Isabel’s favorite thing to do is watch music videos on YouTube. A pastime that kept her busy through chemotherapy and doctor’s visits for her rare genetic condition diagnosis.
When she was approached by Make-A-Wish Arizona volunteer wish granters and told she was eligible for a wish, she wished to recreate a fun pop song, but as a “kids” version with her own creative spin. After much deliberation, Isabel’s selected Meghan Trainor “Me Too” video, because it included multiple people so she could invite her soon-to-be siblings to participate in her wish as back-up dancers – something her whole family could enjoy!
"I always love to sing and to dance and I want to be a pop star so I wished to make a video," said Isabel, at her video's World Premiere event. "It was my favorite day."
Without prior entertainment experience, Isabel’s original vision for her wish was simple – she was focused on dressing up with hair and makeup so she could dance and lip sync with her siblings. She had no idea the length's Make-A-Wish Arizona Wish Manager Carlos Inostroza and her wish granter volunteer Judy Spiro would go to create a wish experience Isabel would never forget.
"We try to create wishes our kids could never imagine, and luckily we had help with this wish," said Inostroza.
Enter SNEAKY BIG, a world-class production studio with cutting-edge technology in video, audio, broadcast, and post production that was founded by Bob Parsons, a long-time Make-A-Wish Arizona supporter. Inostroza approached SNEAKY BIG with the opportunity to be a part of Isabel’s wish and, from that moment on, SNEAKY BIG created a day for Isabel that would put the original video shoot to shame.
SNEAKY BIG organized to have the original director, Hannah Lux Davis, on site to support Isabel in the “realism” of her wish experience.
SNEAKY BIG's production team re-created the same look and feel of Meghan’s dance scene by shooting on their huge green cyc wall and brought it to life with visual effects by their editorial and graphics team.
SNEAKY BIG found the car, the house, recruited the crew (even the dog!) and created every set and prop needed for the video.
“We are so honored to have helped this wish come true for Isabel. It was fun and rewarding to have it come together after four months in the making. Everyone on this production was personally touched in some way by Isabel’s story that it moved them to donate their time, talent, resources and expertise. We are proud to have become a part of this powerful story, and our hope that it continues to heal and inspire,” said Jackie Steen, SNEAKY BIG producer.
Make-A-Wish Arizona filled in the gaps, organizing Isabel's trip up to Phoenix, from her hometown of Tucson, a VIP hotel experience t the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas and all her on-camera costumes, courtesy of local Phoenix supporter Garage Boutique.
In Tucson, to start the process, Isabel’s wish granting volunteers reached out to a leading choreographer at BreakOut Studios. He donated three weeks of three-day-a-week rehearsals for Isabel and her almost step-siblings so they could learn the dance steps and feel comfortable on the day of shooting. Isabel was ecstatic and threw herself into her lessons wish energy and enthusiasm.
"I wanted my wish to be something my whole family could do with me," said Isabel. "I want to thank them for being with me and it was so fun."
With dance steps in her head, Isabel was whisked up to Phoenix the night before her big day. She met with SNEAKY BIG and Make-A-Wish Arizona staff for costume fittings and to go over the schedule for the following day.
The morning of the wish, she could barely contain her excitement and was ready to go to the studio almost an hour early.
"I just kept thinking of the first scene and getting to do all the fun dances and wear the cool dresses," said Isabel. "I was so excited."
Isabel was introduced to Lux Davis, who gave her a brief preview of what she would be doing and then took her to hair and make-up for the first of a three-location shoot.
"My favorite thing was the giraffe onsie and getting my hair and make-up done," said Isabel. "Once I was in the onsie, I was ready."
"She was just so professional during the shoot," said Christie, Isabel's mom. "And to think that she's just 7 and all that she has gone through, this really is just incredible."
But that was not all! At a scheduled lunch break, the family gathered around a computer, thinking they would see some of what was already shot, but instead, it was a surprise FaceTime with Meghan Trainor, thanking Isabel for using her song for her wish video and wishing her the best of luck.
"I loved talking with Meghan Trainor," said Isabel. "She wished me luck and told me I looked good in the onsie. She was so nice."
The entire project involved more than 50 crew members, staff and volunteers to make Isabel’s wish come to life. But it didn't end there -- Make-A-Wish Arizona and SNEAKY BIG created a red carpet event at Fox Tucson Theatre, where Isabel saw the video and a behind-the-scenes video for the first time.
"I just want to thank everyone for being here," said Isabel, from the stage. "And now, roll my video!"
"Isabel truly transformed throughout this process." said Christie. "When we first talked with SNEAKY BIG, she was shy and could talk about what she wanted but she had no idea what it would really be. Now, she is out there, talking on stage and being in the spotlight. She feels like a real music video artist."
"I loved my wish," said Isabel. "Now I want to do another video so I can do it again."