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

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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.

 

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