Bieber’s photo shoot in Spencer hits newsstands

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 6, 2013

SPENCER — Justin Bieber’s photo shoot at the N.C. Transportation Museum has hit YouTube and will be on newsstands April 16.
Teen Vogue magazine did an afternoon-long photo session in January with the teen heartthrob, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, while he was in North Carolina for concerts in Charlotte and Greensboro.
News of the Biebs caused quite a stir in Rowan County, especially after he dined at Waffle House in Salisbury at 2:30 a.m. two days before the photo shoot.
Video taken at the Spencer museum during the Teen Vogue photo shoot shows the singer climbing on old trains and a motorcycle, sitting on a vintage car, carrying a suitcase and posing and performing in the Back Shop.
He also talks to an off-camera interviewer about his fans, performing and what he looks for in a girl (“kissable lips,” among other traits.)
The museum benefits from association with such a major celebrity, spokesman Mark Brown said.
“It has been fun to see the reaction from the public,” Brown said. “Opinions are widespread and myriad about Justin Bieber, but one way or another, he’s a very big name.”
Books-A-Million in the Salisbury Mall carries Teen Vogue, but the magazine is hard to come by elsewhere in Salisbury.
The YouTube video, however, is readily available. Museum officials didn’t know a video would accompany the release of the magazine and were happy to see it, Brown said.
“That added an extra marketing bonus,” he said.
All video footage appears to have been shot at the transportation museum, other than concert scenes.
Milk Productions, which ran the shoot for Teen Vogue, paid $800 for the privilege of using the state-owned facility as a photo backdrop, with an additional $700 fee to the museum’s nonprofit foundation. Both museum and foundation staff and volunteers were on hand during the shoot.
Bieber and George Clooney, who shot scenes for the movie “Leatherheads” at the museum in 2008, may be the biggest celebrities to grace the Spencer rail yard, but many filmmakers and photographers choose the location for its vintage, industrial appeal and easy access.
Movie director Michael Landon Jr., son of “Bonanza” and “Little House on a Prairie” star Michael Landon, filmed part of “The Ultimate Life” at the Spencer museum last month.
The projects give the museum a boost at a tough time. The state has slashed the museum’s budget over two years from $1 million to $300,000, and a consultant says the future of the facility looks dire unless it receives an immediate infusion of cash and changes in leadership.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.