Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
RHYTHM AND CLUES
WHO KNEW THAT 3.5 MILLION birds die each year crashing into windows? Or that crocodile dung and honey was an ancient Egyptian contraceptive? Almost nobody—until Pop-Up Video debuted on VH1 in December. The popular half-hour-long show annotates clips from music videos with factoid-or photo-filled balloons. Some are educational (1 percent of Sagittarians are color-blind, notes a pop-up in Des'ree's "You Gotta Be" video); others are esoteric (a popup in Prince's "7" video reveals that his high school nickname was Skippy).
The show was created by Tad Low and Woody Thompson, both 30. Low, a former MTV reporter, and Thompson, a onetime video art director, had amassed a trove of behind-the-scenes video trivia but, says Thompson, "you never saw the stuff on the screen." Now a staff of 12 takes up to a month to ferret out facts for a single video. "Directors love them," says Low. "They always call for copies." But there have been complaints. When a vintage still photo of Sheryl Crow (from her days as a backup singer in Michael Jackson's 1988 Bad tour) appeared in the Pop-Up version of her 1994 "Leaving Las Vegas" video, her rep protested. "She had huge hair," explains Thompson. "She was incredibly tacky."