Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Greatest single take video ever?

UPDATE FEB 15TH 2012: In searching for GnR's "Garden of Eden" as another eg, I stumbled upon this wiki of 'one shot music videos', which lists a great many more examples!!! See

Pete Fraser flagged this one up on his blog; interesting viral-style vid ... yet budgeted at a cool $40k!!!!

The info is notable too, and I'll copy this in below; highlights the industrial nature of the vid - but also the commercial/ideological aspect (a counter to a negative comment about a US town that local businesses felt would be, well, bad for business).

It also suggests a possible major new name to put up there alongside the likes of Spike Jonze in director Rob Bliss, who's aim does seem to be create 'event' vids that achieve viral success but also mainstream news coverage (thus the World Record hook to this vid's backstory). And, of course, what he's done here is what most of you will do: create a new vid for a previously released track (you can work with a band on newer material if you can make the links). His main contact link is a Facebook page.

The idea of the single take is not new, but its so technically difficult to pull off, with cast, props (eg cars), sound [not such a factor for music vids!] and cameras having to be in such perfect synch, that it remains rare. In film, the openings of Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) [watch it here] and Halloween (John Carpenter, 1979 [USA 1978]), two very different films, remain legendary for their accomplishment as single-takes, while the film Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002) took this to a new level - a plush, high production-value movie entirely shot in one take:

More recently still, The Silent House (Gustavo Hernández, 2010), a Uruguyan production, took Carpenter's achievement a stage further in making the entire feature-length horror as a single-take.
As much as I admire this tremendously accomplished vid (ask any of last students and they'll tell how difficult it is to get accurate lip-synching, here achieved in one continuous take with a huge cast!), I still prefer the Pixies vid, created as a response to the machinations of the record industry (they were to be barred from appearing on Top of the Pops if their single didn't have a video); nothing like as technically brilliant as this, but a moment of raw inspiration rising from a flash of anger (and a superior tune to boot!)...


...and here it is in real time!

I've blogged on this before: you couldn't create such a vid and expect a good mark no matter how profound an artistic statement it is, as you simply won't rack up any marks for the many technical aspects assessed in the markscheme ... BUT I highly recommend creating just such a 2ndary vid to show your wider appreciation of the industry/audience (and to have a little fun too!)...


Uploaded by on 26 May 2011
The international sensation that Roger Ebert calls "The Greatest Music Video Ever Made." |

Rob Bliss Events:

Media Inquiries: robblissgr[at]
Business Inquiries: ask[at]

"The Grand Rapids LipDub Video was filmed May 22nd, with 5,000 people, and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a "dying city." We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean's "American Pie," a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope." - Rob Bliss, Director & Executive Producer

*Note: The "NEW WORLD RECORD" designation refers to size and scope, not duration.

This $40,000 production was entirely financed by the generosity of local sponsors that are listed below:

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (
EasyRotor Helicopter (

Grand Vally State University (
metroPCS (
Avanti Law Group (

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (
Experience Grand Rapids (
Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance (
Eastern Floral (
United Bank of Michigan (
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation
The Seccia Family Foundation

Fifth Third Bank (
PNC Bank (
Steelcase (
Huntington (
Biggby Coffee (
Mindscape at Hanon-McKendry (
Harold Zeigler Auto Group (
Express Signs (

Hanon McKendry (
HopCat (
Cascade Engineering (
Rockford Construction (
Siegel Jewelers (
Gentex Corporation (

Rob Bliss Events and SEF video
proudly present

in association with Creo Productions


Josh Rubino

Keri Larsen Kujala

Melissa Dylan

Andrew Tingley, Creo Productions

Rob Bliss

Scott Erickson

Rob Bliss
Scott Erickson


"American Pie," written by Don McLean;
Produced by Ed Freeman for The Rainbow Collection, Ltd.


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