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Madonna’s Burning Up Music Video

The Video, Credits & Info

Premiere: October 1983
Director: Steve Barron
Producer: Simon Fields
Director of Photography: King Baggot
Art Director: Julie Towery
Make Up: Debi Mazar
Stylist: Maripol
Cast: Madonna, Ken Compton
Production Company: Limelight Productions
Filming Location: Los Angeles

Video Facts

Steve Barron (director) on making the video:
“I didn’t like “Burning Up”. Not at all. But my partner, Simon Fields, said, “We’ve got to do this because it’s Warner Bros. and they think she’s gonna be massive.” I went to New York to meet her, begrudgingly, and showed up at an address in SoHo, which turned out to be a squat, basically. Madonna was scantily clad, working out to a massive disco track. She was charismatic. She kept putting her head down on the table and talking to me, very flirtatious, and that gave me the idea for the scene in “Burning Up” where her face is on the road, and the camera’s really low and close.”
One scene has Madonna lying down in a boat, a dangerous moment on the set that almost resulted in her death: “We nearly killed her,” Barron said. “We had this crane, which was a cherry picker-type thing, we had it out over a lake shooting her lying in a boat. I was asking for it to be directly over her, and the crane operator is pushing out over her, and when got directly over her, I look back, and the wheels had left the ground. We’re on the tipping point with this thing that’s basically eight tons of metal that’s sixteen feet above her face, and I yelled “Stop! Stop!” It stopped, it wobbled, and we slowly inched backward. Another move forward and it would have come crashing down. It definitely would have killed her.”
“Madonna had a fling with my partner Simon. Before we shot the video, she said, “Come on, we gotta go to Trashy Lingerie” — which was across from Simon’s flat — “and get some stuff for me to wear.” So she tried on lingerie for us. “Do you like it?,” that kind of thing. A week after the video, I rang up Simon at his flat. He had an answer machine, and the message said, very English: “This is Simon Fields, leave a message after the beep.” But this one day, the voice on the machine said, “Hi, this is Simon’s phone” — it was Madonna’s voice — “if you’re a guy, leave a message. If you’re a girl, f*** off.”