HAMMONTON — Sam Reed spent his 12th birthday Monday handspringing back in time, into a dance number inspired by 1980s music videos for his dad’s advertising company One Trick Pony.
“My dad took me out of school,” the fifth grader at Warren E. Sooy Elementary School said, looking pretty happy about it.
The big dance number, which shut down Second Street between Bellevue Avenue and Vine Street, is part of a short film the Hammonton company is doing for California-based Chubbies Shorts.
Filming may continue Tuesday.
The clothing company sells shorter shorts that harken back to the 1980s, and its web site says its Neon Throwback shorts are, “The radically righteous shorts our dads got funky in.”
Sam Reed and about 40 other people, from actors to employees of the ad agency, learned the steps and filmed the dance piece in the middle of Second Street, all in a couple of hours.
“Being in advertising, we spend a lot of time working,” said Rob Reed, of Hammonton, Sam’s dad and co-owner of the ad agency with Keith Pizer, of Philadelphia. “We like to have as much fun as we can.”
There is no dress code at the agency, and people come to work in shorts all the time, he said.
“You can work really hard and don’t have to be as structured and corporate as the typical company in the business world is,” he said.
Reed and Pizer started out working together in a New York City ad agency, and went into business together about 10 years ago. First they worked out of Reed’s garage when he lived in Galloway Township.
They moved One Trick Pony to Hammonton about eight years ago. It had three employees and opened on Second Street where the filming happened. About a year later it moved to its current location at Bellevue and Third, where it now has more than 40 employees, Rob Reed said.
They include 32-year-old David Mallon, a senior interactive producer at the agency who stands heads over everyone else at 6-feet 10-inches. He has a role in the film as well, playing a current-day grunge guitarist sent back to the 1980s. He finds himself suddenly wearing short shorts and a red leather jacket and holding a bizarre electric guitar.
Mallon played baskeball from 2002 to 2006 for St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and then played professionally in Europe, he said. He has been at One Trick Pony for a month, after five years at Anthropologie in Philadelphia.
“This is the new guy initiation,” he said.
The company does a lot of work for major companies like the airline Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Hotels; American Express; Turner Classic movies and Sony Pictures Classics, he said.
Now that everything is on the Internet, companies can be based anywhere and work with big companies, he said. Several of his employees work remotely as well.
The agency isn’t making a commercial per se, but a short film for the web, said producer Nick Smalarz of One Trick Pony.
Lead characters in the film are played by Jessica Evans, 23, of West Creek, who runs Bellarine Theatre Co. there and who taught the dance steps and led the dance; and Matt Gaudet-Walters, 24, of Spray Beach on Long Beach Island. He works for Ocean County home builder Walters Homes and pursues acting on the side, he said.
Neither are old enough to remember the 80s, but with her Jane Fonda leotard and tights, and his mullet haircut and moustache, the two looked convincing.
Jon Miller, of Tuckerton, brought his DeLorean car, made famous in the 1985 movie “Back to the Future,” for a prop. Miller runs JM Car Care Center in Tuckerton, where he specializes in restoring Pontiac Fieros, he said.
And Pete Bransky, of Alpha in Warren County, brought his 1984 Pontiac Fiero that has been kept in its original condition. It’s in the background of the dance number, parked on the street.
“I live the ’80s,” Bransky said.
“It’s a time capsule. When he gets in that car it’s 1984,” said Miller, who said Bransky keeps a large cassette collection for the car.
“He won’t put a CD player in,” he said.
Sam’s role of ‘the kid’ is bigger than just being a dancer. His character starts out in the present playing a game on his iPhone, then turns into an 80s version of himself and the phone has become a Rubik’s cube.
“He has no clue how to operate it,” Rob Reed said of the character.
But Sam Reed has a good feel for the decade. He already knew how to break dance. He saw it on TV show “So You Think You Can Dance?” and taught himself to do it.
To see materials One Trick Pony put together to get the Chubbies job, visit thighs-the-limit.com.
One Trick Pony’s film should hit Chubbies’ social media sites and Youtube sometime this summer, Reed said. Visit chubbiesshorts.com for links to follow the company on Facebook or Twitter.
Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:
@MichelleBPost on Twitter