If you're planning a birthday party, might we suggest forgoing an Evite and sending out a green screen clip of you dancing in Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" video instead? This birthday party invitation landed in PAPERMAG's inbox yesterday from Stereogum.com writer/occasional PAPER writer Jessica Suarez and video editor Nate Buchik. Although, full disclosure, they're old pals of ours, we were deeply impressed. How long did it take them to make this? Are those Michael Jackson's exact dance moves Jessica's doing? How did a YSL tuxedo get in there? We needed a few more details from these two about how this masterpiece came about and they kindly obliged.
"Jessica came up with the idea and decided this was the year she followed through with shit. I wanted to join her in this quest. For Lent, at least.
Birthday videos are a great way to get people to take your party seriously as an EVENT and I would love to help anyone make that a reality. Email me. On Monday, we're painting an entire wall of our apartment chroma green so green screen videos are the norm at our place. Why not have some fun?
Soon, we're going to start working on a Mad Men replacement series for the summer that will turn the world upside down."
"After Michael Jackson died I went back and watched all of his videos. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was Jackson's first solo video and I think one of the first to use that tripling technique. I love that the director seemed more into his effects than his star, but I also love how sweet and enthusiastic MJ seems throughout.
It took just a couple of hours. I mentioned this idea to Nate over IM. He said it could probably happen. I don't know how long it took for Nate to isolate the background but he did a great job. I called around and found out tuxedo rentals for children were about $200/day in New York, so I asked my friend Feng Feng Yeh, who's a stylist and who works at YSL, if she had a tuxedo or a Le Smoking and she came through two days later
The shirt is a children's shirt I bought as part of my Harry Potter costume. That gives you an idea on the kinds of other things I follow through on.
The original idea was to have me copy MJ's moves exactly, but it turns out that he's a pretty good dancer. So after a few failed attempts of trying to do the same exact moves, Nate and I abandoned that and he just told me to try dancing. The sleeve roll-up thing is MJ's move (I think that's in there?), and there's one I threw in from Dance Central, but the rest are mine. My editor at Stereogum asked me how long it took to choreograph those steps, and another friend asked if that was my head superimposed on another person's body. I'm flattered that anyone thinks any of these things.
Yeah we're working on a chroma key Mad Men summer replacement. Over the summer I'm going to convince Nate to turn off the air conditioning and let us try the "Once In A Lifetime" video when it's possible to get David Byrne/tent revival sweaty."