Lip Dub Ups The Ante On School Spirit

Posted on January 14, 2011

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Christina Manero / Entertainment

Any visitor to the school on December 22, 2010, would have come across a very peculiar sight.  Students, glad to be out of class, gathered in the hallway excitedly.  Many grasped confetti and paper airplanes, while others held their sports equipment or other items symbolic of their extracurricular activities.  Suddenly, the signal to start went out over walkie-talkies and Springfield’s Lip Dub began!

The video was made by Mr. Meder’s Digital Storytelling class.  Adam LaSalle, the cameraman, explained that, “Mr. Puckett sent the Shorewood video to Mr. Meder, and we as a class basically told Mr. Meder we were going to make one better.”  The “Shorewood video” is a Lip Dub done by Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington.  The unique aspect of both videos is that they were filmed regularly but then reversed so all actions in the film were backwards.

Creating the video was no small feat.  The class had to write backward lyrics to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz and then talents needed to learn to say the backwards lyrics so the lip-synching would look natural.  Then, the class had to map out their route and figure out what actions would look like backwards.  Samantha Chamberlin, another member of the class and one of the talents, noted that, “the most challenging thing in my opinion has been learning how to walk backwards.”

As the day for the shoot drew closer, the class was still waiting for an answer from Taio Cruz as to the rights to “Dynamite.”  In the end, “we actually used Twitter to get in contact with the proper people,” says director Catherine Wetmore. Overcoming this last hurdle, all the group had left to do was work at memorizing their backwards lyrics and figuring out all the timing.

When asked about the video-making experience, each student has a different answer.  Wetmore said it was “awesome seeing everything come together so well… [since we] started from nothing.”  Chamberlin spoke of the video’s purpose “to raise school spirit.”  She cited the fact that Springfield is often lacking in this category and that the class was trying to fix that. “We’ve been given the opportunity [to increase school spirit], and we’re going to take this idea to its fullest potential and hope that everyone else will participate as well.”

The school certainly did participate, with a whole slew of clubs and teams making appearances alongside students in their respective homerooms.  The video is an impressive achievement of Mr. Meder’s students and is a creative product of Springfield school pride.  Students, parents, and members of the community can access this video through the school’s website or by visiting this link: http://vimeo.com/18132296.

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