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October 1, 2009 12:56 PM   Subscribe

On September 10th, to celebrate their initiation week, 172 communications students at the University of Quebec at Montreal decided to put on a show. After weeks of preparation, the costumed and prop-wielding crowd enacted an exuberant, complex, and flawlessly-choreographed performance of the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" that sprawled through the campus's multi-story Judith Jasmin Pavilion... and they did it all in one continuous take (on their second try). The feat is just the most recent example of "lipdubbing" -- a video phenomenon where a single camera moves through a crowd of highly coordinated lip-syncers in a single seamless take, with the original recording dubbed over the finished product.

Though the basic concept was pioneered by viral videos like the Numa Numa Dance and OK Go's "Here It Goes Again", the current model for lipdubbing was conceived by Vimeo founder Jakob Lodwick, who coined the term after dubbing a recording of himself singing "Endless Dream" by Apes & Androids. According to technical writer and blogger Tom Johnson's analysis of the video, the best lipdubs appear "spontaneous, authentic, participatory, and fun." Lodwick's video was followed up by a Vimeo business partner's staff doing their rendition of Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" (previously).

The technique soon exploded in popularity -- everything from web magazines to TV studios to hospitals got into the act. But perhaps no group took to lipdubbing better than universities. Following the lead of The University Lipdub Project (original video), colleges from multiple nations adopted lipdubbing as a way to showcase their campus life and school spirit:
School, Nation - Video info - Song

Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Rouen, France - 140 people - "Thriller" by Michael Jackson

HEC Paris, France - 120 people - "Lollipop" by Mika

l'Université de Poitiers, France - 56 people - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by the Scissor Sisters

Mines de Saint Etienne, France - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by the Scissor Sisters

IUT Belfort/Montbéliard, France - 353 people (a world record) - "La Confession de Monsieur Connard" by Les Tock'art

HEC Montréal, Canada - 150 people - "Mamma Mia" by Abba

Institut Notre Dame de la Providence, France - "Toi + Moi" by Grégoire

Ecole Polytechnique, France - "Love Is All" by Roger Glover

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany - "LMU" (original song)

IHECS, Belgium - 100+ people - "Banana Split"

HEC Montréal, Canada - 172 people - "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams

European Business School, Germany - "Tell It to My Heart" by Dyane Taylor, "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys

ESC Dijon, France - 95 people - "Working Together" by Gonzales

Essec Business School, France - 200 people - "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas

Emlyon Business School, France - 300 people - "Pop the Music" by Triim, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by Buggles

ENSIC, France - 85 people - "Hot N Cold" by Kate Perry

Campo Limpo Paulista College, Brazil - 56 people - "Ultramen" by Santo Forte
Bonus one-shot goodness:
Children of Men's climactic 6-minute one-shot scene (spoilers)

Honda's "The Cog" (previ-ously)

The Way Things Go (previously)

Bike Hero (previously)

Slydini's Newspaper (previously)
posted by Rhaomi (83 comments total) 100 users marked this as a favorite

 
A bit of insight into the making of "The Cog" - I thought it was done in a series of segments and seamlessly compiled, but it was 605 faulty attempts at the whole thing in one go, with the 606th being successful in a single shot.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:03 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I came in to snark on the stoopid Black Eyed Peas meme, but you've put such effort into your more-inside ...

If you're going to talk about one-shot scenes, then you have to talk about Rope and especially Russian Ark.
posted by intermod at 1:04 PM on October 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah Russian Ark!
posted by lumensimus at 1:06 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Touch of Evil
posted by KokuRyu at 1:07 PM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fun times!
posted by sayitwithpie at 1:11 PM on October 1, 2009


Black Eyed Peas either sold their souls to the Devil in return for earthly treasure (Jennifer's Body-style) or their music contains subliminal mind-control elements being tested out by The Pentagon under cover of innocuous pop songs. These are the only two plausible explanations for their continued mega-success.

