Thao & The Get Down Stay Down Made an Incredible Music Video Using Zoom Teleconferencing and Choreography


If you weren’t familiar with the teleconferencing application Zoom before these past few weeks, it’s likely been a revelation — especially if you’re able to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place mandates. It’s also led to a remarkable new music video from Oakland-based ensemble Thao & the Get Down Stay Down.

The product of some incredible innovation, hours of planning, rehearsing and envelope-pushing choreography that you probably didn’t realize was possible using Zoom, the clip for the funky “Phenom” is an excellent few minutes of entertainment:

Here’s how it all came about, per a news release:

“We were due to shoot the video for ‘Phenom’ with Erin and Victoria in L.A. in late March. That shoot was of course rightfully cancelled in mid-March, and the fate of any kind of video and release of ‘Phenom’ was very much in question,” notes Thao. Then, as she explains, a new video came together over the course of a week:
  • Monday, March 23: “My manager Joe floats the idea for a ‘Phenom’ video constructed entirely within Zoom.”
  • Tuesday, March 24: “Erin and Victoria hop on board with the project, and Erin sends over a new treatment that afternoon. Jeremy joins, and the production team coalesces.”
  • Wednesday, March 25: “We have our first and only pre-production meeting (via Zoom).”
  • Thursday, March 26 & Friday, March 27: “Erin somehow works out all the choreography for a live Zoom dance video incorporating eight dancers and myself, all sheltering in place in our respective homes.”
  • Saturday, March 28: “We hold our first and only five-hour rehearsal via Zoom.”
  • Sunday, March 29: “Shoot day. Everyone logs on at noon and wraps at around 8 p.m. Erin, Jeremy and Victoria begin post-production immediately.”
  • Tuesday, March 31: “Jeremy sends the first cut at 3 a.m. Toronto time. The final ‘Phenom’ video is delivered at the end of this same day.”

“Phenom” is a preview of the new Thao & the Get Down Stay Down album, Temple, which will be released on May 15.



Comments are closed.