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Oh, you know, just dancing in the rain
July 28, 2010 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Meanwhile, at the corner of Pop and Lock Avenues in Oakland... (SLYT)

To get this out of the way, it's rumored that this is a viral ad for something, but I cannot figure out what.
Link text adapted from YT commenter.
posted by desjardins (110 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
When the white shirt guy was dancing I was like "well sure, if you ALTER THE VIDEO it's really ea...holy crap, a car just drove by at regular speed".
posted by DU at 10:49 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: clothing, obvs
posted by DU at 10:49 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


DU: "When the white shirt guy was dancing I was like "well sure, if you ALTER THE VIDEO it's really ea...holy crap, a car just drove by at regular speed"."

Watch the puddles at that part. They did speed it up to sync with the beat.
posted by battlebison at 10:52 AM on July 28, 2010


Yeah the guy in the white tee-- it seemed pretty obvious that they'd sped it up and slowed it down until it became obvious that they hadn't.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:52 AM on July 28, 2010


Also is this a Vitamin Water ad?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:54 AM on July 28, 2010


Oh yeah, you're right. There's just a brief flash of sped up video.

The logo comes from here btw.
posted by DU at 10:56 AM on July 28, 2010


I really dig the sneakers on the white t-shirt guy.

Also the dancing was good.
posted by inigo2 at 11:00 AM on July 28, 2010


I will buy the Swiffer 360
posted by Beardman at 11:00 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Killer dancing. Wish I'd known they were filming this, I'd have gone to watch.
posted by doteatop at 11:08 AM on July 28, 2010


I was really, really enjoying this until I realized this was a Vitamin Water ad. I can't really explain why it is that knowing this is a commercial made the video less enjoyable for me. I guess it's that before I could suspend my disbelief but after I started to suspect that I was being had, in some way, that trickery was involved in the video. It's silly, I know, and usually I don't really care one way or the other whether my entertainment is authentic or not, but this was my reaction when I realized this was an ad.
posted by Kattullus at 11:13 AM on July 28, 2010


Capitalism kills everything.
posted by koeselitz at 11:25 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember when dancing on the corner as advertisement was a little more straight forward.
posted by Widepath at 11:26 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kattullus, I think the difference is that these viral campaigns purport to be real, and so they make us excited that funny/beautiful/generous/creative things can happen in the world simply for their own sake. Taking pleasure in that fact is distinct from taking pleasure in manufactured entertainment, and by finding out it's an ad, its unique source of pleasure is undermined.
posted by Beardman at 11:26 AM on July 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


More video on the filmmaker's web site
posted by desjardins at 11:27 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was really, really enjoying this until Kattallus realized this was a Vitamin Water ad. I can't really explain why it is that knowing that he knows that this is a commercial made the video less enjoyable for me also made it less enjoyable for me. It's silly, I know, and usually I don't really care one way or the other what other people think, but this was my reaction when I realized that Kattallus realized this was an ad.
posted by pmbuko at 11:27 AM on July 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


I was really, really enjoying this until pmbuko realized that Kattallus realized that this was a Vitamin Water ad. I can't really explain why it is that knowing that he knows that he knows that this is a commercial made the video less enjoyable for me . It's silly, I know, and usually I don't really care one way or the other what twice-removed people think, but this was my reaction when I realized that pmbuko realized that Kattallus realized that this was an ad.
posted by memebake at 11:33 AM on July 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


I didn't enjoy this until I found out it was an ad.
posted by found missing at 11:34 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not so sure this is an ad. Here is the website for the logo at the end. They seem to have something to do with a community centre in Oakland. Here is the same video in the Yak YouTube page. Personally, I'm willing to believe that the Vitamin Water ad just happened to be there, but maybe I'm naive.
posted by ssg at 11:36 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also something about the movement of the legs in some bits looks wrong to me - not just that its sped up, its as if there's too much motion blur, which makes it seem a little unreal. Might just be me.
posted by memebake at 11:36 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't want to engage in this too much since I don't want to come off as being defensive of my own post, but I don't see why it makes a difference whether or not it's an ad. Of course it's manufactured; you weren't there to witness it, so someone had to capture it on film. It's obviously edited. The guys obviously know each other and had to have planned this to some extent. Their talent is the same regardless of whether or not they were paid for it. Likely they have been dancing for years, without recompense, for the sheer enjoyment of dancing. Because they are getting paid, because they are indirectly selling a product, we are no longer supposed to enjoy it? Would we have experienced it (given that most of us are not in Oakland) had someone not paid for the filming and editing and put it on YouTube?
posted by desjardins at 11:37 AM on July 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think the difference is that these viral campaigns purport to be real, and so they make us excited that funny/beautiful/generous/creative things can happen in the world simply for their own sake

