it too :crying4_britney_crying_stages_tears_sad:

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

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9 hours ago, FemmeFataleBrit said:

She looked very different to me in the video for some reason. I think it’s the hair and the fact that her face looks so ‘alert’.

maybe it's the eye makeup, which is like the opposite of the panda eye, it's like white circles.

It's funny because to me that's like "the Britney look". It's probably the video I watched the most when I was a kid, so seeing her with shorter hair and other makeup during performances or tv specials, etc, always felt strange to me

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

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