by Allie Pesch
Danny Vigour, youngest son of local musicians Pete and Ellen Vigour of White Hall, and five of his friends from Western Albemarle High and Tandem Friends School won first prize in a national rap video contest sponsored by Lea & Perrins this August.
The short film, titled “Dawn of Flavor,” was written by Vigour and Western Albemarle alum Zack Marotta. Their humorous rap chronicles four cavemen’s discovery of Lea & Perrins’ steak sauce.
Tired of their “bland” wild boar steaks, the group of three cavemen and one cavewoman receive “a gift from the sky”—Lea & Perrins Thick Classic Worcestershire Sauce—“fit less for an ape and more for a guy.”
After being introduced to this new sauce, the so-called “Culinary Cavemen” are transformed into “upright” humans, declaring “we were not real men ’til we tasted Lea and Perrins.” The refined cavemen construct a picnic table and eat their steak with sauce like civilized people, admitting that “without it we’d still be Neanderthals.”
The film’s director, Mia Gale, who graduated with Vigour from Tandem in 2008, explained, “Danny and I both go to school for film, so we knew we wanted to do something that involved film over the summer. We searched the Internet looking for a contest we could enter and thought this one looked good.”
The “That’s a wRAP” contest required entrants to write, perform, and produce a 60-second “wrap” video that featured the company’s new “Thick Classic Worcestershire Sauce and its iconic paper wrap.”
Vigour, who has previous experience with video contests, served as team organizer. In 2008, while a senior at Tandem, he won an Apple iPhone for winning a YouTube contest sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America.
The team shot the video in the Vigours’ backyard in White Hall on July 5. The contest deadline was July 15. “What took the most time was the planning and getting everyone’s ideas together. We shot in it one day,” Gale said. Vigour, who served as the camera operator, also edited the film in about a week.
The film stars Marotta and three other volunteer actors. Western graduate Taylor Perfator played “Og,” the rapping caveman, along with Liza Wisman and Lafe Henderson, who both went to Tandem. Perfator also helped with the costumes. Another Tandem graduate, Julian T., was the producer.
A panel of judges selected 10 finalist videos based on originality, overall appeal, likelihood to motivate others to use the sauce, and use of product attributes in the lyrics. The top 10 videos were featured on the Lea & Perrins web site, where the public voted between July 17 and July 30.
“[Once we were selected as a finalist] the rest was a matter of getting as many people as we could to go to the website and vote for us,” Gale said. “We emailed it to everyone we know, and so did our parents and friends.”
After the voting, the top video was awarded the grand prize of $5,000, and four teams received first place prizes of $1,000. Each winning team received a case of Lea & Perrins Thick Classic Worcestershire Sauce.
When asked what the young filmmakers were going to do with their winnings, Gale explained that they were very professional about it. “We actually created timesheets that counted how many hours each person worked on the project and divided the money up according to that.”
And the sauce? “I’m not really sure yet what we’ll do with that,” Gale said. “We’ll probably give it to our actors.”
Gale and Vigour are both beginning their second year in film school this month, Vigour at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Gale at Emerson College in Boston.
You can watch “Dawn of Flavor” and the other winning videos online at http://www.leaperrins.com/winners-page.aspx.