An astonishing achievement by the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan

I don’t think I have ever featured a youtube video that I have come across before, things like this get picked up by so many people and I like to keep my blog a little bit unique but this was just epic and it had me grinning ear to ear. A fantastic achievment by the city of Grand Rapids, MI in response to Newsweek magazine which ran an article saying their city is a dying one. You don’t get much more of a two fingers to that than this.

One shot, terrifically choreographed with 5000 real people. They closed the whole damn city down for this. Now this is one ambitious video and they bloody pulled it off. I wonder how many rehearsals they did for this!?

Watch it a couple of times and watch the people in the background. Made me chuckle even more.

From the BTS it looks like it was shot on a JVC Pro HD camera.

Nice easy edit this video for sure! 🙂

Check out their facebook page here.


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  1. Phil im from Michigan and hadn’t heard a thing about this video, but after watching that I’m blown away. This is a perfect example of how a great idea can outweigh even the crappiest gear. Not saying the gear was crappy but you get the point…obviously they weren’t able to light any of this. The steadicam op deserves a medal too!

  2. Yep! It definetly put a grin on your face, I’m still smiling..
    Time of hopefull changes in Milan and in Italy also..this videomade me think about my city. ^_^

  3. Great Video and must watch again. How many takes. Trust it was one. Love to know if someone shot a ‘behind the scenes’ that would be great to see. Vey engaging

  4. Don’t know how many rehearsals they did but it looks like they nailed it on the 3rd or 4th take, the last shot before getting in the chopper you can see 3 or 4 sets of wheel tracks on the grass.

    ‘Russian Ark’ and ‘Time Code’ are pretty impressive if people are into one shot films, the former being more of an advert for the Russian State Hermitage Museum, but at 99mins long, steady-cam all the way without a single edit, it’s pretty impressive.

  5. I dont get why you think it would be easy to edit. One continuous shot? Everyone was in sync to the music. I guess I have a lot to learn.

  6. Boy, can you imagine the driver loosing his timing, It would throw off all the timed elements. I saw the Behind the Scenes. At first I thought it was a cameraman on a Segway. There is a guy with a red who shoots this kind of stuff (fast and smooth) on a segway, with an easyrig and a couple gyros.

  7. Here in the states, it’s just one finger. I learned the difference as a schoolboy when the elder Pres. Bush gave the double peace sign when he arrived in OZ. Not quite the same meaning in your hemisphere.

  8. The behind the scenes said they did 5 takes. 2 before lunch and 3 after lunch. Started at 9am, ended around 2:30. Judging from the shadows, I would say they nailed the take right after lunch. See what a good meal will do…

  9. Saw it with a smile and tears in my eyes…this piece really shows what we humans can do if we team up and celebrate in Oneness!

    Thanks for sharing Philip!

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