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Seniors Direct Original Music Video for Former American Idol Finalist

After approaching former American Idol finalist, Trevor Douglas, Poom Wattanapan and a group of seniors from the communications magnet produced and filmed an original music video.
Photo by Sarah Allen

After approaching former American Idol finalist, Trevor Douglas, Poom Wattanapan and a group of seniors from the communications magnet produced and filmed an original music video. Photo by Sarah Allen

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By Chase Karacostas

After more than a week of preparation and planning, Communications Magnet senior Poom Wattanapan arrived at school one Saturday to begin filming an original music video for American Idol finalist Trevor Douglas only to find that the auditorium was locked and the AC was off.

Wattanpan and his group, comprised of Zoha Bhura, Calvin Herbst, Will Moffet and Brooke Harris, found a way into the building but still had to deal with the heat, made worse by fog machines and hot lights.

Every year, a group of Communications Magnet seniors are offered the chance to make an original music video and this year’s group pitched the idea to Douglas.

The group met Douglas through a former Communications Magnet student, Grant Byrd, whose brother had performed at concerts with Douglas before. They contacted and met with him and began producing the video shortly after.

Because of the limited time frame, the seniors chose the song they wanted to produce and began working on the concept for the video immediately.

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Courtesy of Poom Wattanapan

“Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we decided to do what is basically called a one shot,” Wattanapan said. “So, instead of doing a lot of different shots in different locations, we chose one location and one shot. Then what we did was two days of shooting which is really fast for us.

When they began work on the video, the students didn’t realize the amount of planning and organization that would be involved, including bringing in the principals for help halfway through the shoot.

“All of the sudden the administration was involved, and they thought that this was kind of a big deal because [Trevor Douglas] is kind of a big deal,” Wattanapan said. “It was insane because all we wanted to do was this shoot, and all of a sudden we had to do all this stuff like waivers and sign contracts saying we were not allowed to do this for profit and all of this stuff that we had to work around.”

On Saturday, the team only had three hours with Douglas so Wattanapan split up the team into various groups such as production, make up, and light to speed up the process of shooting the video.

As a production assistant, senior Paul Pruski helped organize equipment and setup. He was also instrumental in designing the concept for the video.

“We needed people there to help us, and a lot of times we didn’t get enough people, and that stressed us out a little bit, but we got a good project through,” Pruski said. “This was a very hands on, extensive shoot.”

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Courtesy of Poom Wattanapan

Senior Brooke Harris, who also served as a production assistant, helped gather props for the shoot, which ranged from a skeleton, to a science poster, to a $200 microphone from Guitar Center.

“We mostly gathered everything from around the building,” Harris said. “Honestly, making the video was really smooth sailing. We had limited time, and we couldn’t mess around because we had to have a professional work flow because we were working with someone who was legitimate.”

Douglas was leaving to head to California a few days after the seniors approached him, so the seniors had no room for error.

“I think that the hardest part was everyone had to be spot on all the time,” senior Zoha Bhura said. “If you’re even one second off, we would have to redo the whole thing. So, we did a lot of takes.”

Along with having a small part in the video, Bhura did Douglas’ makeup and said she appreciated how energetic and fun he was to work with.

“Sometimes you think that because someone gets famous they’re going to be really rude, but in person he was really sweet,” Bhura said. “I’d love to work with more people like him.”

In addition to a tight schedule, it was also the group’s first time working with a professional artist.

“It forced us to really step it up in our planning so we knew exactly what we were doing, making sure that we had food there for him, making sure that we had makeup done, and this is all with a team of five or six people,” Wattanapan said.

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Seniors Direct Original Music Video for Former American Idol Finalist