Two years ago we presented Girl Walk // All Day—created by Jacob Krupnick's Wild Combination, the 12-part series featured a bunch of dancers moving around the city to Girl Talk's All Day album. At the lead was Anne Marsen, who has perfected the art of the imperfect improv dance.
Flash forward to late 2013, when Pharrell released all 24-hours of his music video for "Happy." The project—called 24 Hours Of Happy—was hailed by Pitchfork for its "blemishes... they're what gives [it] its character." This sounds very familiar! And it's not unlike Pharrell to be highly, um, influenced by others.
Marsen took notice of the similarities, and posted the below video, which not only shows a similar IDEA, but similar clothing, dance moves, and exact scenes recreated:
Now SPIN is calling Pharrell out for the move, noting that his version has been widely celebrated (it was even "SPIN's No. 1 Most Innovative Video of the year"). Marsen says, "We feel like we're not getting the recognition for this."
We reached out to Krupnick for comment, and we'll update when we hear back.
This isn't the first time a more Independent Thing has "influenced" a Mainstream Thing—Beyonce was called out for stealing many of the moves in her "Countdown" video:
Meanwhile, Gregg Gillis (Girl Talk) told SPIN, "Yeah, there's definitely some similarities. It could be a coincidence or maybe somebody in Pharrell's camp was influenced by the video. Do I think the Pharrell video used those elements in a transformative nature and created something new out of it? Yes." Which is fitting, since Gillis takes other people's songs to make new songs out of them.
UPDATE: Krupnick tells us, "The comparative video that Anne Marsen made can be interpreted in a few different ways—but to me, there's no beef or anger or 'smoking gun' here. Videos like this can always be deceptive—but of course there are a whole bunch of remarkable likenesses in framing, dance moves, and setting. And while the energy might be similar, we hardly own dance in public. And speaking for myself, I'd like to see, and make, more of it.
Whatever Pharrell + We Are From LA's awareness was of Girl Walk // All Day, we're on a similar page -- and as an admirer of his, that feels fundamentally exciting. I'm currently preparing to make another feature-length dance film. Figuring out how to access music is a huge challenge—it would be a dream come true to forge an alliance with Pharrell."