With more than 141,000 views, the Paris Police Department outdid itself with its take on the lip sync challenge.
Challenged by Irving Police Department out of Dallas County, Paris police took countless hours developing the skit and about five hours filming.
Paris Police Officer Chris Widner said the community “tremendously supported” the video.
“We already have a good community here in Paris,” Widner said. “And for them to see us this way, I think it just strengthens the support.”
Widner said the morning they began shooting the video with photographer/videographers Jeff Davis and Dustin Broadway was when they chose the song “Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons.
“We had a totally different song picked out, and when we got together that morning, we started throwing around the idea for another song, a better song,” Widner said.
With the general idea of how they wanted the video, Widner said they were able to use any song.
“We just had to add to it as it went,” Widner said. “The guys at the PD were looking at their phones and getting the lyrics right there. Some already knew the song.”
Widner said they had to retake a few shots to “kind of clean it up a bit.”
“Watching it on video, man, it just fit us,” Widner said.
The story board for the skit took “some long hours a couple nights before” filming began.
“We just sat down and figured what we wanted to do from point A to point B,” Widner said. “Different ideas were kicked around by different people. We had
so many ideas about being in so many different places, we had to narrow it down.”
Beginning outside of the Paris Police Department, the video takes the viewer in through the front displaying the department’s trophies.
“That’s what the public sees, and it’s a good looking building,” Widner said. “We’re real proud of the trophies we have, so we wanted that entrance way and we wanted it to flow from the front, to the back, and it ended up at the Eiffel Tower.
“The tower is a representation of Paris itself,” Widner said. “We wanted to make a statement, ‘Hey. We’re the Paris Police Department, this is Paris and this is who we are.’”
Widner said prior to filming, there was practically no practice.
“There were some bits in there that we had to recreate,” Widner said. “While we were creating a portion of it, they were practicing lip sync on what they were going to move.”
Though it took some convincing for some officers, Widner said quite a few officers were excited to take part.
“When you get someone out of their comfort zone, there’s just something about that,” Widner said. “There was some convincing that we had to do, but for the most part, everybody jumped on it and said they wanted to do it.”
Widner said Paris Police Chief Hundley has a bit he was unsure Hundley would want to create.
“I called him and before I could finish asking, he said, ‘I’m in,’” Widner said. “He’s a real personal guy who does joke around, but he can also be very serious when it’s time.”
Widner said the video has been watched over again to catch Hundley’s bit.
“That’s what we wanted,” Widner said. “We wanted them to continue with the video, and then through conversation, we actually wanted people to say, ‘Hey, that was funny when the chief did that.’”
Widner said the video began from a vision and ended where it is now.
“Some of the people at the Eiffel Tower were random, but they were more than willing to participate,” Widner said. “That kind of tells you the public is more than willing to do whatever it takes for us, and the same here.”
The group met to shoot the video at 9 a.m. and began shooting from about 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Widner said.
“The editors helped us out tremendously doing an excellent job, and when I talked to Broadway, he said they were going to work on it that night. If I’m not mistaken, by 5:30 that morning, they had already sent the video off and it was posted,” Widner said. “So, they actually worked all night long to make it what it was.”
Police departments throughout the country have taken part in the lip sync challenge, and the Paris Police Department ended their challenge by passing the baton to Reno Police Department, Lamar County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Fire Department.
The video can be watched on the Paris Police Department’s Facebook page, facebook.com/parispdtexas.