Ever since we did this lipdub back in 2007 (that was before social media were invented, right?) our colleagues have come to expect the annual WebCom Christmas video at the staff party. And, sure enough, we were trailing and teasing our new opus from mid-November and showed it to our colleagues last night at the yearly bash.
But we don't do it for our colleagues, we do it for ourselves. I mean, what else would we do with lunchtimes and evenings – eat, sleep…? (Pyramid of needs, anyone?) Seriously though, this video is worth weeks of expensive team-building courses sitting in front of flipcharts or building rafts to cross muddy ponds – not that our employer has ever offered us anything like that – and is huge fun into the bargain. It has become part of the collective self-image and, yes, I do sometimes show these videos when I am asked to present the team and its work.
Inevitably, there is always the impulse to go one better, and in any case to find something a bit different from before. While everyone still remembers that first lipdub, we have done some nice stuff since. Nothing has gone viral like that first one did (nearly 100,000 views in the end, I think, on YouTube), but that's not the point: we've tried things out, had fun doing it and got good results.
There can be odd spin-offs. Last year's exercise ("young me, now me") led to some of our number featuring in a book by American artist Ze Frank, and thus sitting on coffee tables from San Diego to Boston.
This year's movie is unquestionably the most ambitious we've done technically. The director, Dan, and special effects ace, Mathieu, really excelled themselves, sacrificed a great deal of their free time to the project – even if I have the feeling they are both fairly nocturnal animals anyway…
The concept is a ready made meme
The concept (Tibo, of course) is a ready made meme, though I am not aware of anyone else having done this in quite the same way. We collected some of our favourite TV series, past and present, and did mini-remakes of their title sequences, with small tweaks, naturally. Much of the fun in watching the video is in the recognition, so we went mainly for American shows everyone knows.
Except of course they don't. One little side effect of making this video was the renewed realisation of how much our younger lives were conditioned by the Iron Curtain. The US shows that were to an extraordinary degree a common staple of audiences across western Europe turned out to be unknown in the East. Anyway, I think I can safely say that nobody, not even among the westerners, has yet recognised all the shows we included.
So there's a challenge.
And here's the video.