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It took more than 1,200 students, 10 weeks of planning, a drone and countless hours of work, but it was all worth it for an Indiana high school trying to raise money for a good cause.
A spectacular lip dub video put together by Avon High School has helped raise more than $15,000 to pay for families who can't afford pediatric and prenatal care.
The video was part of a student government fundraising effort for the Avon Night Light Glow 5K Run/Walk event on April 30 that featured more than a thousand registered runners, far surpassing the school's goal of 500 entrants paying a $15 fee. There were only about 150 registrations initially, but they soared past 1,000 once the video was released to promote the event.
The proceeds were donated to Hendricks Regional Health Foundation in Indiana to specifically help underprivileged women get free prenatal care.
Two years ago, Avon produced a lip dub video that received nearly a million views, but the goal this time around was different.
"We said, 'Let's not try to top the first one in views, let's try to raise more money," co-director Adam Clark, a math teacher at the school, told TODAY.
A large cross-section of the school's 2,950 students is featured in the video, including 57 different student groups.
"We had a focus on diversity,'' Clark said. "We especially wanted to include our special needs students. When you see these other lip dub videos out there, you see a lot of the students on camera are football players and cheerleaders and pretty people. That's fine, because they're the ones most likely to want to be on camera, but we wanted to focus on the fact that Avon is united to fighting this battle for better prenatal care."
Junior Rushi Patel co-directed the video, senior Suketu Patel (no relation) served as the videographer and editor, and junior Chad Carmichael handled the music, using parts of 60 songs.
"The entire community saw what Avon High School students can do," Rushi Patel told TODAY. "We just wanted to generate as much enthusiasm as we could. There was a lot of support from not only our local community but other communities across the nation when it came to raising money for the cause."
The crew also kicked it up a notch from the 2014 video, getting Indiana Pacers players Myles Turner and Rodney Stuckey to appear at the beginning of the clip thanks to a student's connection to the team. They also used a drone for aerial shots outside the school.
"The drone shot was filmed prior to the film date, and once everyone saw that, they were really excited,'' Patel said. "Everything kind of fell into place after that. After we shot the main part, our phones were crashing from all the texts from students asking when the video was going to come out."
Students on sports teams wore their uniforms, while any of the other costumes that appear were supplied by the students themselves. From the opening up until the drone footage was all one continuous shot, and so was the footage after the drone up until the hospital scene.
"As one of the co-directors, you notice the things that didn't go the way you wanted,'' Clark said. "It's almost like you envisioned it, and it could've been better, but there's no possibility for any retakes. Still, it does so much for the school in terms of school spirit and raising funds."
The crew had one practice shot, and then the next one was for real.
"We had all the students out in the hallways and elsewhere, and we basically had 20 minutes to do it,'' Clark said. "The part that's most challenging is that everybody is so excited for their three seconds that they get so loud and crowd the camera. You get one shot, so if it doesn't work out, you just have to let it go."
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