Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yankovic, the director

Last night I posted a couple of videos, including Weird Al Yankovic's video for "Amish Paradise," which also happened to be directed by Yankovic. In addition to parodying Coolio's video, director Yankovic inserted other touches into the video, including an entire segment that was videotaped backwards as a visual reference to the datedness of Amish customs.

Ebay (Ebay?) explains the genesis of two of the bits in the video:

In one section, Yankovic is shown walking through a field while everything around him moves backwards. This was accomplished by having Yankovic "phonetically memorize the chorus of the song backwards, then sing it to a backwards music track while walking backwards across a field being crisscrossed by live farm animals," and then play the clip in reverse. The inspiration for this scene was a backwards scene performed in the movie "Top Secret!," a movie which has served as an inspiration for several of Yankovic's jokes.

The video shows many aspects of regular Amish life, such as churning butter and raising a barn. However, when the barn is raised, the frame falls towards Yankovic, who is standing where a gap in the frame is. He has acknowledged that this gag is a Buster Keaton "ripoff/homage"

Oh, and since I already posted Yankovic's video parody of "Gangsta's Paradise," I might as well show the original.

By the way, the singer on Coolio's song is L.V.

But "Amish Paradise" is not Yankovic's only video credit. lists several:

"Christmas at Ground Zero," 1986
"Babalu Music!," 1991
"Bedrock Anthem," 1993
"Headline News," 1994
"Amish Paradise," 1996
"Gump," 1996
"Spy Hard," 1996
"It's All about the Benjamins," 1999
"The Saga Begins," 1999
"Bob," 2003

And Yankovic doesn't only direct for himself:

Jeff Foxworthy, "Redneck Stomp," 1994
Jeff Foxworthy, "Party All Night," 1996
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, "Wail," 1997
(With others) Hanson, "The River," 1998
The Black Crowes, "Only a Fool," 1999
Ben Folds, "Rockin' the Suburbs," 2001

And for the record, Yankovic did not direct the movie "UHF."
blog comments powered by Disqus