Spoof cinema ad leads to pants proposal
Wednesday 15 July 2009
A romantic music fan hired out a cinema to screen his own spoof video as part of an elaborate proposal to his girlfriend.
Pete Simson, 26, told girlfriend Hannah McDonagh, 25, that they were going to watch an arty French film at the Watershed cinema in Bristol for her birthday last Friday.
Miss McDonagh was none the wiser as she sat alongside other cinema-goers, who were actually staff and customers roped in to the plan.
But after the lights came down and the usual adverts came on Miss McDonagh couldn't believe what she was seeing when Mr Simson came on the big screen in his pants miming the words to Daniel Bedingfield's pop hit If You're Not The One.
The five minute-long spoof shows Mr Simson in a variety of colourful pants writhing on a bed, looking wistfully over a cliff top and walking along a beach as he mimes to Bedingfield's love ballad.
It was filmed on location across Bristol and Somerset, taking in the sights of Cheddar Gorge, Brean Down beach, the Ashton Court estate and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The video was filmed over three nights by Mr Simson's housemate and builder Liam Vowles on a hand-held camera, who then edited it together using a programme downloaded free from the internet.
Mr Simson's other housemate, James Howiantz, played the music and fed him the lyrics.
After the special screening finished at the Watershed, a spotlight came on Mr Simson who got down on one knee and proposed to Miss McDonagh to a round of applause.
"The Watershed are an independent cinema who often have exhibitions for budding film makers so I thought it would be something they'd consider doing," said Mr Simson, a reporter on BBC Somerset's breakfast show.
"They agreed to do it, and said they'd do it for free, they even arranged for a fake audience, printed tickets and put adverts at the beginning as if it was a real film.
"My film came up and Hannah just stared at the screen with her mouth wide open, she couldn't fathom what was going on.
"When it was over the light above us came on and I got down on one knee.
"She managed to blubber out 'yes'."
The film is now attracting a growing audience on You Tube.
Mr Simson said he wanted to come up with a proposal to express his wacky character.
"Most of Daniel Bedingfield's songs are a bit jokey, and it is quite romantic, it wouldn't look right if it was Marvin Gaye," he said.
"I wanted to propose in a way that was thoughtful but I have never taken myself very seriously so a romantic meal wouldn't be in keeping with my character.
"The three of us filming it must have looked really bizarre to a passer by."
The couple met at Cardiff University five years ago and live together, along with Mr Vowles and Mr Howiantz, in Bedminster, Bristol.
Miss McDonagh, a trainee lawyer, said: "I was pretty confused when Pete came up on the screen, I was baffled and looked around at everyone else but they were staring at the screen because they knew what was coming.
"There were a few titters and Pete kept telling me to keep watching.
"I never thought he would go to these lengths but it is typical of Pete, he likes to be in the spotlight.
"The film looked awesome, really professional on the big screen, and it was hilarious.
"Whether we'll play it again at the wedding is to be confirmed, maybe a sequel."
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