What do a dozen people in banana costumes, a giant stuffed Pikachu and the Hokie Bird all have in common? They showed up and boogied down for Virginia Tech's official Harlem Shake video this weekend.
A couple of industrious freshmen organized Tech's own version of the latest Internet viral sensation via Facebook.
John Russell and Alex Spalding coordinated and filmed the effort that had around 500 people attend Saturday at 3 p.m. A Facebook event was created just last week, and had over 1,300 attendees online.
Both consider the event a success, despite some negative feedback online.
“It ended up being really fun, so I consider that a success,” Russell said. “I think it turned out as best it could given the fact that we're all college kids looking for our 15 seconds of fame.”
The Harlem Shake has been a recent online video sensation, and many colleges across the country are jumping on the bandwagon. Virginia created its own video, as has GMU and JMU. So far, however, Tech's video has the most views.
As of 9 p.m. Monday, the video was just shy of 150,000 views online, with almost 1,400 likes. YouTube has even begun placing ads on the video.
"It's crazy how big it has gotten, but once you're part of one yourself you understand how fun it is, and that's what it's all about," Spalding said.
There have been some complaints that the narrow frame of the shot fails to show how many people actually showed up. However, Russell and Spalding made the decision to film from the ground level instead of on top of War Memorial Chapel because the wide shot seemed empty given the entire expanse of the Drillfield.
"People always think they can do a better job, but none of these critics actually go out and do it; having an idea and making your idea reality are two very different things," Spalding said.
College Culture, an online video website, has contacted Spalding requesting that he submit the video in an online contest for the best college Harlem Shake video. If the video wins, College Culture will come out to Tech to make a video.
In response to some critics saying the entire trend is a waste of time, Russell laughed, and even agreed.
“Well yeah, yes it is a gigantic waste of time, but then again, a lot of things are,” Russell said.
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