New Savannah promotion video on YouTube features dozens of local celebrities

Local filmmaker Michael Jordan’s “You’ve Got to Come to Savannah” “You’ve Gotta Come to Savannah” won the Visit Savannah contest to create a YouTube promotional video.

I like it.

I especially like the way that Jordan includes so many small business owners including but not limited to Zia Sachedina of Zia (my cover photo on the homepage), Joni Saxon-Giusti of The Book Lady, Esther Shaver of E. Shaver’s, Gary Hall of Wright Square Cafe, Ruel Joyner of 24e, Jamie Deen of The Lady and Sons, Stratton Leopold of Leopold’s, Ted Dennard of Savannah Bee, Andy and Aileen Trice of Angel’s BBQ, Mike Volen of The Distillery, and on and on — sorry not to mention all of you!

He also puts the focus on public spaces, with apt presenters: John Duncan, Hugh Golson, and Christian Sottile, among others.

The Savannah Music Festival's Rob Gibson with the statue of Johnny Mercer in Michael Jordan's winning video

It’s fast-paced and all accurate. This is an extraordinary city in which to live and an extraordinary one to visit.

As one might expect from a video that comes out of a corporate contest, it feels really polished, which could work against it on a platform like YouTube, and there was clearly an amazing amount of work put into this project.

What’s not here that could be?

Well, there’s basically nothing about the beach or waterways — and the recreation they offer. Now, this isn’t a Visit the Lowcountry contest, or a Visit Tybee contest, so there’s a logical argument for the omission.

And, hey, one video can’t do everything.

Also, in its intense focus on Historic District sites and businesses, there’s not nearly as much racial diversity in this video as the city actually has.

Anyway, here it is:

This contest got rolling after Visit Savannah commissioned this widely panned “conga” video, which has now been viewed over 21,000 times on YouTube:

White sheets for ghosts? Really?

As I said above, I love Michael Jordan’s work, and I hired him a couple of years ago to film Pat Conroy presenting the finalists for the National Book Awards in a short ceremony at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home on Charlton Street:

2010 National Book Awards Finalist Announcement – Part 1 of 2 from National Book Foundation on Vimeo.

On a side note, there might be some other interesting developments involving the Visit Savannah contest. The group of finalists was whittled down to five, but there seem to be a number of questions about why some of the other entries didn’t make the final list.