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Channel Frederator Blog

Charlex & Jeff Stein: “You Might Think”

January 2nd, 2007

My wife was one of the great music executives of the music video era, and this video was her first big break out, in fact, the first “Video of the Year” (1984) at the MTV Video Music Awards (among the dozens of accolades it eventually received). Watching the crude –but yes, cool– James Brown video I worked on the same year made me look this one up.

Director Jeff Stein knew about the up and coming creative producers at Charlex (partners/founders Charlie Levi and Alex Weil) and knew they’d be right for The Cars. “The record company executive”, unlike many, was always looking for a fresh, new creative approach. Charlie and Alex were gaining a reputation in the advertising business for their creative use of video tools (a radical innovation in those 1980s) and also sensed the music video revolution would be a perfect showcase for their skills. My inside sources tell me they completely shut down their studios for the months it took to shoot and post the video, charged Elektra Records $80,000 (when the average video of the time was just inching above $30k) and gave the band a $1,000,000 film in the process. (And made Charlex famous in the process; I, for one among many, hired them many times based on this video).

I’m also here to tell you that we always meant our channel IDs to shine way above the band videos, but “You Might Think” and A-Ha cleaned our clocks.

I know this film isn’t the kind of animation we generally showcase here, but, it does set a standard we all aspire to. Congrats everyone.


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