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Behind the Scenes: Deadmau5 Music Video – 5/20/12

On Sunday night, thousands of extras excitedly gathered in Van Nuys, California to be in Deadmau5‘s latest music video for 10 hours of filming, after being recruited from Facebook earlier in the week. How do I know this? Well, I was there. It all started when I clicked on a link on one of Deadmua5’s statuses and applied for the exciting experience.

Facebook status encouraging fans to participate

However, being invited to the location was the hardest part. It consisted of a three step process; after thousands of applicants sent in the first application, only a select few were sent a second e-mail to fill out. Finally, a last e-mail, that included an address and further instructions, was sent out to the chosen applicants.

Hundreds waiting for further direction

I showed up to the location around 7pm where hundreds of people were lingering around two trailers, waiting for some sort of action. Many were staring off to the ominous stage on the other side of the area.

None of us knew what to expect. There was no required dress attire, so mostly everyone dressed in casual attire as if they were going to a rave. A few fans brought their handmade ‘mausheads’, one is seen below:

a ‘mau5head’ (purple head in background)

An hour passed. Finally, the large crowd was acknowledged. Everyone was instructed to move and surround the large metal stage that many wondered about. The crowd circled around what appeared to be a metal cage. More minutes passed until the director explained to the crowd what to do.

the metal dome

After the shooting began, the crowd started to get angry when the music played multiple times in 10 second intervals. The director had to remind the crowd, “this isn’t a concert, this is a music video!”

When the director made this exclamation, I shared the same confused expression as the rest of the crowd. Although Deadmau5 was present and music was playing to a crowd, this was not the experience any of us had in mind.

We weren’t at a party, we were doing work.

Although many expected this experience to be more like a concert, what they didn’t realize is they were a part of something bigger. This built-up crowd is evidence to how influential EDM music has become today. One has to be very admired to draw thousands of people to work for free for 10+ hours.

Many of these people just wanted to be part of the phenomenon that this music genre has created. And I hope that many more similar opportunities will be on the rise that share this DJ and fan connection.