If you'd like to learn more, please subscribe to my newsletter.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:12 PM on October 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by desjardins at 1:14 PM on October 1, 2009


The French and Quebecoises have nothing on Connected Ventures ...

http://www.vimeo.com/173714
posted by feistycakes at 1:16 PM on October 1, 2009


That was really great. I liked hearing the song in French at the end!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:16 PM on October 1, 2009


Ok, that was delightfully heartwarming. I guess I've been on maternity leave long enough that I like teenagers again.
posted by Go Banana at 1:18 PM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Rope actually has mutliple cuts. Everytime the camera closes in on someone's jacket (creating a block of color) and then pans out, that is where a cut is. Regardless, Rope is mostly long one-shot scenes.
posted by Falconetti at 1:21 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I take back the "actually" since no one said it was all one shot.
posted by Falconetti at 1:21 PM on October 1, 2009


Something about that song, which doesn't seem all that special to me, inspires greatness.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:23 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Way to give actual evidence supporting the American right-wing's belief that foreigners are ridiculous and can't be taken seriously.
posted by aswego at 1:28 PM on October 1, 2009


Remember when the Black-Eyed Peas were a sort of fake-Native Tongue/Good-Life-lite crew, and they sang songs about joints and jam? Man, I thought they sucked then.
posted by box at 1:29 PM on October 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Why can't these kids stuff themselves into phone booths like in the good old days? Oh right, because they're using hoity-toity fantsy-pantsy mobile phones these days, I doubt they even know what a phone booth is any more grumble NURSE! WHERE'S MY MAALOX! grumble at least they're not swallowing goldfish any more christ that was disgusting but heh it was great watching the froshlings try to choke that one down NUUURSE!
posted by ardgedee at 1:31 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, not at all special. I mean, "Boom Boom Pow" was ridiculously catchy, but this is just...well, meh. And meh is putting it charitably.
posted by Go Banana at 1:33 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


HEC Paris, France - 120 people - "Lollipop" by Mika

I unabashedly love this song, but 120 people in France have nothing on Mika.
posted by owtytrof at 1:36 PM on October 1, 2009


that cog commercial is freaking awesome.
posted by oddman at 1:39 PM on October 1, 2009


Wouldn't OK GO's video A Million Ways be an earlier example of Lip Dubbing, since it pre dates Her it Goes Again. FPP FAIL!? (When I saw them before they became famous, that dance number is what they would do to end their set.)

That last scene in Children of Men is so fucking epic.

There is also a wicked single take shoot out in the Killer.
posted by chunking express at 1:47 PM on October 1, 2009


> There is also a wicked single take shoot out in the Killer.

And Hard-Boiled.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:55 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


No wait, that was the one I was thinking about. God damn that's a good shootout.
posted by chunking express at 1:57 PM on October 1, 2009


For originality a 27, for appearance a 28, and for lip-syncing a perfect score of 30!
posted by dirtdirt at 2:02 PM on October 1, 2009


While unimpressed by "lipdub" (hipster rename of lipsync) overall, serious props to Rhaomi's well done post.

Makes me think I will be clicking a few of the links...
posted by gnash at 2:10 PM on October 1, 2009


If you're going to talk about one-shot scenes, then you have to talk about Rope

Great Hitchcock film, but technically it's not really one shot but several scenes edited together, each of which was done in a long take. There are a edits, and they're noticeable but not at all distracting, as Hitchcock tried to make the edits seamless.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:14 PM on October 1, 2009


l'Université de Poitiers, France - 56 people - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by the Scissor Sisters

The French accents are distracting.
posted by longsleeves at 2:19 PM on October 1, 2009


Tea Party's Babylon is a good one take music video, IMO
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 2:28 PM on October 1, 2009


one more epic single take:
the hallway scene from oldboy.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:32 PM on October 1, 2009


172 communications students lip synching a whole load of bullshit tells me these will that there aren't enough Presidents or Prime Ministers in the world for them to all be speechwriters for.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:45 PM on October 1, 2009


I have actually hired the entire world to lipdub my entire life as I have been cryogenically sealed in the final sleep chamber until the Sweetness comes.

Then the sky will reveal what you all have known and dreamt....for so long.

So long....
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:54 PM on October 1, 2009


172 communications students lip synching a whole load of bullshit tells me these will that there aren't enough Presidents or Prime Ministers in the world for them to all be speechwriters for.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:45 PM on October 1 [+] [!]



For fuck's sake. It's a bunch of college students enjoying themselves.



