St. David's School senior promposal gets lots of views, national attention

vbridges@newsobserver.comMay 4, 2014 

  • The Morrels’ tips on making a video

    • You don’t need the latest or greatest gadgets to make a good video. We shot all of our videos on a simple point-and-shoot camera.

    • Have an overall vision for your videos, but don’t get bogged down by all the nitty-gritty details. For example, while shooting the promposal video, we set out with a car full of an assortment of random objects, like a football, a longboard, and even a wheelchair.

    •  There are many components that go into making a video, especially a music video. Be willing to collaborate with others and keep an open mind with regards to choreography and content.

    •  Your best work will flow from the things about which you are passionate. Don’t focus on how many views your video gets. Instead, let your interests inspire your filming.

    •  Have fun and enjoy yourself. Why invest so much time otherwise?


    Watch Luke Morell’s promposal at

The music starts, and Luke Morrel, wearing a black tuxedo and dark sunglasses, pulls up in his mom’s maroon Subaru Outback.

The 18-year-old St. David’s School senior then gets out of the car and struts up to his two male backup dancers in opening scene of Luke’s flashy and elaborate “promposal” music video.

Since the video’s March 24 release on YouTube, it’s been viewed more than 21,700 times.

But that’s nothing compared to other videos made by Luke and Austin Morrel, twin brothers whose most popular video out of 16 total has had more than 224,000 views. That video shows a live street performance in London.

On the video-sharing site, the brothers have also posted popular videos of their elaborate ping-pong tricks – their last garnering more than 46,297 views.

ABC news program “Good Morning America” played clips of Luke’s prom video on April 13 as part of a segment highlighting the trend of creative ways to ask someone to the prom.

As a result, Luke has appeared on national television dancing in his tux, along with backup dancers Austin and friend Mason Dingledine, 19.

In March, Luke wanted to ask his friend and schoolmate Madalyn Vanarthos, 16, of Cary, to prom, but wanted to do it right. And at St. David’s, it’s considered below par to just go up and ask someone, Luke said.

“Some people do, but that is kind of lame,” he said. “It kind of feels like a competition almost.”

At first, Luke said, he couldn’t think of anything, but he knew he loved making videos.

He eventually chose the Jason Derulo song “Talk Dirty,” but replaced some of the its lyrics, including changing the hook “Talk dirty to me” to “Talk prom to me” using the GarageBand music app.

On the morning of March 23, Luke, Austin and Mason loaded up the Subaru with a camera, tripod, mini jam box, saxophones, a skateboard, umbrellas, a wheelchair and other potential props.

Luke wore a tux while Mason and Austin wore work boots, dark pants and khaki blazers without shirts. And, of course, they all wore sunglasses as they executed choreographed dance moves on tables, through the car’s sunroof and in a parking lot.

Luke said they played the song over and over and developed the choreography throughout the day. They spent the day filming, and Luke did the editing that evening.

That same night, Madalyn and her parents were due to come home from Wrightsville Beach.

That night, Luke, after coordinating with Madalyn’s mom, rushed over to her house and set up the video on a television in her basement.

When Madalyn and her family got home, Madalyn’s mom sent her downstairs to see if the television had been left on while they were gone.

“She was pretending she didn’t want dad to know that she left it on,” Madalyn said.

She found the television on, she said, but was baffled by what she thought was a professional video.

“I was kind of really confused,” she said.

When the video was over, Luke appeared in his tux, along with Austin and Mason, who were still in their suit-boot ensembles. Luke then officially popped the prom question. Madalyn said yes, and they ended up having a great night.

“Luke and I danced the entire time,” she said.

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