Follow me, I’m the Pied Piper

I can’t remember exactly when it was, but I was blown away the first time I watched the video “99 problems in film” made by Eclectic Method. It is a mashup video of Jay Z‘s “99 problems” composed with footage from different famous movies. Watch it here.

Like with most things, I started thinking what could the process of making such a video be.

And this is what I came up with:
– Find as many subtitle files as you can.
– Search those files for segments of your song’s lyrics.
– Find the video segments, following the timestamps provided by the subtitles.
– Compose the video.

As soon as I reached the end of season 3, episode 8 of Silicon Valley, “Bachman’s Earning’s Over-Ride” and watched Kumail Nanjiani sing Crispian St Peters’ “The Pied Piper”, a couple of light bulbs turned on really bright in my brain.

The first bulb read “Oh my God, that’s ‘Bandiera Gialla’!!!”.

In Italy, where I live, “The Pied Piper” is ridiculously famous in its cover version, “Bandiera Gialla” (“Yellow Flag”), as it was recorded by Gianni Pettenati in 1967. Listen to it here.

The second bulb read “Oh my God, I know what I have to do!”.

Yes. It was time to put my “99 problems in film” production theory to the test.

Here’s the result – the vid contains optional English subtitles for a better understanding of the lyrics:

Now try to get that song out of your head.

God knows I’ve tried.


After trying for a couple of days to promote the video through tweets and messages to Silicon Valley, HBO and cast member accounts, I realized that, because of the song version I had chosen, the whole thing was unavailable in the United States, Australia and New Zealand – so yeah, no biggie.

Using a more recent re-recording of the song fixed it. I hope that the video will make a great second impression.

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