The recently-departed George Michael was a huge star in the late 80’s, and it only made sense that a director of equal stature should direct the music video for his single “ONE MORE TRY”. Those duties fell to the capable hands of Tony Scott, fresh off his blockbuster success with 1986’s TOP GUN.
Shot on the 4:3 aspect ratio intended for television, the look of the music video bears Scott’s unmistakeable fingerprint. In a tone that evoke his gothic debut feature THE HUNGER, Scott films George Michael mainly in silhouette against blown-out daylight. Everything is draped in a colorless patina, with a cold, blue tone. All the furniture is covered in sheets, and the windows are dressed with billowing curtains. It’s so quintessentially Scott that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little bit.
What’s most interesting about the video is the camerawork, or rather, the lack of it. Scott frames a majority of the video in a wide, static full-body shot that’s held for two minutes before cutting away to a closeup. He uses said extreme close-up of George Michael’s too-perfectly manicured beard sparingly, and is quick to cut back out to the wide shot. This was a time when music videos as a medium were still being figured out, and what the proper format should be. The idea of “music video editing” hadn’t quite come into play, so many music videos (this one included) were content to simply be moody performance pieces. It’s a technique that serves to put more emphasis on the song and its lyrics, as well as the performer, rather than any flashy techniques.
Ultimately, it’s a very low investment in terms of Scott’s involvement; it most likely was a one day shoot that pocketed Scott a few thousand bucks without having to work too hard. It’s barely a blip in terms of his personal development, but it serves as further validation of his cache within pop culture.
“ONE MORE TRY” is available in its entirety via YouTube.