Off to Producers Institute for New Media Technologies in SF next week!
Twitter as an Event Organizer's Tool: Our Experience with the Frankie 95 Birthday Festival

The Global Shim Sham compilation video: a labor of lindy love involving 5,000+ dancers from around the world

This video is the result of several months of effort involving an estimated 5,000 dancers in over 22 countries: the Global Shim Sham.  This was produced by a dedicated team of volunteers for the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival, and shown to an appreciative audience of about 2,000 people on Saturday, May 23. 

Read on to find out how this was produced and who was involved...

As project lead of the "Global Shim Sham," I want to give heartfelt thanks first of all to lead video director Akemi Kinukawa. We could not have found a more qualified and dedicated video director who combines the technical skills and the deep understanding of our community, the dance, and the music.

Additional thanks to our sweet but persistent video wrangler Leslie Lee, video consultant Stuart Math (producer of the amazing "Can't Stop the Lindy Hop" compilation video a few years back), and David Jacoby and Elliott Donnelly for inspiring and supporting this idea in the first place. 

And of course, thanks to all of you from 22 countries who caught the fever and participated in this video project.  I am blow away by your creativity and techical skills you used to create your individual videos.

Here's how we created the Global Shim Sham compilation video.

In early February, we put out the word via email, web, and Facebook to the hundreds of lindy hop communities around the world, asking them to videotape their dance scene performing the Shim Sham line dance, a set of choreography created by Frankie Manning.

By mid-March, we created a YouTube group called "Shim Sham for Frankie" and asked folks to upload their video to YouTube and add it to this group.  By April, we had 137 videos submitted from all over the world!  Check out the cool Google Map of all of the Shim Sham locations.  

At this point, Leslie sprang into action, contacting the submitters and getting them to send to us the physical tapes and DVDs of their videos in as high a resolution as they could. 

Starting in April, Akemi began the difficult process of culling through the submitted videos, pulling together the raw footage, and conceptualizing what a final cut compilation of the very best videos might look like.  Leslie and I gave Akemi feedback on what we thought were the best submissions, but final editorial decision making was in Akemi's hands.

After a painful process of selection, 47 videos were used in the final compilation.  Here's a list of where those clips came from:

  • Buenos Aires Argentina
  • Sydney Australia
  • Canberra Australia
  • Montreal Canada
  • Toronto Canada
  • Beijing China
  • Estonia
  • Dortmund Germany
  • Braunschweig Germany
  • Freiburg Germany
  • Tokyo Japan
  • Seoul Korea
  • Lithuania
  • Singapore
  • Scotland
  • Barcelona Spain
  • Canary Island Spain
  • Geneva Switzerland (Factory)
  • Geneva Switzerland (Ski)
  • London United Kingdom (Eye)
  • London United Kingdom (by Live2jive)
  • Phoenix Arizona
  • Mountain View CA
  • Redwood City CA
  • San Francisco CA
  • San Francisco CA (Hula)
  • Santa Barbara CA
  • Pasadena CA
  • Fort Collins CO
  • Hartford CT
  • Tampa Bay FL
  • Maui Hawaii
  • Boston MA
  • Bemidji MN
  • Maine
  • Glen Echo MD
  • New York NY(Times Square)
  • New York NY (Dance Manhattan)
  • New York NY (Frankie‚Äôs Wednesday Night Hoppers)
  • New York NY (Computer School)
  • New York NY (Harlem)
  • New York NY (Mike Jagger)
  • New York NY (Underwater Shim Sham)
  • Austin Texas
  • Dallas TX
  • Fort Worth TX
  • San Antonio, TX

Finally, in May the DVD was burned and shown at the Saturday night party at the Frankie 95th Festival.

It was a moment of tremendous satisfaction for all of us involved in its creation, and by extension the thousands of others there who participated in their own scene's videos that were represented.  The Global Shim Sham in the end is one of the most touching and entertaining examples of how far and wide the lindy hop movement has spread.  I hope you enjoy it.

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