Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Behind The Scenes: 'If I Could Turn Back Time' Music Video

Cher in her 'If I Could Turn back Time' music video
We hear from one man who was present during the filming of Cher's iconic 'If I Could Turn Back Time' music video.

Just a few days ago, Cher tweeted that she was on the search for a director for the music video to her upcoming single - the name of which has yet-to-be-revealed. It will be her first music video since 2002's 'Song For The Lonely'.

On the social networking site, she said, "Starting to look for directors for first video. It's Been a long time, I forgot all the work that needs to be done! I hope Its good! I think the song is my best single since 'Believe'. You'll tell me".

Arguably, Cher's most famous - or some would say infamous - music video is the one for her 1989 worldwide hit 'If I Could Turn Back Time'. I could write of what the content of the video is but if you've never seen it, you're probably on the wrong site. Whilst it's a hugely popular music video - with soon-to-be 10 million views on YouTube - its filming isn't something that has been much documented.

Luckily, we have the interesting words of Bill Genereux (below left), taken from his blog 'Techintersect', who was there when the music video was shot.

Bill was lucky enough to capture those images of Cher on the day of the filming. However, he regrets not having enough film in his camera on the day. Now whilst most fans of Cher - well, most of the public - would jump at the chance of being in a Cher music video, it wasn't top priority of the majority of the tired sailors who ended up in the video.

Genereux said, "I found these old photos I made in 1989. If I could turn back time, I would have had more film in my camera on the day Cher came to make her infamous music video on the USS Missouri. I was the duty Master-At-Arms that evening. Almost everyone who did not have duty left the ship because they knew they would probably be recruited into being in the video. And they were right!

I had the dubious task of going around the ship that night and waking up every sailor I could find to order them to put on their whites and get up on deck to be in the video. There were some grumpy sailors that night. You would think that there would be a lot of sailors wanting to be in a music video, but that wasn’t really the case. In fact, there were so few of us, they had to herd us around from shot to shot, just to make it look like we were a big crowd"

Genereux shared that the participating sailors wound up enjoying the experience, though as he says, filming a music video is hard work.

He said, "The sailors who did participate wound up having a pretty good time with it, but making videos is tedious, hard work. We listened to that song over and over and over, filming take after take after take! Little did we know that the Navy would catch a lot of flack over the whole thing. Just remember that MTV wound up airing it only after 9pm since it’s pretty racy. One good thing that came from it was the Mighty Mo always had a perfect breakaway song for underway replenishment that was used until the ship was decommissioned."

Genereux could never see his face in the finished video and explains why we'll just have to take his word for it that he was there during the night of filming.

"I know what you are thinking, and no I never could see my face in the final video. The only thing I have to prove I was there that night are these few photographs, and since I was behind the lens instead of in front of it, even they don’t even prove anything either", he wrote.

Cher in her 'If I Could Turn back Time' music video
One man who has clear proof that he was there during the filming is the sailor who slides down the ramp behind Cher in the video.

Genereux shares, "I don’t remember any fallout from the sailor sliding down the ramp behind Cher. I was the duty MAA that night, and there weren’t any reports filed that I recall. I used to know the young man’s name, but I’ve forgotten it now. He was an SH who ran the Big Mo Snack Bar. If I look in the cruise book, I know I can find him."

Once a holder of an autographed copy of 'Heart of Stone' with the original artwork, Bill reveals that his copy got stolen. He has since thought about contacting Cher over the situation.

He said, "My CD was stolen on the ‘Mo. I purchased another copy, but no autograph. I even had to by the international edition on e-bay since they pulled the original "Skull" album off of American shelves. I’ve thought about trying to contact Cher to plead my case for a new autograph, but figured it probably isn’t worth the trouble."

"I think Cher is a great entertainer, and has long been known for her over-the-top costumes. Right or wrong, on the day she reached the height of her costume craziness; the day she made the video that immediately comes to mind when you say "Cher Video," I happened to be there in person and I will never forget that day", he added.

The 'If I Could Turn Back Time' music video:

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