According to Wikipedia, a lip dub is a type of music video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing. Which is exactly what occurred at St Theresa’s Catholic High School in Midland on March 24th.
The lip dub is not a new event at St. Theresa’s. Ms. Clancy, the drama teacher, first introduced the idea back in 2014, and although the planning and implementation was hectic, the video was a big success. Her goal was to create another video this school year. She challenged drama student Renee A. to create an even better lip dub than the one before.
It was a long and time consuming process Renee explained. “First I had to decide what songs I wanted and I’d say that was one of the hardest jobs about this whole project! I’d sit down for hours listening to different songs and playlists and tried to develop an overall theme beforehand. It wasn’t until the day before we started working in class on the lip dub (so about 3 weeks before we filmed) that Ms. Clancy and I finalized the songs. I worked with Adam, Dan and Jaime a lot to determine the route! We walked through the school 100 different times with 100 different choices for routes until we finally found one we liked. We had March Break cut into our time which was good and bad… good, because I had more time to fix things and organize where I wanted people to stand on the route, who would sing what lyrics, what sports teams I would put where and how I could make this extremely cool! But bad because a lot of things I needed to do in class with teachers and with Ms. Clancy’s help, but again we somehow pulled it off.”
Ms. Clancy brought in some extra help from Renee’s Grade 12 drama class and each student was assigned a specific job to help the lip dub run smoothly on the day of filming. With so many students helping, the ‘Lip Dub Team’ was created. Teachers, sport team captains, and club leaders were all contacted and given an explanation of the lip dub and the overall plan. It was their job to pass that information to their classmates and teammates. Classroom visits and announcements filled the halls for two weeks leading up to the day of filming to prepare and get everyone at the school excited to participate.
On March 23rd, a technical run was scheduled with the teachers and sports teams. Everyone had memorized their lyrics and decided what their specific group was going to do as the camera passed their section of the hallway. One of the jobs of the lip dub team was to choreograph a dance for the whole school to do in the gym. Maddie, Christina, Julia and Hailee created the dance and taught it to all of the sports teams the day before filming. The technical run went well, the route was perfected and everyone was prepared for the big day of filming. The lip dub team had only one school period to organize everyone and get the required shots filmed. It would be a race against the clock and hoping that 1,100 high school students would cooperate with the grand plan.
Finally, the day of filming arrived. Everyone was excited to see this project take shape. Student Julia A. said, “there is nothing more satisfying than watching our drama class’ hard work come to life.” The lip dub took on a life of its own – the whole school showed amazing “thunder spirit” and pride and everyone got involved in some way. It took about 30 minutes to get everyone ready and into the gym. Once there, every student was taught the choreography for the final song and then they were assigned certain spots in the hallway to be beforehand.
When the first run-through took place, Renee commented, “I was shaking with nerves of both excitement and fear. As I was walking through the route, tears came to my eyes. I was so emotional because I got to see all of my hard work, sweat, tears and stress all pay off! I was on cloud nine – it is amazing to see your ideas come to life!” After the first run-through it was decided the school needed to try it one more time to perfect a few tiny issues. The second run-through was terrific and everything worked according to plan. The footage was reviewed and Ms. Clancy, Adam and Renee decided that the lip dub was successful. The entire gym cheered and yelled in excitement knowing that each and every student there that day got to be a part of something amazing. Student Allison H. described the lip dub saying, “I loved that the whole school was involved and we got to show our school spirit. We all put a lot of time and effort into this, so it was awesome to see it all come together.”
St. Theresa’s plans to use the lip dub video as a commercial advertising everything available at the school and it will hopefully encourage more students to choose St. Theresa’s as their high school after Grade 8. Though organizing the lip dub was a lot of hard work, it brought together an entire school community for a common goal. Renee glowed while recounting her experience saying, “Lip dub was probably one of the most memorable and inspiring moments I have experienced here at St Theresa’s. Getting to see my hard work and ideas come to life was extremely rewarding and I’m honoured to have worked with so many awesome people and create such an exciting project. I really couldn’t have done it without the help of my class, Ms. Clancy and all the amazing staff and students at St. T’s!”