“It kinda just shows a story of humanity and of empathy…
It’s kind of a learning lesson all around.”
– Justin Bieber
“Hold On” Music Video Co-Star / Actress Christine Ko (Dave)
Describes Improvising Intimate Scenes With Bieber
Moments After First Meeting On Set And More
Global superstar Justin Bieber and his team of collaborators behind the new “Hold On” video have partnered with Vevo to reveal everything you didn’t know about the song and video’s daring creation process exclusively for Vevo Footnotes.
Watch “Justin Bieber – The Making Of ‘Hold On’ | Vevo Footnotes”
The “Hold On” video’s co-star, Christine Ko, known for her role as Emma on FXX’s Dave, describes preparing for the shoot and what it was like meeting Bieber on set for the first time before having to play incredibly vulnerable characters. It’s revealed that there were no rehearsals beforehand, and Ko and Bieber improvised all of their lines during one pivotal scene.
Award-winning director, Colin Tilley, whose first production with Bieber dates back ten years ago with “Never Let You Go,” talks about the phone call he received from Bieber in which the video’s concept was born. The “Hold On” video is inspired by three iconic movies, and Motorcycle stunts were performed by Bieber himself for an authentic pull at viewers’ heart-strings.
Below is a complete outline of “The Making of ‘Hold On’ | Vevo Footnotes,” including key insight from others involved and information about a scene that resulted in Bieber’s cinematographer in the hospital with 14 stitches.
(0:06) Narration: “Hold On” is the latest collaboration between director Colin Tilley and Justin Bieber.
(0:13) They developed the video’s concept over a phone call.
(0:22) Colin Tilley: “Justin called me and said he wanted to do something action-packed with motorcycles, but also pull on the heartstrings.”
(0:32) Narration: They were inspired by the movies The Place Beyond the Pines, Good Time, and Hell or High Water.
(0:38) Justin Bieber did all the motorcycle stunts himself.
(0:57) The video stars Christine Ko, who you might recognize from the TV show, Dave.
(1:04) There were no rehearsals before filming. Christine met Justin right before shooting this scene.
(1:09) Christine Ko: “We really had to jump right into being incredibly vulnerable with each other…
(1:15) He emphasized how much he wanted to tell this story so people don’t give up hope no matter what difficulties life hands them. That really spoke to me.
(1:20) I knew we were both on the same page with the story we wanted to tell.”
(1:30) Narration: Justin and Christine improvised all the lines in the doctor’s office scene.
(1:36) Justin created the song with long-time collaborators Andrew Watt and Lou Bell.
(1:43) Andrew Watt: “We had a conversation about compassion and forgiveness and how that starts from within. That became the basis for ‘Hold On’.
(1:49) Justin and I then got together with Ali Tamposi, Lou Bell and Jon Bellion to make the top line and concept come to life.
(1:53) “It was a very emotional and rewarding experience for all of us.”
(2:02) Narration: Jon Bellion and Andrew Watt were also producers and writers on Justin’s previous single “Anyone.”
(2:10) Ali Tamposi: “Justin’s skill encourages his collaborators to push beyond their limits of what they think is possible sonically.”
(2:15) His openness and vulnerability make it an absolute pleasure to help craft his story.
(2:19) To watch him work is to watch one of the truly great musical minds, and his passion reminds us all of why we love music.”
(2:30) Narration: To prepare for her role, Christine watched the films Blue Valentine, 50/50, and A Walk To Remember.
(2:52) Colin Tilley: “My grandmother just got diagnosed with very bad cancer and only has so much longer to live. It’s been on my mind and affecting me heavy, so of course this storyline came up.”
(3:12) Justin Bieber: “It kinda just shows a story of humanity and of empathy…It’s kind of a learning lesson all around.
(3:17) Although it may seem like there are these last resorts, let’s not cave into those things and let’s trust God that he’s going to handle the situation.”
(3:36) Narration: The cinematographer crashed through the window at the bank with the camera to get this shot and had to get 14 stitches.
(4:02) If you look closely, Justin left a sweet note on the whiteboard in the hospital. You might be able to catch it at the end of the video.
(4:30) The makeup artists that covered Justin’s tattoos in the “Anyone” video were the same makeup artists that did Christine’s bald cap. It took 2.5 hours.
(4:47) Colin Tilley: “I think the most fulfilling moments for me are finding the human connection that feels real.”
(4:53) Justin and Christine had amazing chemistry on camera and there’s no better feeling as a director seeing that come alive on screen.”