Modjo’s “Lady” : memories of the video


May 2000. One day, my producer Anath sends me this tune “Lady (Hear me tonight)” and asks me to think about a music video. I listen a lot to the song, I find it absolutely melancholic and very romantic. Sadness mixed with joy.
So I come up with this bitter teenager love story :
Three teenagers, two boys and one girl, decide to run away together, and they want to have pleasure, fun and escape reality.
I write it quite fast, with “Virgin Suicides” and “Boys Don’t Cry” in mind.

Modjo, the band is french, but they made the choice to sing to everyone in the world : in english.
I am french too and I thought the video had to look the same, to be able to talk to everyone in the world, to be the most universal possible.
I wanted it to look like a mix of the USA and my french suburban hometown.
This is how, in June 2000, we take a plane and end up in Montreal, Quebec.

In Montreal we organize a casting session to find our three young heroes.
I was looking for three teenagers with a real relationship between them, no matter if it was friendship or love.
That’s how we found our beautiful teenager trio, three real friends in life : Sarah-Jane, Patrice and Gilles.

In June 2000, we went on a road trip on the roads of Quebec.

Locations are listed on this page :

Yann and Romain (from Modjo) appear in the video : they sell the car to the three teenagers.

This version is of course the Official version of the video. But MTV edited one shot out of the video… Do you know which one ? 😉

These are Polaroids from “Lady” Casting session

1. Sarah-Jane.   2. Patrice.

3. Gilles.  4. Patrice, Sarah-Jane, Gilles.


Capture d’écran 2016-06-29 à 09.40.32


72 thoughts on “Modjo’s “Lady” : memories of the video

  1. To this day, this is one of the most beautiful and genuine videos of on screen love I’ve ever seen. The chemistry between the three teenagers is electric and moving. It gives me the chills its so perfect. This level of authenticity is rare.

    I had this video on an old dusty hard-drive that I’ve just, finally, sorted after many years. It was so touching to see it again and have the same affect on me. Really glad I went to look up the backstory that you’ve so kindly posted.

    I now live in Canada; so it now has lots of new meaning to me. My fiancé and I might even visit the filming locations next time we’re out in Quebec.

    A heartfelt thank you, from all the hopeless romantics that fell in love to this video.

    • Hey whats up brotha! Im the bald head guy in tha clip !!!!!
      …i just wanna say thanks! Its cool to know we did a nice work…me patrice and sarrah..bless! Im glad you come to mtl my man ! You gonna love it bro!

      • Greetings from down under – this song was huge here in NZ in 2000, all over the radio and the clip was on TV too! Nice to see you reply 🙂 Are you all the same age? I was 23 when this came out and thought you might be close to my age 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing this nice background story of the video! What happened with the teenagers? Where are they now?

  3. Magnifique. François, But, I´ve been wondering about the names of those guys…
    Could you tell us who tey are please?

  4. It’s so funny. When I first saw this video all those years ago, I thought to myself, “Damn, that looks just like the rural towns in Quebec that I used to drive through when my family would take us on road trips to New York from Montreal (where I grew up)!” But I knew that the group Modjo was from Europe, so I just assumed there were places in France that resembled Quebec, because why would they shoot a music video so far from where they live, in a random rural part of Canada? And I’m not sure why, but I thought of this song the other day, so I googled it and found the music video, which got me curious again. So I googled the Wikipedia page, which led me to this essay, which explained everything! It also brought back some very fond memories of my youth in Quebec. (I now live in Los Angeles.) Thank you for sharing this!

    • just to let u know bro…..we have shoot the clip in montreal on the plateau mont royal ans st gabriel de brandon and somewhere else ,cant remember lol …gilles theberge !!!!!

      • This was filmed in places I am very familiar with in Notre-Dame-Des-Prairies, St-Jean-De-Matha, St-Félix-de-Valois, St-Gabriel-de-Brandon.