Of course, if you simply youtube "turfing" you can find many examples
of this dance style in action, being performed just for the fun of it.

Just because advertising co-opts everything, doesn't mean the original doesn't exist.
posted by yeloson at 11:37 AM on July 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Obviously this could be anywhere on a scale of "let's get some professional dancers and a choreographer and stage something" to "there's some guys dancing - let's ask them if we can video them and use it for an ad". At one end of that scale, the fact that it's an ad is irrelevant. At the other end of the scale, where you just read that pmbuko read that Kattulus realised that this was a Vitamin Water ad, the suspicion that it may not be what it seemed indeed undermines its charm.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:38 AM on July 28, 2010


I'm not sure it's an ad either-- their website certainly doesn't seem to indicate that they're an ad agency, unless you want to speculate about whether their site is merely another layer of viral deception.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:39 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


This dancing is making me thirsty.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was really, really enjoying this until I realized this was a Vitamin Water ad.

Is there any indication that this actually is a Vitamin Water ad, aside from a fucking YouTube comment?

From the maker's Web site:
YAK is a production team of young filmmakers leading the Youth Uprising Media Literacy & Production program in East Oakland, CA. We are dedicated to youth-led multimedia production which provides a voice of resistance and an alternative to played-out multimedia.
I know that Vitamin Water is a sponsor of some breakdancing competitions, but again, what evidence demonstrates that the video is a Vitamin Water ad?

I don't see why it makes a difference whether or not it's an ad. Of course it's manufactured

I don't think it's the fact that it's manufactured that would be the problem. The problem would be the original intent of the video. It's either art or advertising. (That doesn't mean a lot of advertising isn't highly enjoyable.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2010


I was really impressed with their dancing ability until someone mentioned the possibility that it might be an ad. Now I realize that their ability is, in fact, pedestrian and mildly insulting to my intelligence.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:41 AM on July 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


The problem would be the original intent of the video. It's either art or advertising.

One does not preclude the other.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:42 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyway, it's interesting that most of their films are shot in either Oakland or Paris. Kind of an unusual pairing - I wonder how that came about.
posted by desjardins at 11:42 AM on July 28, 2010


This thread is making me feel like maybe a lot of people have killfiled me and I didn't know it.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:46 AM on July 28, 2010


Did someone say something? I thought I heard a whisper.
posted by desjardins at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm shocked that a company may or may not have attempted to advertise a product I may or may not like by using a video that I may or may not like.

SHOCKED!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2010


They're all wearing brand-spanking new sneakers, aren't they?
posted by crunchland at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2010


I like how each of the men plays a role (at least in my mind):

Mr. White - slick, smooth, and silent - the "stone cold gentleman"
Mr. Black - the class clown; unorthodox jokey moves with a smile or smirk
Mr. Orange - the revolutionary gangster with Zapatista bandana and harsh words, but a heart of gold (and sick moves)
Mr. Stripes - the everyman; the guy who's good enough to hang with the studs but still amateur enough to bang his head on the concrete; the one we all think "hey, i could do that;" see: Joey Fatone

Maybe it is a commercial (the dropped papers and head bonk by Mr. Stripes makes me think it's not) ...
posted by mrgrimm at 11:52 AM on July 28, 2010


Did someone say something? I thought I heard a whisper.

*weeps openly*
posted by shakespeherian at 11:53 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure it's an ad either-- their website certainly doesn't seem to indicate that they're an ad agency, unless you want to speculate about whether their site is merely another layer of viral deception.
posted by minifigs at 11:54 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


They're all wearing brand-spanking new sneakers, aren't they?

