Pearl Jam Classic Was Rejected By Major Director


Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” music video director Mark Pellington discussed at first passing on directing the video before changing his mind in a new Songfacts interview with Greg Prato.

“I got sent the track and actually passed on it in the beginning. It didn’t grab me immediately. Then, my producer was like, ‘Listen to it a little bit more.’ I did, and I talked to Eddie, and he explained to me the story of the kid in Dallas, which is a true story. I just dove in and put myself into it – put a lot of my own childhood junk into it.

I wrote this extremely long, very passionate, elaborate treatment… which I lost on my computer. But I had all my notes. So, in re-writing it, it became even more freeform, and then it became a little more impressionistic, but they went for it. I still have all my original note cards and stuff for that.

And then the shooting of it, they very much left me alone. We shot the band in England – shot three takes of Eddie singing, which was extremely intense. I still remember shooting it, and I remember his electrifying, intense, almost possessed passion in performing it. The band was like, ‘We don’t want to be in it,’ so I shot a little bit of multiple exposures of them – walking around and their faces being in it a little bit.”