Behind the Scenes of Dallas’ Disastrous Promotional Video
D Magazine secured the unedited footage used to make the video. A transcript reveals what happened during the shoot.
Back in January, 3,000 men and women from the Professional Convention Management Association paid a visit to our fair city with an eye toward bringing some convention business Dallas’ way. The conventioneers were introduced to the delights of the city and, at their closing party, treated to the musical stylings of Rick Springfield, who played under a translucent tent erected on Flora Street, in the Arts District. They were also shown a promotional video that depicted (mostly) local celebrities and elected officials (such as the mismatched Vonciel Jones Hill and Tom Leppert) dancing to an easy rock song called “One More Thing.” Sample lyric: “From Uptown to Deep Ellum, it’s true what you have heard. We’re going to rock you down on Greenville. And from South Side to Mockingbird.” When D Magazine posted a link to the YouTube video on its FrontBurner blog, one person remarked, “All those responsible should be flogged, beaten, and, in the case of Vanilla Ice (and whoever put him in this), strapped to a rocket and shot into the sun.” Did I mention that Vanilla Ice—who was relevant 20 years ago and who long ago moved to Florida—was in the video?
So the question before us is: how did this travesty happen? Through an open records request, D Magazine secured the unedited footage used to make the video. A transcript reveals what happened during the shoot.
Setting: an empty recording studio in a suburb of Palm Beach. Vanilla Ice is wearing a Gravediggers t-shirt, with many tattoos visible on his forearms.
VANILLA ICE: Hi, this is Robert Van Winkle. Dallas is a wonderful post-World War II American city. It’s tough to catch a cab, but the people are very friendly, and beneath all that yee-haw marketing that the city sometimes uses to sell itself—which I find tiresome—there’s a real sophistication at work. So come visit Dallas, where—
DIRECTOR: Cut! What the hell, Ice? What are you doing, bro?
VANILLA ICE: I’m really sorry. You know I haven’t lived in Dallas in, like, forever, right? Why didn’t you get Erykah Badu or Mr. Peppermint or someone who actually lives there?
DIRECTOR: Will you just read the script? The “one more thing” thing has to be in there. Look, you’re busy. I’m busy. Let’s just get this thing in the can and be done with it, homey. Please? All right. Good. And—action!
VANILLA ICE: One more thing. Dallas has a great, cool music scene. [swallows shamefully] It’s ice, ice, baby.
DIRECTOR: Perfect! You’re a sweetheart. That’s a wrap. Hey! You’re a wrapper! Get it? Word play!
Setting: an empty bar. Spud Webb is wearing a sweater vest, looking like he’s not in playing shape. He’s holding a basketball.
WEBB: I don’t want to create problems. Really, man. But ever since my agent agreed to this and showed me the script, I’ve been completely confused. I mean, I know it’s for a good cause and everything. Bringing business to Dallas. I’m cool with that. But this doesn’t make one bit of sense.
DIRECTOR: You won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986!
WEBB: I know who won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1986. You think I’m stupid? Or just unbelievably forgetful? Like I have to call Dominique Wilkins every couple of months and ask him, “What was that contest I beat you in again?” My problem with this is the golf thing.
DIRECTOR: People love to golf! The golf in Dallas is great! That’s why you’re talking about golf.
WEBB: You know, a lot of golfers live in Dallas. I’m playing Vaquero with Trevino and Byron Nelson’s widow later this week. Why don’t you get one of them?
DIRECTOR: Just. Read. The script. Please? All right? Cherries on top? Good. I appreciate it, brother. And—action!
WEBB: Golfing in Dallas is a slam dunk.
Setting: an empty Cowboys Stadium. Tony Casillas stands in an upper deck, wearing his No. 75 jersey.
CASILLAS: Seriously, guys. I don’t want to be unappreciative. I’m really flattered that you asked me to do this. And I’m happy to do it. But I just want this video to put the city in the best light. Are you sure you don’t want another Cowboy?
DIRECTOR: No! You’re effing Tony Casio, man!
CASILLAS: It’s Casillas.
DIRECTOR: Right! And you won a Super Bowl! People love you not just in Dallas—but across the country!
CASILLAS: Okay, you’re the boss. But I’m just saying, Troy drove me to this gig. After the shoot, we’re headed off to play a round with Staubach. Byron Nelson’s widow is our fourth. You sure you don’t want one of those guys?
DIRECTOR: Trust me. You’re the one we wanted. Now let’s do this. And—action!
CASILLAS: Dallas is a super city. [brandishes Super Bowl ring]
Watch the video at http://is.gd/75TH5. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.