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Part of Pure Michigan video being filmed on Sugarloaf

August 18, 2012
Kyle Whitney - Journal Staff Writer , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Scenes to be included in a video promoting Michigan tourism will be filmed atop Marquette County's Sugarloaf Mountain this weekend.

The total video, which is a part of the state's Pure Michigan promotion and is sponsored by Chrysler and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will be about 3 minutes long and will include scenes in 50 different Michigan locations.

Marquette's scene will come early in the video - a singing parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's hit, "Good Time" - and will feature campers looking out from the top of Sugarloaf.

Alison Silk, who works in public relations and marketing at the Marquette County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the video shoot should certainly be positive for the area.

"The Pure Michigan campaign is recognized all over the country, if not the world, now," she said. "It's really great to be included and it's just wonderful to get the recognition. Anything that's going to showcase our community in that way is going to benefit tourism in the future."

The idea for the video came from Grand Rapids' Rob Bliss, who, along with Jeff Barrett, cofounded the media advertising firm Status Creative.

Bliss said he received a good response when he pitched the idea to the state and Chrysler, which will provide a vehicle for Bliss and Barrett's cross-state trek.

"We'll be traveling to 50 cities in one week. In each city we'll be recording people singing one line of the song," Bliss said. "You take the 50 cities, the 50 lines and you have a song built by people in the state of Michigan."

Bliss gained Internet fame last year when he orchestrated a massive nine-minute, live-action lip-syncing music video that was set to the tune of Don McLean's "American Pie" and poured into the streets of Grand Rapids. He said the 50 locations were selected both by population and by the "visibility" of each specific spot. When he looked north, Marquette was a logical choice.

"It's a good college town and Sugarloaf is a wonderful place," Bliss said. "We definitely wanted to give real attention to the Upper Peninsula."

The video is set to include shots in five other U.P. locations, including the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Castle Rock near St. Ignace, freighters at Sault Ste. Marie, kayaking at Munising's Pictured Rocks and in Newberry.

Following stops in Marquette and Munising on Sunday, Bliss and Barrett will travel to Newberry.

There, firefighters that helped battle this summer's Duck Lake Fire will gather on the street to sing what will be the song's first line.

"It gives us a chance to recognize our firefighters," Newberry Village Manager Bev Holmes said. "They rock. They really do. And they're part of the community. Our firefighters are families that live here.

"We would like to fill our streets with our firefighters and our sidewalks with our citizens."

The Duck Lake Fire was sparked by lightning in May and eventually became the state's largest in more than three decades. The blaze burned in excess of 21,000 acres and destroyed 136 structures.

Holmes said she has made it a point to invite everyone - even those in neighboring communities - to flood the streets of Newberry Sunday morning. She has invited firefighters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and from nearly a dozen small communities, as all were on-hand to assist in the fire efforts.

"I'm just very proud of our town," she said. "We've just got good folks here with good hearts."

Bliss and Barrett are scheduled to film in Newberry sometime between 10:30 and 11:30 Sunday morning. Holmes has asked the firefighters to be on-site at about 10 a.m. and has asked anyone else hoping to attend to be there by 10:30.

The crew should be filming atop Sugarloaf prior to 8 a.m. Sunday. Filming for the video is scheduled to wrap up on Aug. 26.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is



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