For those who remember when MTV actually played music videos, the Hemann sisters of Edgewood have come to the rescue.
Lydia is 13 and an eighth-grader at Edgewood-Colesburg Jr.-Sr. High School. Claire is 10 and a fifth-grader at Ed-Co Elementary, while 7-year-old Eden is a second-grader at the elementary school. The videos are the result of the girls looking for something to do while staying home and waiting out the suspension of schools across Iowa as a result of COVID-19.
The sisters expected to be occupied a couple of hours each day working on the videos, which they post on Facebook each day. What they didn’t expect was a growing following from Facebook followers who not only comment on each day’s video but also request one for the following day.
The videos have evolved from ones featuring a song from the movie “Tangled” to ones showcasing songs and dances from different decades to a top-10 list of iconic movie scenes.
The sisters credit their mom, Kely, with the idea. “We thought it was a fun idea,” Lydia said.
Lydia is responsible for most of the video ideas, then communicates with her sisters about the day’s work. “I mostly just say what we’re doing and we do it,” she said. She added the sisters don’t really have a detailed plan, but just “go with what we think will go best in each video.”
An early video called “The Quarantine Song,” began with Lydia sitting on the front step while the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” played. Next, it showed Claire washing her hands and trying to creatively shut off the faucet without touching it. Of course, M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” accompanied her attempts as well as her sisters, as each of the girls demonstrated things that shouldn’t be touched.
As the video ended, a request from the Hemann girls scrolled the screen, asking for people to send song ideas and warning that the girls would take weekends off from video production.
The video titled, “100 Years of Song and Dance” featured dances and music from the early 1900s, up through the 50s all the way to 2020. Songs featured included “Hound Dog” sung by Elvis Presley, “Dancing Queen” sung by ABBA and “Thriller” sung by Michael Jackson.
“Mom helped us picking out the dances,” Lydia said.
For the video of iconic movie scenes, those watching on Facebook recognized scenes from “E.T.”, “Titanic,” “Jaws” and “The Breakfast Club.”
The girls said their dad, Bruce, helped them select the movie scenes that viewers would recognize, with Claire admitting, “Mom didn’t know any of the movie scenes.”
The girls said the videos usually take an hour of brainstorming, an hour to put together and an hour of editing before making it to their mom’s Facebook page. The exception to that was the video about song and dance. “That took us two days to put together,” Lydia admitted. “Besides the songs, we did a lot of costumes with that one.”
Most of the filming is done by either Lydia or Eden. It hasn’t always gone smoothly on the first take. “Sometimes we forget to hit record,” Eden said. “Then that starts a fight. But we get over it and start recording again.”
Bruce said the project has been a good one for his daughters. “It’s given them something to do for a few hours each day. It’s something they like to do together. They’ve had a few disagreements, but for the most part, they get along.”
He continued, “Lydia’s definitely into technology. She’s learned a lot from a computer class she was taking this semester in school. She also learned from her cousins too. She really enjoys it.”
Lydia had some advice for students stuck at home for at least a couple more weeks. “Try something new. Our first thought wasn’t to make movies. But we tried it and just kept doing it.”
As to how long the videos will continue, Lydia responded, “We’re not sure how long we will keep doing this, but hopefully for a while.”