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SHS senior preps video for YouTube launch

Senior Sam Dotterwick, center, directs students before shooting the his lip dub video in the hallway at Superior High School. Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com1 / 2
Senior Sam Dotterwick, second from right, supervises as newspapers fly through the air as Naomi Lear, left, lip syncs, Ben Tunell , second from left, films and Robert McGrady, right, gets ready to jump in for his part in Dotterwick’s senior project in a hallway at Superior High School. Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com2 / 2

With a successful senior project behind him, Sam Dotterwick is still refining the final product — a lip dub video to NONONO’s "Pumpin’ Blood" featuring fellow Superior High School students. The service learning project touched on the school district’s core values of work, respect, belong.

"I thought it would be great for people to bond over a common project," Dotterwick said. "So everybody would have worked to make this project, which makes them, in turn, belong."

The lip dub also gave him a chance to explore a possible career.

"I’m looking to be a music producer," Dotterwick said. "I know that looking through this project, it isn’t a lot of actually producing music, but I do get to synthesize sound to video, which is something one would have to do. Also I have to work with people, which is a big job with production because if bands really don’t get along, it’s my job to keep them together at least for the time that they’re in the booth."

The teen found his biggest challenge wasn’t the mood of the cast, it was the size.

"Pretty much everybody said they’d show up and not everybody did," Dotterwick said. Instead of 12 clubs participating during the first take, there were six. Even fewer took part in the second take. By the third filming, only three clubs showed.

"So it forced me to get creative in the way I structured people and choreography, too," Dotterwick said. "It worked out, just not the way I thought it would."

Students lip synched to the lyrics as they looped through the halls of the school. To accommodate the small cast on the third day, Dotterwick had the clubs coming out of doors along the hall.

Part of the problem stemmed from the need to switch songs mid-stride. The administration vetoed the producer’s first pick, "My House" by Flo Rida, which pushed filming back.

"I had to jump through some hoops but I got there," Dotterwick said. "It’s finished and a lot of people who wanted to participate did."

Once finished, his project will be uploaded to YouTube as "SHS Spartan Lip Dub 2016."

Completion of a senior project is a graduation requirement at Superior High School. Students can focus on service learning, career exploration, self-development or a formal academic project. A mentor is needed and at least 20 hours of work must be done. Dotterwick enjoyed the process, even though he had to give up one of his after school activities, mock trial, to complete the project.

"In school there are so many subjects that you’re forced to take," he said. "I chose a project I knew I’d enjoy so it was so much easier to get motivated about it."

Fellow senior India Davidson, who focused her senior project on the Superior Business Improvement District, said she stretched her marketing skills, prepared for college and researched a career at the same time.

"Senior project is a great for the school if a student chooses a project they’re passionate about and they can really embrace," Davidson said. "I think if you do pick something you’re passionate about, you want to go above and beyond."

Dotterwick offered a tip for this year’s juniors.

"Do it in the summer so you have more time to focus on actual classes during the school year," He said. "I did not do that."

He also didn’t choose a project until his senior year.

"Definitely, juniors, figure it out now and do it during the summer if you can," Dotterwick said.