UBC BFA acting grad Andrew Cohen was sitting in a coffee shop studying one day last year, when a five-minute Facebook break changed the course of his career. He had discovered a lip dub video by University of Victoria students, and decided to make his own version for UBC. “I thought it was cool. And then I started thinking about how I could make a better one.”
Cohen quickly found a co-producer and began assembling a team for his UBC Lip Dub. “It was very easy to get the rest of the team. We had a 20-person production team working for six months and 1,000 people volunteer on the day of the shoot. This was bigger than any other project we had done, and had production values that were unparalled. We tried to build up some hype about it with a launch party at Robson Square and promotion ahead of time.”
When it was finally released, Cohen’s Lip Dub to Pink’s Raise Your Glass and Marianas Trench’s Celebrity Status not only made waves across UBC, but also captured the attention of a global audience on YouTube – generating more than 1 million views and raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The production involved two donated buses from Translink, a donated helicopter, donated rights to use the two songs, and even bouncy castles. In short, it was a massive endeavour that has since opened career doors for Cohen. “Industry people saw it and complimented us. Pink’s videographers even sent an e-mail from California,” Cohen says.
It was the teamwork aspect of the production that Cohen found most valuable, and that he has carried through to his own company ACP. “I’m working with a lot of current and former UBC students to produce music videos, commercials and online media targeted toward students. Working with a team is far better than working alone, especially if you surround yourself with talented people.”