- About Przyborski Productions
- Demo Reels
- Misc Videos
- Introduction of 24P (from 2002)
- Images from a Summer Carnival
- River Rafting
- Scenes from a County Fair
- America Lost
- Moments@24fps (1997)
- Behind-the-Scenes Prop38 (2000)
- 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins
- Barth Bartholomae (1997)
- Behind-the-Scenes Pagetime (1998)
- Frontier Telephone (2000)
- Time Capsule: GNC 1992-1995
- Jimmy D
- Contact Info
West Virginia University Healthcare is the largest hospital complex in the State of West Virginia. The facility treats many of the region’s most complicated medical cases.
Heidi Specht, WVUH’s Director of Marketing, wanted a series of TV commercials whereby former patients would share their experiences directly with the home viewer. The commercials were to be completely unscripted, allowing patients to tell their stories in their own words.
This concept sounds deceptively easy, but it’s far from it. “Real people” who have never been on TV, can’t comfortably look into a cold, black camera lens and “pretend” they’re talking to a friend.
We decided to use a technique that I pioneered back in ’87. It uses a thru-the-lens teleprompter on the camera. However, instead of seeing the words of a script, the talent sees live video of an interviewer’s face. The on-camera talent talks directly with the interviewer, creating almost perfect eye contact with the home viewer. (In ’87, I first used this production technique to help small children talk on camera. We then used it on a major promotion for Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV. Today network news interviews are often conducted this way.)
The 5 spot commercial campaign airs in HD throughout West Virginia.
Paul and I met while working at Television Production Center (TPC) in Pittsburgh. He had previously worked as an ad agency producer at Ketchum and W.B. Doner which gave him the ability to relate to art directors and writers. In 1975, Hartwick convinced me that we could make a living by starting a commercial production company.
We founded Hartwick/Przyborski Productions in 1975 and operated the company through 1987. During that period “H/P” produced literally hundreds of broadcast advertising commercials for clients and ad agencies across the U.S. We worked separately on most projects and as a team on major productions, especially those from our New York office. Many Pittsburgh crew people got their first film production experience with Hartwick/Przyborski and/or TPC.
Back in the mid-70′s most film projects were actually edited on film. Then a print from the lab was transferred to videotape for TV station distribution. Kodak credited Paul and me as pioneers for shooting 35mm film specifically for editorial on videotape.
Paul Hartwick was an instrument rated, multi-engine pilot and an avid outdoorsman. He loved the woods, hunting, guns, and civil war re-enactments. Years ago, he dropped out of the commercial production business and moved to the Allegheny Forrest near Bradford, PA. Unfortunately, My last contact with Paul was over 10 years ago.
Paul Hartwick is survived by His wife, Mary and daughters, Jennifer & Justi.
Here’s a look at a nesting pair of American Bald Eagles that have built a 6′ wide nest, a little over 1000ft from the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, a few miles south of Pittsburgh, PA USA. The male and female have one rather large “eaglet” in their nest. He looks almost ready to fly.
As a commercial director/cinematographer, this was my first experience with nature photography. I’m used to planned projects and production schedules. I now have complete respect for the men and women who shoot nature photos and videos.
Every scene in this video was shot from about a quarter mile from the birds and their nest. At this distance, the birds aren’t really noticeable to the naked eye.
It’s great that the American Bald Eagle has made a complete comeback from near extinction. They are now in every US state except Hawaii. We have 3 nesting pairs in the Pittsburgh area. They hunt in a radius of several miles from their nest and can easily lift small animals weighing up to 4 pounds.
1991 Pittsburgh Penguins Back in 1991, working with KDKA’s Drew Moniot, my assignment was to capture the look, feel, and excitement of what happens inside the Pittsburgh Penguins’ locker room between periods of play. The cast was a very young Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh team… but only 2 players could be “on set” at a time. Also, team members were promised that filming wouldn’t tie them up for more than 45 minutes. The footage was used as “bumper” background video that various sponsor logos and other graphics would be “supered” over during the Penguins telecasts. We shot in the visitor’s locker room inside Mellon Arena. Extras, and some of our crew dressed as hockey players, filled-in the background. I shot everything in 35mm with my Arri 35BL4. During film-to-tape transfer, we stripped the natural color and added a blue, gritty, grainy look. Hockey players are very superstitious. I tried to capture the unique idiosyncrasies each player does to psych himself up before hitting the ice. After winning the ’91 Stanley Cup, head coach, “Badger” Bob Johnson died of brain cancer in November, 1991. This video is a tribute to him.
