'Viral' Gangnam Style school film takes top award
The production company behind a school music video that became an internet sensation has won a prestigious industry award.
Little Giant, a Belfast-based company specialising in television, promotional and corporate films, scooped the gong for Best Viral at this year's Digital Advertising NI Awards for its tongue-in-cheek video for Antrim Grammar.
The four-minute film, featuring pupils and staff singing and dancing throughout the school building, took inspiration from the song Gangnam Style, which was an international hit for South Korean pop-star Psy.
Renamed 'Antrim Grammar Style', the video was an unconventional marketing ploy to attract new students to the school.
Within days of being posted online last December, the high-spec footage attracted tens of thousands of hits.
To date, it's been viewed almost 300,000 times.
Little Giant, which recently rebranded from Red Morgan Limited, shot the video over two days at the school.
The boutique production company used several cameras, smoke and wind machines and special lighting to create the appearance of a music video.
Robin Morgan, Little Giant's cinematographer and company director, said he was thrilled with the video's success.
"When Antrim Grammar came to us about shooting a film to promote the school we thought their Gangnam Style parody was a great idea.
"The original version by Psy was the most watched music video online at the time so we had a fair idea it would be shared to a certain degree.
"For a video to go viral it has to notch up between 60,000 to 70,000 hits. For it to leapfrog to the next level, it has to be picked up by the various media outlets to reach a different demographic and we were fortunate that this happened with our film.
"We put a lot of time and effort into the video to make it a high standard music video so we're delighted it's been recognised."
Bradley Quinn, producer and business development manager of Little Giant, added: "We are especially proud that it won in the Best Viral category as virals are notoriously difficult to execute.
"Videos tend to go viral as an after-thought. They are mostly shot on iPhones and involve real-life situations that make them funny.
"To actually set out to create a viral, particularly around a brand, is pretty risky.
"People don't like to think they're being hood-winked or they're being sold to.
"There is absolutely no guarantee that a video will go viral.
" The fact that we had around a thousand pupils at the school to share the video certainly helped.
"But it's fair to say we did a very good job creating a high production video."
A spokeswoman for Antrim Grammar said Little Giant had deservedly won the award for the 'fantastic' effort put into it.
She said: "They took our idea and brought it to life in a way we could never have envisaged when this journey started.
"We wish them continued success.
"We are sure this is just the first of many awards for such a creative production company."
Little Giant, whose clients include Ulster Rugby, Snow Patrol and Bushmills, were up against the Northern Ireland Tourist Board's 'Fly Your Family Home for Christmas' viral and Red Bull Skate Arcade by Rehabstudio.
The third DANI Awards, which took place at St Columb's Hall in Londonderry on Friday night, celebrated excellence within the digital sector.