In the lazy, hazy days of summer, the fall may seem a world away. But the sights and sounds of September in Halifax are already being broadcast around the world via the Dalhousie Student Union’s orientation video, launched Tuesday.
“See You In September,” a colourful, boisterous welcome mat rolled out to Dalhousie’s newest students, features an original song written by the band Jackson Jha, past contestants in Dalhousie’s Got Talent.
The new video celebrates not only Halifax’s student highlights—from pizza corner to the waterfront—but champions many of the elements that contribute to the Dalhousie student experience: clubs and societies, Dalplex zumba, CKDU, late-night studying and cheering on the Tigers in black and gold. (Key line: “If Huskies were vampires, we Wesley Snipes,” referencing the Blade movie franchise.)
Production on the video began in May with the DSU, producer Mohaned El Bolkiny, director Dillon Garland, and Jackson Jha all working to deliver an orientation week video like nobody at Dal has ever seen before.
When it was all said and done, between 150 and 200 people helped make the video possible. For the final scene that took place on July 22, organizers had a diverse set of participants turn out, from Dal students and staff, to kids attending the Dal summer camps. Even the Dal Tiger made an appearance despite the sweltering heat.
So far, the reaction has been very positive, and organizers say even people with no connection to Dal like what they see.
“We’ve gotten a really good response so far,” says director Dillon Garland, a film student at the Centre for Arts and Technology in Halifax who was brought in to help work on the video. “Even the people that aren’t directly connected to Dal are now connected to this video just by living and working in Halifax.”
By students, for students
To say the experience was fun would be an understatement. Both Mr. Garland and Mr. El Bolkiny couldn’t say enough about the journey that took the team from storyboarding to sharing it with the community.
“This whole experience has been mind blowing,” explains Mr. El Bolkiny, a second year pharmacy student at Dal. “Looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently. Everyone involved in this project put their best foot forward and I think at the end of the day, we’re all really happy with the final product.”
“There were a few speed bumps along the way like there is with any project,” says Mr. Garland. “But everyone was so on the ball that it was all worth it at the end.”
Mr. El Bolkiny is hopeful that the video will send out the message to incoming students to get involved and participate in student activities.
“This entire video is made and produced by students for students,” he explains. “After watching this video, I hope it inspires students, new and returning, to get involved.”
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