Dental School Music Video a Hit

Kevin Kuo and Misha Garibov Talk about “Composite”

Ann Arbor, MI — May 27, 2011 — A music video produced by Kevin Kuo and directed by Misha Garibov, both second-year dental students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, has been generating a lot of buzz among students, faculty, and staff since it was posted on YouTube this spring.

“Composite,” a four-minute video filmed mostly at the School of Dentistry, begins with Kuo using an iPad and computer animation to show a patient, played by Rashmi Kakar (D2), how bacteria led to her tooth decay and how he will restore the cavity with a composite filling.

After being “sedated” by Benjamin Jamo (D2), Kakar begins dreaming.  During the dream, Kuo is joined by seven other second-year dental students — Daniel Shoop, Edward Heath, Mariya Volvovsky, Laura Harness, Samantha Garber, Andrew Baker, and Thomas Kwun — who dance in the dental parody that is set to Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite.”

The Birth of an Idea

“I was reviewing notes from my composite course and listening to the original recording of ‘Dynamite’ when the idea of creating the video hit me,” Kuo said.  “I produced a couple of one-minute videos previously, but I wanted this to be different.”

Kuo said it took “about five minutes” to write the lyrics to “Composite.”  He later recorded the vocals and played them to some of his classmates.

After receiving approval from Dr. Mary Ellen McLean, clinical associate professor of dentistry, to film in the preclinic and a wet lab, and Dr. Stephen Stefanac, associate dean for patient services, to record other parts of the video in a comprehensive care clinic, filming began during the School’s spring recess in February.

Garibov said using a small movie camera was a new experience, as was directing.  “I thought Kevin had a cool idea and that directing would be fun, so I agreed to help.”

Although most scenes were planned, including those in the preclinic and clinic, Garibov said “we came up with many ideas on the fly.”  One included Kuo playing the violin for the first time in nearly five years.

Playing the Soundtrack on the Violin

“I began playing at age four and continued playing the violin through high school, but quit after that,” Kuo said.  “I didn’t even consider playing again until my sister asked me to play for her wedding.”

As he practiced for his sister’s wedding Kuo said “the urge to play came back, so I looked up violin recordings on YouTube.”  When he came across violinist Peter Lee Johnson’s rendition of “Dynamite,” Kuo said “that re-ignited my passion for playing the violin.”

But learning to play again “was probably the toughest part of making the video,” he said with a laugh.  But Kuo persevered.  In three scenes, Kuo is seen playing the violin in his hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee.

Editing the video, Kuo said, took about 14 hours over two days.  “But that was nothing compared to the hours I spent learning to play ‘Dynamite’ on the violin,” he said.

A Look into the Future

A glimpse of how technology is being used in the School’s clinics appears in the early moments of the video where animation is displayed on an iPad.

“We did this to give the patient an idea about what the procedure was and how it would be done,” Garibov said.  “More importantly, I think when the public sees it, they will get an idea of how technology can be used in dental offices.”

You can see the video on YouTube at .

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care, and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the School to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia, and public agencies. Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide. For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:

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