Greendale — The backyard friendship turned music video team of Chris Jensen and Alie Fieldbinder is about to launch a first-time, full-blown production, done with appropriate flair.
Jensen and Fieldbinder worked on their creative endeavor for the past 10 months. The result is a three-minute, 52-second presentation they will debut in an invite-only, Hollywood-style premiere Saturday and release on the Internet immediately following the festivities.
The duo, Greendale High School students, worked on the project outside of school. In fact, they have been building up to this effort with a series of less sophisticated You Tube videos that they produced since their friendship began in elementary school.
"Trouble," based on the Taylor Swift song, "I Knew You Were Trouble," was shot in two weeks at 18 locations throughout the Milwaukee area. Jensen was the director and videographer, while Alie played the lead.
The work however, was a lot more complicated.
"We started talking about this last Thanksgiving break," Jensen said. "It took a long time to come up with an idea we both wanted."
Idea to locations
Fieldbinder said they worked hard to interpret the song.
"We printed out the lyrics and looked at each of the verses," she said. "We would think of ideas and figure out what we thought each meant and what we wanted to show."
They said ideas flowed, changed and finally were solidified.
"Then we had to scout locations, and my dad helped a lot with that," Jensen said.
The video was shot in a variety of locales, including Whitnall Park, a New Berlin cornfield, a Waukesha overpass, The Rock sports center in Franklin, a yard on Milwaukee's East Side and the dunes overlooking Lake Michigan at Kohler Andrae State Park near Sheboygan.
With a little help
To keep costs down, the video team rented a $3,500 camera for $250 each week for the two weeks. They also enlisted the help of family and friends to work behind the scenes in such roles as costume-making and choreography, as well as to perform as background dancers and other characters.
It also took support from Jensen's parents, who gave him editing software last Christmas.
Little did they know, they said, that the production would take such detail.
"I couldn't understand why they were so particular about everything, especially since they had done those small You Tube videos," Dave Jensen said. "Then I went to the first location shoot and I realized why they were so concerned about the details. I saw everything that had to go into it."
The process also was a learning experience for the younger Jensen, who helped raise much of the approximately $800 needed by snow blowing and lawn mowing. He and Alie noted they were surprised at how much work it took.
"It looks a lot easier than it is," he said, adding that they had to do some creative editing to correct some footage they did not like in order to synchronize it with the music.
Jensen and Fieldbinder said they thought they were keeping it easy because their first idea was to make a movie from one of a few scripts they had co-written.
"We realized right away that we would not do that," Fieldbinder said. "That turned out to be a good decision."
After this experience, the duo said, they are planning to make another music video and hopefully move on to bigger and better things.
"I'm not a diva, but I like performing," Fieldbinder said.
WHAT: "Trouble," based on a Taylor Swift song and video
WHO: Freshmen Chris Jensen and Alie Fieldbinder, both of Greendale High School
WHEN: Sept. 7 on You Tube
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