Colin Tilley Speaks On Directing Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” & “The Boys” Visuals

October 18, 2014 by Danny M


Colin Tilley Speaks On Directing Nicki Minaj Anaconda & The Boys Music Videos

In a recent interview with XXL, music video director Colin Tilley spoke on directing Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda” visual and her “The Boys” visual featuring Cassie.

During the conversation, Tilley discussed coming up with the concept for the “Anaconda” video, breaking the VEVO 24-hour record with it, leaving out some crazy shots from the video shoot, and more.

Hit the jump to read what Colin said about the two Nicki music videos and click here to read what he said about shooting Young Money‘s “Senile” visual!


A lot went into that video. Nicki sent me that song two months before we even shot the video, and it was actually something completely different. I was living with that song. I would go to her house, we would talk about ideas. She’d talk about the way she wanted to look. All this stuff. Then a month and a half went by. “Damn, I guess I’m not doing this video, I’m not really sure what’s going on.” Then she hit me back and she’s like, “Yo, we just redid the song. I want you to check it out.” So I went through to the studio. She was in there with Da Internz and what not. And the song had just gone to a whole ‘nother level. I was like, “Oh, shit.” Any ideas I had before that, I threw out the window. Just ’cause it sounded so different. On some whole other shit.

I had a specific way I wanted to shoot Nicki for this. It was definitely all about female empowerment and making sure we capture the right dancers to surround her. As far as the world that I wanted to create with that video, I kept hearing all these crazy animal noises and all this shit. And I kind of got this jungle-y vibe.

I wanted this to be Gilligan’s Island meets the original “Baby Got Back” video. I wanted to still pay homage to the original “Baby Got Back” video with just the quirkiness and the way that they danced. I wanted to add the 2014 Nicki Minaj to it. I put the Gilligan’s Island twist to it, which I think really set it off. Since we shot that jungle setup, Nicki freaked out. “This is so sick.” Everybody was like, “This is definitely the tone we’re going for.” We shot for two days. We shot on a sound stage. We built all the sets. It was just about creating that lifestyle. The “Anaconda” lifestyle. The best dancing. Amazing shots of Nicki looking awesome.

They shot that cover image on set. I remember Nicki showing it to me and I was like, “Yo, that’s definitely the one.” And literally that night they put it out and obviously that went viral real fast. All this shit we shot the last two days, when we put this thing together, this thing is gonna go viral so fast. It’s ridiculous. While I was editing, I was like, “Oh my God, it’s about to go crazy.” Of course, when we released it, it broke the 24 hour record.

One of the sets we shot didn’t make the cut. Some crazy shots didn’t make the cut. But I think it all happened for a reason. I think that the way the end came out, I think it worked perfect for the general audience of the world. I think it got the point across perfectly. It almost would have been too much. It would have been too much for people to handle. Heads would have actually exploded.

The Boys:

It’s crazy. I just love creating these worlds. I wanted to create this ultra slick, poppy world that’s just filled with colors. And I wanted to make something that was girlie. Especially at that time, Nicki’s whole thing was pink and she had this pink stuff going on. I wanted to create pink sidewalks. I wanted all the outfits to be so outrageous and colorful and make it feel like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. So that was a huge inspiration behind that. Like, really going all out with the set builds. We spent like two days before we even shot, just building the set for the sound stage and lighting them a specific way. That was a really fun opportunity to just play around with. I love building sets from scratch and just being able to create custom worlds. You can’t recreate that.

I was able to paint these pictures in my head, what each of these places was going to look like. I was able to meet with my set designer, who was able to take my ideas, which would be like the huge polka dot balls in a polka dot room. Let’s do a force perspective, so everything feels bigger than it really is. “Alright, cool. We can do this, this and this.” This is actually logical without breaking your budget. You know, we just basically create the digital mock-up of what the sets are supposed to look like and then we took it to a bunch of construction people and built something. That’s always super fun to me; I love creating sets. Obviously, the energy between Cassie and Nicki is really dope. They are both so beautiful and having them in the frame together was pretty cool to see.

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5 Responses to “Colin Tilley Speaks On Directing Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” & “The Boys” Visuals”

  1. back on my bullish*t Says:

    i think the boys is a hotter video than anaconda


  2. BangBang Says:

    You don’t realise how much I want to Bang nicki in that position she is in the top pic


  3. dafuq Says:

    This probably gonna sound disrespectful but how is that anaconda video female empowerment? Is that the new way to empower women a bunch of girls shaking their ass to show how strong women are. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the video a lot but if I was to have a daughter one day I wouldn’t want her to think that the only way people will respect her is for her to shake her ass in front of the camera but that’s just the way I look at it I’m a little too high to be talkin bout this anyway.


  4. saeee Says:

    @dafuq ur obviously someone that wants to be a sexy woman that isnt



  1. Colin Tilley Discusses Directing Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” & “The Boys” Music Videos | Stunnalife - October 20, 2014

    […] Source Young Money HQ […]

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