This is what enthusiasm and no budget looks like! (video below)

Tim Minchin is now everywhere, a staple, a household name (or he should be!), having penned several musicals in addition to his cabaret comedy / piano evenings.  But early in his career he put up a low-budget video to his comedic eco-anthem Canvas Bags and it went viral, spreading the no-brainer, comedically simplistic, enviro-message to “Take your canvas bags to the supermarket.”  Over and over.  All the while poking some fun at rock anthems, environmental messaging, and music videos to boot.

Island Market is one of the largest supporters of the Orcas Center, and the schools, and they have taken some strong steps to improve their ecological impact over the years.  So re-imagining this video with my Middle School class and shooting it at the market was an obvious fit.

Kelly Carpenter’s OI Middle School Theatre Exploratory class met once a week for 13 weeks and little by little put together this music video.  Here’s some of the steps:

  • Discussing parody, irony, rhyme, and political commentary in the lyrics
  • Storyboarding ideas for the video
  • Learning about camera angles and framing
  • Seeing how Jake constructed and recorded the music backing track from scratch
  • Learning and recording three part harmony for the chorus
  • Casting, learning and recording all the lead vocal parts
  • Giving everyone a piece in the rap section and recording it
  • Mixing the audio track down to a final mix
  • Ellie choreographed the chorus dance section and taught it to the class (and then choreographed and performed the elaborate solo at the end!)
  • Location rehearsals for the video shoot
  • Shooting the entire video in one two-hour class with Erin and Emily of Orcas Video (in the rain)!
  • Making a final edit of the video in class

I think Tim would be proud of the effort these kids made in making this video and spreading this message just bit further.  I hope it reaches your heart and is a reminder of how simple actions can make a difference.

-Jake Perrine, instructor, Artistic Director