      • Hey Gilles, hey François, today (around 18 years later I think) my wife and I followed the map you listed for filming locations! One of the best days of my life! Been in love with this song/video eversince it came out! All of you did an amazing job and I wish there were more videos out there like this one! I’ve attached an shot from today in the link below! Love you guys and I hope all of you are well!

      • Hey Francois!

        Thanks a lot for the reply Francois! Found the house where the video starts with Gilles leaving for his adventure! Then found the Festival Lanaudiere location, and the Garage where I took the photo you have seen! Then found the Frit-O-Bec restaurant, took pics from the outside as it was packed due to us arriving there around lunch time. Then we went onto the last location which is Pub Allard, obviously name has changes as well as the owner, we still had a beer there! You probably noticed I did not include the Motel in this as I believe the Motel is no longer there. Which part of the video was filmed at Allard, was that the bar fight at night? Maaaaaaaaaan I wish you were with us on this trip, that would have been so cool! BTW if you ever have time for a beer and you are around Montreal I would love to have a chance to meet with you!

  5. Hi. Awesome video and a very interesting recap on the development process. After all these years, i still wonder what the actors from the video are doing today- especially the girl. Back in 2000 (when i was 10) i had a huge crush on her. Greetings from germany- Mike

  6. hey thanks to my brother hood to send me this liks!!!!! fucking good vibes man!!!!! that waz and will be one the most amazing experrience of my life !!!! shoting this clip and ear that sound always remind me some good souvenir xxxxxxxx its me the little skinny white boy …….and how can i forget u guys….patrice my brother and is guirlfriend at this time … love xxx gilles thegerge ..(facebook)……fuck yeah!!!!

  7. Excellent de lire cet article.

    Je rejoue souvent la chanson ou le clip, et je sais pas pourquoi mais je suis directement envahi par un sentiment de nostalgie, mais un sentiment très très violent, qui prend aux tripes, vraiment. Pour tout dire, ma dernière écoute de “Lady” date de la semaine dernière dans la douche. J’ai carrément coupé la musique tellement j’avais les larmes aux yeux (je rigole vraiment pas, je regardais dans le vide en pensant à l’époque).

    Ce clip à une raisonnance beaucoup plus profonde pour moi et a vraiment marquée mon enfance. J’suis le dernier d’une famille de 5 enfants, mes 3 frères ont tous plus de 40 et ma sœur 33 ans, je suis le dernier (23 ans). Mes frères, des gros caïd de l’époque, avaient pour habitudes d’avoir beaucoup de CD House et French Touch de l’époque, du coup “Lady” tournait énormément à la baraque donc je la connaissais vraiment bien. Mais c’est surtout le clip qui est le plus dur à regarder pour moi, le hasard a fait qu’il est sorti pendant l’une des meilleures périodes de ma vie, tout allait bien dans ma famille comparé à aujourd’hui, donc le sentiment de nostalgie qui y est rattaché est vraiment fort. Mais c’est surtout parce que j’identifiais à chaque fois Sarah-Jane à ma sœur (que j’considère comme ma deuxième mère) et à ses potes, j’étais petit (6 ans) donc je voyais ça d’un œil émerveille, c’était ma soeur, sa jeunesse, sa liberté, ses potes.

    Bref, ça fait un peu journal intime comme commentaire mais je me suis dis que ça pourrait être sympa de raconter pourquoi je suis vachement attaché et touché par ce clip.

    • Le sentiment que tu décris comme étant “très très violent, qui prend aux tripes”, je le resens de tout coeur. La nostalgie qui frappe a la porte pour nous rappeller jusqu’a quel point le temps est précieux. Voir la différence de jusqu’a quel point les temps etait plus simple et pur. Ca s’rais émouvant de pouvoir retourner juste une journée dans le passé.

  8. This song is my childhood and I kept it in all my playlists so far. It’s great to know that story behinds the video. I already saved the locations in Montreal ı hope that I can visit those places one day. Thanks for this share François.

