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No business like show business

Monday, March 17, 2008

If they flop on Wall Street, Hollywood may save them.

University of Wisconsin-Madison business students created a mind-numbingly dull video about their Applied Security Analysis Program - until 1:47 into the 6-minute video.

That's when a strange figure wearing a hood and black scarf, toilet paper trailing from one shoe, strides out of a bathroom past the narrator. Soon, a thumping bass beat and lots of craziness replace talk of management conference calls, annual reports and 8K filings.

A man scrawling on a white board flaps his arms like a bird. Two students thumb wrestle, another looks up from newspaper stock listings and flips a coin. Add a covert poker game, an earnest construction manager looking for the program's new digs, and students racing in hallways.

Clean-cut head shots are interspersed with images of Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Milken and Warren Buffett, all labeled with names of students of the program. The slideshow is accompanied by lyrics from a Pet Shop Boys song called "Opportunities" - "I've got the brains, you've got the looks / Let's make lots of money."

"This video is about all you can ask from the Applied Securities crew," said Michael M. Knetter, dean of the business school, when asked to comment. "They are bright, creative and have a sense of humor, but they just don't have the free time or expertise for high-end production quality."