NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - If you haven’t yet seen the Roosevelt Elementary School’s Music Video, it’s definitely worth the watch.
The four-minute video showcases the talent of a handful of teachers and students, on top of the dozens of students who were involved with the production.
It starts out with an aerial shot of the school, where a drone hovered parallel to the “Roosevelt Intermediate School” sign at the front of the building.
Diagonal from the camera are the principal and two vice principals, who are standing atop the steps at the front of the school building.
It zooms in on the three, who recite “We are leaders, guiding the leaders of tomorrow. We are Roosevelt.”
That was only the first 10 seconds; we won’t summarize the entire video. (You'll have to see it for yourself.)
Chris Lombardi, who teaches 5th grade, and Darwin Marcias, a teaching assistant for 4th grade, organized the music video.
The song you hear was put together by the singing duo in 2013.
“They’re always coming up with suggestions, this was just an idea of ‘Hey, let’s make a song that represents our school’,” said Georgette Gonzalez-Lugo, principal of the Roosevelt School. “So that’s how that came about in 2013.”
Then during the 2016/2017 school year, Marcias and Lombardi decided a music video would go well with the song. Over the next seven months, the two went about shooting the video.
In reality, there was only seven days of filming. Most of the time, the producers were waiting for the different seasons and outdoor backgrounds against which the video could be shot.
The waiting was well worth it, according to Gonzalez-Lugo, who added that the goal was to “show how beautiful our school is.”
“It was built in 1919, it’s a historic building, and if you look at the details of the structure, it’s very unique,” Gonzalez-Lugo said.'
Filming involved many different shots.
“They would have us do it again, sometimes three or four times, and based on that, they would choose the one that was the clearest, and that’s how we put it together,” the principal added.
Among the cast, there were three administrators, 12 teachers and 25 students, along with some community members.
On top of the 2013 audio with Lombardi sang, Marcias wrote those lyrics, on top of other lyrics he wrote and sung in the version for the video.
The two did the bulk of the shooting and video-editing, mostly on their own time after hours.
They added in visuals, as well as voice-overs; audio segments not in the original song. They remixed and spliced the 2013 version of the song to blend perfectly with the video.
They were responsible for every aspect of the video;well equipped with the drone, two cameras, lighting shields, a microphone and the video editing software.
And of course, a lot of creativity.
For the students who appeared in the film, most of them were from Lombardi’s class.
Shooting was done after school, when the hallways were empty and quiet, so that the team had free reign over the entire building. Most of the shots are in the auditorium and the school hallway.
The students you’ll see in the music video had a say on the final product.
“Our idea was to work for the students, to help them and teach them,” Gonzalez-Lugo said.
Students incorporated their own dance moves, and came up with these lyrics: “We are protectors, we are leaders, we are family, we are mentors.”
“Students learned a lot in the process,” Gonzalez-Lugo said. “They learned about coordination, they learned about working in a social environment. They learned about teamwork.”