It took one hour, 3,500 students, a pool, two helicopters and state-of-the-art camera equipment for three Edgewood schools to produce one of the best lip dub videos Harford County has ever seen.
In 24 hours, the YouTube video, "2013 Edgewood Community Lipdub," garnered 1,300 views. About four weeks since it was uploaded, the views keep rolling in. The 19-minute film has been viewed more than 5,500 times.
The film, titled "The Evolution of a RAM," highlights a student going through the three school phases of kindergarten through 12th grade education – at Deerfield Elementary, Edgewood Middle and Edgewood High schools – while touring the Edgewood schools. The camera follows Edgewood students walking backwards and lip-syncing to popular songs.
A lip dub is a single edit, continuous video, where an individual or group of people lip-sync over an audio recording – usually a popular song – while traveling through buildings or other unusual places. Thousands of lip dub videos have gone viral on video hosting sites like YouTube.
One lip dub project leader, S. Craig Llewellyn, art department chair at Edgewood High School, said the lip dub video was created to show school pride for Edgewood schools.
"We want to diffuse the suburban myth of the Edgewood area," Llewellyn said. "We wanted to show our school pride and remove the county myth about what this school is about."
But, the lip dubbing phenomenon is not new to Edgewood.
Last year the high school shot and uploaded its first lip dub "2012 EHS LIPDUB," built around an annual interpretation of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" the school's dance program performs.
"We wanted to put out another lip dub before anyone in the county had a chance to one up us," Llewellyn said. "We wanted to do it ourselves."
Administrators at the high school reached out to the elementary and middle schools to form five person committees to discuss the logistics of the project, Llewellyn said.
At the middle and high school level, auditions were held to determine which students would lip-sync the songs.
"About 80 students auditioned at the high school," Llewellyn said. "Each student was given about 20 seconds of song. The judges were looking for the ability to move backward while lip-syncing the words to the chosen songs, the ability to move to the rhythm of the music and the ability to command a room."
At the elementary school, the lip dub committee hand-picked students to lip sync for the project.
Each school performs a different song throughout the video. The elementary school children perform a "throw back" song by the Jackson Five "ABC." The middle schoolers performed Labrinth's "Express Yourself" and the high school performed the summer hit "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
As each song is performed, the viewer takes a tour through the three schools. The middle school showed off its pool and the high school showed off its gymnasium, football field and auditorium.
"We chose our school path to highlight the wonderful assets of our elementary school," Lori M. Zavoyna, speech-language pathologist at Deerfield Elementary, said. "A wonderful art room, huge media center and state of the art TV studio."
Four different cameras were used to shoot the video one Sony HD Camcorder, one GoPro Hero 3, one GoPro Hero 2 and a GoPro Hero 3 for an underwater pool scene.
The entire process of creating committees, selecting lip dubbers and filming the video took about a month from late August to September, Llewellyn said.
"Once the students were back in the building we made a promotional video," Llewellyn said. "The film was shot during a school day during the Ram hour [a mid-day study period hour] at Edgewood High School. The elementary and middle school filmed at a time that coincided with our Ram hour."
Debbie Basler, physical education teacher at Edgewood High School, said in her 20 years working for the school the lip dub video has improved school pride dramatically.
"Creating the lip dubs have brought the entire Edgewood community together," Basler said. "They have been a way to include all students and all elements of our community to achieve an artistic representation of what we are about without the influence of outside sources."