Los Angeles, CA (Vocus) June 28, 2007
Paris Hilton's days as a glamorous jailbird may be over, but her incarceration has been immortalized in a sexy video parody by a pair of LA writer/directors that has taken the Internet by storm.
Paris In Jail: The Music Video, was shot on a shoestring budget by Allan Murray and Sean Haines and posted on YouTube June 6. At last count, visitors to YouTube and MySpace had viewed the video more than 7.4 million times.
On June 8 alone the video received more than 1 million YouTube hits in 24 hours. In its first week, it bumped the video for the No. 1 song in the country, Rhiannon's Umbrella, out of position on Vidmeter.com's Top 10 chart five times. AOL has named it "Spoof of the Year."
"We wanted to launch our production company through the Internet world," says Murray, who co-founded OMOVIES.COM with Haines a few months ago. It's a perfect way to show your writing, directing and producing skills to a mass audience."
Adds Haines, "As stand-up comedians, we've taken what we know best -- how to make people laugh -- and developed a formula for making music videos, commercials and short films with a humorous edge and with the great potential to go viral."
The pair has appeared on MSNBC, CBS Early Show, CNN and Access Hollywood, as well as on TV in France, Germany, England and Japan. Murray and Haines just signed with International Creative Management (ICM) and are in pre-production for their next OMOVIES comedy video, set to drop on July 11.
Paris In Jail: The Music Video lampoons the sun-and-surf video for Hilton's Stars are Blind, except this time she's cuddling on the beach with a prison guard. It gently pokes fun of the heiress's rich girl image and gets in a few digs at Britney Spears, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. It also takes jabs at notorious Hollywood trials with lyrics like, "Robert Blake and O.J. Simpson/they both get off scot free/I drive without a license/law throws the book right at me."
The video stars blonde Paris look-alike Amber Hay, who perfectly nails Paris's lazy pout. During casting, Hay told Murray, "I know Paris -- she'd probably think this is funny." Murray replied, "You're hired!"
Classically trained singer Elizabeth Intza's breathy rendition of the spoof lyrics sounds uncannily like Paris herself. A pair of Chihuahuas named Zelda and Brigitte stand in for Paris's own Tinkerbell and Bambi.
Murray got the idea for the video while watching TV coverage of Paris's impending jail sentence. He noticed the broadcasters kept using clips from her Stars are Blind video. "I kept hearing a song parody every time I heard that song," he says. Once he had written the parody lyrics, he and Haines scrambled to assemble a crew, rent equipment assemble a cast.
"We called in a lot of favors," Murray says. They co-directed shooting of the video, which took a day and a half, followed by a marathon editing session. The spot apparently tickled a lot of funny bones. "I do think this is funny," Murray says. "It's not too mean-spirited."
Allan Murray, Sean Haines
Murray, a Texas native, is a TV actor, standup comedian, writer, director and producer. He also composes and plays five instruments, and his lyric writing skills were on display with the video.
Haines, who grew up in Berkeley, Calif., worked his way from street performer all the way to headliner status with his act, The Dangerous Comedy of Wilde & Hanes. He recently wrote and produced The Bryan G. Show, a one-man comedy and music act currently enjoying great success in venues around the world.
In the wake of their success with Paris In Jail: The Music Video, Murray and Haines report, somewhat mysteriously, that they have been approached by a major manufacturer about producing a viral video for a new product.
Equally mysteriously, Murray and Haines are mum about the subject of their next video project, although they promise it will be "topical and funny."
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