This is circulating pretty quickly around the ‘net, but deservedly so. As part of a “lip dub” video competition — in my day we called it “lip-synch”! — between two Seattle-area high schools, video teacher Marty Ballew, his class, student director Javier Caceres, and what appears to be most of the Shorewood High student body, created a music video possibly inspired by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s post-coital walk-of-pride in “(500) Days of Summer.” Or, possibly not, it’s not like writer-director Marc Webb, whose film is nominated for two Golden Globes and three Independent Spirit Awards, has some kind of ownership of the Hall & Oates catalog and the scenes are fairly different. (I’m sure proud parents will have to take comfort from the fact that it’s extremely unlikely the entire Shorewood student body had sex just prior to shooting, though with these kids today, how can you be sure?)
In any case, Mr. Ballew, young Mr. Caceres, and company left Webb in the dust, shooting their musical sequence backwards, which meant the kids had to learn the lyrics that way as well, and — even better — in a single take of 4:22. Shooting musical sequences using long takes, once the standard, now borders on being a lost art, just ask ADHD musical maestros Rob Marshall (“Nine”) or Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”). Doing it backwards has to increase the difficulty level considerably, though with great results, as you’ll see. Maybe we should send some grown-up directors back to high school for some remedial production classes.
For comparison, here’s the sequence from “(500) Days of Summer.”
Okay, it’s not bad — it might even be called “good,” but it’s not Mr. Ballew’s video production 1 class Shorewood High good.