Early this month, the students of Emerson College released a video on YouTube that quickly went viral and caught the attention of local news, and internet users across the country. The video, which is about 9 and a half minutes in length, feature a selection of students representing all the major on-campus clubs, group activities, athletic clubs, and cliques, set to a montage of Lada Gaga music. We spoke with Casey Regan, director, Maytal Zchut, producer, Jared Wyso, Executive Producer: Logistical Management, Pat Lambert: Executive Producer, Creative Development, Emma Klein: Executive Producer, Technical Production–the super-talented and creative folks behinds the scenes who made this viral video the quick success its become.
“The EVVY Awards is the biggest production at Emerson College and it occurs in May of each year. The producing organization is one of the largest on campus and it exists year round. As our show goes live in May, the grand majority of the production work occurs during the spring semester. Leaving the fall semester comparatively boring. As a yearlong organization we wanted to develop a fall semester project on which our members could work – something to occupy everybody and keep interest and productivity levels high year round,” Wyso explains. “Our major goal for this fall project was to spread the word about The EVVY Awards as a producing organization – we wanted to exhibit the producing capabilities of our student members and simultaneously promote our main-stage live show going up in May, The 30th Annual EVVY Awards. Along with promoting the EVVYs we also wanted to showcase our amazing downtown campus and the incredibly talented students that inhabit it.”
So why did they choose Lady Gaga?
“Song selection is crucial for a lipdub. The Executive Producers wanted to create the next big viral video. Youtube is a global launching pad and the Producer’s wanted to explore new, interactive and social media. Lady Gaga is the most popular person on Twitter, one of the most popular on Youtube and one of the most well liked artists on the Emerson Campus. Her artistry, her uninhibited character and her passion for furthering the communicative arts made her quintessential musical muse for this campus project,” said Lambert. “Mixing her biggest songs from her last two albums, this compilation shows the best of her work and the best Emerson College has to offer, in faces and facilities.”
The whole project took about 4 months to complete–from conceptualization to finished, edited product.
“We conceptualized this video at the end of August/early September, and then we shot it November 11, Veteran’s Day and a day off (testament to how passionate those hundreds of students were to the video). The time in between was non-stop, dead-sprint hard work to get the thing together. We all put our whole selves into the project,” said Regan.
“Not surprisingly a lot changed along the way but everyone worked with the changes extremely well,” added Zchut. “Filling up all the places with people and making sure everything stayed organized was one of the biggest challenges. We contacted the presidents of every organization on campus asking for people to participate in this campus wide event. We wanted to show as many organizations as possible, while featuring their main characteristics.”
As for getting to work with Kevin S. Bright, an alum of the school most well-known as part of the team that brought the torrential hit “Friends” into our lives for 10 seasons, the students learned much. Bright served as an advisor on the lip dub video.
“Kevin Bright has been great to work with. He has a lot of really great input on all of our ideas and has been tantamount in helping us to plan the best EVVY awards we possibly can,” said Klein. “His professional experience and connections with people in the industry have been remarkably helpful to us all. We’re all really looking forward to continuing to work with him on planning the 30th Annual EVVY Awards.”
Beyond Emerson, each of the students has plans to go into different aspects of the film and television industry. Regan wants to direct feature films. Zchut wants to work in either film or television production. Lambert would like to be a television personality and sitcom actor, Wyso would like to work as a production assistant, and Klein would like to direct live TV, preferably a variety type of show.