The southwest Alaska village of Quinhagak wishes you this whopping dose of holiday cheer, posted courtesy of 5th-grade teacher Jim Barthelman:
UPDATE: How this video was made ...
Ten hours of filming. Four hours of editing. Dozens of shots. Countless takes.
Barthelman, 29, and his class began planning this clip late last week and filmed it over the weekend in a whirlwind trip around the village, the teacher said today.
Here he is in a phone interview, describing the community reaction:
How was the Quinhagak premiere?
In some ways it’s been a rough winter for the village and the fifth-graders’ video has been a hoot for the town.
“Dude, it’s been insane … About half an hour ago, Lisa Murkowski called and congratulated us and the kids and everybody,” Barthelman said.
The students filmed about 70 shots on Saturday, when a thick fog covered the Yup’ik village, and another three dozen or so on Sunday. That shot in front of the windmill, in particular, was a cold one.
“I’d go ‘One, two, three hallelujah!’ and if (the kids) weren’t all lined up and flipping the cards at the right time, I’d say ‘One, two three’ and we’d just do that over and over until we got a good take,” Barthelman said. “Then we’d all jump back in the truck and warm up and go to the next spot.”
Originally from Nebraska, the teacher has worked in Quinhagak for about three years. Check out more of his photos and videos at his "Ah Alaska!" blog.
With a population of about 700, Quinhagak is 71 miles southwest of Bethel.