Director Diane Martel, who helmed the season's wildest (and nakedest) clips, tells the tales behind them

By Kyle Anderson
Updated July 12, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Miley Cyrus, ”We Can’t Stop”
”The video is like one big selfie. I wanted Miley to own that ‘sticking your tongue out with a peace sign’ look, and I also never want to see it again. When I was her age, I liked Devo and Talking Heads videos and John Waters — pretty decadent, campy stuff — and somehow my fetishes align perfectly with Internet-raised teenagers. Originally we were going to have an overwhelming load of Instagram and blog-inspired imagery: For instance, the smoke between someone’s legs [came from] a photo online that I liked, and ‘French Fry Skull’ was an image Miley had sent me. But the fingers being cut off and the bread, those I just thought of when we were in the kitchen, scouting.”

Robin Thicke, ”Blurred Lines”
”Nudity shouldn’t be so shocking, but I understand why some people might have an issue with it. Every man I meet asks me who the brunette [model Emily Ratajkowski, above] is — I just tell them she’s a marvelous girl, smart and funny. I met Robin through Pharrell, back when he made his first record, and for this he said he wanted something on white [background], and he wanted it to be funny. I’ve always wanted to shoot nude women in a video, and I like images that are familiar but disturbed in some way, like T.I. rapping while he brushes the girl’s hair…. That energy, coupled with Emily’s undeniably fantastic body — that to me is modern, and I don’t think it’s sexist.”