BREWER, Maine — The music for Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” began to play over Brewer High School’s intercom just after school started Wednesday morning, and a camera caught students dance-walking down the halls and outside for the Witches’ first ever “lip dub.”
The camera, carried by English teacher Andrea Martin, recorded a single unedited shot of numerous students taking turns lip-synching the song, while dancing or play-acting throughout the school.
“We are always looking for ways to build school spirit and community spirit,” she said just before the filming began. “This has done that.”
Lip dubs are “basically music videos that go through the whole school in one take while a song is playing,” Martin said. “The song is later dubbed over the video” and then posted on the Internet using YouTube.
Photos of the project were posted to the high school’s website, www.brewerhs.org, before school ended for the day, and the video was posted on YouTube shortly afterward.
Rachel Caron, a junior who dressed in brightly colored futuristic-looking attire and pulled her hair back into pigtails, was in several scenes for the video, including one where she jumps through a paper sign.
“People are doing it across the U.S. and we thought it would be fun,” she said of lip dubbing. “It took a lot of planning.”
A core group of about 30 students and six teachers worked to create the script for the video, and then post signup sheets for all the parts — and there were a lot — for fellow students to choose from.
Students could choose to be in the prom scene, dance in the hallways, be in a science lab or outside in a long line of cheering students, or to play numerous other roles in the video.
One student was dressed like a gorilla, another like the comic book character Wolverine and others wore wings.
One girl who wore a pink dress for the prom scene in the cafeteria ran to the gym after her first performance ended. She stripped off the dress on the way, revealing shorts, a T-shirt and a rock-climbing harness underneath for another scene with her rappelling the school’s rock-climbing wall.
For the video’s finale, all the actors made their way to the gym, which was filled with students who didn’t sign up for individual parts.
Freshmen Jen Brewer, who said she was too busy doing end-of-the-year final projects to sign up for a scene, and Lauren Dunbar, who has a broken foot, said they liked the idea of being in the YouTube project.
“It’s kind of fun,” Brewer said.
Martin said her partners in the project were English teachers Michelle MacDonald and Rebecca Peterson, technology director Paulette Clapp, and science teachers Glendon Rand and Joanne Adair. They followed in the footsteps of Bucksport High School, which recently uploaded its own lip dub.
“We did enlist journalism students to help,” and they are using the video as a final project, Martin said.
The Witches’ video is about 4 minutes and 20 seconds long and includes mostly freshman, sophomores and juniors.
“Some of the graduated seniors were so mad they came back to be in it,” Principal Becky Bubar said.
Seniors Kate Weigel and Tess McLaughlin, who both helped with planning the project, showed up wearing their black and orange graduation robes and caps.
“We sing a little part of the song, then we throw our caps,” McLaughlin said.
The song “Footloose” was chosen by a vote of the entire student body, Bubar said.
“We are really excited about this,” she said.
The students’ video was filmed in its entirety four times. The most popular lib dubs are done in one continuous shot so “there is no editing,” Peterson said.
The project really demonstrated to the school’s diverse student populations that it can be fun to work together and to get involved, Martin said.
“They have really come together,” she said. “We had fun.”