My friend Jamie and I had an idea for an exercise video where we would dress up in aerobics clothes and 'exercise' for three hours. We would get our friends to show up too and we'd jump around in various exercise-like directions chanting 'EXERCISE, EXERCISE'. What we'd try to capture was the peppy enthusiasm of an exercise video with none of the practice or funding.
Jamie and Libby moved into a new apartment yesterday and decided that this would be the best way to 'warm the house', by doing this three hour jump-a-thon. I conjured up twelve minutes of music from keyboard presets with an intro track, a ten minute exercise track, and an outro track and planned on looping the ten minute exercise track seventeen times. WE got snacks and Gatorade and invited everybody over and told them the rules (preferably four-five people exercising at a time, choose a creative way to rotate in and out), set up a video camera and some monitors so we could watch the action from various rooms and adjusted the colors and everything so that it was all movie-star-teeth-white.
Another one of the ideas that we had was that since the music was going to be really repetitive, we would have the sounds that we made be unique, like we'd almost constantly be talking about exercise, or freestyle-rapping. Our tests with the sound levels and a few tries at opening poses were great successes, things were audible and they looked hilarious, so we explained the idea to our participants (about fifteen people in an apartment built for one or two) and we were go!
About ten minutes into the mania (during which I almost wanted to quit after a particulary uninspired opening rap of mine), there was a knock around the door. Go around! Man! We told everybody that couldn't fit in the apartment to wait around back, so they could climb in through the window! But the knocking was insistent, I went outside, and it was a lady cop.
"Do you know what time curfew is?"
"No, its 10 pm"
"Oh my, its already 10:13"
"Do you live here?"
"Let me get the guy that does"
So there's a shot of Jamie reacting to my 'c'mere' finger wagging and then I can see from the monitors everybody kind of hopping in place without a leader as we both talk to the police officer:
"We get a lot of calls at this complex, these walls are paper thin, you've got to turn the music OFF, not DOWN - $200 fine blah blah forever"
and then we go back inside and continue the video without the prerecorded dance beats, but we do this without explaining so to anybody, so as soon as the music goes off people try to reproduce the music with their voices and claps, but that's just as loud, so the video is us getting quieter but still trying to maintain rhythm and then the concept of the video adapts from exercising to seeing what we can do at high energy for two more hours in front of the camera.
So then there was a big parade of lifting each other, human pyramid, skits of all varieties, rhyming craziness, varying degrees of success at jumping in and out of the window, trampolines, water-drinking contests, juggling attempts and some actual exercising. We went for about an hour of high-intensity energy and ingenuity before all but five were left (including some girl from out of town whom we had never met before), and as we had planned on an almost-constant rotation of people, we could not maintain the level of energy and so we called it a video.