MINNEAPOLIS — A candle. Derrick Williams looking zen. J.J. Barea blowing a kiss. A seagull call.
None of that has anything even remotely to do with a coat drive.
Neither, in fact, does Kevin Love jamming on a saxophone, but somehow it works. Or, at least, it makes people laugh and thus becomes a viral video spreading the word about Kevin Love’s fifth-annual coat drive.
This year’s video, in Love’s words, is a little “(out of) left field,” and it’s a marked improvement over videos from past years, one of which featured players flashing onto the screen and saying, “Coats.” But Love didn’t rush to take credit for the creative genius behind the finished product. Despite the beginning credit that reads: ” ‘The Session,’ a short film by Kevin Love,” he admitted that the game operations staff is actually in charge of coming up with the concepts.
“They always come to me with an idea, and if it’s not too crazy, I usually say yes,” Love said. “This year was no exception.”
Love and his supporting cast filmed this video and another that has played during games at the Target Center this season. (The second video is set to techno music and is nearly as entertaining as this longer incarnation.) Backup center Greg Stiemsma, who joined the team this offseason, had heard in advance of filming that the team is known for its “pretty goofy videos,” and he enjoyed his first opportunity to be a part of the project.
“It’s probably almost funnier to watch them film,” he said. “Behind a green screen you’ve got all these giant guys in these little coats, kind of like a fat man in a little coat. They made us do all these facial (expressions) and act like we’re dancing, and then we don’t really see what they’re going to edit together until the final product, so we’re kind of in suspense until we see it.”
The coat Stiemsma was given to wear was the biggest one they had on hand, he said, and it was still about three sizes too small. He’s most memorable, though, because of his brown trapper hat, which he admitted that he tried and failed to swipe from the set.
Stiemsma said several of his friends from Wisconsin and South Dakota have sent him links to the video, and he’s pleased it’s becoming popular online with people outside of Minnesota. For Love, that’s the main appeal of the promotion: It’s not so much about the filming, but its effect.
“I look forward to the end product and going to do the different events where people drop off the coats and are happy to help,” Love said. “It’s just a way to get the community outreach aspect going and help the community. It’s fun.”
“Finally, when I load up my car at the end and drop the coats off at the Salvation Army, that’s when it’s very telling of how well we’ve done, and every year it seems to get better.”
The black wig, trench coat and saxophone — those are just added perks for the rest of us.