Dance
U.S. Navy midshipmen gather to create hilarious award-winning music video
"Every single person in front of and behind the camera was a midshipman, and our budget was a whopping $0."
Jaclyn Abergas
05.12.22

Annapolis, Maryland.

It’s home to the United States Naval Academy. And while our marines and sailors are not studying, training, or defending the country, they are taking a break to recharge their minds and bodies.

For former Midshipman 1st Class Rylan Tuohy though, taking a break is different from how other people define it.

He gathered around 60 people, including his fellow marines and sailors, the Trident jazz/swing band, and a duty van, and filmed a parody music video about the city of Annapolis.

“It’s all midshipman-run,” Rylan told Navy Times. “Every single person in front of and behind the camera was a midshipman, and our budget was a whopping $0.”

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

It’s the Naptown Funk

Rylan and his partners rewrote the lyrics of Bruno Mars’ song, “Uptown Funk,” and renamed it Naptown Funk.

He used his Canon 5D digital camera and another midshipman’s drone to complete the video.

They closed down Maryland Avenue, a cobblestone road filled with shops, and restaurants frequently visited by tourists and locals.

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

They pitched the video idea to the town’s public affairs staff, who quickly got the permit to shut down the block for a few hours to film their video.

Short on time and money

They had exactly four hours to film the entire video before they had to be back to watch the Navy football game, where they’re required to watch.

They had to be strategic and precise, which is something they’ve learned from being in the Navy.

Rylan was ready to accept the challenge.

Rylan has been producing videos since he was in high school when he made a video for the national anti-smoking campaign video contest held by the Boy Scouts of America.

He even took second place for his video.

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

But there was a point when he had to make a choice.

“For me, it was actually a decision: Do I want to pursue film or do I want to attend the Naval Academy?” Rylan asked himself.

He joined the Naval Academy.

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

“I think a lot of people have a perspective of the military as a little bit more strict,” Rylan added. “For me, I just went ahead and accepted that if I had to put video on hold for four years, I’d be willing to do that.”

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

He did not imagine that when he joined, he would still get to practice his other love, filming.

And the academy has been supportive of his creative efforts.

As long as he gets approval first.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s awesome: ‘We’re right behind you, what do you need us to do?’ ” Rylan said. “With the other one percent, officials have suggestions for logistics or content.”

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

Since then, his videos have amassed more than 13 million views on YouTube and he has appeared on ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox News, and CNN.

An award-winning venture

And Naptown Funk was awarded Geico Best Short-Short Film at the GI Film Festival and an official selection at the Miami Vet Festival.

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A post shared by Rylan (@rylantuohy)

Want to know the reason he is now pursuing a multimedia career after retiring from the Navy?

See the video below to learn more!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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