Elkton premieres promotional music video
— Rob Alt does a pretty good job of mimicking Justin Timberlake, considering he is the mayor of Elkton and not a superstar entertainer.
Alt is featured along with some 20 downtown Elkton merchants and a big cast of extras in the town’s first-ever promotional video, “Can’t Stop the Feeling: An Elkton Tribute,” which had its premiere Friday night in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Howard and Bow streets.
The creators used Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” music video as a blueprint. During a long day of shooting at various downtown spots last month, videographer Samuel Baker got footage of merchants dancing and lip-syncing to Timberlake’s catchy song inside and outside their shops. He also videotaped big and small ensembles moving and grooving to the tune on the streets.
And then, with obvious precision, Baker edited down hours of footage into the upbeat, 4 minute and 58 second montage of Alt and others hamming it up to the Timberlake song at familiar places in downtown Elkton.
More than 100 people turned out for the unveiling of the video, which is aimed at promoting downtown businesses and “shining a positive light” on Elkton, according to Jenn Parsons, who is a
member of Elkton Chamber and Alliance’s promotions committee and operates a downtown family-owned business, Best Vacations.
The video, which was posted on the Elkton Chamber and Alliance website and Facebook page immediately after the premiere, was the brainchild of Parsons, who directed the video shoot, and of the alliance’s executive assistant Jessica Price, who is listed as the producer. The hope is that the video goes viral.
“I think its wonderful for the town and for the overall Cecil County community,” said Parsons, moments before she served as emcee for the video’s debut. “It is definitely unique; this has never been done before here. It (the video) is more about making an attitude change, a perspective change.”
Businesses in downtown Elkton offer a wide range of merchandise and services and, therefore, the town is a good destination, she noted.
It cost the Elkton Chamber and Alliance approximately $900 to make the video, according to Parsons, who emphasized that some people involved in the project had donated their skills and time to make it possible.
She also gave Timberlake a shoutout, commenting, “Justin Timberlake’s video inspired this idea.” Timberlake’s music video shows him and others dancing at numerous businesses wherever his filming took place, including a doughnut shop and a laundromat.
“We wanted to transform it into downtown Elkton,” she said.
Many in attendance Friday night had participated in varied degrees during last month’s videotaping and, understandably, they were eager to see themselves on the big screen.
Or, as was the case for appointed Cecil County Circuit Court Judge William Davis Jr., attendees wanted to see if they even made the final cut.
Davis, who is continuing to work as an Elkton-based lawyer until his Sept. 9 investiture, had taken part in a group dance segment with members of Elkton High School’s Golden Elks football team and other people.
“I had a pretty good twostep going on at one point,” Davis recalled with a laugh. “I’m curious. If I ended up on the cutting room floor, that would be OK with me. This is a great community event, and a very positive project.”
Davis made the cut, indeed, appearing in a mob dance scene on North Street.
Laura Minihane, 16, and her brother, Pedro, 11, had mixed emotions moments before the unveiling.
“I’m a little nervous and a little excited,” Laura admitted, prompting Pedro to qualify, “I’m more excited than nervous.”
Both, as it turns out, appear in several snippets showing Laura enthusiastically dancing, gesturing and lip-syncing inside their parents’ Minihane’s Irish Pub and Restaurant and Pedro doing likewise in front of the Elkton Florist shop.
The moment of truth began with the sound of keyboard chords and tapping cymbals as the “Can’t Stop the Feeling An Elkton Tribute” title flashed on the inflatable, 40-foot-by-20-foot screen in pinkish letters.
That visual segued into a closeup of the Lyons Pharmacy sign hanging above the shop’s Main Street entrance — setting up Alt’s first of several scenes.
Seated in a Lyon’s Pharmacy booth, Alt sips from a coffee cup, bobs his head and then taps his fingers on the tabletop.
“I got this feeling inside my bones/It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on/All through my city, all through my home/We’re flying up, no ceiling, when we’re in our zone . . .”
Dancing merchants at various downtown locations appear in a flurry of scenes as Timberlake’s voice glides through that first verse and, before long, Alt is air-drumming with a fork and knife. He even lip-synchs a soulful “ooh.”
“I got that sunshine in my pocket/Got that good soul in my feet . . .”
Toward the end of the video, the words “We Are Elkton” appear on the screen. And as each dancing merchant pops up again, so does the name of his or her business.
“So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine/Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance/ Feeling good, good, creeping up on you/So just dance, dance, dance, come on . . .”
The end of the video was met with hearty applause from the crowd.
“What did you think?” Parsons asked, microphone in hand. More applause. Then she played the promotional video two more times, allowing the people to get even better looks at the rapid-fire montage.
“I loved it. They did a great job,” said Johannah Hilferty, who appears a few times dancing inside her East Main Cafe.
She critiqued herself, remarking, “I’m not good at dancing.”
Based on her performance in the video, however, Hilferty was selling herself short.
Chris Brehm, who works with American Energy Corporation, was more confident when he danced smoothly on the sidewalk with colleagues for his scenes.
“I like to dance,” Brehm said, noting with a chuckle, “I actually took ballroom dancing when I went to Penn State.”
As for the overall video, Brehm believes it aptly captures the camaraderie of the downtown merchants.
“You could feel the energy. Everybody knows everybody on Main Street, and you see that aspect,” he said.
People can see — and feel — for themselves by visiting the Elkton Chamber and Alliance’s website at www.elktonalliance.org or its Facebook page.
People watch as Elkton Mayor Robert Alt appears on the big screen during Friday night’s debut of the town’s promotional video.