September 2, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
75°F

Brunswick High School students make Cleveland ‘Happy’ with YouTube video

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Jesse Marianut, a senior at Brunswick High School, dances in the street for a video he filmed in Cleveland earlier this month. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BRUNSWICK — A Brunswick senior and his friends are hoping to inject some positive vibes in Northeast Ohio with the YouTube video “Cleveland is Happy” they filmed March 1.

The video, released Tuesday, shows Clevelanders dancing downtown to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and as of Friday night had netted more than 12,000 views on YouTube.

“It was to get people on their feet,” said Jesse Marianut, a Brunswick High School senior who filmed the video with senior Kevin Stankiewicz and Axel Larsson, an exchange student from Sweden.

He said the sometimes struggling sports teams and long, cold winter has gotten a lot of people down.

“We were sick of hearing people being down about Cleveland and this winter,” he said. “We wanted to show people out and about doing things.”

The video is Marianut’s take on the official music video released by Willams showing happy people dancing around in a city’s alleyways, streets and bridges.

“We tried getting popular landmarks and places around Cleveland into the background,” Marianut said.

Marianut said the trio approached groups of people on the street and told them they were trying to improve morale in the Cleveland area. They showed the video for “Happy” on their smartphones and asked people to dance for the camera. The students found plenty of takers in downtown Cleveland.

“People really got into it; they wanted to dance,” Marianut said.

“We wanted to show Cleveland is a positive place,” he said.

Marianut said he edited the video himself and that producing videos is a hobby.

He said he hoped to get about 1,000 hits by Friday, and was surprised to smash that goal with more than 10,000 by Friday afternoon.

“We’re just really excited to see how many views it’s going to get,” he said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or at lgenson@medina-gazette.com.