Have you heard of the mannequin challenge? Or perhaps, like me, you’ve been oblivious to the ripple effect of this viral internet gimmick.
I first unwittingly came across it last Sunday when my 13 year old son urged me to watch a video on his phone. Begrudgingly I set aside my own project and mentally committed giving him some quality attention for – well, at least 2 minutes. My own needs beckoned.
But I was transfixed to find that he wasn’t presenting the usual youth vlogger (yawn) or minecraft monologue on his mobile screen.
He showed me a video of his group of friends posed in a stairwell. In the tableau he is being pushed from the top rail by a friend (queue big gulp from me). A collection of others are moving up the stairs in a range of postures including shock, horror and distraction. What’s fascinating is that they are suspended in frozen mannequin poses whilst the camera moves around them, and haunting music plays.
I assumed a clever app or internet wizardry had helped create this compelling frozen tableau. But no. My son explained that one teen walked around holding the phone and filming them mid ‘story’ as they held very, very still. The music was played and recorded simultaneously through another phone which was held by the filmmaker.
In the conceit of parents everywhere, I secretly applauded the creative genius of my son and his crew of friends. Imagine my surprise today when I did some unrelated internet searches and discovered that that this craze is sweeping the world.
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) November 10, 2016
You’ll find that lots of celebrities have jumped in too. Look out for Britney Spears, Adele, Beyonce and lots of big name sporting teams. And of course the umbiquitous Kardashians. There are whole offices of workmates performing them. Schools. Television shows. Some of the complexities in staging them are pretty amazing. But I like the homegrown roots of the ones which are just in someone’s patch, with two or three friends.
And for a bit of drama, check out this ‘caught in the act’ mannequin challenge!
— Tumblr Feelings (@ourdeepfeelings) November 10, 2016
Have you heard of the mannequin challenge? You can follow it on twitter at #mannequinchallenge, or google the term.
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