LIP DUB BRINGS HOLLYWOOD TO OHHS
OHHS LIP DUB VIDEO REACHES 22,000 IN A SINGLE DAY.
A nine-minute music video produced by the student body of Oak Harbor High School made its online debut Saturday afternoon — just 24 hours later it had spread to more than 22,000 viewers and was still adding about 150 new people per hour. The video, known as a “Lip Dub,” is a mass-participation, live musical performance popular with schools and some corporations. The OHHS production “Hooray for Hollywood” is a light-hearted tribute to movies, TV, celebrity, fame and fortune featuring 20 movie themes and songs. Students along a school-wide route dress in costume, perform scenes and lip sync the lyrics.
The video has been posted to four different Web sites, all of which received a large number of views. The OHHS Lip Dub’s own Facebook site by itself posted more than 19,000 people reached by Sunday evening.
“We haven’t done any promotion or advertising for the online premiere,” said video production teacher Chris Douthitt, who posted the video late Saturday. “It reached all those people simply through students and families sharing on social media.”
Public comments that accompanied the sharing included “That was so cool!!!” “Best thing ever.” “Super cool!! Love this idea.” “How you can get this many high school kids to all work together is beyond amazing.” “Man I wish my high school was this cool!!” “The best High School EVER!” “10/10” and “Proud to be a Wildcat!”
Production of regular music videos is common in high schools but a true Lip Dub has to meet certain criteria. It has to be shot in one continuous take with no edits. The camera needs to be in constant motion, usually along a route that takes the viewer on a tour of the school. People along the route must perform and lip sync to the music. Finally, as many people as possible people need to be involved in the last shot.
Oak Harbor’s version obeyed the rules but also added a few special flourishes to set it apart. For one thing, the video was based around a theme, in this case Hollywood, rather than around a song.
“A lot of times groups get bogged down in song choice. It’s hard to pick something that everyone likes.” said Douthitt. “But really a Lip Dub is about visuals — what are you going to put on screen? What are you going to have people do on camera?”
Early in the planning stages the student production team came back with an idea of using a movie-based theme and several pieces of music. Using a variety of songs is not a new idea for Lip Dubs but tying them to a single theme is innovative.
The video also employs some special effects. At various places along the route students hold up blue and green panels. Using some post-production effect work (but no editing of the master take) movie scenes have been added to the panels as a complement to the music.
Another special feature of the OHHS Lip Dub is the addition of original lyrics and an actual singing performance by students. The classic show biz song “Hooray for Hollywood” had new lyrics applied referencing the video’s movie-based theme, the school and the Lip Dub itself. Choral students from the high school’s Harbor Singers prerecorded the updated song and then lip-synced their own voices during the Lip Dub. OHHS principal Dwight Lundstrom puts in a cameo appearance in both the revised lyrics and the final video.
Students from OHHS’s Leadership and Broadcast Communication classes headed up the Lip Dub process and spent months planning for the event. The school’s administration and staff agreed to set aside an “assembly schedule” day April 22 to allow an hour for filming up to three takes of the Lip Dub. The third take is the one seen in the final video. A special motorized “gimbal” camera called an Osmo was required to create a steady, high-definition shot while the camera operator walked the route. The soundtrack was played through a big, heavy, loud boombox that accompanied the camera. That way the lip-syncing students could hear the songs and sing along during filming.
Once the camera passed a group of students along the route, they needed to run to the school’s gym in order two be included in the final shot. Then they had to run back to their original positions for take two and again for take three. By the end of the third take many students were exhausted.
OHHS got a taste of Lip Dubbing back in 2011 with a full-school video to the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Though not entirely successful it was very entertaining, showed the school could do one and paved the way to the recent effort by demonstrating what to do and what not to do. One of the students who produced the 2011 Lip Dub, Asia Pruyne, returned to OHHS to act as a consultant on “Hooray for Hollywood.” Interestingly, new Oak Harbor high band teacher Brandon Nelson said watching the 2011 Lip Dub helped him make the final decision to take the job at OHHS.
Since the 2011 video was the last time OHHS has been able to make a Lip Dub, the entire student body and many of the teachers were new to the concept. Therefore, Lip Dub leaders had to produce promotional material and educate the school population prior to production day. Their extra efforts are evident in the completed video.
Producing a Lip Dub builds skills in organizing, leadership, design, communication, crowd control, logistics, motivation, education, technology and more. It’s a monumental task with an immovable deadline, a cast of nearly 1,600 and an 80 percent chance of rain in the forecast. Regardless, the students and staff of Oak Harbor High School took on the challenge and made Lip Dub 2016 an uplifting spirit raiser and a true blockbuster.
And while walking back to class after filming, there was already student chatter about what they might do next year.
To see the video go to https://www.facebook.com/OHHSLipDub2016/?fref=nf or https://vimeo.com/164855711.