(Updated Saturday and Sunday with comments from filmmaker, principal)
This just landed in the WSB inbox. We don’t know the backstory (yet) but we recognize the team at Denny International Middle School (even principal Jeff Clark), and this one’s going viral – it’s been on YouTube for a day and already has 1,000+ views. (P.S. The end credit attributes the lyrics to math teacher Gary Lai, who’s prominent in the video – note the scooter; we looked him up in WSB archives and found our story on the extra studying getting done at Denny during midwinter break back in 2008.)
ADDED SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Will Braden, who produced the video, answered our note asking for a little backstory:
The video was shot a couple weeks ago; it only took us one four-hour session and one follow up hour long session to get all the shots.
Gary Lai, who is a math and science teacher at Denny, wrote the lyrics. He and I went to high school together (at Garfield) and are old friends. I do videography and filmmaking, and he asked me to shoot it for him. We came up with a lot of the ideas and settings on the fly, just using whatever we could find. I’ve done some video stuff before as a favor, just to support Denny (and Gary) but this was definitely a more ambitious undertaking!
Gary has a real passion for teaching, and I know he relishes being the “cool” teacher, so I knew this was right up his alley.
We’re hoping to do more of these, since people seem to be responding positively to this one!
ADDED SUNDAY AFTERNOON: A comment from Denny principal Jeff Clark, among those featured in the video:
Thanks to the efforts of Denny staff and an outstanding volunteer, Will Braden, Denny International has our second motivational video filmed and posted online. The goal is to continue to connect our students to their studies and the plan of college graduation in ways that are relevant to them. I would like to thank Mr. Lai, Mr. Braden, Ms. Oatis, Ms. Whited, Mr. Kimball, all of our dancers and everyone else who helped – thank you!