Cameron Duddy on Directing Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea’s “Pretty Girls” Video: “They Were Both Dedicated”

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea had a message for women everywhere when they professed: All around the world / Pretty girls / Wipe the floor with all the boys, with their 2015 single “Pretty Girls.” The upbeat bop which marked the first collaboration between the two pop titans charted worldwide, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video which cast the pop stars as ’80s-style Valley Girls charmed fans and critics alike. Azalea co-directed the video with Midland‘s Cameron Duddy, with the three contributing to the video’s concept.

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“I saw her video and I was just a huge fan. I was thinking about my next single for my next album and what I was gonna do, and I wanted to do a girl anthem,” Spears told Z100 in 2015 about how the song and collaboration came about (quote via PopCrush). “Something that was very girl-empowering and that was kinda funny. I thought a whole take on Valley Girls and just kind of making fun of that would be fun for us to do. She was really down for it…This has been the first video I’ve done in a while where, you know, I came up with the concept and there’s a lot of dancing. I got new choreographers to come in and kind of do hip-hop dancing, which I haven’t done in a really long time, so the feel of the video is really different and high-energy.”

Prior to joining Midland as bassist, Duddy had made a name for himself as a successful music video director for some of Bruno Mars‘ biggest hits like “Uptown Funk” and “When I Was Your Man.” He was also behind the lens on “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony, “Ain’t Your Mama” by Jennifer Lopez, and “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton. Below, Duddy tells American Songwriter about his experience directing the “Pretty Girls” video.

[RELATED: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” Video Director Shares the Story Behind the Video]

Story Behind the Video

“The ‘Pretty Girls’ video was shot at this point while I was in Midland. So I came back from Austin where I had moved and continued to moonlight as a music video director for gigs that were important enough to pull me away from what I was doing in Austin with Midland. I’m a Britney fan, I grew up MTV generation, so getting a chance to work with her was very exciting. The concept I came up with and pitched them and they loved it.

Iggy ended up being a really cool chick to work with. They both were really dedicated I feel like to the story as kind of silly as it was. Once again, it was a situation of working with all the tools that you could ask for to make a video. Not a lot of people have that opportunity in music video land and the budget to do it. I was really lucky to have a couple of those opportunities to be given kind of the keys to the city and just go around and do whatever I wanted.”

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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