Added by on 2011-05-01

I don’t like to make “viral videos” because there’s no knowing what will or will not go viral. But, when asked for a viral video for Israel Independence Day, I thought if anything had a chance of going viral it would be an Israel themed lip dub in the streets of Jerusalem. After the success of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Flash Mob I figured a lip dub was the next logical step.

Here’s the link to send to your friends:

The first step was formulating the team, beginning with getting Renana Levine as the producer and production coordinator. Renana is the one who originally brought me the idea of a lip dub, but it took us almost a year to find a client willing to take on the project. Then came Hayim Ani, who was a co-choreographer and production assistant.

Next was choosing a song. When I told Hayim we needed a great song, he immediately played me K’naan’s Wave Your Flag. It was perfect.

Our team first met on Ben Yehuda to scout the location and get a basic idea of how we would proceed down the street. Do we go into stores? Do we go around the block? Etc.

Then Hayim created a detailed map of Ben Yehuda for us to use to map out our choreography. Right click on the thumbnails below and open in a new tab to see the map.

Then we went to Ben Yehuda on a surprisingly rainy Friday morning to start testing out some of our ideas and try to figure out how many people we would need and where they would be placed. This mostly involved me running around Ben Yehuda, singing out loud, and pointing a camera at nothing, as people stared at me. Here’s a clip:

Next up was our first rehearsal. The plan was to bring 10 “team leaders” to our rehearsal to try out the timing and choreography section by section. This rehearsal allowed us to see where our problem spots were and what was going to work better. Here’s a “making of” video shot (and mostly narrated) by Hayim.

Here’s how it looked edited together:

After this rehearsal we adjusted our choreography and then trained each team leader in a section of the movie so that the morning of the shoot they could then teach their performers the section. This way we didn’t have to teach 100 people a complex performance piece in an hour, but instead all we had to do was have our team leaders take a few minutes to teach their section to only 10 people and we would be ready to start running through it. It basically worked that way, except when 1500 people ran through Ben Yehuda street as part of a marathon. No one gave us any trouble and we were able to do several rehearsals and then three or four takes!

Below is footage shot by cameraman extraordinaire Josh Gold (he’s seen in the lip dub holding a soccer ball that he then throws to another guy who catches it and falls backwards into a crowd). You’ll get a sense of how we pulled it off, carefully choreographing camera movement to allow performers to run down one side of the street while the camera pointed toward the other side. You’ll also see how Hayim, holding the speakers, has to dance around me and the performers to keep out of frame while making sure they can hear the song.

Thanks to our team leaders: Laura Ben David, Natan Goldstein, Rachel Kaufman, Tsippi Rothstein, Jon Singer, Rachel Smith, Atara Solow, Michael Porcelain, Elle Yahalom, Yael Valier, and Tehilla Zeff.

A special thanks to producer and co-choreographer Renana Levine, who is not only a marketing genius but is an incredible on the ground producer/production manager. This production simply could not have happened without her. Thank you, Renana!

I hope you enjoyed the lip dub and sent it out to all your friends!


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