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Earlier this month, you may have seen the Romeoville High School Lip Dub 2018, a nearly 12 minute video that features students, staff, and yes, even the lunch ladies, singing and dancing to a variety of songs. You may also remember something similar from 2015. Both projects were put together by Dalton DeVries and Jacob Suffern, 2016 graduates of Romeoville High School.
It all started in Mr. Randich’s 2015 television class, recalls DeVries. “Lip Dubs were going viral and we wanted to do one for ourselves. Another student who was involved, Cameron Ellis, really wanted to do it to the song “Hey Ya!” by OutKast. We said that could work and I pulled in Jacob to do the camera.” They got a lot of help along the way from the Leadership Club and before you know it, they had a video that has since been viewed 20,000 times on YouTube.
Now both students at Columbia College in Chicago, the two were discussing updating their 2015 video with new equipment and techniques when they received a text from Romeoville High. “Mrs. Simpson, who is in charge of the Leadership Club, asked us if we wanted to come back and do another one,” says Suffern. “It would be crazy for us to say no to someone saying ‘Here’s 3,000 students and the money you need to do it. We just need you to complete the task.’”
For the new version, DeVries and Suffern wanted to take everything they did previously and take it up one step. That started with a higher quality camera mounted on a professional gimbal, which allowed for a very smooth and steady shot. They also wanted to incorporate every club and every student, cramming all they could into those 12 minutes. “The video is supposed to look like one big production,” explains DeVries. “In it, some students get off a bus and get a tour of everything great at Romeoville High School. At the end of the day, they get back on the bus and are happy.” The entire project was shot over six Fridays and one early release day. The most challenging part? Logistics. “Not being there was a bigger issue,” says Suffern. “We were still students there when we shot the last one. Now being 70 miles away from the high school and trying to communicate with everyone was difficult.”
“The lip dub isn’t just a cool video the school does,” Suffern points out. “It’s meant to say goodbye to the graduating class and hello to the new class coming in. They can see Romeoville High School isn’t dull. It’s cool and fun. There are tons of clubs and opportunities. That’s another reason it gets redone. You want to see the new faces and the new clubs.” None of this would be possible without a lot of cooperation. From students to administration, DeVries and Suffern have had a lot of help along the way. “I want to thank Mr. Kinder and Mrs. Simpson for giving the opportunity to their alumni to come in and use their talents,” noted DeVries. “Valley View School District in general has been more than willing to open their arms to us and we’re super grateful for that.”
“I am proud to proud to have known both Jacob and Dalton for many years,” stated Mayor John Noak. “I commend them for continued involvement in the community and with Romeoville High School. This is just one example of the many innovative projects they have completed.”
While we wait for a possible Lip Dub 2021, you can pass the time by watching the previous version, both of which can be found on the Romeoville High School television channel on YouTube.