We’re on A Rocketship

“The good thing about being young is that we are not experienced enough to know we cannot possibly do the things we are doing.” – Gene Brown

How dope is this? I hope I’m not alone in thinking how amazing it is that there’s a cross section of our culture that’s getting to make stuff like this in public high school film & media classes. (Note: this was probably inspired by an earlier lipdub vid from some college students…)

On a daily basis I feel lucky to be in the middle of what I’d call a typhoon of media democratization, opportunity, and creativity. But give these teens in Mr. Mitchell’s 4th period class (at nearby Shorecrest High School) a couple of years and some more technology, and they’re gonna bottle up this current typhoon and eat it for an after-school snack. And I freakin’ love it.

I’m totally inspired and optimistic for the future of creativity. And I think you should be too. (Or at least dancing with these kids from Shorecrest.)

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53 Responses to We’re on A Rocketship

  1. Alain November 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Have you seen the lipdub from the students of the communication department of UQAM?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zcOFN_VBVo

    Probably the best considering it was the first one to hit it big. I just wished they rented a steadicam!

  2. Chase Jarvis November 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    yeah, but they're canaaadian. ;) j/k

    totally love the UQAM vid and just giving a shoutout to the locals here in Seattle. but it further supports my point. these kids are in highschool. they took something and built on it. and they used a steadicam ;)

    it's a new era of creativity and media literacy.

  3. Zach Hodgson November 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Chase, I just wanted to thank you for sharing this. As adults in society, we tend to take ourselves too seriously. It's easy to get caught up in success and drive and forget to have fun. Thanks for this little reminder of what a little directed youthful ambition, passion, and excitement can lead to. It's important to let go of maturity every once in a while. I'll keep this in mind in my future work and play.

  4. Zak.Shelhamer November 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    thats awesome that it is one constant clip. no screwing up and organizing that many people is pretty rad

  5. Jordan Demer November 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    I noticed there is a kid with the last name of Jarvis in the credits…. Any connection to you?

  6. Chase Jarvis November 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    @ jordan. no relation, but he did send me the link!

  7. Tom November 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    Awesome video and very creative! One thing that most people don't understand is all the prep work to create these videos. Thanks for sharing this.

    Hey Ya!

  8. mugget November 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    haha – what a sweet vid.

    good to see a whole bunch of kids having fun and jiving around. like it alot!

  9. Bits of Evidence November 28, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    Amazing creativity and coordination – more than a life altering experience for all involved. Would LOVE to see a bio of the kids 10 years from now. Thanks for posting – the bar is now higher…

  10. almostinfamous November 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    that is quite awesome :)

    I can only hope that the progress being made is shared worldwide(and i mean all over the world) and not restricted to a few pockets. THAT's where the real explosion's gonna come in!

  11. Duluk November 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    Now that was cool. And creat….organized.

    I can't decide if my favorite part is the "lend me some sugar" with the guy tossing a cup of sugar in the air, or the credits: "Starring/A lot of people".

    Nice. Thanks for sharing…and the other links.

    Not exactly like Improv Everywhere, but it's somewhere in there…

  12. Chris Plante November 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    AWESOME! 23 years ago, we didn't anything near that cool in HS.

  13. Moises E November 28, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    Are this lipdubs in anyway inspired by this old one? http://www.vimeo.com/1287067

  14. Linda van Rosmalen November 29, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    Truly awesome and inspirational! I want a class of teens to teach this stuff to! Yeah!!

  15. Yanik's Photo School November 29, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    Here's a lipdub from the CEGEP students in Montreal on I Gotta A Feeling.

    Awesome stuff!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zcOFN_VBVo

  16. Merwen November 29, 2009 at 5:38 am #

    I love USA for that, you'll never see that in France…

  17. Tyler Austin November 29, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    Unbelievable planning/storyboarding and execution skills. Especially at the high school level. I agree with Jarvis, excited to see these kids and generation progress.

  18. Jack Pope November 29, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    One of the coolest things I've ever seen! Incredibly inspirational, especially as I am in high school!

