BENNIE AND THE JETS—STORYBOARDS
In 2015, Elton John held a contest for directors to submit treatments for the official music video for his song “Bennie and the Jets”—turns out, one had never been made! My sister Liann Kaye is a filmmaker, director and storyteller—and asked me to create these storyboards of her vision for the music video.
Scroll along to read Liann’s vision and the visual complement I created for her.
Our main character is a lowly bass player, who shows up to an audition alongside a million women who look just like her. We begin with her walking down a hallway and all these identical-looking women turning their heads to the beat of the music. They look at her with disdain.
When she gets into the audition room, the girl group she is playing behind all look just like her. The band members looks just like her. The record label executives looks just like her.
In the first verse, the girl group dances with Fosse-esque choreography before a panel of identical women.
Bennie gets discouraged and runs away to a cafe. Around her dozens of couples who look exactly the same share drinks.
Suddenly, two people in outrageously flamboyant outfits pass her by. They’re wearing classic Elton outfits from the seventies. In comparison to the drab uniformity everywhere else, Bennie is intrigued.
They couple is amused by her staring. They hand her a pair of sunglasses and pat her on the head before they take off to The Underground.
Bennie follows the two outcasts to The Underground where everyone is dancing in more Elton-inspired outfits.
Bennie puts her name in the hat and is called up to sing. She gets up on stage and totally lets loose gyrating, belting, and dancing. The crowd goes insane.
Throughout the rest of the video, Bennie slowly transforms her lifestyle, becoming more and more colorful and unique. She starts bringing other girls from the original audition scene into the underground. The grayscale world is soon a thing of the past.