Someone just parodied the hit song Dance Monkey in the most Lebanese way imaginable, and it’s really cool! The video titled “The Life of a Lebanese in 1 Minute” kind of says it all (sings it all, actually), starting with what led to the revolution and to the present time.
It’s fun to watch though and, unlike what you might be thinking now, this isn’t an amateur work.
It was created by Ralf Karam, a Lebanese entrepreneur and founder of a digital agency called Blackbird DW, which specializes in high-end animated content as well as interactive solutions.
Ralf posted the video on Instagram with the caption: “Due to the harsh situation our country has been going through, and since the whole world joined in recently, I decided to spend my quarantine time constructively.”
According to the Lebanese Parody of Dance Monkey, he did indeed spend his time constructively. It is a must-watch:
Karam studied cinema in IESAV – USJ and then screenwriting at New York Film Academy. He also took online courses to learn 3D Animation and visual effects.
He was the first person to create a 3D stereoscopic (real 3d) film in Lebanon using home-made technology. He also produced hilarious animated short clips called Sitcom Lebnene.
The inspiration for The Life of a Lebanese in 1 Minute
When asked about what inspired him to create this video, Ralf had something interesting to share with us: “I personally find Lebanon a great source of inspiration for original content. I believe that the mess, corruption, and chaos going on are what makes Lebanon what it is.”
“Ever since things started escalating in Lebanon by mid-2019,” referring to the months leading up to the revolution, “I thought [I would] do something fun to contribute with some content to the online community, and I came up with the idea of this video.”
“For example, I find ridiculous the fact that we’re in 2020, Elon Musk is going to Mars in less than 10 years, and here, every day around 6 I have to run four sets of stairs to turn up the disjoncteur (circuit breaker) just to make sure that the PCs keep running and the office UPS doesn’t run out of juice.”
Karam feels like history is repeating itself and portrays that by writing ‘Level 2020’ in the animation. “It’s a sad reality, but it is what it is and I tried to portray that as accurately as I could in the video.”
As you’ve seen in the video, the animation is divided into nine scenes referring to nine main issues Lebanese people have been enduring: Electricity, unemployment, garbage, flooded streets, etc.
The Creation: A Team Work
Karam received support from Zaher Olabi, a professional character animator he’s been working with for a long time. “He did an exceptional job by delivering the whole character animation in less than 10 days,” Karam told us.
Karam asked his parents, Romeo and Marlette Karam, to help with the lyrics, and his mother’s friend, a singer named Reine Kai, offered her stunning vocals. “She did a great job with adding life to the video,” he said.
Finally, he sought out Sergey Zhelezkov, a sound designer Karam works with regularly, to work on sound design and final mastering of the sound.
It took a whole production team and turned out to be a creative work of art to which all Lebanese can relate to (and would probably sing along!) That’s one heck of a way to spend quarantine… constructively!