Thursday, November 12, 2015

The YouTube Sensation

Brian Schneider | Staff Writer

It is amazing what students can come up with when they live at school, from warball games, to pillow fights, to making videos of popular songs with unexpected dancers. Juniors Broden Kaps and Eric Zhang did just that.

Zhang, who transferred to Mount Michael in the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year, is a studious, kind individual who works hard and tries to do his best at all times. However, a different side came out of him in this video which may have been inspired by his roommate. Zhang is rooming with Broden Kaps this year, and their fun is just beginning.

“Broden is a really good friend. He is helpful and funny and he comes up with fantastic ideas,” Zhang said.

One of Kap’s greatest ideas was to have Zhang dance. Ever since the song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento came out, it has been a hit, taking the pop culture genre by storm. However, the dance moves are what made each of these songs so popular.

The Whip is a dance move where the movement consists of nearly making contact between opposite knee and elbow, dropping the knee, and pushing the arm forward like driving a car one handed. The Nae Nae is waving back and forth while walking backwards, which is a continuation of the Whip.
Kaps and Zhang worked hard for two weeks shooting the video.

“We were shooting everyday after study hall for around twenty minutes,” video editor and fellow junior Homer Xu said. According to Kaps, Zhang held off on calling his parents every night to work on the video, something that is normally important to Zhang.

“Sometimes it was hard to not call my parents when we filmed but the video was a good way to relax and get my mind off of studying,” Zhang said.

While the three worked on the video, the hype kept building. “I was excited to see what Kaps would come up with,” junior Joe Coldiron said.

They had to be creative to make the best possible video, using different places inside the school, primarily Zhang and Kaps’ dorm and the gym, Shots of Zhang wearing sunglasses and headphones while dribbling basketballs or hanging his arms around his friends also added a creative aspect to this extremely cheap production, according to Xu.

However, the result is a fairly high quality video. Some of the lighting was just a flashlight being waved around. Xu had the idea to use the flashlight to add a dance floor vibe to the music video, simulating the flashing lights of a dance floor.

Editing also helped improve the visual appeal. Using Windows Movie Maker, Xu made the final edit of the music video in around five to six hours.

Zhang was disappointed when Kaps was not in the video with him, after Kaps told him they would be dancing together. However, once Zhang got into the video and started to dance, he had a good time making it.

Watch Zhang Whip was an instant hit the night it came out, soaring above 300 views in the first week.

Zhang is considering doing another video, but for now he is focusing on more typical evening activities like studying.

 Kaps enjoyed the film making as well, making sure he made time for the video every night after study hall.

When Kaps began to film, he knew right away that the film would not be a serious video. Kaps was inspired to do this video when he asked himself, “What would happen if we made a video of Eric dancing to this song?” The end result made many people laugh, deans included.

“Eric’s whip form is on point,” sophomore Luke Van Haute said. Junior Keylan Beller agreed “The video was very creative and very funny,” junior Keylan Bellar said.

Kaps is thinking about doing another video. However, he wants to keep all of his ideas for new videos a surprise. Perhaps one of these surprise videos will come in the second quarter.