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POP EYE

October 25, 1987|PAUL GREIN

SEX SELLS: Video director Marty Callner caused controversy earlier this year when his video for Heart's power ballad, "Alone," focused on Nancy Wilson's cleavage. He has also made a string of provocative clips for Whitesnake that feature sexy Tawny Kitaen, girlfriend of the group's David Coverdale.

But Callner has outdone himself with his newest clip for MSG's rocker, "Gimme Your Love." Callner auditioned 500 young women--aged 17 to 25--before narrowing it down to 12. He then taught them how to operate video equipment and shot them making a video of the band.

"No question about it, I like girls," said Callner. "I was going to do just the cameraman as a girl, but I couldn't find any girl--or any woman I should say . . . no, these are girls --that I thought could carry a whole video like Tawny Kitaen does for Whitesnake. So I decided to make the whole crew girls."

Callner noted that his videos are usually about sex and power. "That's what I think rock 'n' roll is about," he said. "That's what kids relate to. Hopefully we're not gratuitous about it. I'm not really the Russ Meyer of rock videos. I don't want you to think that it's sex for sex's sake--although it is and it isn't, if you know what I mean. It's not a lot of skin: It's all attitude."

Callner acknowledged that his clips have created controversy. "A lot of people didn't like the fact that Nancy Wilson was so sexy," he said. "But I think that's what most rock bands are about. It's a sexy business, rock music. It's a lot more fun than doing 'Camelot,' believe me."

And Callner should know. He directed "Camelot" and more than 100 shows for HBO before moving into rock five years ago with a video of Stevie Nicks' "Bella Donna" concert.

The 40-year-old L.A. resident said he likes rock better. "There are no rules in rock video," he noted. "You can experiment and play with film and have a good time. You can get as weird as you want.

"Rock videos should be nothing more than fun. I think it's all taken too seriously. If you try to make a movie in two days, you make a bad movie. That's something that Richard Harris told me once when I directed 'Camelot,' and I still carry that. It's important to be realistic in your goals. When you try to do it more for the art form of film making than for the interpretation of the song, you get in trouble."

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