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Elton John partners with YouTube to make videos for old songs

By | Published on Tuesday 13 December 2016

Elton John

Having diligently signed two open letters earlier this year calling on US lawmakers and then EU lawmakers to do something about the safe harbours exploited by fucking YouTube, Elton John has announced an initiative celebrating the 50th anniversary of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin backed by, well, obviously, fucking YouTube.

Budding filmmakers are being invited to pitch ideas for music videos for three of John’s songs, ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Bennie And The Jets’. The pitches will be judged by a bunch of YouTubers and industry execs, plus John and Taupin (who also signed the aforementioned safe harbour letters) with winning entries getting a budget and access to YouTube resources and the expertise of Pulse Films to bring their videos to life.

Pitches for the three videos must be, respectively, animation, live action and choreography based, though John himself won’t appear in any of them. The winning vids will be unveiled next summer. Say the competition’s organisers: “As these songs were released before the rise of the music video, this competition gives aspiring creators the once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase these best loved hits like never before”.

I’ve got a pitch. Picture this everybody. An aging scruffy creative type is aboard a small boat parked alongside a slick bright red yacht parked in, I don’t know, a very safe looking harbour. He’s among a small group of other scruffy creative types, all holding up angry banners and chanting angry chants.

Then, as the music soars, our scruffy creative type removes his scruffy coat to reveal the smartest tuxedo you’ve ever seen. At that very point the yacht’s owner invites our no longer scruffy creative type on board his vessel where they share a big fat birthday cake.

The piece ends with our hero tossing the crumbs left on the plate that held the cake he just ate in the general direction of his former colleagues on the protest boat. As they lurch forward to catch some of those crumbs, their boat topples over and they all drown. The end.

Anyway, here’s Elton John with a quote: “We’re excited to partner with YouTube to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling. YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can’t wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs”.

And here’s YouTube’s Vivien Lewit, who is BEYOND THRILLED. “This is a dream project that puts iconic music from a legendary artist in the hands of new creative talent, to reinvent these classic hits. We’re BEYOND THRILLED to partner with Elton John and Universal to enable this program and bring to life a new way for the passionate fan community on YouTube to experience these songs that have inspired generations”.

Good times. Full info at