Sunday, November 11, 2012

Filming The "Sprinkler Dance"

After a brief rehearsal on Friday evening, I joined others in the Step One family and assembled in Rocklin, CA, to film the "Sprinkler Dance" for a water conservation Public Service Announcement (PSA) on behalf of Sacramento Region Water Resources.  The video will air on Sacramento area TV from March through August 2013.

Call time was 7:00 a.m., but a calamity caused many to be late.  My understanding is a minivan carrying two mothers and two dancers missed a red light a few blocks away, and the vehicle not only got clobbered by another automobile, but rolled over as well.  Arriving film crew and dancers called 911, helped people unbuckle their seat belts and get out of the vehicles, helped separate the panicked mothers from their beginning-to-panic kids, and carried the uninjured dancers on to the video shoot.  It was one of the most impressive the-show-must-go-on moments that I've heard of!  I just hope everyone is OK and that the damage can be repaired.

Gayaldo Park, Rocklin.

This interesting-looking building on Argonaut Ave. looms over Rocklin.

Early morning at the video shoot.

A bit chilly, but the video requires a sunny look.

Choreographer Krystle Morales looks stylish in her Eskimo gear.

Krystle runs the cheerleaders through their paces.

Krystle warms up as the sun comes out.

Working on the final pose.

Do the dance again! And again!

The film crew improves on the natural lighting.

John Wheeler adjusts a sprinkler, watched by a dozen very attentive film artists.

Bearing the trademark 'Blue Thumb' gloves, John and Peggy Wheeler wave to their 'neighbors' across the street.

Looking across the street at the neighbors.

Watched by an actual resident of the cul-de-sac, John crosses the street and waves to his neighbors.

'Neighbors' Dianna and Margaret wave back.

Just before the dance starts, X. faces the camera.

Rob and Nancy come to join the dance (under Krystle's supervision).

I couldn't help but speculate about the artistic influences on the people making the video. Even making a simple PSA is like making a miniature movie, or a music video.

Filming a gathering of youth, including cheerleaders, in a suburban California cul-de-sac, was employed last year very successfully in Calvin Harris' "Feel So Close" video. (I've blogged several times about my film location hunt for this video, the results of which I summarized in this Wikipedia article.)  Even though this video has nothing to do with suburban water conservation, I like to think that the PSA was a kind of an echo:  a shout-out or testimonial to that very-well-done video:

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