“You want me to do what now? What is this for anyway?”
This was the standard response from some of our less suspecting actors featuring in the Gangnam Style Parody. After taking some silly photos in the L block elevator with my good friend Taylor (codename: ‘merica) to parody the ‘elevator dance’ seen in the Gangnam style videos, we had only intended to enter the USQ Phoenix Photo competition. However, after some discussion, we decided that photos were not enough. We needed to recreate, as some call it, the abomination of a video that is Gangnam style to USQ standards. This blog will recount the behind the scenes events to the video, dealing with the fame, how I turned to recreational drugs to deal with the pressure and my chronic problems with exaggeration. But seriously, this term has been as challenging and exciting as it has ever been for me. Last minute decisions to make K-Pop parodies, live performances of it and prize money shopping trips after it turned out to be better than we had ever expected.
This semester, I also managed to achieve the Phoenix Award, plus the volunteer’s 20 hours certificate after a year and a half’s worth of effort. To top it all off, I am proud to say that after many weeks of hard work the charity committee pulled off a spectacular Charity Royale (casino night, James Bond themed) at Concannon College. It has been a busy semester indeed.
To create the Gangnam style video, we used 8 cans of silly spray, over twenty phoenix shirts (Thanks USQ!), one security guard, Concannon and McGregor’s mascot costumes, a cardboard cut-out of Doctor Who, a robotic tarantula, a pair of reflective aviator sunnies, wheelie shoes, a weekend and more permanent marker than a shirtless man is usually happy with. If you haven’t seen it, check it out below ↓
As you probably can tell, we had a lot of fun making the video. But what I think I’ll enjoy looking back on is the general reactions of onlookers while we were shooting. We chose to film on a weekend to avoid the crowds, but there was still quite a large student presence studying in the library and Japanese Gardens. If you have a look at the shot where we dance in the library hub (with all those amazing cushions) imagine that each one of the computers on either side is occupied with a student. Furthermore, imagine that each student is locked in an attention vying battle between researching for assignments and watching a bunch of crazy nuggets dance on the furniture. I’d imagine it would be like a battle between a wookiee and an ewok. As well as our onlookers, I had one of the lab assistants stumble in on our (possibly illegal bets) on a robotic tarantula and turtle fight in the science department. That was quite funny, especially from his point of view.
After some expert editing by Brodie, the video was ready to be submitted on the due date. On the night, we pulled a few strings and set up the projector in the McGregor Dining hall for an exclusive premiere viewing. After all that work, the Gangnam team was grateful for the feedback. From there, the video was shown at a USQ staff meeting, played on the Bookshop TV and shown to a crowd of 300 school students for a USQ careers day. Myself, ‘Merica and Scanlon (that dashing bloke that plays PSY) got to make a guest appearance in costume on the day, which was great fun with all the student ambassadors. Finally, we were announced as the winners of the video competition! The main three organisers and I had $500 to share at Grand Central, which made it worth all the effort.
Honestly speaking, this year at college has been one of the most ridiculously fun, stimulating and enriching experiences of my lifetime. Can’t wait to get back!
As is my tradition, I conclude with a quote from Morgan Freeman.
It is compulsory to read this in his voice..
“But I can say that life is good to me. Has been and is good. So I think my task is to be good to it. So how do you be good to life? You live it.”