Beastie Boys — Sabotage. Story behind the video

The video today isn’t our format at all but it’s still a favourite because, firstly, it has lots of sound and lots of fury and, secondly, it was made quick and dirty, but with such a great result! For years, the loud Adam Horovitz from the restless Beastie Boys trio dreamed about a photo shoot where he and his colleagues would wear a police uniform from the 70s with all the features of the time: aviator sunglasses, a bushy moustache and a long wig. Spike Jonze, who fulfilled Horovitz’s dream, and also wore a moustache and a blond wig at the time of shooting, captivated the guys so much that they asked him to make a video for Sabotage.

“We’d done videos where the production people came up with these elaborate budgets, and it started to feel really awkward on the set,” confessed Adam Yauch, the one who gave the name to the triumvirate. “So we asked Spike to work with just a couple of people, so we could fit the whole production in one van. Then we just ran around L.A. without any permits and made everything up as we went along.”
Adam Horovitz, Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch. Photo by Spike Jonze

They wanted a spoof video with a low budget tinge, a style of another time and Dodge chases. The director would have kept to the budget if he hadn’t spilled water on the first rented camera, which he used to film underwater with only a sealed plastic bag to protect it :) It would have still been OK, but he smashed the second camera during high-speed filming, which made the initial budget three times bigger (Amount in words: eighty thousand dollars.)