Making The Video

April 17, 2005

The Northwestern: LifeStyle section - April 2005

Michelle Jerabek and her Copper Box band-mates Dave Jerabek, back left, Dan Jerabek, Nate Grier and drummer Jeff Roblee, make their first music video "Finally Found You" at the Algoma Club last Monday. Tim Kolb, Marc Stevens and Tony Mata film the video. EXCITEMENT SURROUNDS FIRST COPPER BOX MUSIC VIDEO Flip on MTV, and you just might catch a glimpse of Usher or 50 Cent documenting the filming process in "Making the Video." Had you wandered into the Algoma Club last Monday, you would have seen local band Copper Box doing the exact same thing. And just like the television version, it was everything those national acts experience--only altered a bit. There was a make-up crew, a film crew: a team of three area directors and cinematographers. There was catered cuisine: freshly delivered pizza and sodas. "I've got people doing my hair, doing my make-up...the director was the real thing," Jerabek said after the filming was competed. "It's not every day you get pampered like that." And after about 15 grueling hours of work, director Tim Kolb said, "It's a wrap." But between Kolb's wrap declaration , quite a bit of work was completed. SQUARE ONE Copper Box has been presenting their unique blend of "accordion-swamp-rock" since 1998, and has played throughout the Fox Valley and at various places around the nation. Michelle Jerabek plays the saxophones and sings lead vocals, her husband, Dan Jerabek, also sings and plays the wqueeze box. Dan's brother Dave Jerabek plays bass and tuba, while Nate Grier plays the guitar and Jeff Roblee keeps beat on the drums. While they were busy making a name for themselves, Tim Kolb of Kob Syverson Commmunications in Appleton was contacted to test a new Sony high-definition video camera. The camera has been on the market for about eight weeks, but will be officially unveiled at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas that began on Saturday. Tony Mata, the videographer, told Kolb about Copper Box, and suggested a possible music video to test the camera. "I went out and bought their CD, and I was hooked, " Kolb said. "Their original material is so well crafted. Part of making a good music video is you have to start with good music. These guys are that talented." Kolb contacted the band about three weeks ago. "Tony (Mata) said, "Guys, the time is now. We've got to get this done in less than two weeks," Jerabek said. ON LOCATION Kolb, who assumed directorial duties, told the band he wanted to find an old dancehall with wooden floors as the video site. Copper Box members hit the road and found a few options, but local restaurateur, Ryan Nolan, Water City Grill owner, offered the site to the ensemble. They considered the Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford and decided against the former club, now schoolhouse, the Eagles Club on Washington Ave. QUICK CLEAN-UP The Algoma Club held a standing room-only audience last Sunday night for a benefit concert to raise funds for late musician, Matthew Golay, and for MusiCares, a charity to help musicians when faced with financial or health care needs. Golay was a strong promoter of local bands, and many played at the concert, including Copper Box. "We got back from the concert and I did laundry until about 2:30 a.m.," Michelle Jerabek said. "Then we got to the Algoma Club around 9 a.m." Besides a sticky floor from the night before, there were some nicks and marks on the wall situated just behind where the band was to set up for their video. With the help from a self-described, "roadie," the set was like-new. LONG DAY "Copper Box was amazing," Kolb said. "We got there at 8 a.m. and left at midnight. Other than pausing for 20 minutes for pizza, we were rocking and rolling for 16 straight hours. You combine that with a Wisconsin work ethic and it was pretty astounding." With Kolb directing, he had help from Mata, who is also a photographer, cinematographer and director of photography. He's worked on the effects unit for the film "Wild, Wild West" and worked on the film "Traffic." Marc Stevens is a director, director of photography, editor and commercial director. He and Mata work for Meridian Studios in Neenah. Filming didn't begin until around 1 p.m. But when it began, everyone was ready. The directors huddled in front of the monitor. The musicians stood in the center of the large wood-floored room with lights reflecting off metallic fabrics, shining a warm glow over their faces. The stained glass windows sparkled behind them and their song "Finally Found You" played over and over and over again. "It's still in my head right now, " Michelle jerabek said. "Since we recorded thtat song a year ago, we didn't play it live for a long time....It's hard to believe we spent 14 hours on one song!" FINISHED PRODUCT After the crew finished recording the footage, Kolb had a mere four days to turn it into a full-fledged music video. It's not his first one - he filmed a music video for Janet Planet ina Kaukauna gravel pit two years ago. The video had to be finished for the NAB convention, so Kolb was under high pressure. And while everyone participated on a volunteer basis, they all benefited individually. Kolb got to test the new camera. The crew got to add music video production to their resumes. And the band has their first music video under their belt. "It's definitely a step in the right direction. There's no telling what will happen," Michelle Jerabek said. "If the right deal comes alson, it'll definitely hlelp the band and help us move in the direction of playing better venues and making a living doing that..."

by A.J. Schuldt