Crowdsourcing Done Right: Fans From 22 Countries Dance In One Music Video

In Graham Coxon’s new video, 85 fans across the world dance as one strange and awesome dance monster.

“Crowdsourcing.” The word is terrible. And worse, it’s lazy. It implies that you can’t get off your own rear to come up with a decent idea, so you turn to faceless (not always more intelligent!) masses to pick up the slack. Every time I read the word, I picture a boardroom of suits looking at one another in silence. “Let’s just crowdsource it,” one of them says. Then they all go out to celebrate the brilliant idea over lunch at the place of their customers’ choosing.


However, whatever cynicism I once had about crowdsourcing has been washed away. Graham Coxon’s new video for What’ll It Take, directed by Ninian Doff, is a testament to what a multitude of global perspectives can add to a creatively curated project.

Coxon invited his fans to dance on camera. 85 of them from 22 countries sent him footage. And rather than simply cutting the clips together–the obvious, common, and mediocre choice–smart post production combined the 85 fans into one awesome 2-D dance monster with a head and torso from one dancer and the legs of another (and sometimes the head, arms, or even fingers from yet another).

The look is unique, the storyline progresses and heightens, and just when the visual gets old, Doff finds a new environment for his monster or plays with a new way to build that monster.

The video appears to be anything but lazy. You can’t watch it and ignore the effort it took for each person to film their dancing, for an editor to categorize the best clips, and for an After Effects guru to painstakingly piece them together–often changing the parameters within each frame to maintain the perfect threshold of crop on each dancer at all times. It’s one of those bites of life that’s most enjoyable because you know it took so much longer for someone to make it than for you to scarf it.

If you dig the song as much as the video, Coxon’s latest album goes on sale April 2nd.

Buy it here.


About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.