Director Mark Pellington Details His Falling Out With Trent Reznor

Mark Pellington is a music video director most famous for doing Pearl Jam’s iconic “Jeremy” clip. He also directed the movies Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies, and more recently, he worked with Chelsea Wolfe on her short film Lone. In 1999, Nine Inch Nails hired him to make the video for “We’re In This Together,” the first single from their double album The Fragile. But when they were done shooting the video, Pellington and Reznor disagreed over which edit of the video to release. Both ended up putting out their own versions, and they haven’t spoken since. Pellington described the whole affair in a recent column for Alternative Nation; read some highlights below.

We got a call one day, “Oh, they want all the footage,” because the record was coming out. I could tell Trent was really nervous about how the record was going to do. This wasn’t the first time I had dealt with artists being really supportive of the video, then before it comes out they start to get a little bit nervous. I understand though, it’s their image.

So he re-edited it, and I’m like, “You can’t fuck this video up unless you really mangle the rhythm.” It wasn’t even like, “Oh, I want to put more me in there.” They re-edited it, and I will go on record as saying they mangled it. What was more disappointing was I didn’t hear from him. I had really felt like we had gone down this road together, and if you’re not happy with it, say you’re not happy with it and you want to change it. But to hear it kind of second hand was a little bit disappointing…

It was just disappointing. I ask somebody to do a song for a movie, and I end up not liking or using the song, I respect the artist and call them and tell them. “Fuck dude, I’m really sorry it didn’t work out. The song didn’t fit, your interpretation wasn’t right for it.” That’s just respect.

Read the whole column here.