How familiar are you with black social culture? Admittedly, I am white and not very myself, but I've noticed that black kids (particularly males) often tend to keep their (rather expensive) sneakers in spotless condition.

Pure anecdata, but that's extremely circumstantial evidence of advertising anyway.

One does not preclude the other.

Admittedly, I brought it up that nasty derail, but I'm not gonna bite. I'm going to choose to "agree to disagree" here (if that is an option).
posted by mrgrimm at 11:57 AM on July 28, 2010


YOU GUYS ARE JUST JEALOUS THAT I'M FRIENDS WITH BATMAN
posted by shakespeherian at 11:57 AM on July 28, 2010


How familiar are you with black social culture? --- Does watching The Wire count?
posted by crunchland at 11:59 AM on July 28, 2010


They're all wearing brand-spanking new sneakers, aren't they?

How familiar are you with black social culture?


Make that urban youth cultures. If they had grungy shoes, the video would seem more fake. See the shoes (esp. the pink soles) in this video linked by yeloson. Bright shoes are part of the outfit, and stepping on or scuffing someone's shoes is a big deal (so say my wife, a high school teacher).

Anyway, it's interesting that most of their films are shot in either Oakland or Paris. Kind of an unusual pairing - I wonder how that came about.

"Street dancing" (popping, locking, breaking, animation style, etc) are a big deal in Europe and Japan, in some cases bigger than in the US. So people who are involved with the scene will know each-other around the world, or so I'd guess.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:00 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


dammit all who cares if it's an ad those kids can dance good
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:04 PM on July 28, 2010


Also, showy outfits have been part of popping and locking for a long time, and still is.

Electric Boogaloo (2): The True Electric Boogaloo -- self-link on the history of The Electric Boogaloos and associated groups / dancers (including Toni Basil).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


They're all wearing brand-spanking new sneakers, aren't they?
posted by crunchland at 2:48 PM on July 28 [+] [!]


What's your point?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:06 PM on July 28, 2010


Uh, the Turf Feinz are a real turfing group from Oakland, and they dance well whether it's an ad or not. They've been making videos for a few years, Minimart from 2008 is a favorite of mine.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:09 PM on July 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm white and my sneakers look like shit. So there you go.
posted by desjardins at 12:10 PM on July 28, 2010


I know that Vitamin Water is a sponsor of some breakdancing competitions, but again, what evidence demonstrates that the video is a Vitamin Water ad?

I think because people see the Vitamin Water poster affixed to the pole where 'White Shirt' and 'Stripped Shirt' are dancing.
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on July 28, 2010


What's your point? --- obviously, if this were an ad, I was suggesting that maybe it's an ad for sneakers, because all of their laces and the bottoms of their sneakers are all brand new looking. Others, though, pointed out that there could be other reasons for meticulously clean sneakers.

Now, are there any other threads for which you'd like me to provide a play-by-play?
posted by crunchland at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2010


*Striped*
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on July 28, 2010


This thread is making me feel like maybe a lot of people have killfiled me and I didn't know it.

*PLONK*

(Not really, I just haven't had a chance to *plonk* anybody since, oh, probably 2002 or so.)
posted by kmz at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2010


Has anybody checked on shakespeherian for a while? I can't remember the last time he commented, and ordinarily he'd be all over a thread like this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:35 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, popping and locking is such a futuristic style of dance, and it came from the streets! Those guys were amazing.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:39 PM on July 28, 2010


Google Street View says: coincidence, not a viral video. [via]

Now I'm going to go back to enjoying this, thank you very much. These guys are awesome, and their video is very professional and well-done, but that doesn't mean they're just shills – and they don't deserve having that ridiculous claim leveled at them, I don't think.
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 PM on July 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Fuck, how hard would it have been for some of us to just check out their Youtube home page, which is linked right there underneath the original video? I'm not tossing blame around – I did the same thing. But they're clearly not a marketing organization; they're a dance crew.
posted by koeselitz at 12:41 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah – I see the trouble. The linked video is just an anonymous repost of the original video, so we had no way of seeing clearly who it was posted by.
posted by koeselitz at 12:44 PM on July 28, 2010


Wait, they're a dance crew ?!? Not just some strangers who spontaneously started dancing?

