Saturday February 23, 2013
Doing the Harlem Shake, Malaysian style
By TASHNY SUKUMARAN
PETALING JAYA: All sorts of kooky Harlem Shake videos have been popping up on the Internet from all over the world and now Malaysia's claiming a piece of the action!
The videos begin with one person dancing alone in a group, followed by a jump cut to the entire crowd gyrating in various styles with different costumes and props to the song Harlem Shake by American DJ Baauer.
Rhythm & Hues KL, the visual effects studio that worked on Oscar-nominated films Life of Pi and Snow White and The Huntsman, just got into the Shake.
Azim Hulaimi, who worked on Life of Pi's tiger Richard Parker, said the video was a spur-of-the-moment idea that livened up a busy work day.
“Some of us were at the office working really hard, and a couple of others were watching Harlem Shake videos. So we thought Hey, let's make one ourselves!'”
And that's what they did, using props lying around the office.
“It took three takes for the first scene because we kept bursting into fits of laughter,” said Azim, 31, who believes that shooting the video has been a great bonding experience for the team.
“We might be making another one to include those who weren't around that day,” he added.
While Rhythm & Hues did it spontaneously and with whatever was at hand, other Malaysian fans of Harlem Shake went all out to impress in their versions.
Joseph Germani and his friends contacted sponsors for costumes and a venue, and then shot their Harlem Shake (Epic All Star Edition), starring superheroes such as The Hulk, Captain America and Spider-Man.
“We thought it would be cool to have these star-power characters in the video. We knew it would be a unique scene,” he said.
Germani's video takes a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the mega-hit Gangnam Style, opening with someone doing Psy's famous horse-riding dance.
He is pushed aside by another cast member, who promptly begins the Harlem Shake.
Germani, 22, and his friends also incorporated quintessentially Malaysian icons into the video, like shooting it at a popular nasi kandar restaurant, featuring the national flag and including the ubiquitous school pinafore.
“Our main aim was to have fun and we roped in friends and family to make the video,” he said.