Tori on MTV Artist Cut
May 2 & 14, 1998

Tori's "Spark" video was featured on the MTV Show Artist Cut on May 2, 1998 and May 14, 1998 (and likely other dates as well.) I saw this because it was shown just minutes before MTV 1515 came on May 2nd. This is a show where the artists talk about making the video while they're showing the video...Tori talked about the making of "Spark". This speech was not the same one we heard on MTV Live a week earlier, though it was similar in content. I now a transcript of what Tori said about the "Spark" video on this program.

Many thanks to Melissa Fehr for the almost-complete transcript and Mary Riley for the commentary that follows.

Transcript Of What Tori Said While The Video Was Playing:

-- She really wanted to work with James Brown, but he came up with an idea that she didn't like, and she told him she wanted to do something "where a girl has a will to live"...

-- "The video was shot in Darmorth(?), which is in Southern England. The shoot was three days."

-- Talking about her character in the very beginning, when she's getting up off the ground: "You don't really know what's going to happen to her, but that's not the point. She's trusting her instincts in a way she never has before, she's finding something in herself she never knew even existed."

-- "The man who's trying to find me, probably is the driver. You don't really know too much about him, but you know she's got to get away from him."

-- "The water shot - it was about an hour and a half. It was 5:30 at night, and the sun was going down. [switches to up-close shot where she wriggles from the blindfold] Here, right here, I'm in a different water tank, and they had me swimming around for a while trying to get close-up shots."

-- About the overhead shot where we see "Tori" running along the banks of the river directly after the water sequence: "Well, that was my double, right there. She was walking in a forest while I was shooting all this, because it took hours to get those two seconds."

-- "I had changes of clothes - I had wet clothes and dry clothes, and in the middle of the forest the girls would stand around me in their parkas and I'm putting the wet clothes on and putting on the muddy clothes to get the right outfit at the right time."

-- the car at the end: "Here, these two are brother and sister, and they're in the album artwork, where they look like angels in the artwork [ed note: I looked and couldn't find this in ftch! is it in the spark liner notes, maybe??], although here they're very much like the Village of the Damned. You don't know what's going to happen to this girl, but she has a will to live--"

Mary Riley comments on the show:

So I flipped past mtv and saw "spark" and it turned out it was artist cut, where the artist talks about the video. Unfortunately I missed the first half of the video. Here's what I recall:

Tori explained that she had 2 sets of clothes, one wet & one dry, and had to keep changing out in the middle of the woods and the girls would open their parkas around her while she changed. The overhead tracking shot of her running is actually a double. The two blondes in the car, she said, are brother and sister and they're in the album art as "kind of angels" (I assume these are the ones standing behind her in the non-photocopier pix) but here they're more sinister. She says at the end of the video that you really don't know what's going to happen but that it's clear the character has a will to live and that she likes her because of that.

Comment of my own: tori in a recent article expresses surprise that some people are interpreting "you say you don't want it again and again but you don't, don't really mean it" as being about rape rather than pregnancy. She says she doesn't see how people would get that from the song...I suspect it's the video that's giving people that connection, particularly if they don't know the song's backstory and do know about tori's rape experience...the video is clearly about a woman who's been abducted by a psycho of some kind, and it's not hard to read rape into that. I actually found the video really disturbing the first time I saw it, due to my own rape/incest experiences, but now like it because I've found a way to watch it that's comfortable & positive for me. In case others are also having problems with this I'll share it...this is just a metaphorical way of seeing it, I don't think this is "what it really means" or what have you. Anyway I look at the video as being a metaphor for the healing journey of a rape or incest survivor. She begins bound & in darkness/blind, and starts running even though she can't see where she's going --beginning the journey out of necessity and with no clue where it will lead. She gets bumped and bruised along the way due to her blindness and her hands being tied. Then she falls into water, which in dreams tends to represent emotion, and while it almost drowns her and shocks her system, it also enables her to see again. After this she's able to run more effectively, but her hands are still tied: she's not fully mobile but she's making progress. She's well away from the car by the time it blows up...she escaped from the most dangerous place but she's still not out of the woods, literally or metaphorically. She manages to stop people & ask for help but they're not interested in helping her/hearing her story, so she's abandoned & shocked, the journey has to continue and she still has only herself to rely on. But she's already come farther than anyone would have expected, particularly the creep who put her in this there's a kind of triumph in that. And although we don't know if she'll make it, we know she'll keep trying.

Well that's my little alterna-reading of the video, hope you don't think I'm crazy now! :-)

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