Sorry, that ruins it for me.
posted by found missing at 12:44 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Come to think of it, where's koeselitz?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:45 PM on July 28, 2010


I was really, really enjoying this until I realized this was a dance crew. I can't really explain why it is that knowing this is a dance crew made the video less enjoyable for me. I guess it's that before I could suspend my disbelief but after I started to suspect that I was being had, in some way, that trickery was involved in the video. It's silly, I know, and usually I don't really care one way or the other whether my entertainment is authentic or not, but this was my reaction when I realized this was a dance crew.
posted by numbskeleton at 12:51 PM on July 28, 2010


koeselitz? Oh, I killfiled that dude ages ago, ever since he spammed me with those silly Vitamin Water viral videos.
posted by koeselitz at 12:52 PM on July 28, 2010


I kinda wish Vitamin Water were supporting this group, it'd mean the money people spend on that quasi-homeopathic soda would be going to some good cause...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:52 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would be nice to change the link in the post to the official/original video.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:52 PM on July 28, 2010


Has anybody checked on shakespeherian for a while?

Oh shit, his account's disabled!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:53 PM on July 28, 2010


Thanks, koeselitz! The prominence of the Vitamin Water poster made me jump to conclusions. I will now get back to watching jerking and turfing videos.
posted by Kattullus at 12:55 PM on July 28, 2010


numbskeleton: “I was really, really enjoying this until I realized this was a dance crew. I can't really explain why it is that knowing this is a dance crew made the video less enjoyable for me. I guess it's that before I could suspend my disbelief but after I started to suspect that I was being had, in some way, that trickery was involved in the video. It's silly, I know, and usually I don't really care one way or the other whether my entertainment is authentic or not, but this was my reaction when I realized this was a dance crew.”

Do all of you people seriously believe that it doesn't matter at all whether this is just a shameless commercial shilling Vitamin Water or an instance of free expression? Has capitalism really blinded you so much that it doesn't matter if a person debases their art by slapping logos and corporate branding all over it? What is this world coming to?

Seriously, the next time one of you idiots pulls this whole "ha, ha, I will replace 'commercial' with another more obvious word in Kattullus' comment, and I will thereby make a brilliant statement about how free artistic expression and pitching a product you're trying to sell are the same thing LOOK AT HOW OH-SO-CLEVER I AM!" I will go nuts and smack somebody.

Killfile that.
posted by koeselitz at 12:58 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously, the next time one of you idiots pulls this whole "ha, ha, I will replace 'penis' with another more obvious word in Kattullus' comment, and I will thereby make a brilliant statement about how free artistic expression and pitching a product you're trying to sell are the same thing LOOK AT HOW OH-SO-CLEVER I AM!" I will go nuts and smack somebody.
posted by found missing at 12:59 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't worry, I'm sure we'll soon have Vitamin Water or similar companies producing series of movies about down-on-their-luck kids in street dance competitions, with the primary protagonists played by white kids who will unify a rag-tag dance crew by virtue of their awesome dancing talent and heartfelt nice white lady inspirational speech, while receiving a crucial bit of knowledge/confidence from their black or latino friend who otherwise has about 1/5th the speaking lines and screen time.

What's that? Step Up 3D is coming out? Oh, there you go.
posted by yeloson at 1:00 PM on July 28, 2010


What's that? Step Up 3D is coming out? Oh, there you go.

Seriously, though -- I'm am THERE opening day. Laser suit guys totally sold me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on July 28, 2010


Do all of you people seriously believe that it doesn't matter at all whether this is just a shameless commercial shilling Vitamin Water or an instance of free expression?

Yes... if I enjoy it, that's that. I mean, if the words VITAMIN WATER were superimposed on the video such that you had to kind of squint around them or something, yeah that would suck. But as long as it doesn't ruin the actual entertainment, I don't see why it matters. And if this had been an ad, it would have been a pretty subtle one -- I didn't notice the poster until it was mentioned in this thread after having seen the video.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:02 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, it's a MetroPCS ad. Didn't you see the sign on the building at the beginning?
posted by zsazsa at 1:07 PM on July 28, 2010


Come to think of it, where's koeselitz?

