Making its premiere on an unheard of 24 hour loop on a billboard in Times Square, David Dobkin’s latest video for Maroon 5 “Don’t Wanna Know” is completely different than anything the band has ever done…in the best way.
After his buzz-worthy, Wedding Crasher inspired video “Sugar”, David Dobkin’s creative vision paired with Maroon 5’s charm proved iconic. We sat down with David to talk about his longstanding relationship with Adam Levine, how the concept behind “Don’t Wanna Know” came to life and why he thinks everyone should just have more fun.
Last year you charmed the world with your first video for Maroon 5 “Sugar”- one of the most watched music videos of all time, with over 1.5 billion views on Youtube alone. What was that experience like and did you expect such huge engagement?
It was amazing. Adam and I had been friends for a long time and had talked about collaborating for 10 years at that point. When our schedules finally lined up, I really wanted to create something that would capture Adam’s warm personality. He really is the most genuine, grounded guy.
The idea came from a mix of putting celebrities in contact with real people and the theme of Wedding Crashers. At first, when my wife mentioned the merging of the two I rolled my eyes but then it really became something!
I had that feeling when everything just clicks. I knew that because it was so human and emotional, and had such energy that people would connect with it. And all those reactions were authentic! I know people said “Oh no way that’s real!” But that’s what’s so great about this video; it was so pure.
It’s a classic for sure. Now you just released the video for “Don’t Wanna Know”. Tell us about the shoot!
Adam had such a huge trust in me creatively with “Sugar” that really allowed for this video to happen. It took 14 weeks from start to finish- longer than any commercial or video shoot I’ve ever done. We played around with 3 or 4 ideas for a while, but it just wasn’t quite right…until we found this one.
So where did this concept come from? What do you hope people take away from the video?
My wife actually mentioned to me one day, “You know, the kids are really into these characters from video games,” and that’s when it came to me- what if the band members were video game characters being chased around and captured? What if all of it is a metaphor for fame?
The concept was really exposing for the band and it was a huge idea. But I knew from the moment they put their costumes on, it would be so endearing and that people would appreciate them for going the distance. It’s completely insane, but I hope that fans will be tickled by it.
How did you determine which character was matched to each band member?
We designed each character based on each individual member; what they liked, what they did, what they wanted to be. We wanted the characters to be an extension of the band, and I think they all really fit. This video also allowed for each member to be a part of the story, which is so cool. It’s so different from what Maroon 5 usually does, since they’re known for being cool and sexy. I wanted them to take a risk, and in the end I think they enjoyed it.
If you had to describe the “Don’t Wanna Know” video in 3 words, what would they be?
Have More Fun. With everything really, this video is just fun. There’s no commercial premise of this video, just what we create is what we create. It made us laugh, and I hope that it will make others laugh too.
Watch the contagiously playful new video for Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” above, and see more work from David Dobkin here.