It started as a simple link sent from our old roving NASA educator buddy Ralph Winrich. It was just a clip he had seen on the internet and thought we might be interested. I can’t say that I am captivated by too many viral videos that pop up here and there. It seems that there are just too many folks with too much time on their hands and enough technology on hand to stream just about anything that they do, but this one got my attention and I am glad that it did. Ontonagon and Providence, Rhode Island may be 900 miles apart, but somehow the topic of snow days has brought us much closer together. Calling a snow day is a stressful even for the administration as there are many variables to consider. It is hard to imagine a snow day that can cause so much anxiety for some can also bring so much joy to others. I am not talking just about the joy generated in the students who get the occasional day off thanks to Mother Nature. I am talking about the joy spread by the folks who can find away to make a snow day even more fun than normal.
Ralph sent me the link to the video that the Moses Brown School in Providence produced to announce snow days. It was an artfully worded and recorded parody of the song Let It Go from the animated Disney feature Frozen. The video starred the school headmaster Matt Glendinning lip synching his way through the song with lyrics not found in the film (ex: The snow glows white on Route 95, not a tire track to be seen. We could make you come to school, but that would just be mean), but behind the scenes, there was a team of folks who arranged, sang, filmed and choreographed the video. For me, it ranks at the top of a large heap of Let It Go parodies that can be found all over the internet.
As we do from time to time, we sent a combination ‘congratulations – thank you for sharing this’ note to Matt at Moses Brown and a WOAS-FM cap. Matt responded by sending us back a photo of himself wearing the cap in his office, one of the places shown in several scenes in the video. He also shared some tidbits about how much fun it was to make this video. He confessed that they had a plan, but in some cases, they improvised parts like the scene where he drops his phone and giddily runs out of his office. According to Matt, the cameraman was laughing so hard that he nearly dropped his camera. Matt said, “I am a little bit of a ham so I didn’t mind doing my part.” He also mentioned that they were working on something new, but he couldn’t give me any further details as it was strictly top secret.
As January 2016 gave way to February, it was no longer a secret: their new video project was out and like the School is Closed video, it began making waves on the internet immediately. When Matt shared the information that they were working on a new video, my first thought was, “How on Earth will they ever top the creativity and energy of School is Closed?” I should not have worried about it because creativity always seems to find a way to bubble to the surface. Instead of trying to top the joyous fun of the Frozen parody, they decided to try something darker, more brooding. As ominous as this sounds, it is tempered with the bits of humor that were allowed to show through.
The musical template this time around came from Adele and her hit Hello. Shot in shades of sepia -tone, they made what reminds me of a film noir piece. It seems quite dark until they let a little humor sneak into the production such as Matt lip synching outdoors with his scarf flipping in the breeze. As the camera pans back, you are allowed to see an relatively uninspired helper hanging on to the end of his scarf and shaking it up and down to simulate the wind blown effect. The video also flips the joy of a school day back and forth enough times that you begin to believe the students and staff are unhappy that school is closed and then react with joy when it resumes. Well, King ‘Doc’ Odell (who appeared in the first video and is apparently stunned by the lost school day) doesn’t act happy when school resumes, but the point is the kids are excited to come back.
As I told Matt in an e-mail a while back, “Creativity is addicting” and I have a sneaking suspicion that we haven’t seen the last of Moses Brown School on the internet. Sure, having a robo-call or an e-mail pop up message announcing a snow day is efficient, but who says a snow day announcement can’t also be fun and creative? Once again, we doff our cap to Matt and company for giving us another reason to smile while we anticipate our next snow day! If you haven’t seen either video yet, you can pop on over to our web site at www.woas-fm.org and watch them both.
Here is the original School Is Closed video from 2015 – the 2016 version is one post behind this one! Of course, we could not let another opportunity to show you Matt wearing the WOAS-FM colors in his office slip by!