GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- At Campo Verde High School the campus is cleared and the gates are closed. This is not the way student body president Laura Jane Housley wanted to finish her senior year.
“I think the hardest thing has been not able to see people and get the closure we were expecting,” says a disappointed Housley.
A graduation ceremony was not allowed on the football field and that was stressful not only for students but the Campo Verde administrators, too.
“We want to give the seniors exactly what they deserve. There’s so much unknown right now that we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of giving them an amazing and phenomenal graduation ceremony,” according to Campo Verde Principal Krista Cox.
But thanks to Valley audio, video and staging company VX3 creating a virtual graduation the celebration was saved.
“I am feeling so grateful. This whole setup is amazing. It's honestly very mind blowing and we're so lucky to have this be part of this graduation ceremony,” explains Housley.
You must check out the video to see it looks like a typical graduation ceremony inside a school auditorium. The students look like they walk across the stage and pick up their high school diplomas. But if you look closer, you may or may not notice it’s nothing more than movie magic.
“It’s a combination of broadcast video equipment, LED walls with a very specialized fabric we have made in the UK and a lot of projection, content creation and ingenuity to put it together. The end result is ultimately what looks like two people standing on stage but there's only one physically there,” says VX3 Managing Partner Jay Koller.
If you look closely Campo Verde Principal Krista Cox is actually a hologram and students are grabbing their diplomas from this desk. While putting this all together they had to make sure the safety of the students was top priority during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We came up with a model that would allow us to do the technology but also have something keeping in mind social distancing and safety, while trying to make sure there's absolutely no touch for the students,” according to Koller.
“It truly is one of a kind and a memory I can’t wait for our seniors to see. It's really, really impressive,” says Principal Cox.
This has been a creative task to celebrate the Class of 2020 but most importantly to honor the seniors on their big achievement.
“It's totally different than anything I would have ever expected growing up. I feel really blessed and this is an incredible experience even if we're not having the in-person graduation we were expecting. This is amazing and something we'll always remember and be able to take away for the rest of our lives,” according to Housley.