Britney Spears‘ video for “…Baby One More Time” turns 25 this year, and director Nigel Dick tells People that we can all thank Britney for its now-iconic setting.

Dick tells People that he pitched an idea for the video, but Britney’s record label turned it down and suggested he talk to Britney, who they said “had a great idea.” Since Britney was 16, the English director was reluctant to hear her input, but then had what he calls “a moment of clarity.”

“‘Who better to tell me what other 16-year-old girls are going to want to see in their video than a 16-year-old girl?’” Dick thought. So he called Britney, who told him, “I want to be dancing in a school with cute boys.”

“I’m like, ‘… and that’s it?’” Dick recalled. “So I put the phone down, wrote the idea and everybody loved it.”

When it came to Britney’s wardrobe, though, Dick ran into another brick wall. He wanted her to wear gym clothes, but she said, “Why wouldn’t I be wearing a school uniform?” Dick says he tried to talk her out of it, but he got overruled. And while he now agrees with Britney, he still says he “took a lot of stick” for that uniform. 

“There was one review in a British music paper, which said, ‘Britney Spears is obviously dressed by dirty old men in raincoats,’” he tells People.

A few years later Britney and Dick teamed up again for another iconic video: “Oops … I Did It Again,” which Britney also conceptualized. She told him, “I want to be with a spaceman. I want to be wearing a red suit. I don’t want there to be any rockets in it. And you’ll do the rest.”

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