Oh, is he in this thread? He's the only person in my killfile.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:19 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of those moves were amazing.
Especially the one at 2:47 I had to watch a few times to realise what he did exactly.
I didn't know the human body could do that.
posted by joost de vries at 1:35 PM on July 28, 2010


Those Vitamin Water signs are all over the place, it's not an ad. Though it is funny that zsazsa mentioned MetroPCS, as they do actually pay guys to dance outside of their stores- but they have signs and it's obviously promotional. More dancing from that crew and a catchy-ass song from Los Rakas here.
posted by ryaninoakland at 1:37 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do all of you people seriously believe that it doesn't matter at all whether this is just a shameless commercial shilling Vitamin Water or an instance of free expression?

If this was a Vitamin Water commercial, what would make it shameless? I'd never heard of Turf Feinz or Turf dancing before...does it make it less artistic if it was brought to my attention by a company trying to sell something? Does it really matter how you are exposed to new art, if you appreciate the artistic value within? So, no, it doesn't matter to me if its an advertisement, a dance crew self promoting, or a cell phone video of 4 guys on a street corner that someone thought was cool...that's some crazy dancing.
posted by numbskeleton at 2:16 PM on July 28, 2010


does it make it less artistic if it was brought to my attention by a company trying to sell something?

I swore I wasn't going to enter this ring, but yes. Unless you contend that the intent or purpose of the video is inconsequential.

You don't think that a video produced to be art has a different purpose than a video produced to convince you to buy something? And that any inherent differences in purpose wouldn't affect the content of the video itself?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:24 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


That gave me the greatest joy and biggest smile I have had in some time, THANKS!
posted by vito90 at 2:29 PM on July 28, 2010


Well, let's take the Wire as an example. On one hand, nothing but an extremely complex advertisement for Ford and Verizon; on the other hand, great art.
posted by domographer at 2:29 PM on July 28, 2010


Did this guy smack his head on the ground? Just wonderin'.
posted by orme at 2:55 PM on July 28, 2010


I really enjoyed Nascar until I realized they were shilling for a million different corporations. Driving around in circles for hours at amazingly high speeds has now lost its charm. And baseball? Fuck those corporate banner-wavers for athletics brands that people wear when they're busy sitting on the sidelines.

From about two minutes in the middle of the video, that VitaminWater sign is really conspicuous, and you'll notice that the white shirt billows a lot for something shot in the rain (I think there's a cover over that corner only, as it's raining on the first duo, and you can see rain in a closer corner of the sidewalk later on). Plus the lighting and shots are really stable, with editing and audio syncing to boot. In short, the production qualities and planning is not a secret, especially with director and editor credits on the original clip (which includes 1080p option).

But skilled dancing can be appreciated even in an overtly commercial context, such as this Schlitz commercial by the Original Lockers from the 1970s. Maybe the subtle element makes it seem less honest, but they've already edited it and synced it with a soundtrack. Is the commercial aspect that much of a deal-killer? (Or have I given into the notion that everything well-produced is marketing something?)
posted by filthy light thief at 3:56 PM on July 28, 2010


I thought it was beautiful. Thanks for the post.
posted by rtha at 3:57 PM on July 28, 2010


Vitaminwater Label, Name, Misleading, Judge Tells Coca Cola
posted by eegphalanges at 4:04 PM on July 28, 2010


You don't think that a video produced to be art has a different purpose than a video produced to convince you to buy something? And that any inherent differences in purpose wouldn't affect the content of the video itself?

The limitations of any type of media or rules about a particular style of art directly limit the content of that piece of art. Viral videos are art being created under the constraints inherent in advertising a product. If we are talking about a viral video, I'd say it doesn't make it any less a piece of dance or performance art.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:09 PM on July 28, 2010


YouthUprising is real and one of the most vital community centers in East Oakland. My intuitive hit (based on little evidence) is this is not an ad. I could have sworn the version of this I saw a month ago actually showed a street sign - I wish I could go check the intersection. The placement of the Vitamin Water ad is a little weird - it seems like it's actually in the median or something, but these kinds of cardboard cutout ads are pretty normal in front of corner liquor stores.

