By Zach Marks
This video is sick. No more words necessary (although there are lots lots more below the fold). Will Alexander, looks like it’s time to step your game up.
(This blog software is really cramping my style. I should be able to include videos in the blog shortly.)
This video is pure genius. I mean, I like Jon Wu. We worked together on Eli Days, a mentoring program for New Haven high schoolers in February. But that’s not why I like this video.
After the show it’s the after party: Jon Wu after wrapping up production of “Yes Wu Can.”
I like this video because it produces an equal amount of chills as the original Obama video it spoofs. I think I realized it around 1:12, when Generic Handsome White Man says, “Yes Wu Can” with the perfect pause in between “Yes” and “Wu,” and starts to show this smile. This hopeful smile that says, “I’m your typical tie-wearing Yalie. I might be in S.A.E. I’ve never met a YCC representative I didn’t call a tool. But Jon Wu. He’s different. Yes. [starting to show that hopeful smile] Wu Can!”
I’d argue it does some things better than Obama’s video, and all without racking up ridonc production fees. The first 24 seconds, before anyone says a word, really do it for me. Open with a pretty Saybrook froco fixing her hair before a night out. Where is she going? Then comes a girl in a Davenport sweatshirt (nice college diversity there) doin the massaging-a-jiggly-ball dance Mike Lehmann ’08 made famous at Mr. Yale, and then – [GASP] – it’s Mike Lehmann himself, warming up for some calisthenics with a neck roll, and then at 0:08 – [another GASP] – he flashes that smile…OMG melt! Next is a minority female student standing. The symbolism of her standing in front of a world map and then feeling the pendant on her necklace and looking at it – perhaps reminding her of home which is perhaps somewhere else on that map, perhaps a sign of her religious devotion (always good to mobilize the church/mosque/synagogue/other-place-of-worship vote) – is not lost on this viewer. Next comes what appears to be a young couple, the man rubbing his pet dog (or is it a cat? or is it a pillow?) signifying they must either live off campus or have recently graduated (Wu won’t just be the 12 colleges’ treasurer; he’ll be Lynwood’s treasurer and he’ll even take care of you once you move on from Yale). Then is my favorite scene in the opening montage: a female student stands by a chair. She’s antsy. She looks at the camera. Why doesn’t she sit down? Who is the chair for?
After shots of a few more Yalies, this young woman begins today’s lesson. “It was a creed, written into the founding documents…”
Finally our protagonist enters. Jon Wu. Preaching from the Law School auditorium podium. He might as well take Akhil Amar’s job giving Con Law lectures. “…that declared the destiny of a nation…”
Okay, I’ll speed this up. Some highlights along the way:
0:35 – Jigglin-ball dance girl sings! You are the John Legend of student government campaign videos, jigglin-ball dance girl!
1:03 – Asian male with great baritone gets a solo in front of “Wu Can Do It” poster
1:14 – “Jon Wu is for change. Jon Wu should be a tour guide.”
1:19 – Jon Wu is Barack Obama
1:21 – Saybrook Master Mary Miller makes a cameo. Nice subtle nod to Barack Obama is My New Bicycle: “Jon Wu rescued my cat from a tree.”
1:28 – Cookie monster!
1:39 – “¡Si, Wu puede!” I’d been waiting for that since the minority female student in front of world map scene.
1:48 – Annette Walton, better known as The Flower Lady, chimes in right on tune. Brava, Flower Lady!
1:58 – Mike Lehmann shirt rip. OMG melt #2.
2:12 – Wu swings on Old Campus in sepia. No, not sepia. Black and white. But sepia sounds so legit.