Jon Souders, CHS broadcasting teacher, said this year the whole school will be involved in the taping.
“I think we have set the bar so high at this point everyone expects us to be better each time,” Souders said. “We’ve had a lot of people in the community asking what we are going to do different this time.”
Broadcasting students in Souders’ classes are in charge of the lip dub.
Caroline Ledford, who is the head of the student-led endeavor, said planning discussions began in January.
“We started figuring out the songs in January, and then from there we decided what route we would take through the school,” Ledford said. “Then we started asking everyone to participate and practice. Now we are finally ready.”
Lip dubbing videos have become internationally popular. They involve individuals mouthing lyrics to songs, while doing any number of other activities, including dancing.
Cleveland High School has produced two previous lip dub videos. The first debuted in 2010 and primarily featured Souders’ broadcasting students. Due to the popularity of the project, numbers expanded going into the next video in 2012.
All juniors, seniors, sport teams and clubs were asked to participate in last year’s lip dub. In addition to the students, teachers were asked to join in the choreographed festivities.
Autumn O’Bryan, CHS principal, and Martin Ringstaff, director of city schools, both acted as lip dubbers.
Ledford said the last lip dub was very impressive. Additions and changes have been made to continue the upward progress.
“A lot of times the singers walked backward, so they were constantly looking over their shoulders. We are walking forward a lot this year and it will be Mr. Souders walking backward while videoing,” Ledford said.
Souders is in charge of recording the lip dub.
“This year, we are using a high definition video camera on what is called a steady cam, which allows you to walk through the hallways,” Souders said. “It is what they use in movies, and it makes it really smooth. It allows the camera more or less to float.”
A student will guide Souders as he walks backward across the school property.
Another change has made both Souders and his broadcasting students a little nervous.
“We are adding freshmen and sophomores, so we are anticipating the chance [something inappropriate may happen],” Souders said.
“… We tell them, ‘If you do something silly or throw up signs for the camera, we can’t use the video. You’ve just killed the entire recording by yourself,’” Souders said. “I think they feel that pressure.”
Roughly 30 to 35 students will act as lip dubbers for this year’s production. Twenty-one of those students are from Souders’ broadcasting class. All additional students were asked to take a part mouthing lyrics.
“Indirectly we had them do auditions, because we had them sing a song and we put a camera in front of their face,” Souders said.
“Really, they kind of self-auditioned. By the time they were finished in front of the camera, they knew if they wanted to do the lip dub.”
Broadcasting students practiced their parts almost every Thursday during the school’s Connections time. There have only been about six practice runs with the entire 30 to 35 students. A dress rehearsal run will take place today where lip dubbers show up in their costumes.
Two run-throughs will occur on Tuesday, March 19. First, lip dubbers will practice a final time. Next, all the students will take up their positions for a one-shot lip dub video.
“The first [run-through] we can’t use because we cannot have all the students running down to the field and back,” Souders said. “It is too much work bringing them all back.”
All students will meet in the gym for several reminders before heading to their positions throughout the lip dub route.
“We will remind them to be respectful as representatives of the school,” Ledford said.
“Exactly,” Souders added.
Ledford noted, “Last year, everyone did a good job behaving properly. I do not believe anyone did anything inappropriate.”
Ledford and Souders said they are excited about this year’s video.
“It is a really big marketing piece for the school. We have people from all over the country comment on the lip dubs,” Souders said. “… We want it to be at a certain level, which is why we invest so much time in this. We know people watch this and we want [the lip dub] to reflect well on the school.
“Our 1,400 students are very proud of the lip dub. They want to share it with their friends, too. It is almost like a big pep rally you can share with the entire world,” Souders said.
Ledford added, “It’s going to be great.”