Did you know that 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of MTV? (Sniff, they grow up so fast…!) That means most of us in the “on-the-grid” world have been awash in music videos for nearly a third of a century already. YouTube, on the other hand, has only been around for half-dozen years, and already this undeniably megacool site has already also transformed the world’s music/media landscape. But less coolly, it’s also been responsible for the perpetration and proliferation of homemade music videos of which, well, the less said the better.
With some mindblowing exceptions. Case in point: The other day browsing the ‘Tube I stumbled across a viddy that actually got me chuckling out loud. Called “Dominican Bounce,” it’s lip-synched to the techno-synthpopper “Bounce,” a euro-club hit released several months ago by Scottish singer-songwriter Calvin Harris, featuring U.S. dance diva Kelis. The original’s set in Las Vegas, but as I discovered, this playful tribute bounces all the bouncing over to Punta Cana’s Iberostar Bávaro resort (no, it was never made explicit, but I’d recognize that luscious beach anywhere).
“Dominican Bounce” is the brainchild of 47-year-old Gavin Skidmore (from Bromley, Kent, if you must know – he’s the bloke being pharaonically carried aloft across the strand on a chaise-longue), who spent an apparently quite enjoyable holiday here this past August. It hopscotches across the resort, with a cast of dozens – two-dozen-plus guests young (some very young) and old taking turns synching a line or two. Here’s the beach bar, there’s a room patio, the pool, outdoor showers, the lobby (yo, nice conga line) – and oh yeah, those famous lush palms just back from water’s edge. Three minutes and 35 seconds of original, nonstop action, and certainly fun, but also kind of exhausting (frankly, when I go to an Iberostar resort, I’m more than happy to sit back and let the Star Friends take charge of keeping me entertained).
Anyway, I recently got a chance to quiz the über-creative Gavin just a bit on his Iberostar escapade.
What gave you the idea for this video?
The idea came from a TV news story from a year or so ago where soldiers serving in Afghanistan had made a spoof pop video. Our holiday had 26 family and friends and I thought what a great opportunity to film a video of our own! I had two songs in mind and had downloaded these from iTunes before we left home. One friend brought along his iPod docking station to play which will let each of us in the video sing to the song and to help lip sync the video during editing once we returned from holiday. Once we got to the Iberostar, a few of the teenagers in our party didn’t like the two songs that I had prepared, so we discussed an alternative and it was agreed “Bounce” was the perfect tune.
Wow, 26 all at once?
Well, a few years ago at a party, many of our friends were chatting and although we had holidays in small groups, we had never had one holiday with all our friends. With this, a trial holiday to Egypt was planned, and from the fun and success of that holiday we decided to do it again in two years’ time. Myself and my brother and sister including children decided to go to Iberostar resort in Punta Cana. We had such a great time we thought this is the perfect resort to bring all our friends, too. So this past August, 26 of our family and friends finally made the trip. Although the ages vary from 2 to 51 years, many of the older generation have known each other from school and have remained very close friends throughout the years, so having a holiday with all our extended families was fantastic. And one of the many great things about the resort is that we never had a problem getting a table for dinner for 26!
One thing that especially impressed me was the coordination and choreography. How in the world did you all manage it?
I really have no experience in this kind of thing at all, but my niece Hayley Skidmore is training to be a dancer and she choreographed the whole thing; she appears in many of the scenes (she’s the first girl in the t-shirt, for example, and toward the end leading the group down the beach with her brother Lewis). Each day we did rehearsals while I looked for locations within the resort to do the filming. The staff were amazing, and following one of the shows in the resort theater, they even helped us record a dance routine on stage for an audience of other guests; unfortunately that scene wasn’t quite in focus and I felt it wasn’t sharp enough to sit in with the rest of the video. The opening scene was the first scene I filmed and what you see is the first and only take. Many scenes were shot with one or two takes, but some of the scenes we filmed in the evening did need quite a few takes. But it was still fun!