You could message the director if you want to.
posted by serazin at 4:25 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


You guys were surprised it was a dance crew?
posted by limeonaire at 4:49 PM on July 28, 2010


I didn't notice any ads because I was watching the dancers. Woop-di-doo for me I guess.
posted by minifigs at 4:50 PM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


So I went ahead and messaged the director, Yoram Savion. Here's his response:

I don't understand where the idea of the vitamin water came into this??

i made this video for Dreal (the guy in white shirts) 's brother who died in a car accident on that street corner the night before that rainy monday morning...

thats the only purpose of that video, its an "RIP video", we ve made a few in oakland as people are dying at an alarming rate from gun violence, police brutality and reckless driving..

many young dancers we work with use dance as a way to release pent up energy and stay positive and creative in their lives

thank you for bringing this to my attention


He also pointed out that the link in the FPP is wrong and will be taken down by tomorrow. Maybe a mod could switch it out for the original link?
posted by serazin at 5:02 PM on July 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


Thanks for setting that to rest, serazin. I was feeling a bit like I did after that "count the number of passes ... oops, you missed the guy in the gorilla suit!" video - I was so enthralled with the dancing I didn't see the Vitamin Water sign at all and couldn't understand why anyone would think it was an ad.

Did this guy smack his head on the ground?
Hard enough to make it bounce. He shook it off well, though. Watching people doing acrobatic moves like that on concrete gives me the shudders.
posted by EvaDestruction at 5:09 PM on July 28, 2010


I can't believe how much more "hip" I'm feeling than most of the people who commented on this here right about now. I watched the video before reading this thread. I figured it was a dance crew doing cool stuff outside a liquor store or convenience store or something.

I am so "down" with the young people today.
posted by Jimbob at 6:13 PM on July 28, 2010


One last comment on the placement of the Vitamin Water sign - please check koeselitz's street view link. It's been there since before whenever Google's van went by, and judging by how much it's faded in the video, it's been awhile.
posted by desjardins at 6:37 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Link has been fixed - thanks to the mods for setting that right. One last tiny bit:

serazin: “I could have sworn the version of this I saw a month ago actually showed a street sign - I wish I could go check the intersection.”

It's at MacArthur & 70th; you can see that pretty clearly at the very beginning in the new, corrected link. (Don't know if it was there in the old link - don't really want to go check.)
posted by koeselitz at 6:43 PM on July 28, 2010


I could have sworn the version of this I saw a month ago actually showed a street sign - I wish I could go check the intersection.

MacArthur and 90th avenue. The SmartWater sign is in front of Harry's Liquors.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:04 PM on July 28, 2010


oddd, I didn't realize how much being 'En Pointe' was a part of this dance style.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:43 PM on July 28, 2010


I'm actually a little sad that after so many comments, there hasn't been a single reference to Gene Kelly in this thread.
posted by crunchland at 7:46 PM on July 28, 2010


Don't know if it was there in the old link - don't really want to go check

Yes, it was there.
posted by inigo2 at 8:20 PM on July 28, 2010


As someone who has shot and edited a bunch of videos, maybe I can shed a little light on the effects used in this. A lot of times when you're shooting you're using something running on batteries for playback. Every time you do a new take the batteries run down a little more. Stuff from the end of the shoot is synced a much slower speed than the real song. The little speedups you see are one way of getting the dancers back in sync with the song without putting cuts in where you don't want them.
posted by DaddyNewt at 8:28 PM on July 28, 2010


This thread is now a Vitamin Water ad.
posted by analogue at 8:32 PM on July 28, 2010


koeselitz: "Google Street View says: coincidence, not a viral video. [via]"

True, but if you go north on MacArthur Blvd and turn around the sign is no longer there! It's totally an ad!

/hamburger


Nice find koeselitz.
posted by Big_B at 8:53 PM on July 28, 2010


The tears fall freely, for the beauty I see clearly.

Thank you, desjardins.
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:04 PM on July 28, 2010


Eh, just because it's in Street View doesn't mean it wasn't placed there for the film and was up at the time that Streetview drove pas.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:07 PM on July 28, 2010


Well, if it is a stealth ad, it's a pretty crappy one, since none of us can definitively come up with the product it's supposed to be selling.
posted by crunchland at 10:23 PM on July 28, 2010


I'm really perplexed by some people's reactions in here. Can anyone say with a straight face that the backstory four dancers paying tribute to a dead relative by dancing on the street corner he died doesn't make for a better video than a softdrink company paid them to dance on a street corner?

