Monday, May 30, 2011

Using up 12 seconds of my 15 minutes of fame

Grand Rapids Lipdub Project - "American Pie"

So, you know, last weekend I was in this. It was dreamed up by community organizer Rob Bliss as a response to a Newsweek article on "Dying Cities" that listed Grand Rapids.

The video, lipsynced to Don McLean's nine-minute opus "American Pie", was shot in one continuous take and involved shutting down a large portion of downtown GR for about 5 hours on a Sunday morning, featured various police, fire and news vehicles, a marching band, a high school football game, swing dancers, gymnasts, a giant pillow fight, a wedding, burning bridges and a whole lot more.

The weather was a little hot, and the downtime between takes was sometimes annoying, but from what I could see, everyone there was having a great time, and were just pretty jazzed to be a part of something that portrayed our city as the fun, positive city that I know it to be.

The video has been getting lots of media attention this past week, getting stories and mentions in NPR, NBC Nightly News, Adweek, Gawker, Roger Ebert's blog, an upcoming segment on The Today Show, tons and tons of online sites big and small, and, of course, Newsweek themselves, who walked back some of their "Dying City" claims by stating
... We're big fans (of the video), and are inspired by your love of the city you call home.

But so you know what was up with the list you're responding to, we want you to know it was done by a website called—not by Newsweek (it was unfortunately picked up on the Newsweek web site as part of a content sharing deal)—and it uses a methodology that our current editorial team doesn't endorse and wouldn't have employed. It certainly doesn't reflect our view of Grand Rapids.
FWIW, my brief seconds of fame and glory can be witnessed in the pillow fight and rock concert crowds (2:15 and 2:57, respectively).

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