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"Is Britney Spears' head superimposed onto someone else's body in the 'Piece of Me' music video?" A Redditor makes a case


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Popster to Popster 3,752

I'm just going to link the post (https://reddit.com/r/popheads/comments/n2np5p/is_britney_spears_head_superimposed_onto_someone/) but it's worth the read for this this gif alone

Edit: pasting in spoiler since it's not loading for some people

Spoiler

 

"First off, let me acknowledge I know this is weird. For more than a decade, I have often wondered whether Britney Spears' head was superimposed onto someone else's body in the Piece of Me music video. Every 16 months or so, I google it:

Britney Spears superimposed head on body piece of me music video

britney spears head body piece of me video site:reddit.com

is britney spears actually dancing in the piece of me video?

And I get no (quick) results of anyone wondering the same. So, today, I asked it in the r/popheads thread about her music videos. I've gotten mixed responses.

The Theory

Here's the thing: I don't think Britney Spears' head is superimposed on someone else's body the entire video. At most, it probably amounts to about 10 seconds total. It is only the dance sequence in the bathroom during the bridge — and it is only for specific dance movements.
Why Do I Believe It Could Happen

There are two reasons I buy into this premise:

  1.   Britney Spears, or her team, have been known to digitally edit her body in music videos. In 2013, the visual effects studio that worked on the Work b*ch music video released stills of how they airbrushed her body. This isn't shocking. This is probably true for literally every pop star.
  2.   This was Britney's comeback era. Before this, she was known for her incredible dancing. After this, we know her dancing has not been at the same level. This leads me to believe, for whatever reason — physical or mental — she wasn't up to the task for that dance number. This does not invalidate that she was a queen and always will be."

 

"Enough Talking. What's the Evidence?"

Spoiler

"For most of the Piece of Me video, Britney Spears does not dance. She stands. She walks a bit. She does a two-step here and there. It is not until the bridge of the song where the real dancing takes place. At about 2 minutes 13 seconds into the video is where we must focus our attention.

"What's the evidence?" you ask? How to convey a feeling, a vibe, a sense of disconnection, a glitch? I have no cold-hard facts. I have only GIFs and images of the most suspect moments.

I first had my suspicions in this moment, where in my opinion it appears as though her head is too big for her body. I call this the Jib Jab effect."

 

Spoiler

4gzla7ojojw61.gif

"It's especially that final shot, where her head just doesn't seem to be in that room or connected to that body. I wish I had the technical words to describe to you — Oh, you can clearly see the lighting is off because of ABC. It's definitely the unaccounted for pixels, which is an XYZ process. But I do not. It's just… off:

Issa feeling. You know?"

Spoiler

seqohymtojw61.png?width=497&format=png&a

 

"Then there's the part of the bridge that's the beat dropping. I think most people would say the following is just the lighting. Or maybe most people wouldn't think it's weird at all. Just that first shot:"

CONTINUED BELOW

Edited by GitHub
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Deactivated 14,311
2 hours ago, GagaSine said:

Idk but that video always felt low budget and messy to me :enigma:

And then find out it cost a lot because of the editing... 

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Popster to Popster 3,752
2 minutes ago, Bakugo said:

Gaga’s is in GUY as well... at least edited... 

I need to see a long form post with gif receipts :receipts:

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Just now, GitHub said:

I need to see a long form post with gif receipts :receipts:

It’s in the final room with the dancers - take a look for yourself, I don’t even need to prove it it’s obvious! :billie: it’s either edited or she has great body and face tape...

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Popster to Popster 3,752
3 minutes ago, Bakugo said:

It’s in the final room with the dancers - take a look for yourself, I don’t even need to prove it it’s obvious! :billie: it’s either edited or she has great body and face tape...

No I agree, I always thought that shot didn't look like her

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6 minutes ago, GitHub said:

No I agree, I always thought that shot didn't look like her

A mess! This britney one has me GOOPED

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Pop-a-911-ster 20,161
2 hours ago, Bakugo said:

It’s in the final room with the dancers - take a look for yourself, I don’t even need to prove it it’s obvious! :billie: it’s either edited or she has great body and face tape...

