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MU students, athletes create Harlem Shake videos

Two separate groups filmed their own versions of the viral sensation on campus.

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MU students dance on the Francis Quadrangle on Saturday afternoon for a viral video known as the "Harlem Shake." Students dressed up in costumes and wore obscure decorations for the video.

David Freyermuth/Senior Staff Photographer

Feb. 19, 2013

Two groups of MU students filmed their own versions of the viral “Harlem Shake” videos on Saturday.

The first video, led by James Franklin and other members of the MU football team, began filming in front of the columns shortly after noon.

Wide receiver Marcus Lucas said the players had been enjoying watching “Harlem Shake” videos and started talking about them in the locker room.

“We saw that other schools were making these videos and thought, why not at Mizzou?” Lucas said.

Most of the publicity for the event was done through Twitter.

“We told James (Franklin) to tweet the idea because he has the most followers,” safety Matt White said.

Franklin’s first tweeted about the Harlem Shake video on Wednesday. The tweet received 72 retweets and 56 favorites.

“Who wants to make a Harlem shake video on Saturday at the columns around noon with some of us football guys?” Franklin said in the tweet.

Franklin sent out a few other tweets regarding the event throughout the rest of the week.

“There is a big Harlem shake video happening Saturday at noon in the columns at mizzou!” Franklin said in the tweet. “Please come and bring as much people as you can!!!!!”

Students dressed in an array of costumes filled the Francis Quadrangle on Saturday for the video. The majority of the participants wore black and gold clothing, masks and Speedos.

The concept for the video was for the students to look like they were having an average day until the Harlem Shake began suddenly.

“You see a lot of people in their street clothes, but we’ll see what kind of crazy stuff people break out,” Lucas said.

For the first cut, the football players sat on the columns and watched James Franklin ride in on a small motorcycle and begin dancing alone. In the second cut, participants clumped around the base of the columns and performed random dance moves of their choice. All of the filming was done without music.

There were many onlookers during the filming and a number of tour groups also passed through the quad at various times during shooting.

The group dance scene was filmed from a few different angles in less than five takes.

Lucas said he had a good time, and filming the Harlem Shake video is just another way to show school spirit.

“We were hoping to get more people, but we’re just having fun and hope the video looks good,” Lucas said after the event.

Franklin said he was happy with the results.

“I was worried at first, because we were not getting too many people,” Franklin said. “There may have been confusion because of the other (Harlem Shake video) time, but I’m happy with the product.”

An hour later in Tiger Plaza, another group of wildly dressed Harlem Shake participants began to assemble.

This second Harlem Shake video was publicized as a Facebook event titled “Harlem Shake MIZZOU EDITION.” Cait Wood, one of the organizers of the event, labeled it as the “official Mizzou Version.”

Wood said she had expected about 70 people to show up but was surprised when 500 students joined the event on Facebook.

When asked about the Harlem Shake video filmed by the football players, Wood said they had also invited the football players.

A few minutes before filming began, James Franklin could be seen standing on the other side of the street. A little while later, he joined the group. Truman the Tiger, sporting a gold vest, began the dance in both locations where the second video was filmed.

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