The 101 Slow Jam, and Other Music Videos

The 101 Slow Jam, and Other Music Videos

The 101 freeway will take a break for 40 hours of R&R … and R&B.

– LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

Tell me more: On a weekend in early February 2016, a section of the 101 freeway in Los Angeles closed for scheduled construction, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the shut down with a music video public service announcement. Produced in collaboration with the Roosevelt High School jazz band, the #101SlowJam music video is a brilliant twist on a press release for an event that inconvenienced thousands of drivers. We love the music video as an alternative to essays or speeches, and also appreciate this collaboration between the city and a local high school.

Classroom applications: We’ve done music videos with adult faculty as a way of building community with low-level risk (they can be slightly uncomfortable, especially if there’s dancing, but also hilarious and always worth it); and we’ve done them with young people who are learning filmmaking techniques. We can imagine doing them with music students, or in classes that are reviewing what they’ve learned in other contexts. We’ve used Michel Gondry’s music videos (middle left) as inspiration, and have also taken tips from his excellent book You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It (bottom left).