There are many pieces of art whose backstory doesn't matter to me. I don't care why Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, all I care about is that seeing it was an aesthetic experience that felt profound to me. And plenty of great art has been made with one eye on the money it nets the artists. But I'm affected by stories. If it turned out, for instance, that On the Road had been written by Jack Kerouac at the behest of Mobil Oil to get people to drive longer distances and thereby use more gas, I'd look at that book in a different light.

Art requires that its audience are willing to enter into it and go along with it. When I jumped to the erroneous conclusion that this was a Vitamin Water ad I stopped being enthralled by the dancing and started to think about what I thought I was being sold. After koeselitz had shown me the error of my ways I watched it again and was enthralled all over again. Finding out the backstory made the video even more special to me.

Stories matter in art and "an ad agency paid us to make this" is a crappy story.
posted by Kattullus at 11:01 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's funny because the assumption that this was a Vitamin Water viral ad generated more discussion about Vitamin Water and raised the brand awareness of Vitamin Water more than the tiny Vitamin Water sign would have if it had actually been intended as a Vitamin Water viral ad.

Vitamin Water. :|
posted by Rhaomi at 11:21 PM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm glad the link was fixed and proper credit was given, because that was a beautiful video. As for Vitamin Water, I don't think it's going to be around under that brand name for much longer.
posted by eegphalanges at 7:58 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have to be rich enough to support yourself entirely independently in order to dedicate yourself to your art. Otherwise it doesn't count because you chose to taint yourself with capitalism.

Duh.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:20 AM on July 29, 2010


You guys are doing it ALL WRONG.

It's vitaminwater. One word.

And yeah. What eegphalanges said.

What's worse is that vitaminwaterdotcom redirects to a Facebook fan page. They deserve whatever they get.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:20 AM on July 29, 2010


Wait -- these guys already knew how to dance? They didn't just drink some Vitamin Water and spontaneously start dancing?? Sorry, that ruins it for me.
posted by LordSludge at 9:21 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


You have to be rich enough to support yourself entirely independently in order to dedicate yourself to your art.

There's nothing wrong with selling out. We all (or certainly most of us) do it. I just wouldn't call it art.

There's certainly nothing wrong with selling out (per se), if it enables you to survive and/or make more art. It's a fine line, but there's a difference between music written for a commercial, and music written during the free time you earned by selling commercial music.

It's a blurry line, sure. Semantically, you could say that commercial paid for your artistic creation, but I would argue that it paid for free time that you used however you saw fit.

Anyway, this discussion has little to do with breakdancing. Or vitaminwater.com.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:38 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eh, just because it's in Street View doesn't mean it wasn't placed there for the film and was up at the time that Streetview drove pas.

Oh, yeah, that sign that was yellow in StreetView and had faded to white by the time the video was filmed. That's thinking ahead.

Jeez, I can't believe people are still on about this being a viral for VitaminWater, when it's perfectly clear that it is a viral for the OPD. Yeah, the Oakland Police Department paid money for these guys to dance in the rain. You see that roller in the first part, with the big gold shield on its side? Did you see how he just talked to the dude, and didn't jump out and throw them on the trunk and handcuff them right there? Totally fake, especially since they were just two blocks way from Castlemont High, where if you're on the street for real you're either dealing or playing hooky.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:50 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This thread is weird.
posted by serazin at 12:51 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to be a fan of Kattallus's posts until I realized he was a shill for Vitamin Water.
posted by empath at 10:12 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jeez, I can't believe people are still on about this being a viral for VitaminWater, when it's perfectly clear that it is a viral for the OPD.

I noticed this too. It seems to be a recurring motif in the YAK videos. Several of them start with a police car passing by or interacting with one of the dancers.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:12 PM on July 30, 2010


The Turf Feinz Go Viral
posted by serazin at 9:53 AM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Great article, serazin. Thanks.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:02 PM on August 11, 2010


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