- Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016
Editor Eric Argiro of bicoastal Union began work on Pussy Riot’s "Make America Great Again" in June, before the Access Hollywood tape, before Russia crashed the election, and before the Facebook launch of "Trump Tower Live". Directed by Jonas Akerlund, the video depicts the early days of a Trump presidency as an autocracy where dissident women are objectified, branded and abused, not necessarily in that order.
Not surprisingly, the clip - which was released October 27 and has already been covered in Rolling Stone and Time - combines documentary and original footage, foreshadowing Trump TV in the form of TNN (Trump News Network). News reports highlight Trump’s strongarm style and incitements to violence, as the President’s thugs engage in torture with impunity.
The project marks a reunion between Akerlund and Argiro, who previously collaborated on a number of projects for CoverGirl (Argiro's other spot credits include Fiat, The North Face and Hershey’s). “When we finish a spot project, I always tell Jonas, ‘Hey, if you have a music video you’d like me to cut, I’m down’,” Argiro recalled. “This time, he took me up on it.” Naturally, the project differed greatly from a commercial campaign. “A Jonas Akerlund music video is a unique undertaking to begin with,” Argiro noted. “With this style of work, I try to make choices that are jarring or uncomfortable to the viewer. A commercial client may want a straightforward approach, but Jonas pushes you to break the boundaries. Then he comes back and says, ‘Let’s push it some more.’ We really went all out on this one.”
Argiro described the video as “Eerily prophetic,” adding that back in June, no one knew the Republican nominee would self-destruct to the degree he has. “We were troubled by the things he said and did at the time, and we really felt, maybe this is a way to change some minds,” he recalled. “People did warn me - ‘you know, this guy is vindictive,’” he said of Trump, concluding, “I really hope he doesn’t win the election, or I’ll be audited for the rest of my life.”
Union Editorial has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content, in partnership with Killer Content companies through its Union Entertainment Group banner. Other Union companies include Platform, a creative and advertising solution for the gaming industry; and Resolution, a visual effects boutique specializing in commercials, features and gaming. Union is presided over by Partner/Managing Director Michael Raimondi and Partner/Executive Producer Caryn Maclean. The Union roster is comprised of Partner/Editors Jim Haygood, Einar, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, and editors Nico Alba, Jinx Godfrey, Nicholas Wayman-Harris, Rachael Waxler, Daniel Luna, Jason Lucas, Paul Plew, Ben Longland, Laura Milstein, Eric Argiro, Karen Kourtessis, Zach Kashkett and Andrew Doga, as well as select projects with Tim Thornton Allen, Patric Ryan and Phil Hignett. unioneditorial.com