Elk­ton pre­mieres pro­mo­tional mu­sic video

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON


— 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.

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