Mele Kalikimaka

The holiday quartet strikes again!

For our 2013 video we decided to sing The Andrews Sisters/Bing Crosby arrangement of the modern Christmas classic, “Mele Kalikimaka.” Naturally the title is derived for the Hawaiian phrase for, “Merry Christmas.” We thought it would be fun to go as authentic as possible with this one, thus the quasi-militaristic costuming for Ashley. I’m wearing the uniform of a WWII private for the jazz band shots. The dinner jacket look is copying the Bing Crosby outfit from the movie “Road to Rio” with Bob Hope. The blocking comes specifically from the song, “You Don’t Have to Learn The Language.” The big USO banner on the stage is an attempt to recreate the look of the touring concerts supporting the troops abroad during the war. Incidentally this version of the song was not written until 1950 so our video depiction of a wartime concert is not accurate. However, we felt The Andrews Sisters would be most recognizable seen with their envelope hats like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” We happened to own the trumpet, trombone and alto sax. The lap steel guitar, drums and upright bass were all added in post.

The final title card reading “Merry Christmas” was a fun typographic project. On a recent trip to NYC we saw the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. The 2013 collateral branding is excellent and uses a modified thin art deco font. I couldn’t find the exact typeface, but this is close to their stellar design work. The title cards were built in Photoshop.

The video was shot DSLRs on a cloth green screen in our living room. Side profile shots were taken using an off-axis camera with an additional pop-up green screen. The video was edited and composited in Final Cut Pro.