Sunday, December 6, 2009

Now That's a (Sasha) Fierce Vid.

In our final (!) reading, Coppa describes vidding as: "a form of grassroots filmmaking in which clips from television shows and movies are set to music...fannish vidders use music in order to comment on or analyze a set of preexisting visuals, to stage a reading, or occasionally to use the footage to tell new stories." With that definition in mind, here's one of the best examples of vidding in recent history.

In 2007, someone decided to use DJ Unk's "Walk it Out" as the soundtrack behind a Bob Fosse (one of the most iconic choreographers of all time) routine: "Mexican Breakfast." Shockingly, the contemporary song and dated performance mesh together quite well, and the clip was embraced and turned viral by many people in the dance, music, and theatrical industries--I was e-mailed the clip by over a dozen separate individuals.

Watch the performance, which was featured on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969:

Does it seem at all familiar to you? It should.

Beyonce saw the clip online, and was inspired to try it herself--it's a classic example of a vid resulting in a cultural phenomenon.
The two performances have definite similarities: three women (one lead and two backups), a very similar style of choreography, and both have one continuous take (albeit various camera angles)--neither group of women had the luxury of having someone make them look good in the editing room.

The performance works just as well live as it does on film, as seen in the following clip, which comes from a benefit I assistant directed at the Gershwin Theatre (home of Wicked) earlier this year. Yes, those are men in front of the curtain.

Also worth noting, this was performed on a raked stage. If you don't know what that is, pay attention to the slant of the floor. It's at an angle, rather than being level--this makes the performers more visible from the audience's perspective, but is hell on the performers, who need to stand at an angle in order to give the appearance of standing upright.

Can you think of any other vids that have resulted in new creations or controversy?


  1. Wow I knew Beyonce's choreography had to come from somewhere.. who'd a thought it was used for "Walk It Out" though.. haha

  2. woooow!!!!
    did not expect that.
    but i agree with Courtney.... it had to come from somewhere.