Alumni create music video starring Adele look-alike
Although her real life isn’t as hectic as her life in cyberspace, MSU alumna Michelle Meredith said she recently has become quite popular.
As the star of a music video directed and produced by MSU alumnus Andrew Vallentine, Meredith has become known online because of the part she played as contemporary songstress Adele in a mock music video of the artist’s song “Set Fire to the Rain.”
“It feels unreal,” Meredith said. “It’s like a separate life. It blew up online, but in real life, no one really knows (that it is me). My boss is just like, ‘Go wash your tables.’”
Vallentine’s video, which was filmed in the Temple Club, 500 E. Grand River Ave., in Lansing, is about a man who is struggling with his sexuality and has already acquired more than 150,000 views less than a week after its Monday release.
“(The story) is an inner battle within the man,” Vallentine said. “Should he be with the woman or be with the man?”
Meredith’s resemblance to Adele is uncanny, but Vallentine said he didn’t create the video simply as a parody. Instead, Vallentine produced the film to showcase his work.
“It’s definitely going to confuse people,” Vallentine said. “But it was just (a way) to get my name out there.”
After graduating from MSU in 2009 with a degree in telecommunication, Vallentine decided to attend graduate school at Chapman University in California. Vallentine filmed “Set Fire to the Rain” when he returned to Lansing for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Vallentine also has worked for numerous television channels, such as Syfy and the USA Network. After graduation, he hopes to find a job in directing music videos or for a network.
Last year, Vallentine also created a mock Lady Gaga music video for her song “Monster,” which has received more than 400,000 views on YouTube and won a Michigan Emmy award.
“(The Lady Gaga video) wasn’t as popular (as ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ already is), but it was more of a fun thing to do,” Vallentine said.
Meredith, who also was a part of the Lady Gaga video, said many people were upset MSU alumna Brianna Gardner, who produced both films and also played the role of Lady Gaga in last year’s video, looked more like Ke$ha than Lady Gaga.
“A lot of people on the internet disliked that fact,” Meredith said. “(Gardner and Vallentine) wanted to do another video, and they saw me, and since I kind of look like Adele, they asked me if I would do (the video).”
The two male dancers in the video, marketing junior Michal Kolaczkowski and theatre junior Michael Ryan Cleland, also found the video to be a great opportunity to get their name out, as well as a chance to earn their first professional experience.
“I have never worked on a semi-professional film set before,” Cleland said. “The experience of an actual production was neat.”
Like Vallentine, Kolaczkowski and Meredith plan on moving to either Los Angeles or New York City to pursue acting careers. Kolaczkowski said he would like to find a daytime job in marketing for theater departments while still working to pursue an acting career.
“(This video) proved to myself that I am capable of doing this,” Kolaczkowski said.