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Rocking Out to “Lisztomania”

Students create vibrant mashup

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Watch this video on YouTube

Watch Boston University’s own version of the national Brat Pack Mashup, with Phoenix’s "Lisztomia" playing in the background. Video filmed and edited by Howard Thurman Center student ambassadors Julian Jensen (COM’12) and Eric Calvin Baker (COM’13)

For most students, Saturday morning is a chance to sleep in. But two weeks ago, 20 of them rose before dawn so that they could be on the roof of the College of Arts & Sciences when the sun rose.

The group, from the BU community and the Howard Thurman Center, assembled to shoot what turned out to be a high-spirited music video. Using the European band Phoenix’s “Lisztomania,” the students created what they call the BU “Lisztomania” Brat Pack Mashup, a homage to the original, which first aired on YouTube last year. That video had scenes from much-loved late 1980s films featuring Brat Pack actors Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, and Rob Lowe dancing to the song. The mashup, a remix of song and video clips, was an instant sensation and has been replicated worldwide. People from San Francisco to Brooklyn to Amsterdam have made their own videos using the Phoenix song and real people instead of film clips.

Phoenix is a European alternative rock band that won a Grammy earlier this year for its fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which contains “Lisztomania”. The song has spent 36 weeks on Billboard’s top rock charts, peaking at number five.

To date, the BU video has had more than 5,300 views on YouTube and 283 views on BUniverse.

The BU “Lisztomania” Brat Pack Mashup was the brainchild of Raúl Fernandez (COM’00), assistant director of the Howard Thurman Center, BU’s multicultural center.

“At presentations to incoming freshmen this summer I talked about getting people from across the country and across the world to come together to share ideas and work together,” Fernandez says. “This university is designed for people to connect with one another and to share by finding different people from different places.” He thought that creating a BU version of Brat Pack Mashup was the perfect vehicle to bring people together.

To make the BU-centric version, Fernandez enlisted HTC student ambassadors Julian Jensen (COM’12) and Eric Calvin Baker (COM’13), who had experience behind the camera working on BU Tonight, a show on BU’s student-run TV station BUTV10, and other film projects.

Daryl DeLuca, the assistant dean of students, helped them scout for locations, Jensen says, “because he has access to a lot of cool places on campus.” DeLuca took the group to the roofs of CAS, the School of Law, and the School of Management, before they chose the CAS roof.

“Ultimately we settled on that roof because it has a ton of space and they had the most interesting stuff up there,” Jensen says. “The cast assembled at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, because sunrise is at 6:30. Most people didn’t understand why we had to gather so early, but we shot them and immediately replayed the footage, and they saw how beautiful the light was.”

The entire production process took about 24 hours, which included planning, shooting, and editing.

“We wanted to include kids from across campus, not just student ambassadors at the Thurman Center,” says Fernandez. “This project showcases the vibrancy and spirit of our community.”

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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