Director David Dobkin Shows Maroon 5 His ‘Wedding Crashers’ Tricks In New “Sugar” Video

If you’ve seen the latest Maroon 5 video  “Sugar” you might notice it’s similarity to the 2005 romantic comedy The Wedding Crashers, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as two dashing rogues who sneak into nuptials in search of lovelorn bridesmaids. While Maroon 5’s goals are far more noble —to rock strangers’ weddings with an impromptu performance— the similarities are little coincidence as both were directed by Hollywood veteran David Dobkin. Dobkin, who got his start in music videos before going on to direct such features as last year’s The Judge and 2011’s The Change-Up, has known Maroon 5 singer and The Voice star Adam Levine since before he found fame. Find out the inside story on the new video and why the experience was the most fun the director has ever had as a filmmaker.

How did you come to direct the video for “Sugar”?

David Dobkin: I’ve known Adam for over a decade. I met him before the first Maroon 5 album came out. My wife’s parents are best friends with his grandparents and I spend Christmas with him every year. So we’ve known each other for a long time and always talked about doing something together but were never able to get our schedules lined up. And then I was in Rome for the premiere for my last movie (The Judge), he shot me an email saying “Hey man are you available in November to do a video” and I said “Yeah!”

How does the video ties in with the movie The Wedding Crashers, which you directed?

We were bouncing around some ideas and I knew I wanted it to be about his connection with his audience. That was important. I wanted elements of real people and L.A., a hometown thing with driving and a lot of movement and some dancing. Then the idea came up of, what if they went to real weddings and showed up as the surprise wedding band? He loved that idea. And look, for 10 years everyone asks me to do something related to that movie. (laughter) I’ve never wanted to go back there, just because it’s something that worked so well. But we locked in on this idea and thought it would be great. And then it was like, holy shit, how do we pull this off?

So how did you pull it off? You were literally crashing weddings.

It was pretty intense. I was like, nobody can know, but then I realized, one person is going to have to know. I didn’t want the brides to know so we talked to the grooms. Until the week before, the groom didn’t even know who the band was.  We said, this is a Grammy award winning top 10 band. We’re coming to your wedding and here’s how it’s going to work. I realized there had to be a reveal. That moment of recognition, that’s the juice. So I need them to be behind a curtain and the curtain drops and it reveals them. I had to design and build this thing that was like a pop-up tent and then you could press a button and the curtain drops. It sounds simple but it took us the better part of a month to figure it out. It was just a nightmare. Then I got to all the wedding planners around L.A. and had to go to all the venues to see how we could infiltrate them without anyone knowing. There was only going to be a 20 minute window for us to sneak in, pop up the tent, and get the band in without anyone noticing them. I had 6 cameras set up and dressed as if they were in the wedding. You really only have one shot at this. It ended up being 7 or 8 weddings, all in one day, some day, some night.

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