“Elton John: The Cut” will launch on Dec. 12, 2016, with entries officially opening to the public on Jan. 9, 2017 (with submissions due by Jan 23). A panel of judges will select winners to create videos for John’s “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Bennie and the Jets.”
More info on the contest is available at thecut.eltonjohn.com. The competition for each song will feature different artistic elements: submissions for “Rocket Man” will feature animation; “Tiny Dancer” will be live-action; and “Bennie and the Jets” will feature choreography.
John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, together with a panel of YouTube creators and music-industry judges, will select the three winners, with the winning entries slated to premiere on YouTube in the summer of 2017.
“Elton John: The Cut” is open to anyone over 16, subject to local terms and conditions.
“We’re excited to partner with YouTube to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling,” Elton John said in a statement. “YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can’t wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs.”
YouTube will provide the three winners funding and use of YouTube Space facilities to create their Elton John videos. The production of the final music videos will be supported by Pulse Films, the studio behind Beyonce’s “Lemonade” film. YouTube will also grant $10,000 to the winning creators to support future video-based creative projects.
“This is a dream project that puts iconic music from a legendary artist in the hands of new creative talent, to reinvent these classic hits,” said Vivien Lewit, YouTube’s global head of artist content and services.
PES (Adam Pesapane), whose short films have garnered Oscars and Emmys nominations, will help select the final five entries for the animated video of “Rocket Man.” Others enlisted for the judging are YouTube filmmaker and musician Kurt Hugo Schneider (who has more than 7.8 million subscribers) and Parris Goebel, director and choreographer behind Justin Bieber’s “Sorry (Purpose: The Movement)” dance video.
Watch the announcement video from Elton John and Bernie Taupin: