Beyoncé and Jay-Z visited the Louvre to shoot a video and somehow kept it a secret
'I just need to know how many non-disclosure agreements you'd have to distribute … to get away with this'
She did it again.
Last Saturday, Beyoncé — with husband Jay-Z as "the Carters" — surprised the world with a new album, Everything is Love.
Fans at the couple's concert in London were the first to know when the words "album out now" flashed on-screen.
The audience was also the first to see the couple's newest music video Apes--t, which was, somehow, filmed in secret at the Louvre in Paris.
"I just need to know how many non-disclosure agreements do you have to distribute between the talent and the crew to get away with this," Jordan Hayles, a Toronto-based video editor, told Day 6.
"I think that the key factor of making this happen and making this be a secret is you have to be Beyoncé," said Meron Gaudet, a film director.
How did they keep it a secret?
It was likely no small feat. According to the Louvre, they had over 8.1 million visitors in 2017, making it one of the most visited museums in the world.
A spokesperson for the Louvre announced that the Carters last visited the museum in May. There are approximately 500 film shoots each year at the Louvre, each costing about $17,500 US, the New York Times reports.
"The deadlines were very tight but the Louvre was quickly convinced because the synopsis showed a real attachment to the museum and its beloved artworks," a Louvre spokesperson said.
Based on that information, online publication Bustle pinpointed possible filming dates: May 8 and May 15.
Both are Tuesdays, when the museum is closed to the public, and fall during the Cannes Film Festival — a period when international media attention would have been focused elsewhere.
Keeping everybody in the dark
This isn't the first time Beyoncé dropped an album out of the blue.
The singer released her fifth album, Beyoncé, unexpectedly on iTunes in December 2013 alongside a "visual album" — a series of videos accompanying the music.
The music video for XO, a song from that album, was also recorded in secret, but on Coney Island. Despite throngs of fans, the song was heard by no one.
"What they do is they keep everybody in the dark just so they can do their job and still not know what's going on," said Gaudet.
What happens with Beyoncé stays with Beyoncé
More recently, performers in the music video for Lemonade likewise were kept out of the loop.
"I was reading an interview with Winnie Harlow," Gaudet said. "She spoke about how when she was in the video … she had no idea what they were doing."
"Nobody else knew what was going on. They just knew that it was going to be amazing."
Hayles believes that no one outside the Carters' camp heard the album before it was released on Jay-Z's streaming service Tidal.
This approach kept the album out of the wrong person's hands — or ears, as the case may be.
"We've both been to album listening parties … people can record off their phones — you don't know who's recording something — and that's how things get out," he said.
Can Beyoncé do no wrong?
The new album has gotten rave reviews. Sheldon Pearce writes for Rolling Stone: "This album sounds like it was a blast to make, which may be its most important quality. It's also a blast to listen to."
Hayles agrees, saying that the album "slaps."
"Beyoncé rapped on it, the beats are dope and the chemistry between the two is great," he said.
He doubts this is the last surprise we'll seem from Jay and Bey. Hayles wonders how much farther they can go with their power.
"Creatively there are no bounds for these two because if they can literally say, 'yeah, we shut down the Louvre' … what else can they do?" he asked.
"Can they clear a whole city just to themselves? Maybe! In a few years, who knows?"
To hear more from Jordan Hayles and Meron Gaudet, download our podcast or click Listen above.