s with every Pet Shop Boys single release (excluding only the first
version of West End girls in 1984), a videoclip has been
made to promote the song. But Being boring video, shot in
a house in Long Island and being a literal projection of the first
verse of the song, is quite unique in some aspects.
First of all, it’s been directed by Bruce Weber, photographer and film maker, with whom Neil and Chris wanted to cooperate ever since 1988’s Domino dancing. Weber was busy then, but two years later agreed to do his first video ever (he only made a handful of videos to date, two of them being Pet Shop Boys’ songs—1996’s single Se a vida é and 2002’s I get along).
Secondly, the video is set in black and white. Being it a coincidence or conscious decision, two previous videos, 1989’s It’s alright and 1990’s So hard also lacked color. Apart from these, only 2000’s You only tell me you love me when you’re drunk and partially 1987’s Rent were also recorded in black and white.
What’s also quite distinctive, this is one of the rare videos where Neil is not seen singing (this is common in all Bruce Weber videos for Pet Shop Boys, as well as 2002’s Home and dry—even in the computer-animated Liberation there are snippets of real-life Neil performing). In fact, both Neil and Chris make only cameo appearances in front of the camera and can be perceived just as a part of audience. “We’re in it but not in it,” as once Neil said.
The video gained high acclaim and is probably the most favourite clip of not only the fans, but also Neil and Chris themselves.
an club magazine Literally (issue 5) presented a short article
about making of the video:
The Pet Shop Boys first asked photographer and film maker Bruce Weber if he would make a video with them a couple of years ago when Domino dancing was coming out. They met him in New York whilst recording demos with Liza Minnelli. At the time he was keen, but too busy; he was working on his second documentary film, Let’s Get Lost (A film about the late jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. His first film was about boxing, Broken Noses).
At the end of last year they bumped into his producer at Liza Minnelli’s anniversary party and the producer reaffirmed that Bruce was interested. “As we wrote Being boring, we thought of Bruce Weber to make the video,” remembers Neil “because we thought it would fit his style. His work has this innocent quality and you also never know whether it’s in the past or the present. It has this timelessness.” It was to be Bruce Weber’s first video—they discussed some ideas over the phone.
Chris just said “I wanted it to be sexy—he laughed at that!” and Neil told him about the Zelda Fitzgerald quote that had inspired him. It was filmed in one day at the beginning of October in a house in Long Island, just outside New York; Bruce Weber chose Long Island because of its associations with Zelda and Scott F. Fitzgerald. Bruce Weber had explained his idea of a wonderful party: he said he didn’t want it to be street because he looked at MTV and everything was street and he thought it was corny. He wanted it to be like this beautiful fantasy. When the Pet Shop Boys turned up they felt quite intimidated, all these beautiful people running around in towels. (The cast were people Bruce Weber was friends with, or knew the girlfriends or boyfriends of, or had photographed before. They included Nanah Cherry’s half-brother, ex-TV presenter Eagle Eye, and Robert de Niro’s daughter).
Originally the video begun with everyone on the stairs with their eyes closed and Neil saying to the camera the Zelda Fitzgerald quote “she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted go do.”
It turned out to be too complicated so the video eventually began with a hand-written message (written by one of Bruce Weber’s friends) based on things Neil has said, reading “I came from Newcastle in the North of England. We used to have lots of parties where everyone got dressed up. And on one party invitation was the quote ‘she was never bored because she was never boring.’ The song is about growing up—the ideals that you have when you’re young and how they turn out. The Pet Shop Boys.” The video, of which Neil and Chris are very proud, is, Neil observes, “in a way the video of the first verse or the song.”
Information about Bruce Weber, the director.
Information about Alistair Bates, the producer.
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