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The Making of the First 24hr Music Video: 7 Miles of Walking Backwards, Every Day for 10 days

By Hanssie on November 16th 2014

One of the most grueling jobs on set of any production would probably be the one of a Steadicam operator. Not only do you need to be able to learn how to use all of the newest, and constantly changing equipment quickly, you need to be able to physically withstand the demands placed on your body to get the shots – bending, stretching and being on your feet for long hours each day of filming.

Steadicam operator Jon Beattie knows full well the requirements for his job, especially after working on set of the first 24 hour video, Pharrell Williams’ hit song, ‘Happy.’ This overly catchy, clap along tune found on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, is the basis for 24 one-hour long music videos and an interactive website depicting everyday people and some stars in Los Angeles dancing in a long, never-ending loop.



The video below is the first of a series called ‘Walkumentary” created by sports brand, Hi-Tec. It documents Beattie’s experience while filming the ‘Happy’ video project and the stats are astounding:

  • 7 miles a day of walking backwards
  • Carrying 100+ pounds of equipment
  • 10 days of filming
  • About 250k steps
  • 24 hours of original content

And if that weren’t exhausting enough, he did all this while listening to the song about 400+ times. And you thought your 12 hour wedding yesterday was rough…

To make things even more fun, most of the footage in the video is in reverse.

Watch ‘Happy – A Walkumentary from Hi-Tec – Episode 1’

[Via PetaPixel]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aaron Cheney

    This is pretty awesome!

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  2. J D

    I’m in pain just reading about what he had to do.

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  3. Anthony McFarlane

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing. I would probably never want to hear that song again after this shoot!

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