I edited the transferred footage on D2 digital videotape. (using old school machine-to-machine editing)
A Przyborski Productions’ TV campaign, produced for Boca Raton Regional Hospital, has won Gold in the 2012 Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards. This prestigious advertising competition included thousands of entries from hospitals and healthcare facilities located throughout the United States and Canada. Here’s a link to the winning multi-spot campaign:
Our Children’s Hospital spot for West Virginia University Healthcare is an award winner in the 2012 Healthcare Marketing Report’s national contest. There were over 4,000 entries in the 2012 competition. Here’s a link to the winning spot that features “Aaron’s story”: http://www.przyborski.com/award_videos/Award-WVUH-960×540.mov
It’s a new year and that means ad agencies and clients from across the country are working on new creative ideas for TV campaigns…
We had a great 2012 and the opportunity to work with some new folks and lots of old friends. We’re optimistically hoping 2013 will be even better.
Not to be “crass commercialists”… but, we’d like you to take 5 minutes to screen our updated reel which includes some recent projects. The spots span the gambit from high-energy, effect-driven commercials, to sincere, one-on-one communications aimed directly at the home viewer.
It’s also our first reel where every spot was shot digitally… Sorry Kodak, it appears our $.65/foot, 25 year relationship is over…
Every once in a while, a project comes along that’s completely different and fun to shoot. John Brabender (Brabender-Cox) asked Przyborski to direct and photograph a couple live-action concert playback videos for YES’ 2013 concert tour. With hits like “Roundabout”, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “Long Distance Runaround” and many more, YES, a major group from the 70′s & 80′s, is currently touring the country. They have a huge, cult-like, devoted following that sells out every performance.
“8 Track” is one of the nostalgic videos that were created for playback at the start of the concert and at the end of intermission. The house lights dim and the band begins as the video finishes. Thad Christian, senior editor and graphics artist at Phenomenon Post, edited and color graded the 90 second videos. Michael Goodis created the original sound design.
Przyborski photographed this digital project with a RED Epic at Pittsburgh’s 31st Studios. All footage was shot in an ultra-widescreen, 2.66:1 ratio. This unusual format was requested to allow the video to fill the on-stage, HD projection systems.
Giant Eagle is one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. Between 1994 – 2000, Przyborski Productions produced literally all of Giant Eagle’s TV advertising. These were years of tremendous growth for the multi-state company. During that time period, Giant Eagle’s advertising was fun, different, interesting and entertaining.
In 1995, Bishop Wuerl (now Cardinal Wuerl) was featured in a 35mm TV commercial, endorsing Giant Eagle’s “Apples for Students” program. With the inauguration of Pope Francis, Cardinal Wuerl has been all over the news. Some say he was under consideration to be the next Pope.
Click the image above to replay this unique TV spot from 18 years ago…
Gateway Health Plan offers “Medicare Assured” coverage to qualified residents of Pennsylvania. The multi-spot campaign featured people who have overcome their health problems and disabilities.
I’m confident in sharing that extensive pre-production is the primary difference between a successful project and hours of overtime and uncontrolled expenses. I elected to photograph the commercials with a Canon 5Dmk3. This camera’s 36mm x 24mm imager yields very shallow depth-of-field images. This keeps visual separation between the on-camera talent and the background. The 5Dmk3 also has great looking color, especially with flesh tones.
For the location spot, generator powered, HMI lighting supplemented natural daylight for the outdoor footage. For the garage scenes, the primary light source was a 1200 watt HMI through a 3′ x 3′ Chimara diffuser. Talent back-lights were LED lighting panels.
The white limbo studio spot was shot using incandescent lighting. 1K & 2K Arri fixtures were used combined with 3×3 & 3×4 Chimera soft diffusers. The BG white limbo rear wall was lit with 5K Arri fresnels. It’s very important when you shoot this type of commercial that the color balance of the light fixtures that illuminate your BG be exactly the same. Otherwise you’ll end up with a color shift from left-to-right or top-to-bottom.
The campaign currently airs in high-definition throughout the State of Pennsylvania USA.
Over the years, I’ve directed and photographed literally hundreds of TV spots for medical centers across the country. This multi-hospital campaign featured similar commercials for Forbes Regional, Allegheny Valley & Canonsburg General Hospital.
Rather than using professional actors and voice-over talent, the campaign’s concept required a real doctor at each facility to talk one-on-one about the services his hospital offers to the community it serves.
Our challenge was a very tight, one day production schedule at each hospital with a limited time to shoot the on-camera doctors. Fortunately, I’ve had years of experience shooting, directing and working with non-professional on-camera talent.
We broke the scripts down to minimize each doctor’s on-camera segments. You can overwhelm “talent” if you ask them to memorize a long, complicated script. The doctors were told that they never had to deliver more than 2 on-camera sentences in each sequence. We didn’t waste time shooting copy that was intended to be covered with “B-Roll”.
Most of each production day was spent shooting the necessary, non-sync footage in and around the hospitals. Everything from intense operating rooms to patient-staff interactions were shot with a combination of HD digital cameras, including the Panasonic AF-100, GH2 and the tiny GoPro Hero2. To achieve an extremely shallow depth-of-field, the on-camera sync scenes were filmed with Canon’s new 5D Mk3. (A few of the cutaways were footage that I had photographed from previous campaigns.)