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Rules for Shooting Your Own ‘Harlem Shake’ Video

(106-1 KISS-FM YouTube)

If you want to get in on the latest internet craze, you better know the rules. You don’t want to be the one “Harlem Shake” video that does it wrong, do you?

Before shooting our own version of the “Shake” on Friday morning, we watched several other versions of the video to make sure we had the formula right. Here’s what we figured out.

  1. Find the song “Harlem Shake” by Baauer
  2. The number of people don’t matter, but the more the merrier
  3. The video starts with one person and they must be wearing a helmet or mask
  4. Only the person wearing the mask dances for the first 15 seconds, everyone else goes about their business like nothing is happening.
  5. Everyone goes completely nuts-o after the lyric, “…and do the Harlem Shake” and the beat drops. This goes on for another 15 seconds.
  6. Props. Props. Props. Whatever you can grab for the final 15 seconds to make it as ridiculous as possible.
  7. No fancy video editing. The abrupt jump-cut between the two videos is what makes it work.

I put ours together using Windows Movie Maker, a standard, pre-loaded program with most versions of Windows (the new versions anyway). We did two different videos, and shot them out of order on purpose because we needed more people for the final half and we all did have actual jobs to get back to after all. The total process, set up, filming, and editing, took about 45 minutes to an hour.

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