We go behind the scenes of IIT Roorkee’s viral dance video inspired by an Ed Sheeran song
From ‘salt bae’, the chef who has a peculiar way of sprinkling salt on the dishes he cooks, to the purple one-eyed dove emoji that has been doing the rounds on Facebook last week, the unlikeliest things have gone viral since the beginning of 2017.
Joining the club most recently, on February 13, was a dance video by four engineering students from IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand. It has over 2.8 million views on YouTube. The video is based on English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s song Shape of You, and features four IIT-ians dancing to the peppy song.
“This was supposed to be a simple music video to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The idea was to tell people that being single on that day is not a big deal,” says Chetan Maheshwari (21), a member of Cinesec, the cinematic group at IIT Roorkee, and the group who made the video.
Yet, it is currently the fourth search result on YouTube for Shape of You. This, despite the video being shot in one week with no budget. “It’s a part of an informal college tradition where we celebrate Valentine’s Day in a quirky way. So, we decided to collaborate with the Dance and Choreography club on-campus and worked together on the choreography and cinematography of the video. We shot it in the first week of February,” says Maheshwari.
“We didn’t have any budget to film the video, so we have shot entirely on-campus, including the restaurants featured in the video. They let us shoot inside for bare minimum. For instance, to shoot at CCD (Café Coffee Day), we pooled in money to buy one drink, and shot for a few hours,” he adds.
The video sees four boys trying to woo a girl in the cheesiest ways possible: by performing magic tricks, showing off their football skills, and singing. But, as luck would have it, she rejects them all. And just as the boys try to deal with having to spend V-Day alone, along comes another girl, and hope is rekindled.
It’s probably this innocence that worked in their favour – the combination of engineering boys trying their best to woo a girl, given the skewed sex ratio on IIT campuses, is pop culture humour. It’s worked for Chetan Bhagat in the past. Additionally, here, the video itself – in terms of editing, graphics, cinematography - is slick and well-made. So much so that comedian Sahil Shah of the East India Comedy group tweeted the video and urged his fans to watch it on YouTube.
As a result, the groups YouTube page, Cinesec IITR, has recorded a surge of subscribes overnight. “On February 13, we had 1,700 subscribers. By Feb 15, we had hit 15,000, and the number is still rising,” he says.
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