View the Mobile Version of M+N

Local Music News

The Gotye Clip That Never Was

News posted Friday, January 27 2012 at 04:00 PM.
Related: Gotye, Kimbra.

The Gotye Clip That Never Was

It may’ve amassed more than 51-million views on YouTube and spawned countless parodies, but the clip for Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ – the duet with Kimbra Johnson that unexpectedly topped the Hottest 100 yesterday – was actually plan B.

In a soon-to-be-published interview with M+N, its director Natasha Pincus reveals her original concept for the clip was shelved because it would’ve cost too much money. Pincus, who’s directed award-winning clips for Powderfinger, Paul Kelly and Sarah Blasko, initially conceived a single-shot video in which Gotye’s face would slowly morph into Kimbra’s. The two figures would then separate, before Kimbra floated away.

“They [the post-production houses] all just said it was very ambitious and not possible,” Pincus told M+N. “So I looked within that to make sure I knew what it was inspiring, and then set out to reclaim the concept you see now. It helped the process, but along the way you get upset and frustrated. But then ultimately, the outcome is in your favour.”

Pincus said she spent nearly three full weeks developing the original concept, before realising it was beyond her means. “[It] was devastating at the time, but then that gave way to exploring this concept in greater detail.”

While not as expensive as her initial idea, Pincus said the clip you see today was still “very, very, very hard” to make. It integrates stop motion and live action photography, involved time consuming body painting sessions and was shot over several days including a 26-hour stint, which caused Kimbra to faint.

“It was no surprise: the body painter had advised me it would take between six and eight hours to paint each of them, and that’s without the stop-motion elements, which also take six hours plus the performance,” Pincus said. “We couldn’t wipe it off [for that reason], so we were going to have to just go through. So we were in training for it for a month. Still, obviously, you’re going to see the worst sides of people. But neither of them had a hissy fit, which was just amazing. We just played music and had chips and hung out and gave each other massages.”

And how did they feel about the nudity?

“[Wally’s] amazing, and he’s extremely dedicated. He’ll do anything to create what it is that we all think is the right thing. So he was very cool about the whole thing. And Kimbra, who at that stage didn’t really have the household name she has now, is just such a genuine and down-to-earth girl. She just turned up and was very relaxed. With women sometimes, you can expect different things about nudity. But none of those things presented themselves at all.”

The full interview with Pincus will be published soon.


Related Artists

Your Comments

yoghurt  said about 3 years ago:

Carbie  said about 3 years ago:

I would LOVE to read a story about Kimbra Johnson NOT being the first choice to sing on the duet of ''Somebody That I Used To Know''? When I did a video interview with Wally he told me that someone much more higher profile was going to sing on the recording. When that mysterious female singer asked for some changes made to the song, he wouldn't stand for it and that project was dropped. She must be kicking herself now, while Kimbra is laughing all of the way to the bank. ㋡

livingincanada  said about 3 years ago:


Sgt. Fabulous  said about 3 years ago:

When that mysterious female singer asked for some changes made to the song, he wouldn't stand for it and that project was dropped

Interesting considering how he ''wasn't satisfied'' with the finished product. So it turns out he actually thought it was amazing and he's been acting modest this whole time? NO! Surely not.

bigdaddykane  said about 3 years ago:

Nah, just the ''famous singer's'' ideas were shit.

dj  said about 3 years ago:

So I looked within that to make sure I knew what it was inspiring, and then set out to reclaim the concept you see now.

this Pincus sounds like a doofus

LoadMyRig  said about 3 years ago:

dj, i think you should look within to make sure you know what that comment is inspiring.

dj  said about 3 years ago:

i'm still trying to reclaim the concept

samiek  said about 2 years ago:

was the original singer Washington?

astrousersasmind  said about 2 years ago:

Is Pincus any relation to Lulu Pincus from Young Einstein?

untold/animals  said about 2 years ago:


untold/animals  said about 2 years ago:

...It was probably Clare Bowditch.

natashapincus  said about 2 years ago:

hey guys. just to clarify...the full story wasn't really told in this wee article and so some of the above is a bit confusing...basically i had the ideas for the two different video concepts at the exact same time. when i realised the other concept couldn't happen, i 'looked within' the original brainstorm that produced the two ideas to try and find what was common to them both. i then used that understanding to fully develop the second idea into what eventually became the final video. hope that makes sense now! and also, no relation to lulu... :)

LoadMyRig  said about 2 years ago:

you're adorable. thank you for clarifying.

now tell us who the original female vocalist was.

natashapincus  said about 2 years ago:

@loadmyrig i have no idea...honestly!

flukazoid  said about 2 years ago:

Where's your video with 50 million views, dj?

flukazoid  said about 2 years ago:

end of cliché comeback

dj  said about 2 years ago:

Oh, I have a remix out. 85 people have heard it on Soundcloud. But then, I'm not trying to reclaim any concepts. I'm nobody. Maybe I need to look further into my original brainstorm

Carbie  said about 2 years ago:

This has only got around 300 views at the moment BUT this time tomorrow it will have OVER ONE MILLION! ㋡
Gotye Performs ''Somebody That I Used to Know'' featuring Kimbra on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

flukazoid  said about 2 years ago:

pretty surreal...

tugboat  said about 2 years ago:


Carbie  said about 2 years ago:

One millon views by this time tomorrow.
Hey, WTF!!! Hang on....THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!!
Some horrible TV Show doing that song again...
This video should come with a free pair of earmuffs.
At least the Jimmy Kimmel Live video did past the half a million mark. ㋡

Maximum Sincere  said about 2 years ago:

Oh wow, that's eye-wateringly bad. ahaha.


tugboat  said about 2 years ago:

who the fuck is he?

Maximum Sincere  said about 2 years ago:

I think he's on some reality show. Or if there's any justice, used to be on some reality show.

Bittervictorian  said about 2 years ago:

''at the exact same time''

For real? Synapses fired at the same micro-mili second?!?!?!

You need to be logged into Mess+Noise to contribute to the News.
Go on and Log In or if you you're not a member, feel free to Sign Up.

Today On Mess+Noise
Related M+N Content
In Other News