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Choreographer Brian Friedman Shares Original Concept He Wrote For Britney Spears' "Toxic" music video


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Director, producer, and iconic choreography KING @brian friedman just posted his original concept he created for Britney’s Toxic music video on Instagram, which was originally released almost exactly 17 years ago on MTV’s Making The Video on January 13, 2004, costing $1 million to make and being Britney’s most expensive video to date at the time.

The video was directed by Joseph Kahn, who had just received his first Grammy in 2003 for directing Eminem’s “Without Me” video, and would go on to work with the likes of Janet Jackson, The Backstreet Boys, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and so many others. 

According to Friedman, there has been misinformation circling around the pop culture community about the music video’s origins, and he wants to set the record straight. Here’s what he has to say:

 

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He wrote this on his Facebook page:

Quote

Dear pop culture world,

It recently was brought to my attention that there is conflicting information regarding the creation of the Britney Spears music video "Toxic". I am here to set the record straight. I have found in my career that credit is something I have always had to fight for and that is a sad but true case. I am extremely proud of the work I have created over the years and I always give credit to everyone who works on every project I work on so I only ask the same in return.

I was called in early October 2003 by Kevin Tancharoen (Britney's Director at the time) to choreograph a medley of the songs "Slave 4 U" (which I originally choreographed with Wade Robson) & "Boys NERD Remix" (music video assisted by Tovaris Wilson) as well as a new song "Toxic" for an upcoming special being filmed at Gotham Hall in NYC. I was asked to come up with the creative for Toxic which I did. This was my first time back in the studio with Britney since working on the previous album/tour. I was assisted by my longtime friend Tovaris Wilson and it was an amazing experience! Following this performance Britney asked me to take over (again) as her resident choreographer. Shortly thereafter I received a call from Kevin and Britney saying that they loved what I came up with for the Gotham special and asked me to come up with a concept for the Toxic music video. On the call we agreed about the song having a 60’s espionage feel to it, and with that conversation and their trust I started brainstorming.

This was not the first video I wrote for Britney. While working on the Britney album I was asked to creative direct and write the music video treatments for “I Love Rock & Roll” and “Overprotected Dark Child Remix” which were both directed by Chris Applebaum. Having had that experience to draw from, I wanted to go bigger so I called upon my friend Caroline A Rice to join me as a writing partner. Although I was confident in my ideas, I knew the budget was huge and I didn’t want to disappoint in terms of my writing skills. Caroline came to my home in North Hollywood and we started the writing process and within hours the treatment posted here is what was created. Due to the time constraint, I shared this with Britney, Kevin and the management team the following day and they all loved it. Joseph Kahn was set to direct the video and I was told that he agreed to direct my treatment. What transpired between management, Britney and Joseph I do not know but Joseph was nothing but a pleasure on set and he allowed me to work by his side so that we could achieve everything that was in the treatment. I assumed Joseph knew it was my treatment… who else’s would it be. As you read the treatment you’ll see that there are some parts missing which were cut due to budget and also some scenes added such as Britney covered in crystals. That scene was Britney’s idea entirely. Any other additions were from Joseph. The casting changes made were also based on availability as well as Joseph & Britney’s preference.

I never thought I would have to go into such details to clear my name in regards to my own intellectual property. Sadly there are some Britney fans saying I am lying when it comes to writing this music video. I was sent interviews given by Kevin, Britney and even Joseph where stories conflict and what can I say to that? Absolutely nothing. Who knows what Joseph was told and maybe Kevin remembered things differently but with such a massive opportunity I was presented with, I would never forget an ounce of what happened. The assistant choreographer on the video Jennifer Fratarcangelo, my writing partner Caroline Rice and god all know the truth. I am not a liar and have no need to fabricate the truth. I am proud as hell of what I created and relish in the fact that the world loved it. Britney was genius in the video and brought those characters to life. Joseph directed the treatment and brought it past my expectations and I thank Kevin Tancharoen endlessly for bringing me back on the project! I have only love for everyone involved. I hope Britney’s fans can hear this without going into a spiral and sending more hate messages via social media but I know there will always be keyboard warriors.

I hope you enjoy reading this treatment as much as I loved writing it and seeing it to fruition.
Brian Friedman

 

As a fellow Exhaler, I found this super entertaining to read, especially the parts that didn’t make the video - (i.e. - Ashton Kutcher & Brad Pitt... the early-aughts fantasy we weren’t prepared for!) 

Most of us stans are aware of the Toxic origin story, but regardless, I appreciate that our king of flawless choreography is taking the time to make sure we are all well-learned in the subject of Toxicology. 
 

britney spears wink GIF
 

 

For a more detailed account of his story, visit his FB page, and to start your 2021 off right - watch the Toxic video below! 

tox.jpg

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That word document describing the video doesn't prove a thing.. even if he created the concept I'm pretty sure he was paid for that!! So, could he just stop doing this? He should get new projects

Why the hate for Brian?  There’s no hiding his talent. He was very close with Britney at one stage. He probably just enjoys reminiscing over the magic they once created. I don’t think he’s trying

He should go back to licking Beyonces *** saying shes the best he ever seen or some **** like that. Maybe she can hire him for a new project?  I know hes probably pressed with fans shading him an

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27 minutes ago, Blackout2006 said:

But wait, wasnt it Britney whom came up with the concept of Toxic? :umsaywhat_adele_hmm_umm_thinking_confused_unsure:

I remember watching Britney talking about how Joseph Kahn introduce her the idea, and how she wanted to do some superheroine thing with toxic and they match it up. 
Britney has never said  toxic mv was her idea but maybe even she thinks it was Joseph concept because she talk about it in for the record.

