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Hello, It’s My New Year’s Resolution

Hello, it’s me.

Here’s my resolution for two-thousand-sixteen…

To make lip dubs. Of everything.

They say work’s supposed to heal ya,

So let’s start the healing…..

My resolution for 2016 is quite simple. To do more of the things I LOVE. And man, do I love making lip dubs.

My passion for creating lip dubs started six years when I went on a Caribbean cruise. While on the trip, it dawned on me that I had been on several different boats. At that time, Saturday Night Live was on fire with funny music videos created by Andy Samburg – specifically the viral smash, “I’m on a Boat” starring T-Pain. Doesn’t that just sound hilarious? What better way to spend time on my vacation than making my first lip dub – my very own caribbean version of “I’m on a Boat.” I’ve had the lip dub bug ever since – I have vacation music videos from Maui to the Dominican Republic to prove it.

Between vacation videos, I even created a little ‘ol engagement lip dub for someone you may recognize if you click HERE. 😜

The first music video I made for Colorado State University was back in 2011. I helped create a promotional video for a football ticket giveaway. It was a really fun project, and was my first professional taste of music video making. See it HERE.  But this kind of project doesn’t lend itself to many professional situations. But it did recently.

Adele’s “Hello” is arguably the hottest song on the radio right now. Many YouTubers are finding fame with their parody-remakes of the sepia-toned, overly-dramatic video. So I had an idea; why not create an Adele parody of our own?

Here’s How It Came Together

FIRST: I watched and listened to Adele’s “Hello” lord knows how many times trying to figure out an angle for CSU. The overall tone of the video depicts her as being sad and alone. Perfect. We are on Winter Break and campus is noticeably empty. I imagined our mascot, CAM the Ram, walking the lonely sidewalks of campus, longing to see his Rammies again. Ironically, CSU’s campus even has a forest eerily similar to that in Adele’s video. This really got my gears turning.

SECOND: I re-wrote the lyrics to depict CAM’s sadness and his desire to see all the students again.  I wanted to keep the video short enough to be social, so I decided to create only one verse and chorus. While writing CAM’s lyrics, I tried to stay as close as possible to Adele’s alliteration and syncopation. When I could, I even used similarly rhyming words.

THIRD: I pitched the idea to CSU’s Ram Handlers – the student group who cares for our mascot CAM – and to my delight, they were excited to participate. They rolled up onto campus with CAM’s trailer the very next day, and we spent two and a half hours filming at various locations around campus. #TeamSocial was there to help me tick off all the pre-determined shots we needed.

FOURTH: I had to find a singer – someone who sounded like Adele. I reached out to a local jazz-singer friend (who also happens to be a CSU alum) and explained the idea. She said yes immediately. I booked her in CSU’s recording studio for the following day. I found an instrumental track of “Hello” that suited her singing range, then re-worked it in Garage Band to fit the shorter timeframe and mesh the newly-written lyrics. #TeamSocial manned the computer while I stayed in the recording booth with the singer. Together, we captured the perfect recording after 10 takes.

FIFTH: After recording the vocals, I mixed them with the instrumental track and added percussion in Garage Band.

SIXTH and Final Step: I edited the video footage of CAM the Ram on campus and added the newly-mixed audio track. Of course the video had to be finalized in sepia tones with a healthy dose of slow motion. CAM should win a Grammy for his dramatic, forlorn performance.

The Final Product: This was such an incredibly fun project for me. I LOVE projects like this – absolute creation from beginning to end. In total, the project took only five days from concept to completion. Every piece of this puzzle came together seamlessly. It took teamwork, collaboration, utilizing resources, and thinking out the box. The video was well-received by our social audience and continues to reach more, and more people. In three days on Facebook, it had reached nearly 230,000 people, has been viewed more than 68,000 times, has nearly 1,800 likes, more than 200 comments and has been shared 1,433 times. Why was this successful? Because of many reasons: finding something viral and making it your own; featuring someone or something that your audience loves (in this video it was CAM the RAM); having a talented team to work with, tap into and lean on.

My Resolution: So this year, I’m resolving to do more of the things that I LOVE – Cultivating teamwork and collaboration, utilizing resources, and thinking out the box to create #CSUSocial projects that I’m proud of. And if they happen to be lip dubs… even better.