First, one has to determine if school spirit is portrayed in each music video. Then there's an examination of the quality of lip-synching, audio dubbing, acting and dancing by hundreds of students. Creativity is scrutinized. Above all, it has to be obvious that each lip dub was filmed in one continuous take.
The art of the lip dub is not new, but Arlington High School students hope to make regional, competitive lip dub an annual event.
The first Wesco Invitational Lip Dub Competition on Wednesday evening at Arlington included videos by Everett, Henry M. Jackson, Arlington, Burlington-Edison, La Conner, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Woolley and Shorecrest high schools
Student leader Hailey Brooker, her team of Everett High Seagulls and their mascot Sammy filmed their lip dub on Monday on both sides of Colby Avenue to tunes by Passion Pit and MC Hammer. The final shot in front of Everett's classic old building was made with the help of a crane brought in by a parent. The long, high exit shot from the boom made for the best ending of all the videos shown on Wednesday.
Jackson High students put their lip dub on YouTube earlier this spring. Directed and filmed by Mitchell and Chase Weholt, the video's dubbed song is "Good Time" by Owl City. It's clear from the video that the Wolfpack does indeed have fun. The best thing about the Jackson lip dub is that the Weholts filmed it while walking backward. In most other lip dubs, the kids in the video skip backward while looking over their shoulders to see where they're going.
Arlington's students kept their lip dub under wraps until this week, said coordinator Mario Mirante. Filmed on campus before Christmas break, it was produced using a medley of tunes by the band Queen. In fact, school choir members enjoyed the Queen harmonies so much, they sang the last bit of the last song. The video includes zombies, nerdy boys, dressed-up girls, the Arlington Police Department, kids in Seattle Sonics jerseys, teachers in their classrooms and Darth Vader.
Arlington's cameraman Nate Pitocco said it wasn't an easy project.
"Video is my passion, though, and I hope to go to film school, so the lip dub was a great opportunity," Nate said.
Professional videographers Sean Burke and Kyle Sutter, judges for this year's competition, said they had a difficult time choosing a winner.
In the end Arlington edged out Jackson by one point for first place. Third place went to Sedro-Woolley, which dubbed Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us."
The benefits of the lip dub are many, said Arlington student body adviser Ben Ballew.
"The videos get all the kids working together on something fun," Ballew said. "It's exciting to see the enthusiasm. It's an experience they won't forget."
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; email@example.com.
Lip dub videosEverett High School:
Arlington High School:
Jackson High School:
Sedro-Woolley High School:
Shorecrest High School:
Mount Vernon High School:
La Conner High School:
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