I mean seriously, yeesh.
posted by Ndwright at 2:55 PM on October 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


And while we're on the topic of random continuous-shot scenes, let's not forget the fight scene from Tony Jaa's Tom Yum Goong (The Protector).
posted by pravit at 3:00 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Touch of Evil

Don't forget about the awesome opening shot from The Player in which they talk about the Touch of Evil shot.
posted by chococat at 3:07 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Falconetti: "Rope actually has mutliple cuts. Everytime the camera closes in on someone's jacket (creating a block of color) and then pans out, that is where a cut is. Regardless, Rope is mostly long one-shot scenes."

If I recall correctly part of the reason for adding the cuts we just a pragmatic issue with the physical length of film they could load into the camera. I'd be interesting to see something similar attempted with today's digital ability to shoot much longer takes.

Also hats off to these kids, nice freakin job. Looked fun.
posted by MrBobaFett at 3:10 PM on October 1, 2009


I saw this one earlier today, which is even more theatrical, but ultimately a failure, since the lips aren't even synced properly
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on October 1, 2009


Rope is really misunderstood - it's not about a seamless take - it's all about one cut in particular - when Jimmy Stewart realises who the murderers are the picture cuts - it's an experiment to see if the audience, conditioned by 90 minutes of a 'seamless take' will be shocked by the cut (an experiment perhaps in taking the audience back to the early days - you know when they were scared by trains pulling into a station, workers leaving a factory etc.)
posted by jettloe at 3:33 PM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks for this. I've spent the past month wrangling recalcitrant first year college students; watching the gleefulness of the students in these videos has lessened my exasperation somewhat.

but why aren't they busy doing their damned readings?!
just kidding

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:38 PM on October 1, 2009


That was just adorable. I feel just as you do, hurdy gurdy girl, it reminds me that my students are sometimes doing things other than grade-grubbing!
posted by bluefly at 3:48 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't really care about the lip-dubbing but Montreal girls are the cutest.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:57 PM on October 1, 2009


intermod, thank you *so* much for introducing me to Russian Ark! My father visited the Hermitage in 2002...I can't wait to show him this movie!
posted by KoPi_42 at 4:08 PM on October 1, 2009


Part of me thinks this is covert military training and pretty soon all of New York State will be beseiged by an invading army of lip-syncing francophone students in funny hats doing cartwheels.

Note: This might not be a bad thing.
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Not super long, and cheating a bit, but one of my favorite long takes : Woo Hoo.
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on October 1, 2009


The Oner at TV Tropes. And while by no means as long as some of the others mentioned here, one of my favorites is Henry taking Karen into the nightclub in Goodfellas.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:23 PM on October 1, 2009


In the list above, why are there so many French universities? Is a lipdub like a big group French kiss or something?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:27 PM on October 1, 2009


Holy crap, this ain't a MeFi post it's a Wikipedia entry! Thanks.
posted by donovan at 4:38 PM on October 1, 2009


a) I don't know why this "one take" thing is a big deal. it's not like they're singing. Someone plays the tape (er, cd? ipod?) while they walk with a video camera and then people jump around. Then they remove any audio and just overlay the original song. There are lots of spots where there's no one really clearly in the frame. It's fun and all, but it's no Morrisey video.

b) The much-improved version of "I've got a feeling" - I've Got More Than A Feeling.

I close my eyes and I slip away...
posted by GuyZero at 5:00 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fire Island Gays Get the Attention of Miley Cyrus with 'Party' Video.

Asbury Park Gays Do Whitney Houston's 'Million Dollar Bill' Video.
posted by ericb at 5:08 PM on October 1, 2009


Lipdubs, but not done in a single unedited shot.
posted by ericb at 5:18 PM on October 1, 2009


Coldplay - Yellow.
posted by ericb at 5:20 PM on October 1, 2009


So that's what comm students do at university.
posted by iloveit at 5:25 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I don't really care about the lip-dubbing but Montreal girls are the cutest. <
I know, this place is ridiculous.
posted by niccolo at 5:44 PM on October 1, 2009


Thanks, I liked this
posted by qldaddy at 5:55 PM on October 1, 2009


I've watched three of them and the novelty has worn off, but very cute and probably was a ton of fun to make.
posted by whoaali at 6:02 PM on October 1, 2009


a) I don't know why this "one take" thing is a big deal

Yeah, one take is impressive when it's a very intricate setup, like criss-crossing your path or when special effects are involved. But some of these are just a dude with a steadicam walking around.

