Backyard’s Kim Nguyen Gets Up Close And Personal With Music A-Listers For The MTV VMAs


Last Updated: August 25, 2014 5:04 pm GMT
(Los Angeles, California--August 25, 2014) Venice, CA-based Backyard director Kim Nguyen jumps inside the heads of some of the music industry’s finest in a star-studded campaign for the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. The spots feature poignant black and white close-ups of some of the 2014 show’s performing lineup, glimpsing into their headspaces as they anticipate the final moments before the show. From YouTube sensation newcomers 5 Seconds of Summer to former VMA-naysayer and Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine; to VMA vets Usher, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, Nguyen captures the jitters, frenzy and swagger that arise the moments before stepping on stage. The campaign reboots the 1980s “I Want My MTV” tag made famous by the Dire Straits/Sting song, with the artists taking their own unique approaches to demanding their MTV.

A mashup of the five individual videos craftily pumps up the cumulative excitement of all of the performers as they look forward to their moments onstage.

Australian youth pop band 5 Seconds of Summer is bursting with excitement as they take their viral success to the main stage with their debut MTV VMA appearance, while 17-time nominee, two-time winner Usher oozes with assured confidence as he prepares to rock the VMA stage for the second time. After taking home a moon man in 2004 for Best New Artist, Adam Levine is amped and ready to hit the VMA stage for the first time with Maroon 5. Veteran VMA performer Taylor Swift embraces the unknown excitement that the evening promises, while two-time winner Nicki Minaj requires her MTV with a healthy dose of sass and style.

To capture such extreme close-ups, Nguyen worked closely with the artists to ensure their comfort and confidence to allow them to delve into an introspective mindset with the camera sitting mere inches away from their faces. Following the shoot, Nguyen interviewed the musicians to probe into their past VMA experiences and expectations for this year’s show, providing audio that was juxtaposed against the portrait-style shots of the artists. “It was fun working with the various artists. Each was completely different and it was a different creative process with each one. Also, we had a great team, both on the production side and the MTV side, so it was fun and collaborative.”

Before helming last year’s hilarious and action-packed spot starring Channing Tatum and Rebel Wilson for the MTV Movie Awards, Nguyen spent four years prior to Backyard working as a writer/director in the MTV Promo department.

We are Backyard: a trusted production company, defined by genuine talent and driven by a commitment to deliver inspired creativity beyond expectations. With offices in Venice, New York City and Cape Town, Backyard utilizes its global reach to collaborate with top international clients from around the world.

Backyard is led by President/Partner Blair Stribley, Managing Director/Partner Chris Zander, VP/Executive Producer Kris Mathur, and Partner Tom Duff and his Partners at Optimus. Backyard takes pride in its down to earth team, and a collaborative approach that encourages loyalty and long-term relationships with clients.

For more information, please visit:

Client: MTV

Agency: MTV
Creative Directors, MTV: Amy Campbell, Richard Turley, Lu Chekowsky, Andy Ferguson
Art Director, MTV: Emily Keegin
Executive Producer, MTV: Kris Walter
Line Producer, MTV: Matt Sears

Production Company: Backyard
Director: Kim Nguyen
Executive Producer: Kris Mathur
Line Producer: Janie Brown Kelly
Director of Photography: Mihai Malaimare Jr

Editorial Company: MTV In House

Editors: Erik Carter, Padraic Dowd

Audio Design: The Lodge: Kevin Dawkins, Colin Thibadeau


© 2018 All Rights Reserved