By Carol Cain
Rob Bliss, 23 – the creative sparkplug behind the Grand Rapids Lip Dub video that took YouTube by storm — is hoping lightning strikes twice with a sequel planned about his home state of Michigan.
Bliss, who runs Status Creative, came up with the idea of a Lip Dub video last year featuring Grand Rapids’ city fathers and mothers and hundreds of others lip synching to Don McLean’s 1970s tune “American Pie.” He did it to respond to Newsweek, which described his town as boring and wanted to prove them wrong.
That Lip Dub gained traction with millions of views on YouTube. It was called the “greatest music video ever made” by Roger Ebert and won “Best Use of Video in Social Media” from PRNewswire in 2011.
“It’s time for Michigan to get its just desserts and show it has lots of good times and great things going on,” Bliss said.
His newest project – which isn’t technically a lip dub as it isn’t being done in one contiguous take and isn’t lip synching, will show people across Michigan singing a parody of “Good Time” by Carly Rae Jepsen.
She’s the artist who sings the wildly popular “Call Me Maybe” song that has been parodied as a lip dub on YouTube by the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, the Cookie Monster, singer Katy Perry, and others.
“The lyrics of ‘Good Time’ will be tweaked to talk positively about Michigan and the individual performances we film will be edited together to create one fluid piece,” Bliss added.
The project – which will be a three and a half minute video when done — is being funded by Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Chrysler is also a sponsor. The video will also be posted on You Tube.
Bliss and his crew are putting finishing touches on their hectic travel agenda which kicks off Sunday (Aug. 19) and includes 50 stops in 50 cities in seven days.
Update: the schedule of planned stops has been finalized. View the interactive map.
Folks will be singing portions of “Good Time” at the Big House, Spartan Stadium, Comerica Park, various opera houses, theatres and other landmarks across the Mitten state.
“We really wanted to show how all of these places are interconnected and have something in common,” Bliss said. “We have lots of great things going on in Michigan.”
“We will be coordinating with communities and citizens to contribute a giant sing-along including street performers, parades, symphonies, and people from all kinds of backgrounds,” he added.
Bliss hopes to have a video ready to debut just after Labor Day.
(Carol Cain is the Emmy Winning Senior Producer and Host of CBS62’s “Michigan Matters” which airs 11:30 a.m. on CBS62. She also writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)