Ironically, the more people you have, the easier it is, since the people can just be parked at various places and the camera can go to them. Doing this video with 20 people would be impressive.
posted by smackfu at 6:12 PM on October 1, 2009


I've gotta think that there's at least one student there with a future in filmmaking. I can't even imagine the coordination effort to get that all working... with a bunch of college students, no less!
But seriously, what is it with the French and lipdubbing?
posted by ch1x0r at 6:17 PM on October 1, 2009


It's a bunch of college students enjoying themselves.

College is no place for good clean fun. It's for drunken date-rapes and Rules Of Attraction-type stuff.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:21 PM on October 1, 2009


Does anyone else think it's strange that part of the chorus of the song is "Mazel tov!" and that at some point Fergie says "L'chaim!"? Are the Black Eyed Peas secretly Jewish or something? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

More like "I got tefillin" amirite?
posted by albrecht at 6:27 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, one take is impressive when it's a very intricate setup

This makes me think of the music video P.T. Anderson made for a Michael Penn song--increasingly fantastic things happen as the camera in a single take moves down a long hallway, following the singer on a rolling platform. I think it was an extra bit on the Boogie Nights DVD, with commentary from Anderson about making it.
posted by gac at 6:31 PM on October 1, 2009


Tonight, my cynical side is on vacation. This really made me smile... thanks for all the great links.
posted by Noon Under the Trees at 6:31 PM on October 1, 2009


Love em or hate em, the Black Eyed Peas are good at one thing. This type of song. Which is good thing if you're Will.I.Am's pocketbook, because the general public LOVES this type of song. I imagine if he hadn't gone into music, dude would have made a killing in advertising.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:55 PM on October 1, 2009


The lead video was way more impressive than I was led to expect from the comments. Kudos, Montrealers.

My favorite use of one-take in a video is Massive Attack - Protection. Don't give up early, though -- it takes a while to see why.
posted by jhc at 6:59 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Something about that song, which doesn't seem all that special to me, inspires greatness.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:23 PM on October 1 [+] [!]


OK, that made me wish I'd taken the day off and gone down there, and I don't even like Oprah or the Black Eyed Peas all that much.
posted by desjardins at 7:03 PM on October 1, 2009


makes, not made
posted by desjardins at 7:03 PM on October 1, 2009


This was fun! Thanks for sharing :P
posted by Acromion at 7:10 PM on October 1, 2009


albrecht, that's the moment where they reveal the scope of their ambitions. They're gunning to make this song the next "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang--omnipresent at weddings, etc.--and the want to make sure that bar mitvah djs place it in heavy rotation.
posted by umbú at 7:29 PM on October 1, 2009


Aw, this is cute. I would have been the kid who sat out, because I was too embarrassed or trying to be cool or something. As I get older I really value sincerity.
posted by sugarfish at 7:44 PM on October 1, 2009


FYI on Rope - few misconceptions floating around.

The film has several cuts in it - not because of Hitchcock's deliberate decisions to, but because a 35mm film magazine is incapable of recording more than roughly seven minutes of footage. This is still a limiting factor of film today.

However 35mm film in a theatre can be shown for about twenty minutes or so (the "cigarette burn in the right hand corner of the screen is a reminder to the projectionist to wake up and spool the next one. Of course they're mostly on platters these days so it's by the by), and - knowing this - Hitchcock was content to make those cuts more obvious.

Russian Ark, filmed digitally by Steadicam Maestro Tilman Büttner, was able to be one shot precisely because it was digitally, so there's your Rope what-if.
posted by smoke at 8:09 PM on October 1, 2009


Is This The Way To Amarillo by the Royal Dragoon Guards. I think this was originally posted around here a couple of years ago.
posted by cgk at 10:01 PM on October 1, 2009


> increasingly fantastic things happen as the camera in a single take moves down a long hallway, following the singer on a rolling platform. I think it was an extra bit on the Boogie Nights DVD, with commentary from Anderson about making it.

