"Then we added a lot of prison cliches," Akerlund said. "Like the guards being rude and the girls having a lot of attitude. For us, it was more about drawing a picture and creating a world than having a deeper meaning."
The lesbian kiss that happens in the jail exercise yard was something that Akerlund said wasn't planned.
"It wasn't in our treatment," Akerlund said, "It was something we came up with while we were shooting. We believe it is something that is happening in both men's and women's jails and it is part of the picture in our made-up prison world. It was sexy and fun to play with."
In one of the scenes in Gaga's prison cell she appears wearing only yellow 'Crime Scene: Do Not Cross' police tape.
Vicks believes the crime scene tape is a very literal representation of how the greater culture is scared of the criminal female.
"A criminal female is any female that doesn't follow the rules, that doesn't fit the model as a good girl," Vicks said. "By wearing the crime scene tape she is making a statement about how our culture views the criminal female as frightening and more abnormal than a criminal male. Our culture thinks that there is something scarier about that sort of monster than a male monster."
The crime scene tape scene was another image that was improvised, Akerlund said.
"The crime scene tape was one of the images that we had in mind," Akerlund said. "We improvised it and it ended up becoming one of her outfits and it looked really cool. It was supposed to be about being claustrophobic in her cell. She was supposed to be frustrated and it was just one of those claustrophobic moments in her jail cell."
During the course of the video, Gaga wears a telephone as a hat, then a hairpiece. She also mimes holding a phone, and Beyonce dances with one as a prop. "Telephone" is not only the name of the song, it is also present throughout the video.
Just as the telephone is also physically everywhere in our personal lives, Vicks said.
Vicks says the telephone has become an extension of ourselves and our bodies, and in the Gaga video that idea works in two ways.
"The telephone is a complicated tool," Vicks said. "Just like the prison, it can entrap us by dictating who we speak with, but it is also the tool that gets Lady Gaga out of prison. She gets a phone call from Beyonce."
"It was the title of the track," Akerlund said, "So including as many as we could felt like a natural part of the story. The costume and hair people went crazy and got very stylized and I thought that was the fun part of it."
A soundtrack of slurping and chewing leads to one of coughing as a diner of hungry patrons goes down at the hands of murderous duo, Lady Gaga and Beyonce.
Vicks said that the poisoning of the food was a way of turning something that normally provides life into something deadly.
"The fact that the food is made poisonous," Vicks said, "And the sounds of eating are made disgusting, its overall motive is to turn what is valued as feminine on its head. It is to turn frightening something that we take as so safe and nurturing."
As for the heightened eating sounds and the closeup shots, Akerlund said he didn't really have a reference and it was something that came from his own ideas mixed with Gaga's vision.