The Arab Version: American in Arabia horses around Gangnam-style!
The Arab Gangnam and American in Arabia have a dance off.
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After less than 24 hours online, the Arab version of Gangnam style has gotten over 50k views and over 2k likes. This spoof actually mirrors the original quite well, particularly the shots taken at the horse farm.
N20, the comedy division of Kharabeesh of which I am a part, did add in some Arab flavor. So instead of people just running, Fadi chucks a rock. And instead of a pimped out convertible Mercedes, there’s a Kia Sephia in need of a good wash.
The beauty of it all is Arabs saying, ‘Hey, we can make fun of ourselves and be cool with it.” And my involvement with this team has shown me that these Arab comedians work hard and push the envelope just like any other artist.
Being a part of the creative process as the weird dude in the yellow suit, my behind the scenes look at the making of this video should give anyone a new respect for online entertainers.
Take for example the scene shot in the pool. What the viewer sees is a total of 5 seconds of lead actor Ahmad Puck Khalidi, otherwise known as Father Glasses, singing and splashing in a nice, relaxing pool. What really happened is that he spent over half an hour straight in freezing cold water, waiting for the director to get a tripod and charge the battery. Even the saps in the background, including yours truly, had to freeze their tails off in the freezing depths of hell just for this 5-second shot.
A little fun fact about that scene is that the shot of Abu Nadarat doing somersaults in the water is actually a six foot five American in Arabia. Yes, I was Ahmed Puck’s body double.
My other five seconds of glory (I played the fly guy in the dance off) cost me about 30 bucks for my costume, a trip to the city center of Amman, and a total of 5 hours with prep and nailing down my dance moves.
So my total involvement in the Arab Gangnam re-make accounted for 10 seconds of the film and that took about 8 hours from my life. Imagine then the time the other guys invested into the project. Besides the two full days of shooting, there was costuming, licensing for filming, editing, etc..
Respect to my comedian brothers who break down stereotypes, work long days and all for the sake of creating art that heals, distracts or challenges the realities of the world in 2012. I can assure you they don’t do it for the money. Heck, I’m still out 20 Jordanian Dinar and all I got is an ugly jacket and skin tight red jeans.
By Brett Weer