#creativact – Developing our Flashmob (For Assessment)

This week’s task is to complete a flash mob. This is the task I have been waiting for! First thing’s first, what actually is a flashmob? Here’s a short description;

A flash mob  is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression. (Wikipedia)

Throughout this morning we have been learning the background behind flash mobs and their existence. Guy Debord came up with the term ‘psychogeography’ which links with flash mobs. Here is a definition;

The study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals

To put it simply, it’s the study of how people react and the emotions that they feel in certain places or when certain things are happening. This links with flash mobs as they happen in lots of random places where people don’t expect it so it’s the study of how those people respond. Take the following for example;

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwMj3PJDxuo]

With this flashmob, we can see that the general public are unaware of what’s about to happen and what is happening around them. Some are confused, some people are laughing and others are just shocked. I like how the worker on the buggy reacts, although I think his voice has been dubbed over the top of the audio.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB3NPNM4xgo]

This flash mob from T-Mobile is also great at looking at reactions. Most of the people featured in this video are coming back from a trip and the last thing they will expecting is them to be involved in a song and dance. Some people get involved, laugh and others are just completely confused!

So, yesterday evening, I started to think of different ideas for flashmobs that we could set up in a day. I thought of 2 main ideas. The first was a giant human snake. We would all be in different parts of town, and as the snake came towards you, you would just latch on the end of the snak unsuspectingly as if it was like a magnet. My 2nd idea was to include some famous music and go around as a carnival. I got the idea from the following video;

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFHjLtGq7Gw&feature=related]

To me, the Mario music is iconic, but the only problem I thought of with this was, were we able to get a group of musicians quickly who knew how to play the tunes. I doubt it very much,

So during the workshops, we were given our groups and were asked to come up with ideas for flash mobs that we liked. In turns we went through each person’s ideas. Some were similar to previous flash mobs created and some were completely original. The main thing we wanted to do was to gain attention.

We decided to try and develop just 4 ideas that were put to the group. They are;

  • Live choir singing famous theme tunes – Different groups in different areas all joining in with the songs
  • Living in Ikea – 3 groups living in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen and re-enacting scenes from that specific room.
  • The Human Snake (My original idea also thought of by other group members).
  • The WOW factor – We get in a big huddle and start shouting, oh my god and wow whilst only pointing at a sign saying “Look at this”.
I really enjoyed the Ikea the most. It had something different and it stands out. Ok, it may not be original (Was used in the film 500 Days of Summer) but every scenario that people were thinking of using for the rooms kept making me laugh! However, after a majority vote, the live choir was chosen to be our flashmob. To say I was disappointed was an understatement, but I had to put all my efforts in the new idea for the good of the group.
Now it was time to choose the songs. We had to go for iconic music so that people would respond to them in different ways, and more importantly, they needed to recognise the tune. So after much deliberation, we went with the following;
  • The Pink Panther
  • The Great Escape
  • The Adams Family
  • The Imperial March from Star Wars
  • Harry Potter

Now it was time to practice the songs. There is only 1 word to describe how that went. Shambolic. Nobody could keep the pitch or in time and it was turning out to be a hopeless session. It was nice to see people passionate about the idea, but the execution was hopeless. It was turning out to be a lost cause, and it was quickly recognised that we needed a change of plan desperatly and it was decided that we would revert back to the Ikea idea. So after a few brief chats with the lecturers, they agreed that we should of gone with this idea in the first place anyway.

The idea from then was produced quickly. We got ourselves into 4 teams for 4 different scenarios. The bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. Each room had a camera person who was going to film each scenario as it happens whilst the rest of the group had to act. Each group met up to run through what they were going to do, and then it was decided that all of the groups would act there scenario out in Ikea at 2.45. This would give security in the store a less of a chance to catch everybody in the act at the same time, whilst also making the standard shoppers have different things going on around them. So off we set, ready for our flashmob and blissfully un-aware of what was about to happen….


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