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Alcorn sheriff's office releases lip sync video

Photo by Mikia Poindexter

Alcorn County Deputy Mackie Sexton gets some direction from videographer Luke Price during the making of the Alcorn County Sheriff's Office Lip Sync Challenge video.

By L.A. Story lastory@dailycorinthian.com

The Alcorn County Sheriff's Office answered the Challenge.

The result was entertainment for the community by the deputies who protect them.

For Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell, making the Lip Sync Challenge video was all about bringing humanity to the badge.

"We didn't let it get too out of control," said Caldwell, laughing. "It was fun and funny. We poked a little bit of fun at ourselves. I thought it was important to the community for them to see that we're human outside of these uniforms. These deputies deal with a lot of tragedy. I think it was important for them to have some time to wind down and have fun."

The ACSO was challenged to take part in the Lip Sync Challenge by the Corinth Police Department. The CPD released their own Challenge video July 17, which almost instantly went viral. To date, the video has had 6.3 million views on at least one social media platform and director and videographer Luke Price said the actual number of views is much higher when other media platforms are considered.

The ACSO's video was launched this week and the department employed the services of the same videographer. However, the phenomenon experienced in the wake of the CPD video made it a daunting task.

"It was a tough act to follow," said Price.

"The CPD did an excellent job on their video," Caldwell said. "They got a lot of publicity and a lot of views, so we knew we had our work cut for us. We just had fun with it."

Price said he told them that their video needed to be approached humbly.

"I told them, 'We need to walk into it with our heads down,'" he added.

With that humility in mind, the first scene was set with Caldwell acknowledging the excellence of their challenger's video. Price said they moved forward with the whole idea that the department was sitting around having a meeting about what to do with their video. Deputies pitched ideas at the beginning.

"We decided we're going to pitch ideas and it was all going to just fall into place -- we were going to reenact those ideas as if the officers were thinking of them ... Almost like a flashback kind of thing," Price explained.

The "ideas" pitched brought about comical situations, including one with a G-rated "Magic Mike" vibe that included a lasso and a shower of doughnuts.

"The deputies did a really good job. It was so hot out there, but the energy was high," said Price. He added, with a laugh, "I think I want a doughnut scene hidden in every video."

Another popular scene, based on social media comments, was of the Sheriff himself running while being chased down by a gun wielding deputy -- all set to Eric Clapton's rendition of "I Shot The Sheriff."

Price laughed as he recalled, "The funniest thing was ... He (Caldwell) said, 'We're going to shoot this scene once because I'm not running a full sprint over and over again.'"

Other music included Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me" and Pharrell Williams' "Happy," which was the final song and one where the whole office got involved, along with excerpts from a blooper reel, which set a tone that Price said suited the predominant feeling of the video.

"That last scene was not originally intended. They did not know I was going to do that with the blooper reel," said Price. "But, when we put that song in there ... it actually came to me while I was sitting at the computer. We were not really trying to 'beat' anybody. It's a friendly competition. If you take it too seriously, then people won't enjoy it as much. It was just off-the-clock fun ... they have a hard job. They deal with the worst of the worst ... and so it was good to see these officers have fun."

The video was all done in a day. It was shot on a Sunday where the participants could be off duty. Caldwell assured that there was a regular shift covering and the project didn't take any time away from the county being protected. The public safety was always top priority.

While Price and the ACSO did not expect the same media frenzy that the CPD received, their Lip Sync Challenge video has still done extremely well with more than 263,000 views in less than 48 hours.

The Sheriff seemed pleased.

"We knew going into it, we wouldn't get the publicity that the city got and we were good with that," said Caldwell. "We did it with for the community. If our community felt like we held our own, then we're happy with that. We just wanted it to be something the people of Alcorn County would enjoy and be proud of."

The Challenge hasn't ended with the ACSO. Price said people should be looking to next week for the Corinth Fire Department's Lip Sync Challenge video.

The ASCO has also thrown down the gauntlet to challenge Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar and Tishomingo County Sheriff John Daugherty.