Behind the Lip Dub

Behind+the+Lip+Dub

By Katherine Lee, Web Master

Seniors crowd the hallways of the school, waiting in anticipation for senior Gabi Miko’s camera to turn its lens on them as Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” blasts in the background. Dressed in outfits ranging from hospital garb to athletic uniforms, the seniors are in the process of filming the 2019 senior lip dub. 

A representation of school spirit and diversity, the lip dub was recorded, edited and released on the seniors’ last day before leaving for internship on May 3. Since then, the video has surpassed 10,000 views on YouTube. 

The StogaFilm Club has been organizing the senior lip dub each year since 2016 with the exception of 2017. The idea first sprung from Paula Miller, a ’Stoga alumna who graduated in 2016.

“Paula came up with the idea, and it was just this crazy thought of getting together the entire senior class and creating this film that is, in a way, memorializing your time at Conestoga,” Miko said.

This year, Miko, the president of the StogaFilm club, directed the lip dub and shot it from start to finish. Miko has been a member of the club since the second week of her freshman year. The following year, she became the club president, and has kept her position for the past three years, directing the 2018 senior lip dub as well as this year’s. She was supported by the other members of her team, including junior Justin D’Emilio, the club’s vice president, and senior Jacob Haags, who edited the lip dub.

Preparation began far before the actual day of filming. One of the first steps was to choose a song from a list of school-approved options. Miko and her team put out a survey to the senior class and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen received the majority of the votes.

Miko and her team also chose the seniors to be featured in each segment of the film. The lip dub is organized into multiple sections, each one showcasing a different area of student activities, including sports, theater, art, music and publications. A few seniors in each section dance in the front, mouthing the lyrics to the song. While those seniors were chosen based on their leadership positions, all seniors were encouraged to participate in the lip dub to make it a fun and unifying event on the seniors’ last day at school.

On the actual day of filming, Miko shot three takes for each segment of the recording. At the end of each period, her SD card was switched out and brought to Haags to edit. While Miko filmed the seniors, Haags and two others stayed in the TV studio, syncing the audio with the mouths of the students from each clip and color correcting each scene.

Finally, after the shoot was over, Miko and Haags ran through the shots together, adding finishing touches and finalizing the video. 

The entire process that day took five hours, after which it was shown to the senior class in the gym and uploaded to the StogaFilm YouTube channel.

“The day overall went really well!” D’Emilio said. “We had a schedule made on how much time we could take for each segment, and we actually finished ahead of schedule.”

Next year, D’Emilio will take over the reins from Miko and directing the 2020 senior lip dub. He feels prepared to take on the challenge.

“I have some big ideas ready, and a few friends and club members and I are already working on what it’s going to look like. It is going to be so fun!” D’Emilio said.