- Monday, Jun. 27, 2016
The music video for Beyoncé's "Formation" made history last week, when it was awarded the first Entertainment Lions for Music Grand Prix at the Cannes International Festival for Creativity. The video was directed by Melina Matsoukas and produced by PRETTYBIRD; Bonch Post’s Jeff Selis, who edited the video, recently won the 2016 AICE Award in the Music Video category. Beyoncé performed “Formation” on the Super Bowl halftime show; it is the lead single from her latest studio album, Lemonade.
The new Entertainment Lions for Music recognizes original production, promotion or distribution of music for brands and creativity where music is at the core, recognizing original production, promotion or distribution of music for brands and creativity where music is at the core. The category received 636 entries, resulting in 32 Lions and a dual Grands Prix (the second was awarded to “Home for Christmas” a branded short film with an original composition for Edeka Zentrale & Co by JUNG von MATT).
Entertainment Lions for Music jury president Josh Rabinowitz, EVP/director of music, Grey Group, told SHOOT on Friday, “The video is so compelling that it not only succeeds in demanding your attention, but also helped to establish Beyoncé as an artist who pushes the boundaries of creativity and challenges the archetypal pop star image.”
“Jeff’s work on ‘Formation is exceptional even given the standard set by his previous work,” said Bonch founder/editor Jarrett Fijal. The Formation video combines original and documentary footage, touching on Hurricane Katrina, antebellum and Louisiana Creole culture, racism and police brutality. It is rich with powerful imagery, from Beyoncé lying on top of a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in a flooded street and a young hooded boy dancing in front of a line of police officers, to dance routines, and appearances by New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia and the late YouTube personality Messy Mya, who was murdered in New Orleans in 2010.
“Melina’s vision always involved a synthesis of song and story intercut with existing footage,” said Selis, who was on set during the shoot. “At the same time, the shoot was fluid. For example, an impromptu dance with Bey in a hallway evolved into a very powerful highlight.” Matsoukas sent an early cut to Beyoncé, who loved it and came in to spend a day with Selis at Bonch. Beyond the melding of looks, locations, choreography and documentary footage, Selis said the team was very conscious of the powerful messaging inherent in the song and video. “We knew there was a tipping point out there with the subject matter, but you never know what the reaction will be,” he said.
Selis has spent two decades in the field he describes as a “beautiful accident. I started in photography and discovered the Avid as a means of creating visual poems and playing with images. Someone asked me to cut a music video, then a commercial, and years later, they keep asking.” Previously at Room in Venice, Selis joined Bonch Post in 2008. “I love being part of Bonch,” he concluded. “It’s relaxed, artistic and communal, with a very cool vibe. It’s home.”
Selis edited Beyoncé’s video for 2014’s “Pretty Hurts”. That video was directed by Matsoukas, for whom Selis just completed Stella McCartney’s new Pop perfume global campaign starring Grimes, Kenya Kinski-Jones, Amandla Stenberg and Lourdes “Lola” Leon, the eldest daughter of Madonna. Other recent work edited by Selis includes an Anthony Mandler-directed spot for Joe’s Jeans, starring model Bella Hadid.
About Bonch Post
Founded by editor Jarrett Fijal in 2007, Bonch Post is a full-service boutique providing offline editorial, color correction and finishing. A roster of distinctive talent combined with a warm, collaborative environment have made Bonch the go-to post house for Beyoncé, Lady GaGa, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, and others. Over the past few years, Bonch’s repertoire extended to high-profile commercial projects, including the Sans campaign with David Beckham via AR New York (directed by Anthony Mandler), the latest spot campaign for Stella McCartney’s Pop perfume (directed by Melina Matsoukas), and the acclaimed short film,“Time” (directed by Floria Sigismondi) for Saatchi Saatchi. Multiple winners of the MTV VMA for Video of the Year have been cut at Bonch Post, which is also a three-time winner of the Moonman for Best Editor.
In addition to Fijal, the Bonch roster is comprised of editors Marissa Charlwood, Chris Davis, Chip Eddy, Steve Forner, Jeff Selis, Adam “Zuk” Zuckerman, and colorists/finishers Kevin Kim and Bill Pollock. Jeff Weidemann is Executive Producer at Bonch Post.