Lip Dub unites Fossil community


Mahal, Isabella - Student

Fossil students rush from their locations in the building to the gym for the final moments of the Lip Dub.

Approximately five hours after Fossil Ridge High School’s triennial Lip Dub, 33 people sat down in the TV room to debrief. Ms. Vasa, Mr. Gallagher, and Ms. McPhee, along with students from the Diversity Leadership and Awareness class, eight zone directors, and multiple members of the dolly crew discussed their successes and their excitement, the problems they had overcome and the things they will change in 2021.

Fossil’s annual Unity Week is initiated by DLA, who hopes to unify the school in a way that allows every student to feel acknowledged by the community surrounding them. DLA and TV stage a massive collaboration for the Lip Dub, and they made a special effort this year to reach into the entire school for lip synchers and other participants.

The most critical thing that made the Lip Dub such a success was the trust between every member of the crew. Multiple students described how frantic they had been in the hour leading up to the massive event, how they had been dashing all over, trying to fix every small problem. When they asked someone to take care of something, or just mentioned a concern, and eventually found their way back, it had been fixed. Teachers like Mr. Morehouse, who was in charge of over fifty swimmers in the roundhouse, made sure every student was out of the practiced path so nothing would get thrown off. Even the “lip dubbers” themselves spread the word about important things, like the fact that every student needed to dash to the gym the second the camera turned their corner.

However, to really understand how massive Fossil’s undertaking was in this Lip Dub, one has to go back to the very beginning of second semester. Ever since then, students have been holding weekly lunch meetings to plan. Avree Linne, senior, was a co-head of communications with Jazz Reynolds, senior, for the entire event. She explained that the top-four leadership, as well as the DLA class, all took their seventh period class off this semester, and used the time for Lip Dub planning. Since mid-March, all members of the process have practiced until four or five many days after school. According to zone director Kylee Rinker, a junior, the dolly crew put in “hundreds of man-hours.”

Linne’s responsibilities included placing every single lip dubber and club around the school, which required a great deal of coordinating with the zone directors. Rinker explained that, while Linne did all the legwork in that respect, the zone directors got a fair amount of say if they really wanted one of their own clubs in their zone. Rinker got to handle the science hallway, and was thrilled that Science Olympiad could be a part of her zone, since she is an active member. Every decision made, though, was discussed by multiple people in order to make sure it was the best course of action and every point of view had been considered.

The process for lip synchers to audition involved Mr. Gallagher, Ms. Vasa, and Ms. McPhee. Rinker recounted that students and teachers applied, and then had to choose a rap song and a singing song to dub in front of the panel. The teachers analyzed their screen skills, their excitement levels, and their ability to memorize the song to order to make their decision.

Isabella Mahal

Rinker’s take on the purpose of the Lip Dub is that, “it’s important to understand that the Lip Dub is not a thing that we just do for fun. Obviously, it’s a fun thing to do, but it’s also something that really helps unify the school, and obviously it’s the last part of Unity Week and trying to push the fact that we all go to Fossil and we may all be different but we… can all come together and make Fossil a really good place.” She truly feels that this video is something that people can pull out and show their kids in twenty years, that they can point to themselves in and say that they were involved in their school community.

Marcelle Lemay, a junior, was not originally given a title in the production of the Lip Dub, but Linne explained that she ended up taking on many of a production designer’s traditional roles. Linne said that, “she hung up, by herself almost, almost all of the decorations in the entire school.” Other students, including those fairly new to the TV program, also found a spot in the group that became a family over hours and hours of work. Rinker was exceptionally proud of the fact that TV 1 students could all serve as production assistants, and run errands or hold doors, all of which were essential jobs to the success of the event.

Linne explained that this Lip Dub “wasn’t really a TV production. It was really incorporated between TV and DLA… From there, we have a couple tiers of leadership. We have the four top tier, then we have eight zone directors, and then from lip synchers we actually specifically picked lip synchers that represented a variety of different groups. We didn’t necessarily have two lip synchers who were only in one group, and that was very, very intentional.” The leadership consulted with clubs and organizations across the school about their ideas, and then the lip synchers were given a chance to give their own input as well. For example, freshman Windrom Smith had the idea to ride into his section of the song on the floor polisher with several of the school janitors, and that is just one of many ideas appearing in the production that was proposed by those outside the inner circle of leadership.

Other ideas appearing in the production include a moment involving a motorcycle and Dr. Chaplain, the football team’s blowup Fang the Sabercat, and a performance by Fossil’s very own band, Staff Infection. However, students and faculty alike will have to wait until the People’s Choice Awards to see the final dub. The decision to wait to show it was made in an effort to get it in front of everyone’s eyes at the same time. Milena Brown, senior, explained that the whole Lip Dub was about making everyone feel a sense of togetherness, which is what “Fossil Family” is meant to mean. It only makes sense, as such, to show it to everyone at once.

Just because Fossil will have to wait until Wednesday, May 23 to see the final Lip Dub, though, does not mean they’ve forgotten about it. Just yesterday, two freshman boys were streaming down the stairs after school with the rest of their class. In true colloquial fashion, one turned to the other and yelled, “hey, did you see the Lip Dub, bro?” The other screamed back, “not yet, bro.” However, they can rest assured that the final video will be well worth the wait.