How do 30 YouTuber entrepreneurs and musicians collaborate to send the ultimate Christmas card to the world and their combined 20 million subscribers?
They decide to form the world’s largest live nativity, complete with shepherds, wise men, angels, and a live camel all shot in the air and on the ground.
They start with an ornament on a tree in a nativity silhouette of Joseph, Mary, and the Christ child and end with the same ornament, now a living silhouette of over 1000 angels surrounding the wisemen, the shepherds, the couple, and the baby Jesus.
Jon and Steven start playing, Peter and David begin to sing, and then the YouTubers and their families combine to put on a play of the manger scene that soon becomes a vignette of the original event.
The final location was Rock Canyon Park, in Provo, Utah, where an official Adjudicator of Guinness World Records showed up to certify that 1,039 participants actually broke the previous record set a year ago in Britain with 898 volunteers.
The Harmon Brothers decide that to pull it all together in less than a month they better make a call to Ricky Ray Butler, of Plaid Social Labs, perhaps the one boutique media agency that has connected big brands to YouTubers better than anyone and whose call the YouTubers will always take, to make the ask: come to Provo during the busiest season of the year to do something that has never been done before.
Their fear is that there isn’t enough time and that these YouTubers, some of the busiest people on the planet, will all be booked solid.
Then the first of the miracles begin… every one they call answers their phone or gets back to them immediately. And each of them in turn remarks how amazing it is that their schedule has suddenly freed up. And every YouTuber says “We’re in!”
Only then does Jeffrey and Daniel Harmon set to work with more than 1300 people to pull it off. Over 10,000 hours are invested, a thousand angel costumes to be made from fabric they haven’t even secured yet, logistics mastered of inventing a weather balloon camera rig for safety instead of the chopper drones they are far more familiar with, securing a live camel, and even crowd control with that many people.
Devin Graham, of the extreme video devinsupertramp YouTube channel agrees to bring in his video shooting experience and equipment to shoot at 5K pixels on a Red Dragon camera, pretty much the same camera that was used to film Lord of the Rings.
Shay Carl Butler, of SHAYTARDS, the YouTube Channel that produces a family episode nearly every single day for seven years and has more views daily than the Tonight Show is asked why he is involved in a project like this, “It’s all about my kids, it’s cliché to say it’s all about Jesus and not the commercialism, but I wanted to do something to show them that.”
Ellie and Jared, DychesFam, Mommytard, Stuart Edge, Jeremy Warner of Studio C, Chris Newman of CineChopper, Derrel Eves is Associate Producer and one of the leading YouTube consultants, the Gardiner Sisters, amazing hair styles done by CuteGirlHairstyles, identical twins Brooklyn and Bailey, funding from Radiant.org, and many more each contribute a piece of their specialty to the project.
It was Jeff Taylor who had the original idea to actually try and break the world record for the largest nativity scene with live people that sparked the creative fire of the YouTubers.
Daniel Harmon drove the creative design that started with the idea from Jeff Taylor who came up with the single golden ornament, created by Valerie Atkisson, that becomes a live ornament of 1000+ angels surrounding the wise men and shepherds bowing before the family of the Christ child.
Jeffrey Harmon tells the story of people, from different faiths, who just drove far to just be a part of this event.
Steve and Jon of ThePianoGuys host the video on their site and Steve shares his thoughts at the end.
Alex Boyé borrows the camel for his own individual creative contribution to the celebration of the birth of Christ from the perspective of the wise man who dreams of the star and ends with experiencing the hustle and bustle and shopping for gifts that has come to mark the season that started in a poor manger, filled with animals and straw.
They all unite to say one thing in a way not unique to YouTubers…
“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”