The music video was directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, the team that made The Police the most popular group on MTV in 1983 with the videos for "Every Breath You Take
," "Wrapped Around Your Finger
" and "Synchronicity II
Shot on a soundstage in Paris, the "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" video uses compositing, with the musicians digitally layered. It was done by first doing a traditional shoot with locked-down cameras on a normal set, then covering the set in green and shooting the individual performances, which were then combined in post production and manipulated to change their speeds or looks. Green-screen was very hard to get right in this era, but this one holds up better than most. In a Songfacts interview with Kevin Godley
, he said: "The finished product, although it works really, really well, would have certainly benefitted from existing technology, but digital editing didn't exist yet, so each time we added a layer, we lost quality, which is a shame. So, it's kind of grainy, it's kind of scratchy, but it still works."