Teyana Taylor’s lioness scene in ‘Fade,’ millennial video director explains

Teyana Taylor MTV 2

Eli Russell Linnetz, 24, is the genius behind the awe-inspiring visual for Kanye West’s single ‘Fade’ that made its world premiere during Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. Social media sites were lit as the baby oiled goddess showcased her amazing physique. Taylor and her fiancé Iman Shumpert welcomed their newborn daughter, Junie, in December 2015. It’s been only nine months and Taylor is in the best shape ever. Both make a cameo in mommy’s #breaktheinternet video.

Teyana Taylor MTV 3

Back the video. Director Linnetz, a University of Southern California graduate and former assistant to gifted writer David Mamet, tells the New York Times, he’s currently doing his “one-year artist residency with Kanye.” The director of fabrication for West’s “Famous” video received a call from Yeezy the Saturday night before the live airing of the MTV VMAs that the video would premiere. Hooray…well, yikes! The video was unfinished.

“I just got an email from Kanye super late at night … “saying, ‘I want you to direct ‘Fade.’ Space, space, space. ‘Teyana Taylor dancing. Iman Shumpert.’”

On why Kanye chose to use Teyana, Iman and Junie…

“That was what made him decide to use Teyana in the first place. They had been talking, and he and Kim have that relationship as well — they’re so in love and best friends. That was the most important thing for me, to show this couple in a powerful way. Especially Teyana. She became this powerhouse mother figure — a woman who just had a baby a few months ago. Iman almost becomes a prop — usually it’s the other way around,” he tells the NYT.

Teyana Taylor MTV

And about that lioness face…

“Kanye and I had worked a lot with prosthetics, with people who work for Rick Baker, who did some of the most famous effects of our time. We had worked with those people on “Famous,” so we wanted to continue that language in a new way. The last image is foreshadowing bigger things to come, which you guys will find out about soon enough,” he tells the NYT.

Yvette Caslin
Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.



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