California video artist Scott Gairdner (ScottGairdner.com) has captured the ethos of Florida's issues with sex offenders -- sleeping under bridges and on park benches, or, in the bungalow across the street from you -- pretty well in his video "The Sex Offender Shuffle."
But when we talked to the 24-year-old Gairdner this afternoon by phone he said the decision to make the video look like a production of the "Miami Dade County Justice Department" was pretty random. "No offense, but I wanted a place that sounded a little dull. Or a little dull and funny. I liked the way Miami-Dade sounded," he said. The sex offenders portrayed -- including a female s.o. played by Gairdner's girlfriend -- are identified in subtitles as hailing from Hialeah Gardens, Doral, Cutter Bay, and North Bay Village.
Gairdner did research on sex offenders,"trying to pick up a sense of what the actual offenses were," he says, but he was most taken with the idea of sex offenders being forced to do a rap song. "Sort of like they have to go door to door when they move into a neighborhood." The video took about a day to shoot and not much more to edit. "I wanted something that looked like an 80s industrial video," he says. "At least a few people have said they thought it was real."
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At any rate, the "Sex Offender Shuffle," a take-off on both the Chicago Bears' Superbowl Shuffle and a video of "morose food salesmen rapping about selling Del Monte products," has been the most successful video he's produced so far -- it's gotten over 300,000 hits on YouTube. It's even netted Gairdner a few meetings with potential employers.