Lights, camera, squad cars: Christmas video goes viral
By News Desk| Updated: December 20, 2018
The video was posted on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page around 10 a.m. Thursday. By 3 p.m., it had 34,000 views, 2,537 shares and 248 comments.
A Facebook video from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office went viral Thursday. And this time, it is not bad news.
Quite the opposite, actually. Sheriff Billy Woods and his crew are wishing the world a Merry Christmas in a dazzling, intricately staged and precisely edited internet video that has hundreds of locals sharing the post, writing “Awesome!” over and over again, and proclaiming their appreciation in a sea of exclamation points.
In the video, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” plays softly as four sheriff’s cruisers pull up side by side. Sgt. Paul Bloom enters the frame and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas from MCSO. He opens a car door, looks to the sky, claps his hands and then …
The music explodes into TSO’s “Carol of the Bells.” Electric guitars crunch, the screen goes dark and blue-and-red cruiser lights pierce the darkness in a spot-on light show syncopated with the music. Lights burst on and off, side by side, rippling and punctuating every dramatic beat.
The video was posted on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page around 10 a.m. Thursday. By 3 p.m., it had 34,000 views, 2,537 shares and 248 comments. It also can be seen on MCSO’s YouTube channel: mcsonews.
“Flipping awesome! Merry Christmas and thank you for all that you do,” a Facebook user named Sherry wrote.
“I love our Sheriff’s Department — great job. Merry Christmas to you all!” added Susan.
“THIS WAS AMAZING! THANK YOU TO ALL OFFICERS WHO PARTICIPATED. VERY NICE. HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS,” noted Fran.
The video is akin to those of home light displays synced to holiday music, often TSO’s “Carol of the Bells.”
Bloom said he saw a similar video online with fire engines synced to the music. So, he thought, why not MCSO?
He said filming took about an hour. It was a breathless task of turning siren lights off and on, timing, stop-motion filming and labor-intensive video editing by Jonathan Soto, MCSO’s multimedia specialist.
“Basically, I was the light flicker,” Bloom said, noting he went car to car.
But the one most affected by the grand production was Soto.
“That poor guy,” Bloom said, “will have that song stuck in his head for three weeks.”