Powerful video by Liberty students becomes Web sensation
“I’m spoiled.” “I’m loud.” “I have lost a friend.”
These revelations are samples from a powerful video, “I’m Human,” created by Liberty Middle School students.
To view the video, visit tinyurl.com/imhuman.
Language arts teacher Daniel Whitt guided his students in the production. “We never considered entering a competition. The video was just something we wanted and needed to do,” Whitt said.
“But now … who knows? Maybe we will try to enter something. We sure are getting some nice attention for it,” Whitt said.
The idea began in December when Whitt’s “brilliant coworker” Steven Mathis sent email about an idea for students to hold up signs showing Liberty’s vast diversity. “It took a few weeks to sink in, but I realized that his idea was perfect and pure,” Whitt said.
“I’m Human” features 85 students and 26 faculty/staff members who both volunteered and were recruited. “Many had something to say,” Whitt said. Teachers Jane Haithcock, Bess House and Steven Mathis helped with recruiting.
Participants shared one commonality: deep honesty. “We really tried to get to the heart of what makes us all different and not hold back,” Whitt said. His students showed a 30-second sample that “sold the idea. No one walked out of the green screen room.”
The green screen created the illusion of participants in focus with hallway traffic blurred as background. “This added conceptual weight of the project. The end result really nailed it,” he said.
For filming, the Liberty students captured lifelike clarity with iPads. They also used an Apple computer and Final Cut Pro for editing, which had been funded by Sen. Bill Holtzclaw.
Deciding on music took some time. “Nothing seemed to be working,” Whitt said. “Then, I let them hear Sigur Rós, a band famous for emotionally cathartic music. ‘Festival’ was unanimously accepted,” Whitt said. “In retrospect, the music could not have been better for our purposes.”
A graduate of Athens High School, Whitt studied audio technology at SAE Institute of Technology in New York City and earned at bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.