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On location: Local youth cast in music video

March 20, 2013

Local youth gather around the stage as Wallpaper prepares to shoot a music video in Lone Pine for an upcoming single. In preparation for the music video shoot, a casting call was sent out to local high schools. In all, more than 40 local students participated in the shoot. Photo by Charles James

Inyo County is a well-known location for films and commercials. The wide-open spaces lend their beautiful backdrops and the isolation provides the quiet needed from urban environments with their many distractions and loud noise.
However, finding young adults in the 17 to 20-ish age bracket can be a problem in Inyo County, as a music video production company recently discovered. This probably was not the first production company to have difficulty rounding up local talent as extras. The 18,000 residents spread throughout Inyo County would barely qualify as a neighborhood in many cities to the south.
The call went out on a Thursday to Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo to assist with finding young adults for crowd shots for the video being shot for Wallpaper, a popular pop band signed with Epic Records. Every high school from Bishop to Lone Pine was contacted and more than 40 students arrived, ready for free pizza and drinks and to watch how a music video is made.
The band Wallpaper is best known for its single, “#STUPiDFACEDD,” featured on MTV. Online, the band’s music video has been viewed by more than 3 million on YouTube. The band, especially its leader, Oakland’s Ricky Reed, enjoy a decent reputation with music critics who like its originality. The music is percussion-rich, driving and exciting. It is often referred to as crunk pop. Whatever its label, the youthful crowd in the video had no problems dancing to the music or showing their enthusiasm.
Reed was backed by singer-keytarist Novena Carmel, the daughter of Sly Stone, who is a talented musician in her own right. Rattling the rafters behind Reed and Carmel were three percussionists. The band appears to be on a roll. Last year it was on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and also performed at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival in April.
At the end of the shoot, there were some exhausted but contented Inyo County youth. As one of them noted, “This was the most fun I’ve had since I was born here!”

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