"Even Better Than the Real Thing" (Version 1) [03:41]
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Filming of the main video for “Even Better than the Real Thing” took place in London between February 11 – 14th, 1992 in various locations in London, England with director Kevin Godley.
The first location for filming was a store called “Zoo” on London’s Carnaby Street, a well known shopping district. The shoot started that day around 6pm, and finished around 9pm on February 11. Footage was shot of both U2 performing the song in the store window as well as a band of lookalikes performing the song. These lookalikes were put together by U2, and used U2’s own instruments and actual Zoo TV stage clothing. There was one scene film that went unused of the Doppelgangers performing in the store window, while U2 looked on from outside the shop. The store, “Zoo” is no longer at that location, which as of this writing now houses a Nike store, and the window the band performed from is now mostly obscured.
On the 12th – 14th, the production moved indoors to Pinewood Studios, where the scenes of U2 performing the song in a big open room were filmed. This is also where the special effects of the video camera circling around the band were realized. There were dancers hired, and filmed for the video, but they were cut out of the video in the final mix, but some footage of the dancers remains in the “Even Better than the Real Thing (The Perfecto Mix)” video.
The band of Doppelgangers [web | facebook] put together by U2 for this video continued together as a tribute band, and worked with U2 a second time for a ZooTV global broadcast. The doubles for each member of U2 were found through a UK radio broadcast which requested U2 fans to audition as look-alikes for a part in the video. The group met as part of the filming of the video. It was Bono himself that suggested the name for the band.
The footage of U2 performing is cut with video footage from a variety of sources. It includes images of the Beatles, Prince, a variety of television footage, ZOO TV coverage in newspapers, Johnny Rotten, random words across the screen, the former porn star turned politician Cicciolina marrying artist Jeff Koons, and a clip from the documentary “Trabantland” and Elvis Presley. It ends with a black screen with the words “Watch More TV” in white.
The video first aired on MTV the week of June 10, 1992.
This video won an MTV award for best special effects.
Many thanks to Paul Alley of the Doppelgangers for the information he’s been able to provide for this article.
Video Shooting Locations
Additional Screen Captures
- Directed by Kevin Godley