Music Video of the Day: Call It Whatever by Bella Thorne (2014, dir. Mickey Finnegan)

I figured since I did Anger by Thor yesterday, I would jump forward about 30 years to a music video just as cheesy that I still enjoy regardless.

I think director Mickey Finnegan did this perfectly. The songwriters also deserve credit. Lets face it. Bella Thorne can’t sing to save her life. She also can’t do dramatic acting. However, she is funny. One of the things that made The Duff (2015) so bad was that Bella Thorne was criminally underused. The few minutes where she shows up to push around Mae Whitman–who is about 10 years her senior in real life–made me laugh, which is more than I can say for the rest of the movie. She’s funny. I think this music video is a great example of working around an artist’s limitations and playing off their strengths instead of trying to make them something they aren’t, like Hailee Steinfeld in Starving.

The diner is Cadillac Jack’s Diner in the San Fernando Valley and is part of a structure that includes The Pink Motel, a drive-in, a pool, and other easily identifiable structures. The same diner used in at least Want U Back by Cher Lloyd, Fuck You by CeeLo Green, La Da Dee by Cody Simpson, Free by Haley Reinhart, and Candy by Mandy Moore. There’s probably a good reason that diner has been reused so many times. Want U Back, Fuck You, and I Feel Everything all used the same location services company called The Pink Motel. There are other music videos that use the same sets next to the diner as well such as Good Girls (Don’t Grow On Trees) by Cris Cab feat. Big Sean and Wyclef Jean and Let’s Get It Crackin by Deuce. The drive-in was used by Neon Trees for their song Everybody Talks, which is also the Drive-In from Guys My Age by Hello Violet. The motel even got its own movie back in 1982 called The Pink Motel. It was used in Drive (2011), The House Bunny (2008), House of Sand and Fog (2003), Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), The Whole Ten Yards (2004), Grease 2 (1982), and many other places, including an episode of The Rockford Files and MacGyver. The more I look, the more things I find were shot at this placed that at least in the case of the diner, opened in 1946.

You can read more about them here. Someone compiled a little history and list of places, with screenshots, of films and television shows that have used the location. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for them in music videos from now on. It seems to be the Tommy-Verse of music videos.

I was able to find quite a few people who worked on this music video. I have included them in the tags. The noteworthy ones are Luga Podesta, Brandon Bonfiglio, and Trevor Durtschi who have each worked on 100+ music videos.


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