Dub this

George F. Baker High School’s first ‘lip dub’ now online via YouTube

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  • George F. Baker High School students concluded their 14:40 minute video with this banner reading, ěTwo communities, one school.î

  • Members of the schoolís chapter of the National Honor Society are filmed by Tuxedo resident Joseph Occhiopinto.

  • Lee Stanton and Christian Ruiz, in their red bow ties, lead the videoís opening scene at the front entrance to the school.

  • Tuxedo resident Joseph Occhiopinto films the schoolís wrestling team during its portion of the video as he made his way throughout the school. Music for them to hear and lip dub to also plays.

TUXEDO — With one camera, essentially one take and 400 people on a sunny day, lip dubbing arrived at George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo.

The high school community joined the worldwide lip dub craze with the filming of its own 14:50 minute video the day before spring break last month. It can be viewed on YouTube and the district’s Web site.

“There was a small committee involved but a lot of spontaneity,” said Meghan Zwart, Baker’s choir teacher. “There wasn’t as much planning as I would have anticipated. The way it ended up was the way it ended up. The spontaneity really allowed the whole thing to come together. You saw the kids’ true feelings and their true spirit. You saw kids for who they are and what they want.”

Student representatives agreed the message of “two communities, one school” was apparent in the video though its song selections and banners used in the filming. During last week’s public forum, the Greenwood Lake Board of Education, by a 4-3 margin, voted to select Baker - the incumbent - as its high school of choice after completing its review of high school candidates.

Now, Greenwood Lake voters will decide whether to accept the board’s choice during a June 19 vote. Greenwood Lake students have attended Baker High School for the last 30 years.

One school
“We don’t see the difference in our towns,” said Christian Ruiz, a student lip dub co-spokesperson. “When we walk in the school, we’re just a bunch of kids. This was a good bonding activity for the entire school. As a school, we did very well with this video.”

Tuxedo followed suggestions offered by Pine Bush High School students and administrators in its planning process.

“They told us to not try to plan too much or control the message,” said Assistant Principal John Flanagan. “But just make it appropriate. And you can see the pride of the students here, the school pride showing who we are. It got people excited. And we had no idea it’d be 15 minutes long.”

Every student had the opportunity to offer suggestions.

“There really isn’t one student who produced this,” said Dean Maloney, another student lip dub co-spokesperson. “Honestly, every student who thought up an idea was a producer.”

One camera man
With the use of one camera and the donated time and talent of Tuxedo resident Joseph Occhiopinto as camera man, the video didn’t cost any money with the microscopic exception of art supplies to create banners and the “tornado” mascot, according to Flanagan.

“He (Occhiopinto) reached out to us,” he said. “That’s one of the coolest things about this.”

Teachers and students walked Occhiopinto through the building prior to filming so he had an idea of where he’d be going.

“We set up good waiting places with students,” said Peter Head, another of Tuxedo’s music teachers. “Kids also knew they had to run from one place to another, so they had to know the path. Maybe they were on one team, and then had to run to another part of the building to wait for the camera man as they were part of another club or group. We had kids changing in the hallways to be ready.”

One message
The only small blip was an exuberant student waiting in the auditorium who bumped into Occhiopinto, necessitating a restart in that room. But other than that, everything worked out as planners hoped.

Mahoney said the video was intended to replace organizing a spring student pep rally.

“We did one of those in the winter and wanted to do something different,” said Mahoney. “Originally, we wanted to do it for school spirit. But with all going on (the Greenwood Lake Board of Education’s due diligence process to either renew its contract with Tuxedo or select another high school for Greenwood Lake students to attend), I think it did accidentally help that cause through serendipity.”

Now, with the vote coming up in June, Mahoney suggested Greenwood Lake voters take a look at the video.

“Now that I think about it, I think it’s a good thing for them (voters) to check it out,” he added. “I didn’t think so many kids loved this school so much. It really showed me that for a small school, we’ve got so many things going on. This video shows the identity of our school.”

By Nancy Kriz

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