Lisburn Friends' School Take Youtube by Storm

PE teacher Stephen Robinson on the viral video that everyone is talking about

For those who aren't aware, lip-dub is a video format that combines lip-synching and audio dubbing to create a music video. What gave you the idea to try it with Friends' School?

Over the past couple of years we have shown a PR video during our school open morning to prospective pupils, and this year we decided to attempt something that would directly appeal to pupils within the primary school age group. So I looked online for fun and vibrant ideas. That led me to a university in Canada who had done a lip-dub video, and we decided to attempt our own in the school setting.

Your video follows a camera as it journeys around the school, showing pupils singing, doing back flips, playing sports... What idea about the school did you want to get across with the video?

The main idea was to present the sense of community within school, something we feel we have between staff and pupils. We also wanted to highlight the subjects and societies that Friends’ has to offer.

Were the pupils enthusiastic about the idea, or did it take some convincing?

Once the idea was suggested to pupils they were all very keen to be involved. The whole school started buzzing with ideas, song choices and auditions for the main event, which took place the day before the school stopped for Christmas.

What was the most difficult thing to arrange about the shoot?

The extremely tight schedule. We only had an hour and a half to get nearly 1,000 pupils in place in the school corridors and do enough takes for the final piece.

Was there ever any point when you thought it wasn't going to work?

Obviously we are a school, so there was a limited amount of time we could take the pupils out of the classrooms to practice. Most of the year groups had a dummy run the week before the final take, and we had a dress rehearsal the day before. Some of the senior year groups, however, only got to practice during the dress rehearsal. At that point, I'll admit I was slightly concerned. However, as you can see from the video, the pupils were all fantastic on the day.

How long did it take from conception to uploading the video to Youtube (where it has reached over 250,000 hits in little over a week)?

I had been planning the project for nearly a year. However, we only told the pupils about the idea in October and the video was uploaded to Youtube on January 13. So not quite four months.

Did you expect it to be so popular?

We had no idea! The video has become so popular in such a short time. We are all overwhelmed by the positive response. It has been a surreal and unbelievable few days.

Are there any plans to do something like that again?

No. Not yet anyhow, but who knows what the future holds!

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