Lady Gaga’s ‘Til it Happens to You’ Co-Writer, Director Describe Song’s Power
When Lady Gaga shared the video for "Til It Happens To You," a song that chronicles the hell of sexual assault, it needed no explanation. Still, the producers, actors and minds behind the project are now proud to speak up about what they hope is its enduring impact.
In the behind-the-scenes clip above, video director Catherine Hardwicke, song co-writer Diane Warren and more sort through the message of the song, which was written in support of Kirby Dirk's Hunting Ground documentary. And co-producer Bonnie Greenberg, for one, is confident that its significance is clear from the very beginning.
"The way Gaga sang the first verse of the song, it captured that loneliness so perfectly," she says. "It was really vulnerable and fragile."
The video moves on to address three separate cases of assault—one that involves a trusted friend, one that's the result of a hate crime and a third that centers on the use of date-rape drugs. At first, the victims impose a sort reclusion upon themselves to sort through the shame, but soon, they reclaim their self-worth, and stand back up in solidarity.
"As the song builds, [Gaga's] getting just pissed off, and at the end of the video, [the actors are] all proud and walking out arm-in-arm—vulnerable, yet it's defiant," Warren says. "And those notes that she hits at the end!"
And when the song's over, producer Nicole Ehrlich hopes you're inspired to make positive changes.
"The number-one things that I want people to take away from this project: be a leader, not a follower, be the hero, be the good friend, make good decisions and value everyone's life," she says.
Watch the behind-the-scenes clip—as well as the finished project—above, and tell us if you think this team achieved what it set out to achieve.
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