The experience was unforgettable and probably ranks as one of the most exciting things I've ever taken part in. I tried not to get my hopes up too much in case there wasn't enough time to get a shot with the fans in it as extras. I thought that maybe they would throw us in the back and tell us to move around like we were having fun, but we wouldn't really be a big part of the video. I couldn't have been more wrong.
We arrived around 7:30 AM, and at that point there might have been about 20 fans there. We watched as the hired dancers practiced a few runs through their dance.
Shortly after, they had those of us that were present (maybe 30ish?) get in a shot behind the hired dancers. They instructed the people in the front to do the twist, and the ones in the back to have their hands up. We just did that while the other dancers did their choreographed moves. We did a couple of takes, but no more than maybe 30 minutes and that part was done. At first I thought that was the only fan shot, and we would spend the rest of the day watching Hanson film. It didn't happen that way at all.
After more people arrived...and arrived...and arrived (a news article estimated around 500 fans), they asked EVERYONE to go out into the street and spread out. We started out just dancing on our own behind the official dancers (I stuck to the twist--seemed safe enough). Then they told us we were going to learn the "Hanson slide." It was so fast and we were all so confused in the beginning. I was worried that I was never going to learn it, but we did it so many times that we all ended up feeling like pros. At some point early on, Zac ran into the crowd and blended in somewhere in the middle/back and did the dance with us--while eating an apple. I don't know.
I have no idea how many times we must have done it, but it had to have been like 30 at least. We worked for 3-4 hours just doing the same dance sequence over and over and over. I'm sad to admit that I didn't even realize Hanson was dancing with us until it was all over. I was probably 1/3 of the way back in the crowd, but I'm so short and generally unobservant that I just didn't know. I assumed they were off to the side watching somewhere, but honestly we were all working so hard that there wasn't time to think about where Hanson was.
Around 1:30 we finished shooting the big crowd scene, and the guys thanked us for coming out and sang us the chorus acapella.
We were a little confused as to whether they were dismissing us or sending us off on some kind of lunch break. My friends and I were unsure and didn't want to be in the way, so we took part in some general awesomeness with ourselves instead.
We did come back at the very end when we got word that fans were watching, but we walked up RIGHT as they finished. Fortunately, we did get to take a few pictures of the second shooting location where there was a big mural and a few props set up.
Update: The final product is out! I'm very happy with the end result.
(P.S. If the whole thing seems random to you, go pick up a copy of the Blues Brothers. It's an homage to a scene from the movie with Ray Charles. See Tay's Music Exchange? See what they did there? Brilliant.)
If you were skilled at Where's Waldo as a kid, you might spot me at 1:51 on the far left looking all awkward and twisting. I'm elsewhere at 2:52, but don't waste your time on that one. Oh, and check 0:56 for proof that you CAN rock out on a tambourine, but only if you're Weird Al.