'Weird Enough but Bold': Meet the Minds Behind Miley's AMAs Cat
[Photo by Christopher Polk/AMA2013/Getty Images for DCP]
These days, the question atop any televised music mega-event boils down to: What will Miley do? Going into Sunday night's American Music Awards show, it seemed impossible that the singer would top her jaw-dropping spectacle at the VMAs. How could she even try?
But she did. And in a way no one in a million years would have guessed: by singing earnestly in front of a cat floating through space. And by the time it was over, the Internet exploded.
The 21- and 22-year-old masterminds behind the moment that will live on in a million memes, Alex Lee and Kyle Wightman, came together from opposite ends of the globe and quit school to become the makers of some of the Internet's greatest recent causes célèbre. Working under the moniker BRTHR ("brother"), the dudes created Miley's Internet-lauded cat-in-space graphics. We are forever grateful.
"In the beginning we were trying to think of other cats in case we couldn't legally use that one. But, having seen the picture of this sad kitty online, co-director Diane Martel and Miley "were set on using that particular cat. So we reverse image searched it and tracked it down to a guy in Japan and Diane's legal team bought the rights to it."
The cat image BRTHR used is a long-established meme that went viral a million years ago in Internet time. Cyrus selected the photo to be used as the initial inspiration for her stage show, so Lee and Wightman came up with the concept of a "lost kitty in space crying diamonds."
BRTHR enlisted buddy Gustavo Torres to help in post and production company Logan & Sons, who animated the cat's mouth.