  19. Jack Pope November 29, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    One of the coolest things I have ever seen! Incredibly inspirational, especially as I am in high school!

  20. 1berto November 29, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    The canadian video is much better, because in this case the director planned each take carefully. In american version we can see a caotic structure. For me, this version was filmed without a plan.

    But is amazing how the internet is a teacher for all this young students. They can acess ideas from all world and assimilated to create new things in video, photo, cinema and another arts types.

    Sorry my porr english.

    Best regards for all.

  21. 1berto November 29, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Merwen, if you see the original video, you will see that is a much better version than the american copy.

    I don´t want depreciate the american version. Is beautiful, but this version doesn´t have the impact of original.

    And we are in globalize world. We can find great ideas in USA, French, Brazil, Canada, German, Paquistan and in all another countries.

    Don´t close your eyes.
    Open your mind for foreign ideas.

    Best regards (and sorry my poor english).

    Merwen said…
    I love USA for that, you'll never see that in France…

  22. Merwen November 29, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    My mind is open to other Country, i Come from France.
    AND after some research on the net, i,ve finally found several french business school versions !!

  23. Trent November 29, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    Hi there,
    This is Trent Mitchell. I am the teacher of the Shorecrest Video class that made the lip-dub video. First, of all, thanks Chase for posting the video. Coincidentally, we have linked to your page quite a few times in my Digital Photography class to show examples of local photography.
    Secondly, I liked to explain something to the people here that have thrown around the word "copy." We didn't copy anyone. If you look on youtube you can find hundreds of lip-dubs, all of which use one tracking shot with multiple people lip sycing. Many people think the Quebec version is the original lip-dub. It's not. There have been hundreds before it and there will probablly be hundreds more. If you look at all the lip dubs on youtube you will see the students in the Quebec video borrowed a ton of ideas from the others. We did as well. In the Quebec video we specifically liked how all the students met in one spot at the end of the video, and we definitely wanted to do that as well.
    Third, believe it or not, our video was about as organized as you will get in high school while trying to shoot during a short class period. We were so fortunate to have a bunch of cool teachers at Shorecrest that enabled "extras" to help make the video.
    The notoriety the students have received after making the lip dub has been very similar to that of a team winning a state championship. The kids have been on TV, the radio, and all over the Internet. And most of them are only 16. I can't even put into words how happy I am for the kids.
    Thanks again for posting the video and keep spreading it around!
    Trent

  24. Cynthia Wood November 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Wonderful. Adorable. Inspired. Inspiring. And so apparently all-inclusive…which seems to run counter to all those stereotypes about high school being a war zone for "difference" among kids, and a veritable pressure-cooker for conformity. I didn't see much (if any) evidence of that here, and that part probably warms my heart the most. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Cynthia Wood November 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Wonderful. Adorable. Inspired. Inspiring. And so apparently all-inclusive…which seems to run counter to all those stereotypes about high school being a war zone for "difference" among kids, and a veritable pressure-cooker for conformity. I didn't see much (if any) evidence of that here, and that part probably warms my heart the most. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Erebus November 29, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Wow. Totally lightyears beyond anything I or anyone I knew could/would have been capable of at that age. And all one LONG shot (I'm a fan of long shots)

    Frank near Toronto

  27. Anonymous November 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    i am neither inspired nor motivated by this. there was no plan, story boarding or extensive creative work done in this clip. To me it was simply a group of kids who have no jobs and lots of free time who came up with a quick and unispired way to try to "get famous" in today's celebrity obsessed culture.

    In reality, you are acknowledging the complete opposite of what you are hoping for, you are acknowledging a sloppy unispired poorly planned video piece done by individuals simply looking for attention and notoriety. "hey, if we jump around to music and be goofy we will get on tv." this is the same mentality that makes kids swear and act obnoxious in the mall…for attention. just because they filmed it doesn't make it special.

    i'm sorry, but two thumbs down.

  28. John Wormdal November 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Warmed my heart! So energizing and cool:) Thanks for sharing Chase!