 

2 hours ago, GitHub said:

No I agree, I always thought that shot didn't look like her

 

2 hours ago, Bakugo said:

A mess! This britney one has me GOOPED

Holy sh!t is it the one with her long silver hair and she bats her eyelids? Always thought she looked so weird and almost Nicki Minajesque in there

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1 minute ago, DeanClownchester said:

 

 

Holy sh!t is it the one with her long silver hair and she bats her eyelids? Always thought she looked so weird and almost Nicki Minajesque in there

That’s the one! It’s so EDITED! 

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Popster to Popster 3,752
2 hours ago, Delusional said:

How do I read or look at all the gifs? That site is a mess

aw idk it's not loading now, I have to do something right now but I'll come back and try to paste everything

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Popster to Popster 3,752

Continued from OP (from /u/WouldItNot)

"Most importantly, is homegirl on the left OK?"

Spoiler

 

ck1bpgs5pjw61.gif

 

"This is fine. I can see how you'd look at this and say: "There is no funny business." But since I cannot get into the nitty gritty technical reasons I feel that something is off, I present only GIFs for the following segment."

Spoiler

9te4fsk5qjw61.gif

"To me, the biggest offender is that shot where she turns her head from the right to the center. I mean, come on:"

Spoiler

3g756wd6rjw61.png?width=1434&format=png&

"What's clever about this editing is (A) How fast it is so that you're not looking at one dance move too long and (B) I believe it is sprinkled with moments of the real Britney dancing the more "simpler" moves ("simpler" is my technical term as a non-professional). For example, I wouldn't be surprised if the last two shots here are really her:"

Spoiler

dc1pb2yerjw61.gif

"But once we go straight to a more complicated move, we've got Jib Jab Brit."

Spoiler

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"Take this moment in. Bit by bit."

Spoiler

lhdc7uz5sjw61.png?width=291&format=png&a

"Why isn't the shadow cast from her arm harsher on her face?"

Spoiler

5838ctz5sjw61.png?width=436&format=png&a

"Why is her hair so fuzzy on the right where her arm begins?"

Spoiler

sj1lisz5sjw61.png?width=309&format=png&a  wrhgctz5sjw61.png?width=278&format=png&a

Then came the moment I knew.
 

Spoiler

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"Folks, I'm sorry. But there is just. no. way."
 

Spoiler

ykd17i64tjw61.png?width=678&format=png&auto=webp&s=6e47280ee0d1975407654700a819a467f3ea21f5

 

 

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A Popster Is Born 18,342

I honestly think this is Britney’s body and they edited her own face onto her body for one reason or another in post production. 
 

I found a comment from a user in the reddit thread, and this seems really plausible to me:

"As someone in their late 30’s who does motion graphics and video editing, who was very actively following this period of Britneys life, I genuinely believe she herself shot this dance scene. The weirdness we are seeing is a mix of post production (on a budget) to try and fix her imperfections during this really messy period. The hair going from up to down was explained in an interview with the director who said they shot it both ways because they were undecided at the time, but then chose to have fun with it and edit it going back and forth, which obviously they did. There was a video circulating the year this was released that showed the side by side of them digitally thinning her in this dance sequence. 

As for the jib-jab style head replacement, we need to remember that Britney showed up very late and disheveled to this video shoot. If anyone has worked on video shoots, when you lose hours you lose the ability to take as many multiple takes to get the perfect shot. So what we are seeing is likely them choosing one of the only shots of her finally nailing the actual dance move but she possibly was making a face that wasn’t good (because this was peak Messney)... so they took the face from another shot where she looked alright from the neck up but didn’t nail the dance move and spliced them together... culminating in a sort of choppy jib-jab style end product. Even with the editing weirdness, as a fan you can tell this is Britney’s signature body movements."

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