Several months ago, the cast and crew of Mary Poppins Australia created a music video to celebrate 800 performances and the closing of a successful Australasian tour.
Shot on a Sony Cybershoot tx20, edited with iMovie and uploaded to YouTube on Christmas Day last year, the video has now been watched nearly 20,000 times, becoming something of a phenomenon in the musical theatre world.
We caught up with creator of the video – mastermind performer Mitch Fistrovic -and Associate Producer of Mary Poppins Australia Paula McKinnon to find out more about this supercalifraglilistc idea and how the company pulled it off – with Cameron Mackintosh’s approval, no less.
A Quick Chat With Mitch
Where did the idea for the Proud Mary clip come from?
Well we had seen a few other companies from the West End and Broadway do a similar clip and we thought it would be fun for an Australian company to do one and a great way to end the last few weeks of the season.
Was everyone supportive and enthusiastic in the production of the video?
Absolutely! Once we had approval from Disney to go ahead and film myself Scott McConnell and Liam McIlwain got busy story boarding concepts and ideas for the clip. Everyone wanted to be involved which made it all very easy.
How long did it take to create, film and edit?
Once we story boarded for a few days we started filming between scenes, in interval, before shows and every other spare opportunity we had. It took us about 6 days to film and edit.
A Quick Chat With Paula
This is an unprecedented development for Australian theatre, and one that has heavily engaged the public in a social media capacity – do you consider this a marketing tool, or did it spring from creativity?
The Company actually approached us about making the clip, so it was very much their idea and something they wanted to do. Undoubtedly social media marketing is an area of increasing interest for theatre but the clip was not made to be a marketing tool for the production.
Are you amazed by the amount of views the clip has clocked?
We are watching with a little bit of astonishment as to how many hits the clip is receiving! Over 19,000 people have now seen the clip, which is just amazing. It is wonderful recognition for all of the Mary Poppins cast and crew, particularly Mitch Fistrovic, Liam McIlwain and Scott McConnell, that put so much work and effort into getting the clip made.
Do you think this will spark further creativity in other productions across Australia and the world?
As Mitch mentions this is something that we have seen other companies from Broadway and the West End do, but not something that gets done much in Australia. For us it was about giving the company the opportunity to come together as a group and produce something that would be special for them, in celebration really of coming to the end of an incredible two and a half years for the production.
It is well known in the Australian music theatre industry that posting images of characters in costume is not done lightly – how rigorous was the approval process?
We only asked that everyone respect the iconic nature of the characters in making the video and that we got the chance to look at it before it went live. Needless to say, we all loved it.
The challenge has been set – Legally Blonde, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Addams Family, Hot Shoe Shuffle, South Pacific, Grease – we can’t wait to see your answer to this creative and exciting clip!