By Linda Lane
Under the guidance of Troy Smith, Vicksburg’s film and video teacher, and former student Casey Schreffler, Vicksburg High School students in produced a behind-the-scenes video of local star Jordyn Jones, as she made a music video. Her new video, released early in December, is called “Best Christmas Ever.”
The class video is titled “Behind the Scenes.”
The class spent an entire day, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on a “shoot” in Bronson Park in December with Jones and a professional crew, mostly from Los Angeles, videotaping the production.
A former student at Schoolcraft Community Schools, Jones, 17, is a singer, actress, dancer, designer and model, an online, teenage sensation with millions of followers and viewers on every social media. She can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. She has videos on YouTube, Vevo and AwesomenessTV. With events, photoshoots, music videos, magazine links, interviews and her merchandise shop, Jones’s website can be found at: jordynjonesofficial.com.
The “Best Christmas Ever” video has had 200,000-plus views in the first month, more than 50,000 views on AwesomenessTV and 11,000 views on SweetyHigh. In addition to watching the art of making a music video first-hand, students were permitted to produce their own separate video as well. Theirs, also posted on line, had over 26,000 views in just one month.
“Jordyn Jones was amazing to work with,” Troy Smith said. “She just had an incredible amount of energy all day long. She was just so nice, just like her videos reflect her. We were all astounded in working with her.”
Smith’s class and students helped with stage set up, production design, trolley lighting and decorating, watching over cameras and equipment in the park, and advance planning for things such as catering, props, bathrooms, and transportation.
The professionally produced video had a hefty budget of $25,000 for the “Best Christmas Ever,” considerably different than that for the student-produced product. It had no out-of-pocket expenses. But the students gained a wealth of experience in producing a professional video with high online visibility.
Jones’ brother is Casey Schreffler, who was one of Smith’s “star students” at Vicksburg High School and has produced numerous music videos for Jordyn Jones. The “Behind the Scenes” video was produced by Casey Schreffler and Troy Smith; Smith also directed the student video. Troy Smith’s son, Alex, who is also a Vicksburg senior and in his class, edited. Camera-work for the video is credited to Vicksburg students Alex Smith, Carter Liss and Carolina Gonzalez.
“Because Jordyn’s so famous online, I knew our video would get a lot of views, so it really motivated me to do my best work in editing our production,” according to Alex Smith. “We knew it was higher stakes for us as students, being so young, but the director was really welcoming and helpful to us,” Alex Smith said.
“It was amazing to work with such a big group, setting up the lighting, making sure the room was just exactly how it was supposed to be set up, just paying attention to so many details,” Zoe Blough said of the experience. “Jordyn and the entire crew were so friendly and nice, even to all the students in the class. It was a great experience!”
“We learned that it takes a lot of work to get everything just right in producing a music video, and it’s time-consuming, like just setting up the lights,” added Carter Liss.