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Sunday, September 22,2013

'The Fox' sways the crowd on YouTube

Ohio Marching 110 does it again

By Sijie Wang
Photo Credits: Nick Bolin
Photo Caption: The OU Marching 110 performs "The Fox" Saturday during halftime at the Ohio victory over Austin Peay.

As the Ohio University Marching 110 performed "The Fox" for halftime of Saturday's game between Bobcats and Austin Peay, the video featuring its debut a week before, produced by an alumnus-owned video production company, didn't stop racking up online views.

After hitting one million page views on YouTube Wednesday, the video, produced by Sway the Crowd LLC, a Columbus-based business started by OU alumnus Brian Grady when he was a sophomore, went on to gain another 200,000 views within three days, and reached 1,253,391 and counting as of 10:20 p.m. Sunday.

Grady was also the man behind the video of the Marching 110 performing "Gangnam Style" a year ago, which got five million views in five days, according to Grady.

"It was really a stroke of luck that we partnered with them," Marching 110 Director Richard Suk said, adding that at the time, Sway the Crowd and the 110 were also working on a documentary called "The Most Exciting Band in the Land."

The success of the "Gangnam Style" video brought more opportunities to Sway the Crowd. "It really opened up a lot of doors to publicity," Grady said. "It also helped us deal with and understand what happens when you produce viral content. We started to create a longer partnership with the band."

"I think this year's 'The Fox' (video) production-wise is much stronger than last year's video," he said.

According to Grady, four videographers contributed to the video, with one shooting from the crowd's perspective and three on the ground.

GoPro HERO cameras were also attached to instruments to capture more angles. "Too many angles can sometimes disorient the viewer. At the same time, we want to be professional and provide different angles," Grady explained.

When a student sent Suk the link to "The Fox," created by Norwegian duo Ylvis, the original video did not have a lot of page views compared to the more than 44 million it has now.

"It was just a little over million. But I kind of had the same feeling the first time I saw 'Gangnam Style,'" Suk said, adding that the song's catchy tone, the dances in the original video, and the fact that it's fun to watch, all seemed appealing to a big and diverse stadium audience.

Suk announced the plan a week before the band played "The Fox" in Peden Stadium Sept. 14. "After the (Sept. 7) game (Ohio vs. North Texas), I said 'we are gonna do "The Fox"' and got really positive reaction (from the band members)," Suk said. "We got the music on Monday, the bulk of the dance was taught on Thursday night, and they performed it on Saturday. So it was quick turn-around."

Before the Sept. 14 performance during halftime of Ohio's game with Marshall, band members were asked to not reveal the performance to social media. "Some people might think it's not good music or it's silly or whatever. I'd just rather let us go in there and be announced. People can reserve their judgment until after the performance," Suk said.

The most challenging part, though, still involves the performance itself, which was being creative but at the same time was within the band's own style, according to Suk.

"The dance commanders want to do something like playing while dancing, which we don't do very often," Suk said. "We always dance during drum breaks. So they want to incorporate that and make it fresh and a little different than dances we have done in the past."

Tim Langreder, an OU alumnus and former member of the Marching 110, found the dance part refreshing. "I really enjoyed the inclusion of visuals while playing in addition to the dance; it really made 'The Fox' the centerpiece of the show," he said. "The dance was very well executed and a bit of a departure from the norm for the 110."

The Marching 110 also played Lady Gaga's "Applause" and Katy Perry's "Roar" during halftime. Robin Thicke's controversial "Blurred Lines," which was reportedly on the band's playlist for the game this past Saturday, was not performed.

"It was disappointing having spent time learning music and a dance that we wouldn't get to play, but seeing how strongly people felt about 'Blurred Lines,' I think it was for the best," said Joe Diamond, a junior studying music education and trombone player in the Marching 110. "And 'The Fox' is fun. I had no problem performing it again."


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