Technion Students’ Hilarious Take On The Viral ‘Mannequin Challenge’ Craze
First there was “planking”, mimicking a wooden plank by lying face down, often in an unusual location. Then came The Ice Bucket Challenge, dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head. Now the latest viral video craze sweeping the globe is The Mannequin Challenge, in which people remain frozen in action like mannequins, usually with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background.
The Mannequin Challenge has also caught hold in Israel, most prominently at one of Israel’s most prestigious universities.
Hundreds of students and faculty members from the Technion-The Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa posed together for a creative and professionally shot special effects-filled two-minute Mannequin Challenge clip. Initiated by the university’s computer science students, the video featured several acclaimed professors from the institution as well.
Unexpected star: Philip the cat
One unsuspecting participant was the campus cat, Philip. “The cat did not move,” Or Troyaner, a Technion computer science student and the director and editor of the video tells NoCamels. “He just sat perfectly still, just as our human actors were asked to do – it was perfect casting,”
“The whole experience was really amazing,” says Troyaner. He posted messages online calling for Technion students and faculty to take part in shooting the video and the response was tremendous. “Hundreds responded and in the end somewhere between 150-200 took part in the video,” Troyaner said. “Believe it or not, we only had two rehearsals and shot the whole video in just one take – all in one afternoon.” The clip features some impressive low-cost special effects, including the use of fishing wire to suspend the ‘floating’ items seen in the video.
“Many Technion faculty members also happily joined in the filming, giving the crew suggestions too,” Troyaner says. “Professor Shaul Markovitch told us he plays guitar, so we used it in the video.”
From Jacksonville, Florida to the White House
The Mannequin Challenge phenomenon, which started with a video created and posted by students in Jacksonville, Florida last month, has gone viral and inspired videos by millions across the world. The world’s leading athletes, celebrities, and even politicians like Barack Obama have joined in on the craze, posting increasingly complex and elaborate videos.
The hashtag #MannequinChallenge is used by popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram as a means to share the millions of videos being made. Madonna was the latest in a string of celebrities who have jumped in on the fad.
At the Presidential Medal of Freedom award ceremony at the White House, a group of honorees — among them celebrities Ellen DeGeneres, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar — paused to video themselves taking the challenge.
So it’s unsurprising that Israelis have joined in too. Even Israel Defense Forces posted its own Mannequin Challenge featuring Navy combat soldiers striking a pose out at sea. Everyday Israelis are proving they are worth their salt too, with some awesome videos, including a family reacting at the presence of a cockroach at home.
Photos and videos: Technion, YouTube, Or Troyaner, Joey Cassell, Shaked Sapir