Joseph directed Toxic and womanizer

Womanizer mv concept is 100% Britney she came with the idea and Joseph developed so maybe it’s why some fans thinks toxic mv was Britney idea 

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Idk I’m not mad at him showing these treatments if in fact it was his idea. Etc Regardless If he created the concept cool But I hope he got paid. Lol 
 

but the reason that he’s sharing this ..like trynna prove to ppl is like uhhh this gonna open a can of worms not needed for him bc unfortunately some of the fan base is toxic. 

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He may have written the concept for the video, but what really made it monumental and elevated the concept to its final form was Britney's aura and charisma. She was the muse, the shell, the vehicle that managed to represent, showcase and carry Joseph and Brian's vision, imagination, creativity and cleverness, in the best way possible. Mainstream corporate pop music is a collaborative work, a popstar can't do it alone, that's just how it works in the industry. Everyone knows it. I get why he wants credit, who wouldn't want to be credited for one of the most memorable pop videos of all times?

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2 hours ago, Abraham_agx said:

I remember watching Britney talking about how Joseph Kahn introduce her the idea, and how she wanted to do some superheroine thing with toxic and they match it up. 
Britney has never said  toxic mv was her idea but maybe even she thinks it was Joseph concept because she talk about it in for the record.

Joseph directed Toxic and womanizer

Womanizer mv concept is 100% Britney she came with the idea and Joseph developed so maybe it’s why some fans thinks toxic mv was Britney idea 

So it was like 50/50 her idea but just not 100%?

“The one and only...Olive Oildrigo :yesplease_yas_agree_preach:

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9 hours ago, Codemysta90 said:

Director, producer, and iconic choreography KING @brian friedman just posted his original concept he created for Britney’s Toxic music video on Instagram, which was originally released almost exactly 17 years ago on MTV’s Making The Video on January 13, 2004, costing $1 million to make and being Britney’s most expensive video to date at the time.

The video was directed by Joseph Kahn, who had just received his first Grammy in 2003 for directing Eminem’s “Without Me” video, and would go on to work with the likes of Janet Jackson, The Backstreet Boys, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and so many others. 

According to Friedman, there has been misinformation circling around the pop culture community about the music video’s origins, and he wants to set the record straight. Here’s what he has to say:

 

As a fellow Exhaler, I found this super entertaining to read, especially the parts that didn’t make the video - (i.e. - Ashton Kutcher & Brad Pitt... the early-aughts fantasy we weren’t prepared for!) 

Most of us stans are aware of the Toxic origin story, but regardless, I appreciate that our king of flawless choreography is taking the time to make sure we are all well-learned in the subject of Toxicology. 

For a more detailed account of his story, visit his FB page, and to start your 2021 off right - watch the Toxic video below! 

 

9 hours ago, itsrichii***** said:

Was literally just about to post about this. Amazing piece of history! Pretty much the entire concept was used, except for THE iconic diamond scene which he said was BRITNEY's idea :P Such a queen! His entire instagram lately is polluted with crediting himself with Britney stuff, it seems a little bit bitter though. I don't know why I get this feel...does anyone else?

9 hours ago, Barajas said:

That word document describing the video doesn't prove a thing.. even if he created the concept I'm pretty sure he was paid for that!!

So, could he just stop doing this? He should get new projects instead of being so obsessed with Britney, she is not even working now!!

 

Move on man!

8 hours ago, Soysaucechicken08 said:

Idk I’m not mad at him showing these treatments if in fact it was his idea. Etc Regardless If he created the concept cool But I hope he got paid. Lol 
 

but the reason that he’s sharing this ..like trynna prove to ppl is like uhhh this gonna open a can of worms not needed for him bc unfortunately some of the fan base is toxic. 

6 hours ago, NotLouTaylor said:

He may have written the concept for the video, but what really made it monumental and elevated the concept to its final form was Britney's presence and charisma. She was the muse, the shell, the vehicle that managed to represent, showcase and carry Joseph and Brian's vision, imagination, creativity and cleverness, in the best way possible. Mainstream corporate pop music is a collaborative work, a popstar can't do it alone, that's just how it works in the industry. Everyone knows it. I get why he wants credit, who wouldn't want to be credited for one of the most memorable pop videos of all times?

5 hours ago, youngmenace said:

lmao he could have at least photoshopped a date on it 

And The choreography was STILL a collaboration between BOTH Friedman and Spears.

He didn't just come up with her to do the back-handspring step out for the laser scene on his own.

Hilarious articles on Britney's dancing - Entertainment Talk - Gaga Daily

Janet Jackson vs Britney Spears Back-Handspring

Janet Jackson vs Britney Spears Back-Handspring

At best, he observed that she had a history of doing the stunt before and included it in his treatment. 

Based on this, they have to SHARE credit for it.

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It’s a little too convenient that he made a fuss about this, and then how much time passed before he gave these “receipts”? 
 

I’m not saying he’s a liar, but it’s been long enough for him to go over the toxic video and type this up. 
 

and really, at the end of the day, who cares - this is kind of a sad ego boost over something that happened almost two decades ago. 

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Sorry but he’s so damn desperate to take credit for some for Britney’s legacy it’s actually disturbing at this point.

Anyone who’s been a lifelong fan of Britney knows exactly who she’s worked with and who gets credit for what. 

His little posts sharing stuff from the past was cute at first but now it’s pathetic. He’s bitter for some reason.staring britney spears GIF by FOX Teen Choice

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