Rocky In Real Life – Movies In Real Life (Episode 1)


Created and Directed by: Charlie Todd
Music: Tyler Walker
Producers: Alan Aisenberg, Andrew Soltys
Editor: Denis Cardineau
Camera: Myo Campbell, Denis Cardineau, Keith Haskel, Kris Knight, Ilya Smelansky
Sound: Ken Barbera
Photography: Arin Sang-urai (photo credit for all photos on this page.)
Production Assistants: Ryan Creamer, Juan Cocuy, Kelley Dunlap, Peter Kelly, Cody Lindquist, Michael Tannenbaum


Rocky: Dan Black

For our latest mission we traveled to Philadelphia to recreate Rocky’s epic run in real life. The video takes inspiration from the training montages in both Rocky and Rocky II, and the final sequence includes a mob of 100 kids between the ages of 8 and 15 running with Rocky up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This project is the first in our new series, Movies in Real Life. Every Tuesday this fall, we’re releasing a new video that brings an iconic movie moment to life in the real world. The series is created in the style of our 2010 Star Wars and Ghostbusters videos.

In our Mission Report video, Rocky visits a meat locker and checks out his own statue:

Enjoy the videos first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos below. Check back Friday for a behind-the-scenes video and Tuesday for a new installment of Movies In Real Life.

We first traveled to Rocky’s house from Rocky II to get the opening shot of the video. The house is actually on the market right now for $139,000 if you want to buy it!

The next stop was the Italian Market to get Rocky to run through the street. Rocky was played by our friend from the UCB Theatre, Dan Black. You might remember Dan’s work in Seeing Eye People and The Tourist Lane.

While the Rocky movies no doubt closed down the streets for their shoot, we had to shoot this guerrilla-style, with no permission. Our crew shot out the back of a car while Rocky chased behind them.

The town of Philadelphia is so aware of the Rocky movies, we found that random people were super excited to help our recreation. In Rocky II, kids from the streets start spontaneously joining Rocky on his run. We had a group of kids lined up to help us out for the finale, but while we were in the Italian Market, real kids actually spontaneously starting following Rocky, at the suggestion of their fathers.

In the first movie, a street vendor throws Rocky an orange as he runs by. While our Rocky ran through the market, a random street vendor also threw him an orange! It was a great moment.

For the final segment we headed over to the park in front of the museum and met up with 100 kids who had volunteered to help out (or whose parents signed them up!) The kids were awesome, and it was super fun to watch them get into it. We placed them along the route and told them to join in on the run when Rocky went by.

Without closing the streets down, we faced another practical challenge– crossing the busy streets safely. Rocky made sure all of the kids obeyed the traffic signals.

Finally Rocky reached the steps.

The champ!

At the top of the steps, an ACTUAL boxing champ was taking some pictures with friends. Rocky posed for a few photos with him.

At the bottom of the steps is a huge Rocky statue. Agent Dan Black had fun photo-bombing people trying to pose with the statue.

We had a super fun day in Philadelphia. Everyone we ran by laughed and smiled and seemed to enjoy the spectacle. At the end of the day we all enjoyed some cheesesteaks at Pat’s. Sorry Geno’s, but your use of the term “freedom fries” is a turn off.

Come back next Tuesday for the next installment of Movies in Real Life. Sign up for our email list or subscribe on YouTube to be notified when the next one is posted!

Mission Accomplished.


Watch the full series– all 13 episodes in one playlist:

– Episode 1: Rocky In Real Life
– Episode 2: Indiana Jones In Real Life
– Episode 3: Lord of the Rings In Real Life
– Episode 4: The Matrix In Real Life
– Episode 5: Back to the Future In Real Life
– Episode 6: Jurassic Park In Real Life
– Episode 7: When Harry Met Sally In Real Life
– Episode 8: Harry Potter In Real Life
– Episode 9: Spartacus In Real Life
– Episode 10: A Christmas Story In Real Life


Full set of photos from photographer Arin Sang-urai: Photo Gallery


Listen to the track by Tyler Walker: