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Video: Debut of ‘Evolution of Dance 2’

By TODAY show producers
updated 1/12/2009 11:09:09 AM ET 2009-01-12T16:09:09

His first video has been viewed more than 109 million times, and this morning Judson Laipply debuted his “The Evolution of Dance 2” on TODAY. We asked Judson some questions before his appearance. He told us about Internet stardom, the making of his new video and what's next for him.

Q: How has your life changed since posting the first ‘Evolution of Dance’ on YouTube?

A: For a lot of people, when something happens that gives them 15 minutes of fame, they try to create something new out of that. I was really fortunate. For a professional speaker, it is all about press, publicity and PR, so to get that much free publicity ... it made life a lot easier.

Q: Do a lot people recognize you?

A: No. I have the best of both worlds. I have all the accolades that come with something like that video, but I don't have people stopping me on the street and being like, “Oh, my God, dance for me.” I have probably only been recognized three or four times flat out — someone saying, “Are you the Evolution of Dance guy?”

Q: What was the process for making ‘Evolution of Dance 2,’ and how was it different from making the first one?

A: I didn't have song rights for the first video because I didn't know that it was going to do what it did. So for the second video, I decided better safe than sorry. It is a really gray area as to whether or not you even need song rights to make a video like that. So I said, “You know what, I'll get them so that everybody is happy.” It took about 45 songs just to get the 18 ones that are in the video. There were lots of songs that I wanted to put in that I couldn't get the rights for. So it was kind of a process to find a song that would be appealing, fit and be recognized and also that I could get the song rights for. It took about 18 months.

Video: Web only: Advice from Judson Laipply

Q: You are also working with sponsors this time. How did that change your creative process? Are there any lessons to be learned?

A: I think the biggest lesson to be learned is that it is almost impossible to just throw a logo on a video. A lot of people think that if you make a really popular video, I can get Pepsi to put a little logo on there and they will pay me a lot of money. We wanted to create something that wasn't just a “slap a logo on the video.” So with www.saveology.com, we actually are running a contest and we had an interactive application that came out in December. So it was a whole experience revolving around “The Evolution of Dance,” but wasn't just a company that put an ad on the video.

Q: How important was the quality of video going from something you posted on YouTube to now creating something with a lot more support?

A: One of the reasons that I think the first video was successful was that it wasn't overproduced. So for the second one, it was shot on several different cameras and one of them was an HD camera, and it was so clear and so clean that it almost looked overproduced. So I actually cut out some frames and kind of gave it a little grainier look so it looks a lot more like the first one. I think that is really important. Especially from user-generated content, people don't want overproduced-looking videos.

Q: Will there be an ‘Evolution of Dance 3’?

A: A good question. I would love to. My hope is this goes well. Maybe I can get myself onto “Dancing With the Stars.”

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