Cedar Grove nails lip dub at Friday filming

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By Sam Hickman

 CEDAR GROVE — Lip dubs have become increasingly popular in 2014, and Cedar Grove Middle School didn’t want to miss out on the fun.

After principal Rhonda Benton pitched the idea to literacy coach Dale Giannatasio, “Mrs. G” made it happen.

After a practice run Thursday morning, May 29, the school videotaped its first official lip dub Friday, May 30.

A lip dub is a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song or any recorded audio then dubbing over it in post editing with the original audio of the song.

Cedar Grove elected to use three songs for its lip dub: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Magic” by B.o.B, and “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.

“After spring break, I met with our committee and we got the ball rolling,” Giannatasio said. “I’ve never done anything like this, so it was quite humorous. We decided we didn’t want to go outside, so we did it through the hallways. We asked students and teachers for recommendations for the music.”

Cedar Grove also received a big assist from Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden and assistant superintendent Deanne Meadows.

At the beginning of the lip dub, Pruden stands in front of the entrance to the middle school and says, “Here’s a place where students learn and have fun!”

The students lined the hallways with posters, sports uniforms and equipment, banners and plenty of confetti.

“I’ve never seen so much confetti,” Giannatasio said.

The student leaders during the lip dub were Haley Wilson, Courtney Gore, Curtis Bryant, R.J. Thomas, Hannah Evans, Zariah Smith, Jaylen Bracey and Gwenna Gentile. The group was accompanied by the Bulldog mascot, Dylan Bulak. The school’s official mascot, Nellie, is the bulldog of physical education teacher Marty Mentzer. Nellie made a brief appearance in the lip dub at the beginning of the recording.

The lip dub was recorded by Dennis Maneri, a family friend of Giannatasio.

“I started making educational films before these kids were born,” Maneri said.

Maneri operates his own production company and worked for Fortune 100 companies in the New York area for several years.

“I was volunteered by Dale, but I’m glad to help,” he said. “She did a nice job coordinating everything.”

Dale’s husband, Nick, also helped with the recording. Nick carried the boombox through the hallways as the students showered he and Maneri with confetti.

“They had fun, and that’s the important thing,” Nick said.

Briana McKeighan, an eighth-grader, said she hopes she has the opportunity to participate in another lip dub in high school.

“We’ve been working on this for a few weeks now, and I had so much fun,” she said. “It was good to work on it during our PRIDE classes so we could make posters and stuff.”

Giannatasio said one of the most important elements to a successful lip dub was to have “key people in each hallway.”

“Everyone really rallied. The kids rallied. I had certain people in each hallway to make sure everyone kept the energy up,” she said. “I’ve received a million emails and watched lip dub after lip dub after lip dub after lip dub. I think it was successful.”

The school plans to show the lip dub recording at Parent Teacher Association meetings as well as sixth-grade night when the school hosts prospective students.

“It shows that the students, teachers and staff have good school spirit,” Giannatasio said.

Sarahg Maykish, a seventh-grade teacher, helped create many of the posters and banners that were used during the lip dub.

Vic Ansel, a computer technician, dressed in a kilt and played the bagpipes for the lip dub. Teacher Kim Harmon danced in her graduation robe.

“It took everybody’s help. They were all great,” Giannatasio said.

The athletic teams and clubs were responsible for coordinating their own representation for the lip dub, and it resulted in more than 20 groups being represented at Friday’s filming.

“It was a little stressful, but super positive,” Giannatasio said.


Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.