Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 9, 2011

Grand Rapids Is Alive And Well And Dancing In The Streets

A scene from the raved-about Grand Rapids LipDub Video (all photos provided)

Reports of the death of Grand Rapids, Michigan, have been greatly exaggerated.

In response to a Newsweek story that listed Grand Rapids as one of America’s 10 Dying Cities (Flint and Detroit were among them), a team of young creative folks rallied a crew and cast of thousands to create what film critic Roger Ebert called “the greatest music video ever made.”

Pretty high praise from the legendary expert on moving pictures.

“The Grand Rapids LipDub Video” was conceived and produced by Rob Bliss, a 22-year old special events pro from the Michigan city.

Rob Bliss points to Grand Rapids on his "map" of Michigan

And it is an amazing feat.

Filmed in one continuous take—unedited—to a 9-minute version of  “American Pie” by Don McLean, the camera moves throughout downtown Grand Rapids as some 3,000 individuals demonstrate different aspects of life in the city: gymnasts, kayakers, a wedding party, swing dancers, firefighters, musicians, the Mayor.

The producers say it set a record as the longest lip dub video made to date.

The video has garnered national publicity and has had more than 2.9 million views since it launched on YouTube on May 26; help it reach 3 million! Check it out at The Grand Rapids Lip Dub.

Filming required detailed storyboards depicting the non-stop action

If you’ve already seen it, watch it again—with all the activity, from a pillow fight to pyrotechnics—you’re bound to see something you missed the first time around.

Or just marvel at the planning and coordination, choreography, energy and cooperation that went into its creation.

Visitor Info Clicks: Grand Rapids

Pure Michigan

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