  9. You made an Indie Masterpiece with this video and this 3 young.
    This video always gonna be remembered, of how really showed the experience of being a young in the beggin of this New Millenium ..
    A Generation that has it nothing to expect, just continue and enjoy each other.
    I applaud you and thank you, for made it.

  10. And just for add, you are a real artist, you really expressed something deep here.
    I hear and like the song since I was a kid .. but when I see the video for the first time in my teen years, i’ve totally falled in love and connection with it.
    Thanks again.

  11. There is a rumor going around that “Patrice” is Mat Gordon who is now a former model living in New York, but this is incorrect. That really is their real names, The three teens in this video have a normal life and jobs except for Sarah Jane, who i am unsure of what has happened to. Hope this helps some people who are trying to find out what happened to the teens of the music video that captured a lot of good vibes for so many years. Still rocking this song on a regular basis.

    • Hey. Is there any way to find out how these 3 look like now or any way to reach them? It would be nice to find out the stories of these 3 whether they still keep in touch with each other or not. If you have more info please let us know. Thank you

  12. Hello from BRAZIL!
    This song is purely my childhood! it give me chills.. its a mix of hard and good feelings! I wold like to know what happened to the actors!

  13. Gilles Theberge, tu vois que dans la vie ont a la chance de toucher les gens beaucoup plus que l’ont pourrais l’imaginez…. Je suis bien content de constater le juste retour des choses!

    Good job bro 😉

  14. Hi François, thank you for posting this, it was amazing! I didn’t know that there are two versions of the video, the one on vimeo it looks different from the one on youtube, especially on the part that they travel in the car, and at the end when they go up across the mount. Thanks for the photos and the information, i was expecting this, because was not much information on the internet. I hope that appears more news about Sarah-Jane and Patrice, given that Gilles has already appeared, lol. Greetings from Guayaquil.

  15. Thanks for sharing the detailed information about this song… since 2000 I am a great fan of this song and for Sarah Jane too…

  16. For those asking about the beautiful girl in the video her name is Sarah Jane Bouchard. She never went on to have any involvement in future TV, videos or film but has a regular job and normal life. She went to University a couple of years after the video was made and then settled in to a community job which she is still doing now. And I’m sure she’s almost certainly all the more happier for it 🙂

  17. Quel plaisir de lire cet article!
    Clip absolument parfait et cette chanson est la bande- son
    «  feel
    Good » par excellence. J’etais jeune lorsqu’elle passait à
    la radio et j’ai mis des années à
    chercher l’auteur (c’était bien avant youtube 🙂
    Et c est un jour chez ma tante ou je revisais un examen,
    j’ai mis un CD pour me changer les idees et je suis tombée dessus. Un pur bonheur!!
    merci à tt l’équipe et j’espere avoir la chance de faire
    Le road trip un jour!

  18. Pingback: Modjo – Lady | Francisco de Melo jr

  19. François Nemeta – Is the main difference that MTV listed the group as ‘Mojo’

    I always knew the group as Mojo, but years later they were called Modjo.

  20. Salut François !
    Still a great video, vraiment génial… fits the song 100%. Nice to read the ‘making of’, and like many others I as well had a crush on the girl 😄 never knew they were Quebecois! Now I am curious which part was edited out… bien à toi!

  21. Found the shot edited out! Took me some time though 😄 … the guy in the bar when they quickly leave, right? Giving them the finger – great video, still after almost 20 years!

    • Correction, the section circa 1:00-1:20 differs… the original depicts the relationship between the teens exactly how François explains. The MTV version is more ambiguous : about Lady Sarah-Jane and two male friends, without the distinction between friend Gilles and boyfriend Patrice. (Okay, lots of interpretation on my part, but still 😉 )

      • Thanks François, so too much overinterpretation on my part! X-D
        Then again, there are two different versions online – well, we will never know 😉

  22. 19 years on and still loving the song and the video!This was one of my favourite songs to listen to when I’d go out to carnivore in Nairobi. This song was proper worldwide!!

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