As students around the county celebrate the start of summer vacation, the kids at Paulding Middle School had a different way to mark the end of the academic year: an entirely self-produced music video featuring hundreds of students dancing, singing and showing their school spirit.
The video — called a “video dub” because it combines lip-syncing and audio dubbing — is the brainchild of teacher Gary Heckman.
Heckman said he saw the style of video at a teaching conference several years ago and immediately thought it would be a great project at Paulding.
“We were looking for a way to increase student involvement in the school, and this seemed like a good fit,” he said. “It’s something that has become sort of a culture here.”
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This year’s video is the best yet, Heckman said — and it’s all thanks to the students in his leadership class.
“They really did 99.9 percent of the work,” he said. “In the past, I’ve been very hands-on with it, but this year I thought, ‘You know, you don’t need me here.’ And I had a student in charge of it who was very capable.”
Student Justin Stinson is listed as the video cinematographer and editor in the credits.
I never would have expected it to be as good as it is. I’m so proud of them.
Gary Heckman, Paulding Middle School teacher
The video, filmed in April but aired this week at the school’s student showcase, perfectly captures that end-of-the-school-year feeling.
It opens with a shot of school staff and the Paulding Patriots mascot dancing behind the school sign in the parking lot, then jumps to a back-flipping student who begins leading the camera through a group of costume-bedecked and prop-holding students.
Throughout the video, other students step forward to lead the camera through the school, lip-syncing to the catchy tunes, while surrounded by an utter chaos of waving hula hoops, pool noodles, pineapples, bubbles, party hats, balloons, cards, confetti, streamers, pom-poms, trophies, aluminum foil wands, foam fingers and even a tuba.
Students pulled faces and danced (a lot of “The Dab,” a dance move popularized by football player Cam Newton) while teachers energetically waved their props.
The video ends in the school gym, where a group of students surrounds the school mascot for one last ecstatic verse.
Heckman said the final result gives him chills.
“I still get chicken skin just watching it,” he said. “It’s that proud parent kind of thing. I never would have expected it to be as good as it is. I’m so proud of them.”