The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 28, 2011

JHS students make music video with Hollywood cameraman’s help

JOPLIN, Mo. — Hundreds of Joplin High School juniors and seniors participated in a schoolwide “lip dub” music video Friday, with a Hollywood cameraman recording the video in one take.

The students dressed in school-spirit wear and lip-synched to “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas and “Firework” by Katy Perry.

“I think it went really well,” said Lexi Willcoxon, a JHS senior who was the main director of the video. “People were really enthusiastic, and the students were into it and the teachers were all about it.”

Simon Jayes, who worked on the films “Minority Report” and “War of the Worlds,” was contacted by his friend Mary Kassab-Chaney, a Joplin native who used to work with Oliver Stone, to film the video. Kassab-Chaney came to the school to assist in the filming.

Jayes, who said he has never shot anything like this before, will be the camera operator for season five episodes of HBO’s “True Blood.”

“Coming from someone who likes a lot of takes, we could always use some more, but I think it’s better that it’s real,” Jayes said. “The high school students got really into it. If this were a movie shot, this would have taken a day to really get the timing down right, but then it’s not real.”

Jayes said he enjoyed seeing the excitement of the students, and he thought the first take was the best.

“We had some technical issues with the first take, but I still think it’s very useable,” he said after the second run-through.

Students were in charge of directing the video, selecting lip-synchers and arranging the route the camera took during the video, which covered several areas and classrooms inside the 11th- and 12th-grade campus at Northpark Mall.

The video will be edited by TV production students at JHS. They plan on putting the finished video on YouTube and possibly submitting it to “The Today Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Katy Perry donated more than 2,000 T-shirts to the students that said “Ignite Your Light! Love, Katy Perry” in her handwriting. Several students wore the shirt during the video shoot.

Bruce Vonder Haar, JHS TV production teacher, said administrative support was crucial for the video to be a success. He said that he had shown students other examples of lip-dub videos last spring.

“We had planned this for a long time on paper and didn’t know how it was going to work out,” Vonder Haar said. “To see all the enthusiasm of every kid in the school is very gratifying. I’m very proud of Joplin High School today.”

The video will be a highlight of senior year for Zebrina Riggs, who was in the video and is a part of JET-14 TV, the high school’s TV station. She said she’s considering a career in film production.

“It’s a way for the school to all get together,” Riggs said.

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