When it comes to senior gifts, this one rocks.
The Clovis High School class of 2011 will be remembered by a cutting-edge, lip-dub video starring the entire 600-plus senior class.
The nearly 11-minute video has taken YouTube by storm. Posted late Friday night, the video had nearly 8,000 hits by Tuesday.
The inspiration came from similar videos by schools across the U.S. and in Europe, said senior Nicole May, one of several student leaders who helped plan the video.
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The lip-dub genre is a recent phenomenon. The term "lip-dubbing" was coined in 2006 to describe dubbing music over a lip-sync video. Several other area high schools have produced lip-dub videos, including Firebaugh and four in Fresno Unified. As in most lib-dubs, the local schools created the videos in one continuous shot, with the camera winding through the campus.
Clovis High's video – "Our World, Our Message, Our Legacy" – features the wrestling team dancing in the school office, soccer players skipping past folkloric dancers, and students waving Star Wars-style light sabers.
Every campus group or activity is represented. Students who weren't in sports or clubs were placed in scenes so everyone was included, said Clovis High activity director Chrissy Prandini, who spearheaded the two months of planning.
Students decided how they wanted to appear. "It was centered on self-expression and what you add to the class," Prandini said.
The students picked the songs "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi and "Firework" by Katy Perry to dub over the video. They rehearsed in the gym. Some students were "devoted to getting it down to a fine science," Prandini said.
The video was shot during the week state testing was held, which presented a challenge, said Prandini, sister of Clovis High senior Jenna Prandini.
"The whole thing was shot in silence, except for my boom box," so students taking tests wouldn't be disrupted, she said. "It looks like we were having a party, but it was like an old black-and-white movie."
The video culminated in Lamonica Stadium with the entire senior class in the stands, and the football team, cheerleaders and band in front.
May, a cheerleader who was in charge of the Lamonica scene, was surprised by the final product: "I was in shock. I knew what it was supposed to look like, but I didn't really think all the students were really going to get into it like they did."
Clovis High isn't the only local high school to get in on the trend. In March, Fresno Unified School District held a contest to find lip-dub videos to show at a middle school technology competition. Students at Roosevelt, Fresno, McLane and Duncan Polytechnical high schools produced videos, which were shown at the competition.
Roosevelt brought home the trophy for the best video, said Nestor Cerda, the school's campus cultural director.
Roosevelt's leadership students picked the music – "The Time" by the Black Eyed Peas – and choreographed the video.
The lyrics were printed out so students would be able to lip-sync the words, Cerda said. But the song includes some innuendos that were changed, he said. For instance, when the song refers to drinking shots of alcohol, basketball players were filmed shooting baskets instead.
About 500 students showed up for the video, but by the time a second take was shot, more students got in on the action, Cerda said.
"The music was playing on the loudspeakers all over campus, but the kids were yelling like crazy so they couldn't hear the music anyway," Cerda said.
At least one group of students wants to continue the trend. Prandini said Clovis High's junior class already is making plans for a lip-dub video for next year.
Clovis High School
Roosevelt High School
Firebaugh High School