April 24, 2017
School & Youth
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  • Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
    Josee Molavi
    Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
  • Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
    Josee Molavi
    Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
  • Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
    Josee Molavi
    Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
  • Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.
    Josee Molavi
    Student lip dubbers Joey Riddle, Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson practiced a segment of the “Project: Lip Dub” while junior Nolan Marks filmed the action.

SPHS Student Lip Dub Video: The Highlight Of Annual STAR Week

Josee Molavi
Josee Molavi's picture
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April 5, 2017

Severna Park High School students participated in an explosion of music, dance, and school spirit during their annual STAR (Students Taking Action Responsibly) Week of spirit and student empowerment. In the first-ever “Project: Lip Dub” video, directed and produced by junior Nolan Marks, Severna Park students flaunted their lipsyncing skills, all coming together on April 3 for this production of massive proportions.

Marks took on the production after being contacted with the idea by SPHS College and Career Center School and Community liaison Nancy Jackson and Principal Patrick Bathras. After putting together a formal proposal to the SPHS administration, Nolan assembled a student team of lip dubbers — juniors Rachel Kalafos and Cliff Jamieson and seniors Joey Riddle, Makenna Lynn and Katie DeFeo — as well as student videographers — junior Grady Kershaw and freshman Robby Kershaw.

“My role has been in helping work out the logistics of the video and providing the cinematography,” said Grady Kershaw, who is helping Marks to make “Project: Lip Dub” a reality.

“I pursue business opportunities with my video work,” Marks said. “I have a video production business I call Nolan Marks Productions that is going really well. It's getting better every year.”

A junior at SPHS, this is not his first video project. “I also pursue video creatively,” he added. “I have one short film under my belt, and I also have a feature-length production, which is almost finished entirely.”

But Marks said that this video is something he is pursuing voluntarily. “When I was approached with this project, it was very up-in-the-air, and I saw this awesome project that needed leadership,” said Marks.

The student filmmaker saw this project’s potential to help encourage school spirit and unify the school during SPHS’ annual STAR Week. The goal of STAR is to support healthy coping and living skills, featuring different a theme every year. Nancy Jackson heads the STAR program as faculty adviser, and she said this year’s theme is all about creating balance.

“It’s not passive … It highlights each student who is involved,” Jackson said. “The goal is for them to share how they view themselves as part of the school. That’s part of our healthy living and balancing theme.”

From the earliest stages, the production of “Project: Lip Dub” had been about planning and logistics. The basic storyline that weaves the video together, as Marks explained, is founded on the joke that the lip-dubbing students are being chased down by Principal Bathras.

“It shows that the administration has this self-aware humor. No one is taking themselves too seriously, and I love that our school can do that,” said Marks, adding, “It’s kind of like that scene from ‘The Breakfast Club’ where they’re dodging Principal Vernon.”

Nolan wants the audience to know that his video will be no typical lib dub like they have seen before. “The spirit of the video is still a lip dub, but we agreed that we wanted it to feel more like a short film or music video,” Marks said of the initial ideas for the filming process.

To amp up the production value, the video is not shot in one take, as more traditional lip-dub-style videos are filmed. “They [the audience] are going to expect what they’ve seen before but will get something much better,” said Marks, who, with his team, creatively stationed and choreographed the lip dubbers so that the video could be possible with multiple takes.

When it came to music, the production team could not decide on one track to encompass the entire message they were going for. Rather, senior Jason Bellanca helped Marks create a medley of fast-paced, high-energy songs under a unified theme: Progression of Pop, starting from the mid-20th century and progressing into the present.

“It brings in this underlying theme of ushering in the new school and remembering and embracing what we loved about the old school. These songs have a history that past classes who went to the old school have seen,” reflected Marks, hoping that the wide variety of featured songs will appeal to a broad audience, with picks from the Beatles to DJ Khaled.

The video includes featured segments from diverse student groups from all areas and every department, including students’ advisory homeroom classes, as well as activities like Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, boys lacrosse, and band and orchestra.

“It climaxes when everyone’s in the gymnasium and Mr. Bathras is still looking for them,” Marks said. “There’s this sense that the whole school is in on it … it ends with this awesome triumph for the student body, and everyone wins in the end,” shared Marks about his vision for the video’s conclusion.

He hopes the legacy of the video will make waves in the community and among his fellow students. “It’s an opportunity for our school to come together to have some fun and show off this building, which has been the hub of community conversation for the past couple years,” Marks said. “It’s a memory that we’ll be able to share, and maybe even make some neighboring schools and communities jealous.”


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