Spike Jonze has been one of my favorite directors from a really young age, for both music videos and features. On top of that, the level to which I was obsessed with Weezer in high school was insurmountable. I had every album in my CD case, posters above my bed, and pictures of Rivers Cuomo on my binders. I think an homage to both of these ‘90s giants was going to have to come out of me at some point. And I love the story of the original video—that Weezer had to shoot a video for “Undone—The Sweater Song,” but they completely shut out all video treatments that had anything to do with sweaters. So the genius Spike Jonze pitched a treatment that was something along the lines of “What if it was a single shot of the band playing and a bunch of dogs run through the set?”
The band decided to go with this. Apparently it was a really long day of shooting, and because of the single take, they had to do it over and over until the band just got exhausted and they stopped being serious altogether.
We assigned each band member to their Weezer alter-ego, and told them to memorize what each person was doing at various points in the song. Unlike the original video, we didn’t have to bother taking the shoot seriously from the start, so apart from basic things we were imitating (halfway through the song, the bassist just gives up and sits down on the floor, the drummer starts running around his kit and up the wall at the end, Rivers only bothers to strum with one hand, etc). No one was really worried about nailing the takes. We had a lot of room to play.
Finally the dogs were the biggest question mark. We’d asked a bunch of friends if we could borrow their dogs, but didn’t have a lot of luck. Luckily, my roommate alerted me to this service in the city called “Puppy Party” where you can rent a bunch of puppies for corporate events or private parties. It was the best day ever when they arrived on set. Everyone was just so happy. We only had to do about 8 takes, but at the end of each one, the puppies would be all over the place and we had to yell to the cast and crew, “EVERYONE GRAB A PUPPY!!” Then we’d start over.