It's probably not a single take, they are hiding a cross dissolve every time the camera whip-pans, which is an easy way to do it without drawing attention to the cut.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:02 PM on October 1, 2009


Woo! Great post. But, yes, why the Franco/Canadian bent?
posted by skepticallypleased at 10:16 PM on October 1, 2009


But, yes, why the Franco/Canadian bent?

Every time someone asks "why the American bent" they get told to skip it if they don't like it. If you think an "un-bent" post exists you're blind.
posted by GuyZero at 10:20 PM on October 1, 2009


The Black Eyed Peas have officially written the worst song ever.

Also, Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy for one-take video clip gold.
posted by nudar at 10:58 PM on October 1, 2009


Here's how cynical the internet makes you:

When I first saw this a couple of days ago, I wondered if it was a viral for Gordon's. See how carefully he shows the label to the camera as he walks by? Or maybe that MacBook, but they don't usually do virals.
posted by fungible at 11:51 PM on October 1, 2009


Also, re: 2:25 in the video - only in Quebec would a random bunch of university students have an old-school jesuit costume on hand for a lipdub video.
posted by GuyZero at 12:17 AM on October 2, 2009


Nicely done and I guess that I'm the only geezer here to not know that song; I'm assuming it was a big hit but I've never heard it. It's pretty terrible, I hate the robotic singing thing.
posted by octothorpe at 4:43 AM on October 2, 2009


If we can stand another Rope comment... Hitch was all about the differences between theater and film. Theater is live for 90 minutes. No cuts, except for scene changes. That is THE limit of theater; one cannot suspend time to change scenes. The audience must endure it. What is the most technical (at the time) limitation of film? The length of a film reel. Hitch designed Rope's scenes to be timed to the limits of the most important cinematic tool- The camera. Thus making Rope the stage play into Rope the movie by purely technical differences.
posted by Gungho at 5:59 AM on October 2, 2009


I just meant it's strange to not see American co-eds doing lipdubs -- search and you can't find too many --....are we more splintered due to frats, hyper-specialized clubs, an acapella craze or what? That's all -- why no other languages or places? That's all I was talking about. The song is decidedly American you know and, well, so is the language they chose to sing it primarily so it's not like we're not there. P.S. -- The lollipop one might be the best.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:40 AM on October 2, 2009


Hipster Runoff discusses 'I Gotta Feeling' as only Hipster Runoff can.
posted by euphorb at 8:14 AM on October 2, 2009


Dresden Dolls calls this style Karaoke Verité and Amanda Palmer has done several herself, e.g. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (drunkenly, Vegas-style). Not one shot, though.
posted by dhartung at 9:38 AM on October 2, 2009


The Card Cheat: Black Eyed Peas either sold their souls to the Devil in return for earthly treasure (Jennifer's Body-style) or their music contains subliminal mind-control elements being tested out by The Pentagon under cover of innocuous pop songs. These are the only two plausible explanations for their continued mega-success.

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WHENYOUSEECRITICISMOFTHEBLACKEYEDPEASINANONLINEFORUMYOUWILLREPEATTHESEWORDSEXACTLY I don't know what you're talking about – the Black-Eyed Peas are an extremely talented group. YOUWILLTHENPUTINWORDSOFYOUROWNFASHIONINGABOUTTHEIRLATESTSINGLE I found "I Wanna Feeling" to be particularly exuberant and uplifting. BESUREYOUDONOTTYPETHESEINSTRUCTIONSORELSEPROJECTDARKMATTERTROOPSWILLTERMINATEYOU
posted by WCityMike at 2:26 PM on October 2, 2009


This is actually a really good song. Will.I.Am has been touring underground dance clubs djing house music for the past couple of years and I think he learned a lot from it, and he's putting it to use in his songs.
posted by empath at 1:09 AM on October 3, 2009


Loves it, this was really fun to watch.

I'd love to see a lipdub from the offices of Mons. Sarkozy. May I suggest "Glamorous Glue" by Morrissey (Guy Zero, you like?)?

Maybe France should start subsidizing video cameras, laptops and video connections in the third world like how they do with French language classes.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 4:11 AM on October 4, 2009


That was fucking awesome. God bless Montreal.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:10 PM on October 4, 2009


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