This is perhaps the greatest music video of all time and it only cost $800 to make.
First a little background of how Spike Jonze came to direct this video. Apparently, Jonze unsuccessfully lobbied for the chance to direct the video of Fatboy Slim’s Rockafeller Skank. However, Jonze still made a video of himself dancing to the song and sent it to Fatboy Slim (also known as Norman Cook) as a gift/joke. Cook was so impressed that he hired Jonze to make the video for Praise You.
Here’s what you really need to know about this video:
Despite the authenticity and the passion of the amateur performance captured in this video, The Torrance Community Dance Group does not exist.
Richard Koufey does not exist. That is Spike Jonze playing Koufey. I don’t know if Jonze “performed in several B-boy posses” while growing up, as Koufey claims to have done. There’s something oddly touching about the enthusiastic way that Jonze/Koufey shouts, “B-boy.”
The bewildered audience is real and their confused reaction to Koufey’s performance was real too. This video was shot outside of a movie theater, without permission or permits. What you’re seeing in this video is technically a crime, which makes it all the more enjoyable. I’m not sure if the man who briefly turns off the music was in on it or not. If that wasn’t planned out ahead of time, Jonze was definitely taking a risk by jumping on him.
Myself, I just love the enthusiasm of it all. It takes talent to be both bad and good at the same time.