Stephen Sinclair is a Canadian freelance writer who has been publishing professionally for several years.
Are the Weddings in the Maroon 5 'Sugar' Video Staged?
Ever since pop legends Maroon 5 released their Grammy-nominated 2015 hit, "Sugar," and the accompanying video, fans have been asking, "Is the Maroon 5 'Sugar' video real?" Some appear intent on learning the truth behind the mystery, seemingly ready to hold the band to task, should they find out that some of the scenes in the "Sugar" video are fake.
Is the Maroon 5 "Sugar" video fake or real? The truth is, the video, which was directed by David Dobkin, of Wedding Crashers fame, is a bit of both. USA Today reports that there are at least "two weddings featured in the video that were really real." So, some were definitely real, as were some of the expressions on participants' faces. The newspaper reports that one bride, named Sharon, is featured in the "Sugar" video mouthing "WTF?"
Entertainment Tonight reports that each of the grooms featured in the weddings the members of the band crashed were aware of Maroon 5's scheduled appearance. It was said to be left up to the grooms as to how they would inform the members of their wedding parties, or if at all. The couples were reported to have been chosen via a "Twitter call out."
Photographer Duke Khodaverdian said that a portion of the video that features the members of Maroon 5 guzzling Cognac took place at a wedding for a couple named "Sharis and Martin." Khodaverdian described the wedding party going "berserk," and the scene as an "electric" one.
Sharis later stated that the band was "professional and so courteous about the whole thing and made sure they were not at all intrusive on our special day."
Other scenes, including confetti falling around dancers, and complex overhead camera angles, are reported to have been staged, which some viewers appear able to surmise from the content itself. Cosmopolitan wrote that some of the wedding couples appeared "slightly suspicious." One of the grooms portrayed in the video is said to be an actor, who has actually been married for several years. One of the brides is reported by Cosmo to be model Raina Hein, who placed second in America's Top Model in 2010. The magazine allows that "if it's not her, then it's her doppelganger," made efforts to contact Hein and receive clarification, and identified a "long-term boyfriend" on social media.
Other actors identified in Maroon 5's "Sugar" video include Nico Evers-Swindell, and married couple and actors Barbara and Stephen Woo. Evers-Swindell is reported to have married Megan Ferguson, actress in real life, in 2011.
Is the 'Sugar' Video Fake?
Some Shots Not Possible At Real Weddings
"You need a lot of light to do those types of shots in slow-mo," photographer Eric Parsons was quoted. Parson also offered the opinion that the portion of the "Sugar" video featuring the wedding of an Asian couple was "staged, just from the amount of footage that was all too perfect." Solo-performance portions of the video featuring Adam Levine were said to include "time and space constraints" that made shooting them at another location necessary.
"Sugar" was said to have been filmed in Los Angeles-area communities, including Marina del Ray and Glendale, over a three-day stretch that saw the Maroon 5 members working 10- to 12-hour days. Adam Levine described the experience as "stressful," but "super fun." He expressed taking pleasure in the fact that his wedding-crashing performances were making "them happy." He also expressed gratitude that each of those getting married were fans of Maroon 5.
The singer said that it could have been a "total disaster" if they appeared at a wedding where the participants weren't fans. Maroon 5, and "Sugar," are so popular that many of the couples knew the lyrics, which Adam Levine was described as finding heartening.
Each of the wedding receptions was said to have existing stages for planned performers, so, with the knowledge of the grooms, all that was required of the band was to perform some "simple continuity changes to match each one as best we could."
Previously known as Kara's Flowers, Maroon 5 traces its roots back to 1994, and has produced music under a wide range of genres, including pop, funk rock, and blue-eyed soul. The Los Angels, California band has released three live albums, and five studio albums. Blockbuster rap star Nicki Minaj has released a remix of "Sugar."
© 2017 Stephen Sinclair