You better watch out, because a (Chinese Dragon shaped like) Santa Claus is coming to town.
The dragon appears in a video by Dusty Hulet and James Alexander, Salt Lake City-based filmmakers. They got the idea while looking for a way to brighten the day of Salvation Army workers. The video was posted last year, but with Christmas fast approaching — not to mention the fact that you probably haven’t seen it yet — it’s once again timely.
I reached out to Alexander, who graciously gave me the lowdown on the video. His answers to my questions are below:
Tribune » Who made this video and what are your backgrounds?
James Alexander » Dusty Hulet and I made this video. We both produced. Dusty directed and edited. Both of us are film school graduates. Dusty also studied business.
Tribune » Who were the people in the dragon?
J. A. » Because it was hard to find enough people to be the legs of our Santa Dragon, most of the people carrying it are my little brothers and his friends — the weirdness of the idea and a promise of food being the reasons they participated. The other legs, if I remember correctly, are Dusty’s sister and friends.
Tribune » Where did the idea for this video come from? Why a Santa dragon?
J. A. » It’s hard to remember how the full idea came to be. We were planning a surprise, flash-mob type video to brighten up the day of some downtown Salvation Army workers at the same time and were trying to come up with outlandish pieces for our musical presentation. I believe it started as a Chinese Dragon (sign of celebration) and then became a Santa Dragon to match the season. Truth be told though, my recollections could be off. Dusty would be a more trustworthy a source.
Tribune » Can you describe the response you got from people on street while filming?
J. A. » We did not run into as many people as we hoped (sadly). However, those we saw gave a mix of responses. A lot of confusion, although amused confusion. Younger people laughed and cheered us on. A lot of older people walked on by. Children were in heaven. Like with the sound of a bell in The Polar Express, it could be that the joy and existence of a Santa Dragon fades with age.
Tribune » Why downtown Salt Lake City?
J. A. » We are both Salt Lake City residents. I live downtown (although I did not then) and Dusty lives in Sugar House area. SLC is great at Christmas. There are a lot of festive store fronts, nativities, wonderful displays of lights, etc. We wanted to be in a colorful, Christmas-y area with a lot of people. SLC fit the bill.
Tribune » Anything else I should know?
J. A. » Dusty and I are constantly throwing around random, strange ideas that we feel could be filmed. It amuses us and hopefully brings a smile to the face of others. We like being the spreaders of cheer. This time around it just happened to be Christmas cheer.
— Jim Dalrymple II
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