'Footloose' video shot here

Friday, November 4, 2011
Blake Shelton image from Warner Brothers Nashville via Tackle Box Films. Drivein image by Clint Confehr. Montage by Tribune productions' J Vendro.

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

The Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year, Blake Shelton, recorded the video of his music video for "Footloose" at the Hi-Way 50 Drive-in theater here.

"They asked us not to let it out before they did it," said June Douglas, wife of the theater owner, Gary Douglas. The long-time Lewisburg couple also operate Special Tees, a novelty printing business for hats, T-shirts and other things on Fayetteville Highway.

Filming was on Wednesday night, Sept. 7, and into the predawn hours of the next day.

Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, had portions of her music video "Famous in a Small Town" shot in nearby Shelbyville, and Lebanon.

"She's real nice," June Douglas said of Lambert.

The movie video recording session took about 13 hours.

The movie "Footloose" played three weeks at the Hi-Way 50 Drive-in last month. It's a remake of the 1984 movie of the same name. The song was a No. 1 hit for Kenny Loggins for three weeks that year. The new movie, with Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid, is boosting Shelton's version of the song.

Loggins and Dean Pitchford co-wrote the title song for the movie, "Footloose," It topped the music charts for three weeks in 1984.

Acknowledging his predecessor, Shelton has invited Loggins to join him during a performance of the classic hit "Footloose" as the opening song for "The 45th Annual CMA Awards," televised nationally on ABC Wednesday at 7 p.m. Locally, WKRN TV Channel 2 will air the program live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

In the current music video, "a slow night at a drive-in movie theater turns into a raucous block party when Blake hits the scene," according to Entertainment Tonight. "Blake's reinvention of the classic tune 'Footloose' from 'Footloose: Music from the Motion Picture' is available on iTunes."

The video has made the rounds through Marshall County by e-mail.

The movie's storyline follows this synopsis from the Internet Movie Data Base Web site: "City kid Ren MacCormack moves to a small town where rock 'n' roll and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace."

A relative of the Douglas' appears in the video - somewhat, as does a theater employee - during scenes shot in the concession stand.

The video was shot here on that Wednesday night, "based on Brad Shelton's availability," said Don LePore, producer of the music video from Tackle Box Films in Nashville. "We just wanted something that had that retro classic drive-in theater feel and that one met the requirement."

During the job, the video crew stayed at the Richland Inn on East Commerce Street.

Once things got started at the drive-in, "We cranked it up pretty loud to get everybody in the mood," LePore said.

Also that night Nancy O'Dell of Entertainment Tonight reported "an exclusive premier" of the video when she was on the set.

"O'Dell ... did the interview and reported we're 'outside of Nashville,'" June and Gary Douglas' daughter, Wendy Ridley, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Ridley, a 7th grade math teacher at Cornersville School, was somewhat amused at O'Dell's mention of the relative location since Lewisburg is about an hour's drive south of Nashville.

"Brad Shelton's tweet said they were in 'a small town in Tennessee'" when the video was shot, said Ridley, whose parents couldn't be there, so she became the "liaison" for the theater and Tackle Box Films.

Tackle Box is owned by Shaun Silva. He directed the "Footloose" video in conjunction with the film director Craig Brewer, video director LePore said.

"We enjoyed working at the location," LePore said. "The area was very accommodating, not that others aren't, but we felt welcome and enjoyed everybody's hospitality and hope to do it again sometime soon."

Ridley does not appear in the video.

"I'm a teacher," Ridley said. "I had to go home" and not stay for the duration - into the first few hours of a school day.

However, her niece, Amber Douglas, and a theater employee, Brandon Riddley, (no relation to Wendy) were in the concession stand during the recording.

Douglas, 28, works at ICP in customer service. Only her closest friends might be able to recognize her in the video.

"You can see the top of my forehead in the video and my hair and that's it," she said.

"You can see Brandon in it," Amber said. "I haven't actually paused it to see. I think he's in there at least twice.

"It was really loud and exciting and very interesting to see how everything works," she said. "I never realized how much goes into making a video. There's a lot of work. They took some shots more than a dozen times to get exactly what they wanted.

"I stayed until 5 a.m. and around 2:30 they decided they wanted to do a scene in the concession stand so they needed a popcorn and a coke and I told them, 'You could probably just leave me out.'"

Her aunt agrees.

"It was exciting to watch everything come together," Ridley said.

Asked about the CMA Awards show on Channel 2 this coming Wednesday night, Ridley said, "We will be watching ... We're great country music fans."

Warner Brothers Nashville is the record label for the "Footloose" music video in conjunction with Atlantic Records in New York. Shelton is a Warner Brothers artist and Atlantic put the sound track out for Footloose. Atlantic and Warner Brothers are sister labels.