The city of Grand Rapids came together to produce a sweeping and inspiring music video as an official response to the Newsweek article calling the Michigan metropolis a “dying city.”
With 2.7 million views on YouTube, the public seems to agree with film critic Roger Ebert who called it “The Greatest Music Video Ever Made.”
The filming on May 22nd involved 5,000 participants and a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids.
The streets were instead filled with marching bands, parades, weddings and motorcades — all the people playing their parts in a single panning shot of nine minutes, and singing along to the classic pop lyrics “Bye, buy Miss American Pie”.
Rob Bliss, the director & executive producer said the city wanted to create a video that “encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city.”
“We felt Don McLean’s American Pie, a song about death, was, in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope.”
The $40,000 production was entirely financed by the generosity of local businesses and sponsors. The resulting non-profit organization is selling merchandise at CafePress to multiply the buzz.
WATCH the video below… (Thanks to Justin for sending the link!)