    -John

  29. Trent November 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Anonymous: You have no idea how long it took to make this video. Literally hours upon hours of work. The storyboarding, the camera-free practices, the memorization of parts, the rehearsals (this was take 9), the creation of signs, and of course trying to block properly. This was an assignment for my class. It was in no way an attempt for my students to get famous. You can see my running around with a megaphone throughout the video.
    Thumbs down to you anonymous. Ignorance is bliss sometimes I suppose, but your comments show absolutely no understanding of what these kids did.
    Next time before you reply to a thread like this, you might want to consider knowing what your talking about.

  30. 1berto November 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Trent, ill show 2 thumbs up for what you said.

    Anonimous, i respect your opinion, but you analized this work by a wrong point of view.

    I think that anyone is special.
    And work like those can bring these "kids" for a new word of creativity.

    You can like or not, but you MUST respect the anothers work.

    Best regards.

  31. Bone November 29, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    This one – http://www.vimeo.com/173714 – done so well 3 years ago sets a standard. In fact, it's still getting almost 1,000 new views a day.

    I am proud of the students for creating something fun and using it as a learning experience. But, three years later, I would be more inspired not by them rehashing what's been done, but showing me something I haven't seen before.

    - Bone

  32. Trent November 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    It's funny, we watched the Harvey Danger video in class and we weren't very impressed. I'm still not actually, but that's just my opinion.(I've been a professional videographer for almost 15 years so my standards are a bit high.) The students felt this video was fairly boring, amateurish, and pretty easy to do. Plus, the SC kids organized and directed 200 other students during the middle of the school day, which is quite a feat in itself and much more difficult than getting 30 people to buy into your concept.
    That being said (or, "having said that" for you Curb fans out there) I, unlike my students, absolutely LOVE the energy in the Harvery Danger video.

    Sometimes I have to remind myself you can't reinvent the wheel every time you make a video because almost all videos, like music and photography, are derivative of something else.

  33. Anonymous November 30, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    trent,
    i appreciate your response. i feel my criticism was just. this video was presented as some great inspirational hope showing the promise of the creative possibilities of the future, and i disagree. It did not live up to the hype, that was my criticism. I did not see hours of rehearsal and dry run throughs, i simply saw a group of unorganized students jumping around mugging for the camera in a chaotic fashion. They simply saw what someone else did and copied it with a complete lack of creativity or originality on their own part. That is not a bad thing, but it is defiantly not an inspiration to me or does it somehow instill in me this great glowing reverence for the creative promise of the youth of today. If the students had organized on a Saturday to do this, that might impress me a bit more, but kids will do anything to get out of class.

    I respect your opinion and your efforts as a teacher of the creative arts to our youth, please do not take my criticism personally. But this is neither creative or inspiring, not for high school students or even for trained circus animals for that matter. two thumbs down.

  34. Trent November 30, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Anonymous: want you saw as unprganized was planned. I don't know how else to explain it to you. You don't have to like it, but you act like you know what they did and how they prepared, which you do not.
    Two weeks of my class was spent preparing for this video so no, you're criticism on their EFFORT and preparation is not just. It even seems more unjustified when you consider the age of these kids. You obviously don't teach and/or know anything about working with high school kids because you're comments reflect a complete lack of understanding of their abilities and efforts.
    I will not reply or read this thread anymore because I am seriously disappointed in it's direction.
    We will be posting the "making of" on youtube soon which will really show the true effort of these kids,

  35. Anonymous November 30, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    if you are unprepared for criticisms you should not put your work out for public consumption, and as I am the only person to critique it without glowing praise, you should take comfort in that my opinion is in the minority – focus on the positive, not the negative. You should simply be graceful in thanking me for my comments and reaffirming your stance regarding your pride over this project. That being said, this video fails "for me" to live up the the claim to bring inspiration and optimism to the future of creativity. it is in fact simply a video of a group of children jumping around and lipsynching with no apparent purpose or creative theme. what does the power rangers suit symbolize, or was it worn to be "wacky"? same question for the ties around the head, its just kids being "goofy" on camera.

