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We Watched Pharrell Williams' 24-Hour 'Happy' Video So You Don't Have To

By Jeremy Allen

Posted on 25 Nov 13

 
We Watched Pharrell Williams' 24-Hour 'Happy' Video So You Don't Have To
 

Pharrell Williams has made the world’s first 24 hour video. At first one wonders how it could possibly be done, and the answer is by filming over 400 dancing extras with a steadicam across eight miles of Los Angeles over the course of eleven days. The song ‘Happy’ is one the record company is clearly ecstatic about, because that’s some manpower and one serious wage bill come post-production.

It’s been 30 years since ‘Thriller’ first showed us how ambitious a pop promo could be, and it’s good to see innovation is still the name of the game, even if it’s more an outlandish gimmick than something you’d want to watch over and over. Or maybe you might? Whatever your opinion, it’s difficult to deny that in many ways 2013 has belonged to Pharrell, so why shouldn’t he finish with a flourish eh? We decided to prop our eyelids open with matchsticks and spend 24 hours of the weekend dipping in and out of ‘Happy’ to see how happy it would make us. (Answer, delirious)

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Noon
And we’re off! Pharrell is dancing around a restaurant. His friend has an asymmetrical fringe, a hat and a leather jacket that channel the spirit of Color Me Badd circa 1991, proving that fashion is cyclical. Hell, we’ve learnt something already. The people eating in the restaurant don’t appear to be too fussed a genuine superstar is shimmying around them, so the food must be great.

01.12
There are meant to be a load of celebrities in this video, including Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, Kelly Osbourne and Jamie Foxx, and this guy definitely looks like a celebrity… but I’m not sure which one he is. Look, I cancelled my subscription to Heat magazine so bite me. Anyway, he’s skipping around a boxing ring and things have all turned a bit Rocky.

02.06
Wow, a kid who could be Kenny G’s son is spinning around in a cheap suit and playing air guitar. What do you mean you don’t know who Kenny G is? There are so many extras in this video that I wonder if they might run out of folk and then even you and I might well get called up before it’s concluded. There sure are a lot of people in the world and I think I’m just beginning to understand that now.

02.10
There’s a very tall woman dancing around Union Station in LA. She’s commandeered a child, has she? It’s OK, she’s given it back.

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3.32
A lady in a wedding dress is clapping along as she dances around the suburbs. Definitely the best yet, she’s followed by a girl who’s decided to dress exactly like Alanis Morissette in her ‘Ironic’ video. There are actually four Alanis’ in a car in that video ironically, and this girl looks most like the driving Alanis, ironically. That’s right, like Alanis I don’t know what ‘ironic’ means either.

4.43
Someone’s dressed up as a cartoon thing! Oh, if only I had a better grasp on culture I could tell you where it comes from. Futurama maybe?

5.15
Yes! There’s a girl boogying around on the top bunk of a bus and it’s not even a night bus. She’s not pissed mate, that’s joie de vivre that is.

6:00
Pharrell is now singing the song on a bridge and he’s doing a good job of keeping his pecker up considering how many times he must have heard it by now. He has to perform it twenty four times for this video alone, and it’s started to make my ears bleed after just nine.

7:33
Whoa, this guy can really dance and he’s throwing in forward rolls and pirouettes and giving it everything he’s got. You really wouldn’t want to follow this. I’m going to have to hang around just to see how dejected the next person is going to be following this flash harry, unless they’ve got something very special up their sleeves.

7:38
It's okay, they’re on stilts!

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8.22
This dude mooching around the supermarket really isn’t trying. Dance, damn you! It’s as though he’s waiting for the drugs to kick in.

9.34
This one's wearing one of those yellow jackets workmen and people from the council and security types at festivals wear, and when you ask them where the chalet to pick up your wristband is they always glaze over and tell you they’ve only been here for 13 hours and say something like “I’m sorry, I’m not from round here, I came down on the train from Newport”. Anyway, why is this chap still out and about, it’s gone half nine man, stop working and go home for God’s sake.

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00.00
It’s the witching hour and Pharrell is seen wandering to the 24-hour garage. Someone’s got the munchies!

1.49
It was only so long before someone turned out in rollerskates. She’s careening down the Hollywood Walk of Fame being pursued by white shirted children who look like they’re part of a religious cult. Keep going skaty unless you want to be kidnapped and brainwashed by those bleach-toothed babyfaced assassins.

3.00
Pharrell’s dancing around a cinema now, and is that the time already? Really guys, you’re going to make the Guinness Book of Records for longest video now for sure, so can we call it a day after this one please?


3.04

No? Okay then.

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4.30
We’re following some people in a car now. It’s like OJ Simpson all over again, though the difference is I don’t think anyone in this vehicle is suspected of murder. You never know though, right?

5.27
There’s an old guy from the police department reporting for duty early, though if he’s in pursuit of the aforementioned car he’s about an hour and a half behind them. He doesn’t look like he’s in any hurry either, he’s just grooving away. Typical bloody police, he’ll be eating a doughnut next.

6:21
It’s difficult to tell if this guy is up bright and early or whether he’s been up all night. We’re guessing the latter from his dancing.

7.45
Cool, someone has got a beret and a moustache. Can I go to bed now please, I’m so fucking exhausted. I’m going to be hearing this song for weeks.

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8:46
Oh my Christ, where are these people getting their energy from? Congratulations by the way Pharrell, you’ve undoubtedly invented a new form of torture for the poor suckers locked up in Guantanamo Bay.

10:47
Oh God I can almost see the end in sight. There’s a chap dancing along with his shopping bag here, which is good thinking because he’ll need some sustenance with all this expending of energy.

11.00
Pharrell has saved his best suit for last and dude is fresh as a daisy, which just proves when you’re hot, you’re hot. He’s spinning and clapping and smiling a smile that reminds us of Gordon Brown’s rictus grin, and it’s only the eyes that give away just how much he hates this song right now.

12.00
And we’re back at the restaurant! Could I please order the nut cutlet bouillabaisse with fried lentils and eggplant with just a soupcon of… *drops dead*

 
 
 
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