Life is like a circus; sometimes it feels like a strange, wild ride, and other times it feels like a game that makes you smile. It’s been a twisted funhouse of ups and downs for Katy Perry (let’s be honest, for all of us lately), and in her latest music video for Smile, the title track off of her fifth studio album, the popstar draws on the circus theme to illustrate her story about surviving a heavy case of the blahs.
Katy Perry and Director Mathew Cullen have teamed up again for an action packed adventure delivered through an animated, circus-themed video game. The live action portion of the video was shot by Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth (Fight Club, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), and marked our first shoot back following the COVID-19 shutdown. With only a limited crew allowed on set and a very pregnant popstar, we partnered with animation powerhouse Nathan Love to execute Cullen’s vision and bring this magical world to life – and in less than 6 weeks!!
Animated scenes of Perry in the circus-themed video games reflect the candid lyrics about her real life struggles with rejection and despair. “I wrote the track when I was coming through one of the darkest periods of my life and had lost my smile,” the singer revealed. The entire album, in fact, was inspired by Perry’s “journey towards the light – with stories of resilience, hope, and love.” If the album covers the journey, Smile is certainly the destination.
Check out the video, some prelim designs, and the full credits below.