    And you are in fact, incorrect. I am a faculty member who teaches new media development at the collegiate level, not a grumpy old man trying to float his house away with balloons, which may explain my criticism, its what i "do".

  36. batgeek November 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Original or not, authenticity counts! And what I also got from this is that it didn't matter if color was properly right or if I was watching it on HD… I had fun, I was entertained. The music plus the visuals took me emotionally to another place in the middle of a workday at the office. Photography and Video have that power. Technical aspects became low priority… Love it!

  37. Kristi W @ Life at the Chateau Whitman November 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    "I'm totally inspired and optimistic for the future of creativity."

    I couldn't agree more! It's great to see these kids having such fun and coming together to do something creative.

  38. Sandro Franchi November 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    Wow, a 4 minutes scene… amazing! :)

  39. Adam November 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    I teach high school photography. I thought this post was great, inspirational and relevant. What Trent and his 4th period class pulled off here is really difficult to do at a high school. I like the energy, and you have everyday people doing their best.
    @Chase: Thanks for posting.
    @Trent: Nice job on this. I was sitting here wondering how you got not only your whole class but a big part of the rest of the school in on this. It is a logistical nightmare. Love it. Nice job. Your students did a really nice job. I can confirm that if I tried to do this at my school, White River High School, it would take a lot of planning, and my students would have to really work hard to pull it off. I'll show this to my classes and send you some of there comments.
    Lastly, if there is some anonymous teacher out there that does better than this on a regular basis, I'd sure like to see it… :)

  40. Jesse Stephen December 1, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    Life is full of "you had to be there" moments, and this was no doubt one (or many) of those. It matters little how many times something has "been done," what might matter more is when you actually go out and do it yourself. There are few substitutes for experience and in terms of media production specifically, wrestling with content can be a beast. This is a nice example of setting up an objective, completing it cooperatively, and putting it out there. Right on!

  41. Anonymous December 1, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    MAoPLD (Massive amount of people lip dubbin).

    http://officelipdub.com/

  42. Dustin December 1, 2009 at 3:13 am #

    The creativity coming from students these days is amazing. Media will just get stronger and better as time goes on. A friend of mine is a Spanish teacher at a junior high. Last year she gave her students an assignment to make their own music videos to Spanish songs. Some of these videos blew me away with their creativity and their use of different editing and shot angles. I never put this much effort into any of my assignments when I was in junior high. She is the most creative teacher I know and her enthusiasm rubs off on the kids.

    There are some examples of the videos at http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=115962&title;=La_Bamba&ref;=Barksdale

    The Te Amo one, although not a lipdub, is awesome and one first place among the kids voting: http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=115857&title;=Te_Amo&ref;=Barksdale

    Keep in mind, this is not even for a media class but for a Spanish class.

  43. Vince Gonzales December 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    i want to go back to high school!

  44. Jim December 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    Trent: Great Stuff !!!
    Anonymous: Lets see your stuff.
    Chase: RAD. Tnx.

  45. Stephen December 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    Stephen

    You need to get out more around the schools Chase, they start this stuff around age 7 or 8 :D
    My kids are doing it around the house and it's amazing just what they come up with.

  46. David Sowers December 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    That was one take, does anyone realize how ridiculous that is…insane and inspiring!

  47. Ryan Smith December 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    Great stuff! I smiled the whole way through it just thinking about how much fun this must have been to make. I wish I would of had a class like this in high school.

  48. Kollino December 2, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Hey i did the steadicam work for that. Email me if you have any questions

    Kollino@comcast.net

    Kollin O'Dannel

  49. Chase Jarvis December 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    @kollino: nice job on the steadicam man.

  50. MD December 5, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    BTW, if you watch the behind the scenes video of the Canadian "I Got a Feeling" production, you can see that they used a stedicam. Not a very substantial one none-the-less since the video is definitely more jumpy than this one.

  51. dan bowen December 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    I showed this video to the video production class I teach. My high school kids loved it! Thanks Chase for sharing it.

  52. Nicholas Monaco December 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    One clip….pretty awesome! Great job by them!

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